Professional groups

In 1971 a group of British architects launched a long-running campaign to end links between the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and South Africa. This factsheet supported a resolution put to a RIBA Council meeting in February 1973 calling on RIBA to withdraw recognition from architecture courses at five South African universities. The resolution was signed by over 300 architects, but was rejected by the RIBA Council.

In January 1973 the Architectural Association (AA) barred its members from practising in South Africa. At the same time it asked the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to sever its links with South Africa. This AA newssheet reported on a meeting held to debate the issue.

The Anti-Apartheid Health Committee tried to persuade British healthworkers not to emigrate to South Africa. Nurses were a special target of South African recruitment ads. This leaflet pointed out that South Africa only needed to recruit nurses from overseas because it trained so few black nurses.

The Anti-Apartheid Health Committee was set up in 1978 by anti-apartheid supporters working in the health professions. This leaflet, produced in 1983, set out its main objectives: to inform people about the impact of apartheid on the health of black South Africans; to end British health organisations’ links with South Africa; and to collect medical aid for the Southern African liberation movements.

This day school drew in many British health professionals to support the work of the Anti-Apartheid Health Committee. It created new interest in its campaigns, especially in fundraising for medical aid for the liberation movements.

This leaflet made the case for the expulsion of South Africa from the World Psychiatric Association. It was distributed at a seminar held at a WPA regional symposium in Helsinki in June 1984, which called for the expulsion of South Africa from world psychiatry. This was the start of a long campaign which won the support of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society.

From 1985 Medical Aid for Southern Africa (MACSA) collected medical equipment and funding for the African National Congress hospital in Tanzania. It also liaised with the Namibia Support Committee in providing health kits for the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO). MACSA raised funds through social events and collections in hospitals and medical schools. Many local AA groups collected material aid and cash for MACSA appeals.

Architects Against Apartheid was relaunched in September 1986 after the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) withdrew recognition from architecture courses at four South African universities. This followed an earlier campaign in the 1970s which resulted in a compromise decision that RIBA would withdraw recognition if the universities did not open their architecture courses to students of all races. The new group campaigned for RIBA to end all its links with South Africa.