South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​

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22 December 1994



  1. That the April 1994 victory marks a breakthrough into the phase of national democratic revolution.
  2. That the national democratic revolution is essentially about the transfer of power to the people.
  3. That it is important to understand this transfer as a process, and not as an event or a moment.
  4. That it is also important to understand that power is located in many parts of society.
  5. That the transfer of power to the people means the simultaneous transformation, or democratisation of power. We are not simply transferring unchanged power structures, institutions and attitudes from one elite to another.


That while the ANC is serving in a Government of National Unity, and that this framework imposes some constraints, it is imperative that the ANC assumes full responsibility for its overwhelming election victory and mandate, and that as a movement we drive forward the process of transformation from our new positions in government.

And commits itself to the following core strategic perspectives:

  1. That the key strategic objective of our struggle remains the building of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist society as envisaged in the Freedom Charter. Each of these aspects is profoundly interlinked, and they are all part of the central objective of a thorough-going democratisation of our country.
  2. That the main content of this phase remains the all-round political, economic and social emancipation of the historically oppressed majority of our country. This majority continues to be characterised as the black majority, and the African people in particular.
  3. Owing to its strategic location and capacity, the main social motive force for transformation is the working class. We reassert our historic bias to this class, and to the rural poor, while being a broad movement and home for all historically oppressed strata, all democratic forces and many new potential forces.
  4. The ANC’s crucial role as a ruling party needs to be carried through effectively and professionally. This role should reinforce, not undermine, the ANC’s continuing role as a broad movement with effective grass-roots structures, capable of organising and mobilising the broad mass of our people.


Transformation of the State Machinery


    1. This Conference of the ANC, noting that:

1.1. democratic forces in our country have attained crucial elements of political power, including formal control over the state machinery;

1.2. the state machinery needs to be transformed into a representative, efficient and loyal instrument of democracy;

1.3. provisions of the interim constitution limit the extent and pace of such transformation, and that this constitution also contains provisions such as affirmative action and representativity which provide some possibilities;

The Conference therefore resolves:


    1. Legislative Mechanisms:

2.1. The process of drafting the White paper on transformation of the civil service should be expedited, so that it is presented to the first session of parliament early next year;

2.2. The NEC should, as a matter of urgency, examine the necessity or otherwise of amending the interim constitution with a view to enabling the government to implement its policies on the civil service.

    1. Executive Actions:

3.1. The comprehensive programme to rationalise the civil service, narrow the wage gap and ensure gender equality should be implemented without equivocation; and in such a way as to correct the skewed deployment of the civil service and not deprive communities of needed services;

3.2. Mechanisms ensuring representativity and efficiency should include objective performance evaluation, redeployment as well as retrenchment packages and early retirement;

3.3. A systematic programme with time-frames should be put in place, to ensure, through affirmative action, that the civil service reflects the make up of South African society, particularly by accelerating the employment of Africans, Coloureds, Indians, women and others previously excluded, especially from management echelons, because of apartheid;

3.4. Recruitment and selection procedures should also be informed by the fact that competent South Africans acquired their work experience outside the apartheid state;

3.5. All Ministers should make the appointments regarding 11,000 posts by the end of February.

    1. Structures:

4.1. The Public Service Forum should involve government, civil servants and representatives of the public and also deal with communities’ interests;

4.2. The bargaining chamber between government and the civil service should not be used as a forum to negotiate implementation of the RDP;

4.3. The government should immediately review the mandate of the bureaucracy of the Public Service Commission and ensure that:

      • the PSC is itself transformed to become representative, and its function should be to act as an ombuds;
      • the Ministry, with a proper department, should take charge of political and administrative functions.
    1. 5. Organisational Structures and Tasks:

5.1. The ANC should co-ordinate work and policy formulation on this matter through a public service unit in the SGO, as well as a broader forum involving structures within and outside government;

5.2. The ANC should encourage unity among unions representing the genuine interests of public servants – unions run and controlled by workers themselves, and not management.


6. Noting the proposals to transform the judiciary from the ministry of justice, as well as the resistance from various quarters, the Conference urges the minister to act with decisiveness and speed as well as on the basis of broad consultation.

7. This should include the following:

7.1. The establishment of an independent and representative prosecuting authority, including the possibility of setting up a central office of the attorney-general;

7.2. Investigation of the need or otherwise of Offices of State Attorneys, and if they are retained, that they be comprehensively restructured;

7.3. The restructuring of courts should also take on board issues of community courts, traditional courts and mechanisms to ensure accessibility.


8. This Conference noting:

8.1. that the structure of ownership of media, management and other socio-economic problems do not allow for a free flow of information and comment within society;

8.2. that the government as well as the ANC have a responsibility to ensure that people are informed on developments within the country and abroad;

9. Therefore resolves that the incoming NEC investigates and adopts broad policy positions on the transformation of the South African Communications Services; on the place, role and size of the public broadcaster and other matters being investigated by the Independent Broadcasting Authority; the role of Provinces in respect of public media; as well as the approach towards diversifying ownership and control of the media. These policies should help guide the relevant ministries as well as our parliamentary representatives.

Transformation of the Economy


1. That transformation of the South African economy is a fundamental component of the transformation of our country to achieve non-sexism, democracy, non-racialism, development and equity.

2. That the economic legacy of apartheid featured levels of inequality, unemployment, economic disempowerment of the majority, and the concentration of ownership by the large conglomerates.


1. That relevant economic policy sections from Ready to Govern (May 1992), the Reconstruction and Development Programme (January 1994), and the Health Plan (on a National Health Insurance Scheme) be reaffirmed.

2.1. To endorse the six-point programme as part of the process of establishing a new approach in government, namely:

* belt-tightening and cost saving * reprioritization, both within and between departments and ministries * restructuring of the civil service to achieve representivity and efficiency, * review and restructuring of state assets * addressing the relations between national, provincial and local government, * and monitoring implementation and capacity.

2.2. To endorse the broad thrust of fiscal discipline and management, along with monetary stability, and that a strategic management plan, for national, provincial and local levels, be formulated and implemented.

2.3. That all levels of ANC structures assist in a Budget reprioritization in terms of RDP priorities as an imperative.

2.4. That a comprehensive review of the Security sector, including Defence and Denel, be undertaken.

3.To endorse current work on a national health insurance scheme.

4.1. That a special task team be set up to facilitate job creation, which must be within a national industrial strategic framework that operates at a national, provincial and local level.

4.2. To endorse the national public works programme, and the emphasis on labour-based construction methods.

5.1. To endorse existing policy with regard to expanding or reducing the public sector. Government will consult with labour and NEDLAC prior to further action. Clear guidelines and mechanisms must be elaborated to ensure insider trading is illegal and this should include rules to prevent corruption and bind ministers, civil servants, MECs and parliamentarians.

5.2. To proceed with urgency the transformation of key state institutions in the economy as set out in policy documents. 6.1. To develop a special programme to address women’s empowerment in the economy, including ensuring access of women to finance, training and support services.

6.2. To provide finance and support mechanisms for economic development in rural areas.

6.3. That Black economic empowerment is central to reconstruction and development, and should be aimed at empowering communities rather than being directed at a limited number of individuals.

6.4. That government undertake a comprehensive review of the tender system and the legal framework under which it operates to assist in bringing on board small contractors.

7.1. That a comprehensive policy on direct investment should be developed, including foreign investment.

7.2. That a human resource development programme, particularly training, should be elaborated to facilitate job creation and an investment-friendly environment.

8.1. To endorse the establishment of an ANC Economic Commission comprising ministers and deputy ministers, MECs for Economic Affairs, constitutional structures of the ANC at provincial level, and appropriate standing committees. This Commission should establish formal mechanisms of interface with Cosatu, the SACP and other components of the broad Alliance.

8.2. The Commission endorsed the role of branches in steering the process of economic development at the local level, and the communication of economic issues to the relevant ministries and provinces.

Stabilising the Country and Transforming the Security Services

Basis of Stability


1. that the major cause of instability in the country remains inequity, poverty and deprivation and that therefor the foundation for stabilising South Africa must be based on a security doctrine which moves away from a narrow militaristic approach and which addresses the political, economic, social , cultural and stability needs of our people. The basis of a new stability doctrine is the concept that stability is based on democracy, peace, development and equality and social justice.

2. Therefore the basis of our stability doctrine is the RDP and other socio-economic programmes which will uplift the quality of life of all South Africans.

3. Furthermore this new security doctrine needs also to be conceived within a broader regional stability perspective which notes the inter-dependence of the countries of the region and which focuses on the need to see the development of democracy, peace and economic development throughout the region, for real stability in South Africa can not last long if the region is unstable.

Resolves that the following immediate measures be taken:

1. The ANC and government should support and effect the creation of gun free South Africa. A comprehensive strategy involving all the organs of the state is required to turn South Africa into a gun free society. This comprehensive, holistic and community based approach to arms control should include amongst other things the following: * Regular audit of arms and legal arsenals (arsenals of the state and parastatals, etc.) by an independent and empowered authority. Additionally, Armscor should be restructured, made transparent in its operations, made fully accountable and brought under stricter control.

* The calling of a Southern African regional Summit on arms control and security in the region.

* The tasking of all the intelligence services (military, police and civilian services) with uncovering illegal arsenals, tracking arms smuggling, uncovering illegal weapons syndicates and uncovering political corruption linked to arms proliferation.

* Reviewing licensing procedures and revoking, as far as possible, licences for automatic weapons for individuals and tightening legislation related to the possession and carrying of weapons in public. In particular legislation should be introduced to force the disbanding of private armies.

2. That all organs of state should work out a comprehensive strategy for exposure of the workings and existence of Third Force and covert operations before the Truth Commission and other commissions set up in this regard. Incentives, both positive and negative, should be introduced to encourage full disclosure of covert operations. Exposed covert structures should then be dismantled, dissolved or restructured into legal services.

3. That the privatisation of safety and security functions, particularly at the ports and airports should cease.

4. That criminals should be charged and judged speedily and access to bail of hard criminals, murderers should be reviewed in order that further crimes are not committed.

5. That in order to end the era in which political problems and differences were resolved through violence in some areas the ANC and government should support a comprehensive strategy to stop politically motivated violence. The measures to stop this violence would need to be multi-pronged including peace programmes, effective policing actions and a coordinated intelligence focus.

6. The government should urgently give attention to the working conditions of oour police service.



1. The increase of crime in our country and the need to combat crime in our society.

2. The essential need to involve the community in the process of policing and the positive moves undertaken by the Ministry of Safety and Security to base policing on the principle of community policing.

3. The tendency of the police in some areas to frustrate the involvement of communities in the policing forums.

We resolve that:

1. The ANC should support the immediate establishment of community policy forums that are representative and inclusive and which operate with clear guidelines.

2. The ANC should call upon the Ministry of Safety and Security to provide communities with the resources necessary for community structures to play their rightful role in these forums. 3.The ANC should convene a special workshop, involving all parties of the tripartite alliance, before the end of February 1995, to work out clear role of community policing forums.

4. The ANC should urge the Ministry of Safety and Security to speed up the integration of all police services.

5. ANC structures should encourage youth, particularly from black communities, to enroll in the security forces.



The progress made in the military integration process so far and the need to further transform the defence force to serve the interests of democracy.


That the NEC of the ANC should call upon the government to:

1. Urgently prepare concept legislation aimed at democratising the defence act and military disciplinary code so that it is in line with our interim constitution and practices in democratic societies the world over, and a civilian ministry of defence.

2. Consider legislative measures for the establishment of the service corp/brigade – this important arm of the RDP in the military sphere.

3. Consider legislation to give effect to section 189 of the interim constitution dealing with pensions as one part of a process of honouring heros and heroines of the struggle.

Further Conference:

* calls upon all former MK cadres to adhere to the necessary standards of discipline; * calls upon all structures involved in the integration process to constantly monitor and attend to the needs of the soldiers; * calls upon the Ministry and the Parliamentary Standing Committee to closely monitor and oversee all the stages of integration; * recommends that Parliament speedily enacts legislation to meet the needs of veterans; * supports the concept of demobilisation payouts to those members on the certified personnel register who no longer wish to serve in the SANDF.

Constitution-making process


1. Our objective of a fully democratic South Africa based on majority rule must be achieved by drafting of a new constitution


That democrtaic majority rule based on a constitution without fetters on our ability to transform South Africa politically, economically and socially and rid South Africa of the legacy of apartheid.

Therefore resolves that

1. the ANC must win a truly democratic constitution which empowers people, brings majority rule and protects human rights.

2. the ANC shall use as its guidelines in the constitutional assembly the preliminary list of principle contained in the report of the commission; which shall first be ratified by the NEC and also confirmed at the Constitutional policy conference in March 1995.

3. the constitutional commission shall organise;

(a) a constitutional conference no later than march 1995.

(b) a conference of all democratic organisations not later than April 1995 at which the constitutional proposals of the Anc are discussed.

4. The ANC should ensure that the interpretation of concurrency of powers and allocation of powers to various levels of government is considered with our concept of strong central government and the building of a single nation.

5. The incoming NEC must immediately establish the structure suggested in the report of the commission, to enable ANC members to participate in the constitution-making process.



Having noted the Secretary General’s Report on State of Organisation and having examined in depth and critically the strengths and weakness of the movement the conference resolves:


Conference calls for the urgent establishment of a Special Committee to:

i) Investigate and address the consolidation of unity within ANC Branches, Regions and Provinces and with ANC Youth League and ANC Women’s League;

ii) To strengthen the relations between ANC, SACP, COSATU, SANCO and all other MDM forces;

iii) Assist in the restructuring of the ANC into new Provincial and Regional structures to avoid transfer of old problems to new structures;

The Committee to report to the NEC for vigorous action.


The NEC to convene an urgent workshop at the highest level with ANC, SACP, COSATU, SANCO and CONTRALESA to address apparent conflicts and lay the basis for a unified campaign for local government elections. The workshop to also define the relationship brought forward by the new situation.


Conference noting numerous resolutions on cadre development in the past resolves to embark on urgent measures to establish a Political Education Centre at national and provincial levels to provide overall political development and capacity building for our membership.


i) Conference resolves to make ANC branches centres of activity at a local level. Branches should provide all round leadership to the community to which they are situated. They should enjoy high visibility and at least 40% of the resources should be spent on establishing and maintaining branch structures.

ii) NEC must introduce staggered membership fee to cater for the unemployed and pensioners.

iii) All members of the ANC must subscribe to a Code of Conduct to be prepared and approved by the NEC as a matter of urgency.


The NEC should establish a special commission to review the Constitution of the ANC in a comprehensive manner so as to ensure that it reflects the needs of the movement in a post-apartheid South Africa. Such a Commission should be set up as soon as possible.


The NEC should investigate the possibility of creating a Veterans League.


The NEC should ensure that elected representatives establish a dynamic relationship with ANC structures as well as constituencies which will ensure coordination and the free flow of information.


A fund-raising drive should be embarked upon to establish a Heroes’ Acre to honour all the fallen comrades.


The Secretary General should convene an Inter-Provincial Summit to look at guidelines for the establishment of new Provincial, Regional and Branch structures as well as to develop a Programme of Action.


The NEC must monitor the deployment and performance of MPs and MPLs to ensure that MPs and MPLs perform their duties in the constituencies they have been deployed in and help in building ANC structures and hold regular report-back meetings.


It must be the responsibility of all ANC members and structures to mobilise financial resources for the ANC.

The National Finance Committee must immediately draw practical fund raising strategies that can be applied at all levels of the organisation. The idea of raising funds through an insurance linked mechanism should be examined.


The ANC should continue with People’s Forums.


RDP Councils, where the alliance and SANCO participate, should be set up at local level and workshops on the RDP should be held to empower branches. Branches must participate in the implementation of the RDP and especially the President’s Programmes.

The RDP policy document 4must be translated into all languages.


Branches should be trained on how Government functions at all levels so that they can be fully empowered to be of service to our people effectively.


We must ensure that there is free political activity on farms, mine hostels and all former homeland areas. Legislation should be considered if the farms and mine owners remain intransigent.


In order to build organisation effectively the organising activities and programmes of the ANC, Women’s League and Youth League should be integrated at all levels.


Mechanisms for effective co-ordination between all caucuses and our Constitutional Structures must be established.


There should be an effective staff development programme to empower our staff to play their role in helping to build the ANC.


Recognising that the establishment of transitional councils throughout South Africa forms a temporary bridge between apartheid and democratic local government throughout South Africa;

Resolves that, in order to develop effective local government, all Provincial Executive Committees must coordinate an evaluation of each transitional council in their province in terms of the negotiations process, the selection of nominated councillors and the way in which the transitional structures are operating.


Recognising the way in which colonialism and apartheid have fashioned traditional leadership to serve party political purpose.

Noting that traditional leaders must

(i) be above partisan party politics;

(ii) involve themselves in a drive for peace and development; and

(iii) serve their whole communities.


(i) to ensure that traditional authority system operate in a symbiotic way with local government;

(ii) to request government to centralise the payment of traditional leaders to free them from the control of political parties;

(iii) that in accordance with the constitutional provision for democracy and non-sexism, a political programme of action to educate and inform traditional leaders of their rights, duties and responsibilities be embarked upon;

(iv) to request government to establish a Commission which will investigate and make recommendations on restoring traditional leadership to hereditary leaders.


Recognising the need to establish democratic, non-racial and non- sexist local government throughout South Africa,


(i) that local government structures be established wall-to-wall throughout the country;

(ii) that local government shall be established on a two-tier basis in metropolitan areas (with substructures) and non- metropolitan areas (with local councils established on an integrated and functional basis);

(iii) that the distribution of powers, functions and administrations at each tier be democratically determined.


Recognising that the first non-racial municipal elections to be held by mid-October 1995 are a continuation of the liberation struggle led by the ANC alliance;

Resolves to instruct the incoming NEC to give effect to the ANC’s election programme of action and structures (of government and the ANC). This must include calling a national strategy workshop by February 1995.


Recognising that local government is the arms and legs of our RDP;

Resolves that:

(i) all local governments establish RDP offices and RDP standing committees in their councils;

(ii) the integrated campaign for socio-economic transformation to be launched by government early in February be wholeheartedly supported.


This Conference noting:

1. The strategic importance of agriculture with regard to household food security and its vital contribution to the economy;

2. That restitution must be accompanied by an effective programme of redistribution.


1. That the political profile and strategic importance of land and agricultural issues must be raised continuously by the ANC leadership.

2. That the ANC must further develop and implement our land and agricultural policies and place these within the broader context of a comprehensive rural development strategy that directs our country’s limited resources towards addressing the needs of the poor.

3. That all institutions, including traditional institutions, must be reorientated so that women have equal access to land and agricultural resources.

4. That the furtherance of ANC policies on land and agriculture are taken forward nationally through:

* a strategic planning session of ANC premiers and provincial chairpersons to ensure a coherent, national approach and to ensure that the majority interests are advanced;

* the establishment of agricultural committees of the ANC at various levels;

* the convening of a national consultative summit which uses the ANC Agriculture Policy document as its point of departure.

5. That at all levels of government, interdepartmental structures be established which will ensure integrated rural development and effective communication both in and outside of government.

6. That the State needs to play a central role in identifying and acquiring land which is strategically located to meet the pressing needs of the landless and homeless and must provide national guidelines on the allocation of communal land which are transparent, involve effective community and individual participation and reflect the new democratic context.

7. That the State resources for agriculture must be reorientated to meet the needs of the poorest. This includes budgetary reallocations; appropriate allocation of state bursaries to those who were formerly disadvantaged. the reprioritisation of agricultural research; the restructuring of departmental media which takes into account the language issue; and the reorientation of departmental employees.

8. Steps must be taken by government to stop all unfair evictions, particularlt those of farmworkers, including the passing of legislation if necessary.



1. that the deep rooted race, class, gender and ethnic inequalities which exist in education is as a result of centuries of colonialism and apartheid and manifested in the gross under- resourcing of African education in particular;

2. while there can be no effective implementation of the RDP without a thorough and radical transformation of education, there is an absence of the culture of learning and teaching in some of our schools.

And believing that:

transformation can only be driven and achieved by the masses of our people organised in their various democratic formations and enriched by their experiences of struggle against apartheid education.


1) the ANC, its allies and the broad democratic movement commits itself to launching the campaign called MOBILISATION FOR A LEARNING NATION in order to mobilise our people for the transformation of education at all levels;

2) the priority of such a campaign within the next two months will be to ensure:

i) that parents, teachers, students and provincial education departments cooperate to ensure that registration for 1995 is completed within the shortest possible time so that the process of learning starts immediately;

ii) that government ensures the delivery of the necessary resources with the absolute minimum delay; and

iii) the setting up of democratic structures of governance at all levels of education.

iv) provincial structures of the ANC should develop actions plans in conjunction with the broad democratic movement (MDM), teachers, students, workers, parents, churches, etc. to ensure coordination and sustainability of the campaign and an ongoing process of school based reconstruction, development and qualitative transformation of education.

v) that the incoming NEC takes the necessary steps to ensure that the campaign is implemented nationally and in all the provinces by the first week of January 1995.



* that while the constitution guarantees fundamntal rights to all ciizens including women, the structured oppression of women on our society places pbstacles to wmoen exercising their rights;

* that the rights to equality and dignity are cnstantly violated in the provacy of homes and family lives


that while there are positive aspects in our culture and traditions which need to be preserved, ther are also negative aspects that deny equality and infringe the dignity of women

Therefore resolves that:

* the president msut appoint a Cabinet committee chaged with furthering the amnaciation of women and ensuring that all Minstries and departments integrate this objective into all their policies amd programmes, amnd monitoring the process including the implementation of the RDP

* that the ANC in government should ensure the immeduate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);

* that the ANC must establish a Commission, which involves structures in the rural areas, which will identify and propose mechanisms to address cultural practices that are oppressive to women. This Commission must report to the NEC within six months;

* that all provinces embark on a strategy to ensure the constitutional rights of rural women and domestic workers in particular and their rights to free political activity and labour rights are ensured.

* the NEC must continually monitor the participation of women at all levels of government.



1. The youth, who comprise a significant portion of our society, have been severely disadvantaged by the system of apartheid. As a result many young people face a bleak and hopeless future with little prospects of securing meaningful employment or overcoming a phletora of social and economic difficulties they have to contend with.

2. The youth sector includes students, unemployed, young women, youth in rural and urban areas, the disabled and black and white youth.


1. That the ANC recognizes the youth as the future of the country and acknowledge the role it has played in the struggle against apartheid. This place a responsibility on the movement to ensure the full development and empowerment of youth, in the organisation and in society.

2. The Government of National Unity should see youth development as an important part of its human resource strategy and youth empowerment as an essential part of the transformation of our society.


3. the role of the ANC Youth League in championing the interests of youth,in the ANC and in the broader society.

Therefore resolves

On the National Youth Policy

1. to commit ourselves to a process with the Youth League and the ANC Policy Division to develop and eventually adopt a comprehensive Youth Policy document;

2. take such steps necessary to ensure the adoption of such a Youth Policy by the Government of National Unity;

3.The Youth Policy should clearly set out concrete programmes to address the problems of youth, with specific emphasis on job creation and entrepreneurhip, a national youth service programme, education and training especially aimed at out-of-school youth; and programmes aimed at addressing social issues such as substance abuse, AIDS, abuse, teenage parenthood and crime and delinquency.


To implement the Youth Policy, we must ensure that we put in place the following institutions at national, provincial and local levels:

1. A Ministry of Youth Affairs or an appropriate executive structure in the Office of the President to ensure that this receives priority attention of the GNU.

2. A broad based Youth Commission to lobby and advise the legislature and executive on youth matters.

3. A National Youth Council as the voice of youth in civil society.


Noting that:

1. The United States has maintained a blockade against the Republic of Cuba for the past 35 years;

2. The blockade is a gross violation of the right of the Cuban people to choose their own social system;

3. In the United Nations General Assembly this year, South Africa voted in favour of resolutions calling for the lifting of the blockade against Cuba and against a United States sponsored resolution condemning alleged human rights violations in Cuba.

4. The outstanding and steadfast support of the Cuban people in the struggle against apartheid; and

Believing that

The blockade is wholly unjustified and tantamounts to an act of war,

Therefore resolves:

1. To reaffirm our call for the lifting of the blockade against Cuba and to support appropriate campaigns in this regard;

2. To educate our people about the unjust nature of this blockade;

3. To intensify our solidarity with the people of Cuba.