Dead Socialist Watch, #280

William Ballinger, trade unionist, ILPer and anti-apartheid politician. A blacksmith, Ballinger joined the ILP in 1916 and became secretary of the Motherwell and Wishaw trades and labour council in 1921, later serving as a parish and town councillor. He emigrated to South Africa in 1928 to be adviser to the largest black trade union there, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union. The union collapsed shortly thereafter, but he continued to work with black trade unionists, publishing a series of 1930s pamphlets on the politics and economics of race in South Africa.  His wife Margaret was elected as a native representative for the Eastern Cape in the House of Assembly, going on to become the first president of the South African Liberal Party; William was elected as a native representative in the Senate in 1948; both Ballingers left parliament in 1960 when the Nats abolished the system of native representation. Born Birmingham, 21 September 1892, died Cape Town, 20 July 1974.

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