South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Elections Manifesto

Five Years of ANC Government

1 May 1999


Over the past five years the ANC has laid the foundation for a better future. Together with the people of South Africa, the ANC has:

Put in place one of the best constitutions in the world
the rights of all citizens are enshrined in the constitution which guides us in building a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.

Swept away racist and oppressive laws
Today, nobody is legally discriminated against because of race, or because they are women, or disabled, or because of some other difference.

Introduced laws which provide for change
Since 1994 more than 100 laws have been passed each year to ensure equality and to improve the lives of all.

Brought equality in the treatment of all
The ANC has changed the structures of the public service and championed the cause of affirmative action in all important social areas.

Entrenched worker rights
Through the Constitution and many laws, we have ensured rights for all workers, including farm-workers and domestic workers.

Today, South Africa is seen, in many respects, as an example to the world. Our country is respected on all continents; and we have built relations with almost all nations.


Guided by the RDP, we are steadily but surely starting to dent the massive inequalities and poverty created by apartheid. Since 1994, the ANC has:

Brought water to 3 million people

Housed nearly 3 million people
with 750 000 houses built or under construction.

Connected 2 million households to electricity

Improved health-care for the poor
with over 500 new clinics built or upgraded, and free medical care for children under six and pregnant women.

Transferred land to communities
with 220 000 hectares of land transferred to 68 000 households.

Implemented non-racial education
with the majority of children enjoying better access to education; 10 000 new classrooms built or upgraded, and 1.5-million more children brought into the education system.

Connected telephone lines for 3 million people.

These are just some of the massive changes the ANC has brought about, in partnership with the people. In all these efforts, we have targeted the poor and the most vulnerable: those who suffer the most from the ravages of apartheid. It is only by overcoming the huge inequalities in our society that we shall be able to build a truly non-racial democracy.

Yes, all these things have been done, but is it enough?…

There´s unemployment, communities are still plagued by crime, many of us still live in poverty, and Local Government still has to improve service to the people.

The ANC agrees:

We are not complacent as a result of the changes that have taken place. We share your impatience to overcome the decades-old crisis of unemployment, crime and poverty.

Why are things still like this?
  • Because we inherited a budget that cannot be increased ovenight, and which must now be shared by all our people instead of a small minority during the days of apartheid
  • Because the apartheid system left us with a legacy of massive poverty and underdevelopment for the majority of our people which will take time to overcome
  • Because we required time to change all the apartheid policies we inherited, introduce the necessary legislation and establish a new public administration to implement the new policies
  • Because there are still powerful forces blocking change
  • And, yes, we have required time to inspire the public service to accept the new value system of batho pele and act in a more determined manner to serve the people of South Africa.
We will build on the foundations that have been laid, which were not there when we took over, to achieve faster progress towards a better life for all.
The ANC will be decisive in dealing with those who fail the people.
We must also continue to learn together from our advances, problems and mistakes, and together, to find the right solutions.