Progressive Federal Party

The Progressive Federal Party (PFP, German about: Progressive Federal Party; previously Progressive Reform Party ) was a party in South Africa. For ten years she was the only party in the South African Parliament, who stood in opposition to the ruling apartheid. She went on in today's Democratic Alliance (DA, Democratic Alliance).


In the era of apartheid in South Africa, there were only racially separate parties. In Parliament were only represented white deputies. [Note 1] Among them, there were always a minority that stood opposed to apartheid and were very liberal. These politicians engaged in different parties; their native language was mostly English, not Afrikaans.

In 1959 the Progressive Party (PP, Progressive Party ) was founded as a liberal party, a spin-off of up to 1948 ruling United Party ( United Party ). From 1961 to 1974, the PP was represented only by Helen Suzman in parliament, as the only deputy denounced apartheid in that time. In the 1974 election, the PP won seven seats. 1975 left another group of liberal members of the United Party and founded the Reform Party ( Reform Party ), which after a few months with the PP for Progressive Reform Party (PRP, Progressive Reform Party ) merged. 1977 split again from a group of the United Party; it merged with the PRP for Progressive Federal Party. The aim of the PFP was a constitution with federal order and more rights for non-white population, a free market economy and an independent judiciary.

First Party chairman was Colin Eglin, who had already led the PRP since 1975. At the first general election after the party's founding in 1977, the party won 19 seats. Frederik van Zyl Slabbert in 1979 was chairman of the party. In 1981, the PFP 26 mandates, presented the strongest opposition party and became " official opposition party." In 1986, the party chairman Frederik van Zyl Slabbert back from his offices and went to the extra-parliamentary opposition. His successor was again Colin Eglin. In the election on 6 May 1987, the PFP won only 19 seats, so that the Conservative Party ( Conservative Party ), a right splitting of the ruling party National Party ( National Party), with 22 seats was the strongest opposition party. Some PFP members left then the party and formed the movement New Democratic Movement ( NDM, New Democratic Movement). Last party was chaired from 1988 to 1989 Zach de Beer. On April 8, 1989, the PFP, the NDM and the Independence Party (IP, Independent Party ) united to form the Democratic Party ( Democratic Party). This, in turn, went to 2000 in the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party is the African National Congress ( ANC) today.

In addition to the party chairman, there were other known PFP politicians. Harry Schwarz in 1974, together with Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mahlabatini the Declaration of Faith, signed calling for a nonviolent abolition of apartheid. In 1975, he was Chairman of the Reform Party. Black had in the PFP held several management positions and was one of the most prominent opponents of apartheid in Parliament. Helen Suzman was regularly re-elected as a deputy of the PFP to 1989 and proposed, among other things, two times for the Nobel Peace Prize.


From the Boers the PFP were occasionally ridiculed. So PFP stood for Packing for Perth, eg " pack your bags to emigrate to the Australian Perth ".