South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​


Social Transformation

22 December 1997



Thoroughgoing Reconstruction and Development will be achieved through the leading and enabling role of the state, a thriving private sector, and the active involvement by all sectors of civil society which in combination will lead to sustainable growth and development.

With the adoption of the RDP in 1994, the ANC laid the foundation for all subsequent government policy. The successful implementation of the RDP has ushered in new insights, challenges and demands for both our movement and government, and of society as a whole.

The basic vision of achieving the objectives contained in the RDP remains valid today because the enormous inequalities that we have addressed since 1994 remain rooted in the structural legacy of the apartheid regime.

Therefore, the developmental role of the state remains key to infrastructure delivery. In order to overcome poverty and inequality, promote economic development and employment there must be integrated development planning and implementation.

Noting that:

  • The continued structural inequities resulting from the Apartheid legacy has bestowed a particular pattern of development which entrenches segregated cities, overcrowded and impoverished homelands, fragmented and scattered settlement patterns, lack of road and transport infrastructure, insufficient access to water especially in the rural areas, absence of electricity, non-existent telecommunications and information infrastructure as well as inadequate demographic information. In financial terms the infrastructural backlog is estimated to be R170 billion;
  • The ANC has been charged in 1994 with the responsibility of transforming the South African society;
  • The adoption of the RDP in 1994 by the ANC provides the foundation for the programmes and policies aimed at transforming South Africa and improving the life circumstances of all its people;
  • The concrete experiences of the past three years have shown that the ANC needs to define infrastructure in the broader sense of the word, thus adjusting our approach to delivery and the upgrading of infrastructure and re-examining the institutions that regulate, facilitate, finance and monitor delivery;
  • The key area where special measures to create jobs can link to building the economy and meeting basic needs is in redressing apartheid-created infrastructural disparities.
  • There must be a coordinated national public works programme to provide much needed infrastructure, to repair environmental damage, and to link back into, expand and contribute to the restructuring of the industrial and agricultural base;
  • Government institutions, such as parastatals, have not been effectively accountable to government and the public.

Further noting that:

In the past three years government has undertaken a number of separate but interdependent infrastructural development programmes. These programmes include the following :

1. Municipal Infrastructure Programme (MIP)

  • The MIP is aimed at developing the local government’s capacity to deliver services and promote transformation;
  • the MIP is linked to a major training programme and Project Liquidity which is aimed at assisting municipalities to improve their financial management systems;
  • the MIP delivers six main type of infrastructure, namely water, sanitation, roads, refuse removal, electricity, and community health facilities;
  • these services are delivered in both the rural and urban areas.

2. Housing provision

  • Housing is delivered mainly through a subsidy regime system; after initially experiencing delivery bottlenecks, delivery has picked up substantially to the extent that 400 000 subsidies have been allocated to the beneficiaries;
  • Different tenure options are available to beneficiaries, including special tenure provisions for people in the rural areas living on tribal land;
  • The absence of rental housing is being addressed with the adoption of the rental policy by the housing ministry;
  • A policy around the provision of housing for vulnerable groups is still being developed; Some housing product units are seldom acceptable to communities in terms of size, quality and level of services;
  • There is insufficient delivery in the rural areas and in well located areas of cities and towns.

3. Electrification

  • The centrality of electricity in the infrastructure delivery strategy, especially in rural areas;
  • electrical connectivity is being impeded by, amongst other things obtaining financial resources, allocating these financial resources to appropriate projects, and ensuring that capable utilities are in place to implement the programme.

4. Telecommunication and information infrastructure

  • The significant steps taken to broaden the service areas incorporating especially schools, clinics and community centres;
  • The advances in technology, using lines of sight rather than telegraph lines have ensured an appropriate and affordable alternative to delivery of infrastructure;
  • Information technology and the use of modern systems, such as the Internet and other sources are important tools in the development of our country;
  • The marked improvement in Telecommunication delivery to previously disadvantaged areas, for example since 1994, close to 800 000 lines had been rolled out.

5. Water Supply

  • The RDP enjoins the ANC-led government to adopt a developmental approach to the management and use of water resources so as to meet the basic human needs of both rural and urban communities, support urban industrial mining power generation and agricultural activity;
  • The unparalleled success of the community water and sanitation services programme, which is delivering services to millions of previously unaccommodated people;
  • The provision of water is closely linked to the development of skills and capacity at local level, as one of the competencies of local authority;
  • The national water conservation campaign includes educational and promotional activities to raise consciousness about the value of water resources.

6. Transport

  • Transport infrastructure plays a central role in stimulating investment, economic activity and providing jobs;
  • Transport infrastructure can, in the urban context, integrate segregated communities;
  • In the rural context, prioritisation by government at national and provincial level for the delivery of road infrastructure will open access to remote areas for economic activity such as farming, tourism and the supply of goods and services;
  • Concomitantly, access to schools, clinics, police stations and other relevant amenities including development centres will improve the life circumstances of many rural communities;
  • at the same time, initiatives such as the Maputo corridor can stimulate the economy of both South Africa and the Southern African region.
  • Thousands of kilometers of social roads remain untarred.

7. Public Works

  • We have inherited an economy totally unable to generate the growth rates needed for sustainable job creation as well as substantial measures for poverty reduction;
  • The National Public Works Programme aims to reduce unemployment through the creation of productive jobs;
  • In the last three years there has been minimal roll out in terms of national public works programmes;
  • The inherited regulatory regime for the construction industry is totally unsuited to the present situation where accelerated delivery of material development is required, whilst the construction industry provides fundamental infrastructure integral to development;
  • The community based public works programme is immediately aimed at alleviating poverty and creating short-term jobs through delivery of much needed community assets that go a long way in the fight against poverty and providing skills and capacity building programmes for disadvantaged communities.

8. Clinic and School Building Programmes.

  • Both the Department of Health and Education have made tremendous strides in providing clinics and schools especially in those areas previously excluded. These programmes should be intensified.

Believing that:

  • The economic policy must be dynamic and evolve to meet the overall growth, development and redistribution challenges;
  • The definition of infrastructure delivery include inter alia, infrastructure funded by public, private and or public private partnerships;
  • Infrastructure delivery must play a central role in the consolidation of the ANC’s social base.

This Conference resolves that:

1. Minimum Programme

  • The ANC should develop a visible and implementable minimum programme, in line with the principles of the National Public Works Programme; which identifies specific sectoral programmes amongst others: electricity, roads rehabilitation, telecommunications, health, education and welfare facilities, public transport facilities, school building programmes, water provision and housing

2. Integrated development planning

  • The ANC must ensure that there is integrated development planning and implementation, at all levels of the movement and government

3. Overall Coordination

  • An integrated committee on infrastructure as a full subcommittee of the NEC is established; The brief and composition of the committee should be defined and clarified by the incoming NEC. In particular this committee should ensure that the ANC continuously:
    • assesses its different policies and how they impact on each other;
    • develop policy and monitors the effectiveness of the implementation strategies.

4. Existing Development programmes

  • There be effective coordination of resources and programmes directed at infrastructure;
  • There be closer inter-ministerial direction of inter-departmental planning, programming and implementation;
  • This coordination be reflected at all levels of governance, as well as at an inter-governmental level.

5. Role of government institutions

  • Appropriate institutional arrangements be found and established to regulate the role and functions of government institutions;
  • Where necessary, legislation is amended and or repealed to facilitate the refocus of government institutions’ priorities in relation to the delivery of basic infrastructure;
  • The ANC-led government communicate government institutional delivery success as part of ANC government commitment to delivery.

6. Land-use policies

The government must:

  • develop land policies that are in line with the spatial development and planning;
  • speed up the delivery of houses by developing a special land price for low cost housing;
  • review the existing land reform programmes in order to include and prioritise an infra structure delivery strategy.

7. Effective Communication Strategy for Delivery

  • The ANC led government adopt a communication strategy to highlight on a continuous basis government delivery successes, as part of the ANC commitment to delivery;
  • The constitutional provision of communication units to be reinforced with a specific focus on effectively communicating existing successes to address distorted perceptions around infrastructure delivery;
  • Communications at all levels of government to be enhanced to avoid unnecessary bottlenecks in order to strengthen the sustainable progress that is already under way.

8. Standards for Infrastructure delivery

  • The ANC clearly and explicitly defines the elements of a minimum standards policy guiding our strategy for delivery, for example, in terms of housing, the quality and size of top structures and services.

9. Tenure options

  • An endeavour be made to ensure that tenure provisions and procedures do not create unnecessary bottlenecks;
  • Alternative tenure procedures, such as rental housing, be incorporated in the existing tenure provisions.

10. Funding

  • The budget allocation be realigned to prioritise the needs of infrastructure development, economic growth and employment creation programmes;
  • The ANC exhaust all avenues and adopt the principle of public/private partnerships to acquire the necessary funding to facilitate speedy delivery.
  • Various options for appropriate tax rebates be explored to encourage participation in infra-structure provision.

11. Rural Delivery Strategies

  • As a matter of urgency develop an integrated rural development strategy;
  • The importance of infrastructure delivery in rural areas be reinforced;
  • The delivery capacity of local government structures in rural areas be augmented;
  • Traditional authorities as a key component to delivery programmes in rural areas be engaged as part of an integrated delivery strategy.

12. Empowerment and Job Creation

  • The commitment of the ANC in providing infrastructure to previously disadvantaged communities and areas be reaffirmed, especially in the rural areas of our country where poverty is most stark;
  • The support for small, medium and micro enterprises, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) be reaffirmed in the context of the affirmative procurement policy of the government;
  • The process of the provision of the infrastructure delivery, the principles of the RDP and the National Public Works Programme must be assessed as vehicles of job creation within the construction industry, and are adhered to at all stages of the infrastructure delivery process;
  • Human resource development in both public and private sectors be reaffirmed as an integral part of empowerment and job creation.
  • The people-centred development approach in all delivery of infrastructure be reaffirmed and encourage sweat equity.

Science and Technology


  • The important contribution that science and technology can make towards human resource development, the quality of life, and economic development and transformation;
  • Noting further the necessity for raising public awareness on the importance of science and technology and the government’s initiative in declaring 1998 as the year of “Science and Technology”, which launches a five year public awareness campaign in Science and Technology.

We resolve to:

  • Support the government’s campaign for public awareness of Science and Technology;
  • Call on government to ensure that programmes, and the broader efforts to restructure the country’s science and technology infrastructure, benefit the poor and rural areas;
  • Encourage the private sector to support the development of science and technology; Ensure that the campaign is also linked to the education campaign to build a culture of learning, teaching and service;
  • Call on the ANC policy department to establish a monitoring mechanism to measure the impact of the campaign and that the NEC receive annual reviews of the campaign.

Arts and Culture

Noting that:

  • The Department of Arts, Culture Science and Technology has developed a comprehensive national policy on arts and culture.

Believing that:

  • Arts and culture can play a crucial role in nation-building, reconciliation and the development of a new national identity and ethos reflective of our new democracy;
  • Arts and culture play a pivotal role in the moral renewal of our society;
  • Arts and culture has the potential to make a significant contribution to economic development and job creation.

We therefore resolve that the ANC should:

  • Support the government’s efforts to correct the distortions and imbalances in our heritage landscape through the creation of new monuments, museums, the naming of places, and generally affirming the neglected history and culture of the majority of South Africans;
  • Support government efforts to encourage, promote and support all cultural activities that celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of all South Africans;
  • Support the government’s efforts to establish viable and sustainable cultural industries; the development of cultural tourism; and the support of cultural practitioners, and especially for the benefit of the urban and rural poor;
  • Encourage the private sector to support the development of arts and culture;
  • Support, at all levels, the government’s efforts to implement policies that relate to arts, culture, science and technology.
Youth Development


  1. That youth constitute a large proportion of the South African population;
  2. That the youth constitute the most energetic, creative and resourceful sector of our society;
  3. That the South African youth still faces many challenges and problems which are unique to them as a sector;
  4. That a large sector of the country’s youth population still have to deal with the legacies of apartheid;
  5. The disadvantages faced by young women, rural youth and youth with physical and other disabilities;

Further noting:

  1. The progress made in implementing the 1994 National Conference Resolution on youth;
  2. Strides being made by government to formulate a strategy of addressing the special needs of our youth, through amongst other things, the creation of National and Provincial Youth Commissions whose main tasks are the formulation of a national youth policy and monitoring its implementation; and
  3. Recognising the ongoing work of the ANC Youth League to champion the interests of the youth within the ANC and society at large and also working alongside other progressive NGOs in lobbying and advocating for youth development work to be placed high on the national agenda.

Believing that:

  1. The South African youth have an important role to play in the fundamental social and economic transformation of our society;
  2. The country has a responsibility to develop its youth so that they can reach their full potential to contribute meaningfully in the reconstruction and development of our country;
  3. The youth have a duty to promote patriotism, reconciliation, and a common South African identity;
  4. The youth have a democratic obligation to participate in the political, social, and economic life of the country, to combat discrimination and racism and to promote democratic values;
  5. The youth have an obligation to acquire skills and play a productive role in the economic reconstruction of our country.

Further believing that:

  1. Our youth have an active role to play in shaping foreign policy;
  2. There is a need for South African youth to foster relations with youth in the Southern African region, the African continent and the world in a spirit of friendship, cooperation and solidarity;

This National Conference resolves to:

  1. Call upon the ANC led government to pass the enactment of the National Youth Development Policy as a matter of urgency;
  2. Urge government to increase the capacity of the National Youth Commission so that it carries out its work effectively as laid down in the National Youth Commission Act;
  3. Urge the government as part of its work towards the National Jobs Summit, to investigate issues relating to the alleviation of youth unemployment and explore the possibility of establishing a national youth service programme.

Further resolves to:

  1. Promote work done by the organs of civil society engaged in youth development work;
  2. Engage the private sector to make contributions to youth development work;
  3. Call on government to promote and support the work of the youth organs of civil society such as the South African Youth Council;
  4. Urge the government to create an enabling role for the country youth to engage in the work of SADC, the OAU, the Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations’ Youth Unit.
National Youth Service Programme for South Africa

Noting that:

  1. Apartheid has produced a society of young people who lack adequate skills and experience, contributing to high levels of youth unemployment;
  2. The levels of unemployment among particularly black graduates.

Believing that:

  1. The ANC needs to lead the South African society in creating a tradition of service and an ethos of hard work among the youth;
  2. Youth development should promote effective participation of young people in reconstruction and development;
  3. Recognising the ongoing work of the National Youth Commission in developing sustainable youth policy within government.

We therefore resolve:

  1. The ANC-led government should spearhead the creation of a national youth service programme for South Africa. Such a youth programme should strive to:
    • Assist out of school and unemployed young people and graduates to acquire experience and skills to contribute towards their integration into the productive economy;
    • Encourage a culture of service among youth;
    • Induce a sense of national pride and patriotism;
    • Encourage a work ethic among young people.
  2. Such a national youth service programme be made and adopted as a Presidential Lead Project;
  3. To call on all young people to support such a programme;
  4. Endorse the work of the National Youth Commission on National Youth Service.

Aids Insurance Industry

Noting that:

  • The insurance industry has a policy of denying coverage to those who are infected;
  • The same insurance companies remove people with Aids from coverage by pension/ provident funds;
  • Certain employers engage in pre-employment testing of workers;
  • These practices arise from a prejudiced view towards people with Aids/HIV.

Resolves to:

  • Launch a campaign together with our Alliance partners and the broader community to ensure coverage by insurance companies in individual policies or in pension/provident funds;
  • Campaign for medical aid schemes to provide health cover and hospital fees for those infected with Aids;
  • Oppose the practice by employers of preemployment testing;
  • Raise awareness and remove prejudices against people with HIV and Aids.

This Conference, noting:

  1. The shocking reports on the prevalence of HIV/Aids in South Africa;
  2. That over 2 million of South Africa’s popula tion are HIV positive, which constitutes 10% of HIV infection in Sub Saharan Africa;
  3. That HIV/Aids is linked to the poor socio-economic status of our communities, in particular poverty, lack of decent housing and unemployment;
  4. That secrecy, ignorance and myths about the disease contribute to its spread.

Further noting that:

The Aids epidemic will massively impact on the economy, will impact socially with more orphans and the loss of breadwinners, and on the health service with additional new users.

Conference hereby resolves:

  1. That the ANC at all levels supports the efforts and programmes of government for the prevention of the spread of the disease, particularly the life skills training programme aimed at schools;
  2. That the ANC as an organisation designs and leads a programme on AIDS awareness which includes spreading correct information about the disease, training of counsellors among our members, and helping to overcome stigmatisation about the disease;
  3. That such a campaign be led by the President of our organisation who must direct that the NEC, Branches, the Youth League, the Women’s League throughout our Provinces to place the campaign against Aids on their day to day agendas;
  4. The Alliance in general and Cosatu in particular participate in this campaign;
  5. The message about Aids awareness be included in political speeches of our entire leadership, with a pledge to fight the disease;
  6. The ANC co-operates with all organisations, groups, individuals, and agencies engaged in the campaign;
  7. To work against the stigmatisation and discrimination of people with HIV/Aids in all spheres of life;
  8. The ANC supports the cabinet decision on notification to partners and family, as well as the anonymous notification of HIV positive status for statistical and planning purposes.


  • Our commitment to integrating disabled people into the broad South African society;
  • Our support for the comprehensive White Paper on Disability which seeks to ensure the full integration and empowerment of disabled people into South African society;
  • That disabled people form approximately 8,5% of South African society;
  • Further noting that approximately 2% of the total South African population receives a disability grant, which is much lower than the percentage of disabled people.


  • That a special recognition should be given on the implementation of this policy to rural disabled women and children, ensuring that there is full access to facilities, infrastructure, jobs and services, especially education and training;
  • There is a need for a review of the disability grant with a special focus on the impact of the Aids pandemic on this grant.
Child Support Grant

Noting that:

  • The State Maintenance Grant, which was a grant covering children and facilites, is being abolished as from 19 December 1997 with the gazetting of the Welfare Laws Amendment Bill;
  • The State Maintenance Grant reached a small percentage of children and was not sustainable or equitable;
  • A child support benefit which will replace the smg, will target 48% of the poorest children in South Africa, which is 3 million children over five years.

Resolves that:

  • The child support grant is redistributive, equitable, non-discriminatory with a particular focus on the following child;
  • As the ANC we must endorse the need for parental responsibility and hence call for the urgent enactment of the Private Maintenance Bill which will ensure that parents, especially fathers, meet their obligation to maintain their children;
  • This is part of the ANC’s commitment to rebuild the moral fibre of society, by ensuring the meeting of parental obligations;
  • The state must step in where parents, due to socio-economic conditions, cannot meet their financial obligations in so far as it affects newborn children;
  • The child support grant must be seen as part of the broad social service package of government. Hence the need for a more integrated response by various government departments.
Safety and security of the aged

Noting that:

  • There is a growing population of eldery people in the South African society;
  • Grants for elderly people constitute about 80% of all grants issued to beneficiaries.

Resolves that:

  • Society must affirm ageing as an integral part of the life cycle;
  • We must reflect once again the practise of Ubuntu by affirming the role of elderly people in society;
  • We must prevent the abuse of elderly people by families and communities;
  • Furthermore, government must consider programmes and facilities for the elderly, including securing them against crime.
Human resource provision in health

This Conference, noting:

  1. The historical imbalances in the distribution of health personnel between different provinces, between urban and rural areas and in impoverished communities;
  2. The general racial imbalances in the intake of students at medical schools, perpetuated by language policies, the lack of financial support, the uneven availability of academic support etc; and
  3. The loss of South African doctors to the overseas markets, in many cases just after graduation.

Further noting:

  1. The success in the deployment of the Cuban doctors in areas which previously have not had doctors;
  2. The impending introduction of community service for newly qualified doctors and its explicit support by doctors and even dentists from disadvantaged communities; and
  3. The need to fast-track the intake of Black students into medical schools.

Hereby resolves to:

  1. Continue the use of Cuban, and other foreign doctors, where this does not adversely affect the health system of the countries of their origin;
  2. Defend the use of Cuban doctors against those who seek to discredit them;
  3. Support the Ministry in the introduction of community service for newly qualified doctors and even during training to encourage and promote a spirit of service to the community;
  4. Support the Government in its efforts to encourage medical schools to become more representative and to overcome the historical racial imbalances;
  5. Recommend community service for other relevant government departments in order to alleviate the critical shortages they experience in human resources; and
  6. Promote a positive work ethic, ethos of caring, compassionate care and service excellence among all professional health workers.
Health care delivery

This Conference, noting:

  1. The important strides made in the transformation of our health system based on the primary health care approach;
  2. The substantial investment in the building of a primary health care infrastructure especially through the clinic-building and upgrading programme which locates health in poor communities in both rural and urban areas;
  3. The successful implementation and the positive results of the free health care programme and its real effect on the redistribution of health resources;
  4. The improvements in various areas of health such as the provision of assistive devices for the disabled, the removal of cataracts and the restoration of sight, the improvement of the nutritional status particularly of children, the decrease in the incidence of complications at birth through good antenatal care, and the prevention of serious illness through early interventions and tackling health problems such as HIV and TB.
  5. The ongoing efforts by the government to address other key issues such as the unavailability and redistribution of health workers, the pricing system of medicines, the finalisation of implementation in the district health system, the social health insurance, rationalisation, rehabilitation and appropriate resourcing of our hospital system; and
  6. The under-utilisation of valuable resources of the South African military medical services.

Conference hereby resolves to:

  1. Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts undertaken to uplift the health status of our people;
  2. Mobilise our structures and our communities in support of affordable medicines and the location of health workers in poor, rural and urban communities;
  3. Look into the integration of the South African military medical services into the public health services for the benefit of the public at large.
National health insurance system

This Conference, noting:

  1. The increasing cost of health care services;
  2. The increasing incidence of misuse and mismanagement of funds in the medical aids schemes;
  3. The financial challenges faced by these schemes; and
  4. The consequent declining accessibility to health care through such schemes.

And further noting:

  1. The work by the government towards the introduction of a national health insurance system; and
  2. The need for the public health system to generate revenue in order to bring financial relief to provincial health departments.

Therefore resolves that:

  1. Government finds urgent answers to the outstanding, unresolved issues in relation to the social health insurance system so that it can be speedily implemented;
  2. Government provides urgent legislation to regulate the functioning of the medical aid schemes; and
  3. Government explores the potential for public-private co-operation in the provision of health care.
Tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse

This Conference, noting:

  1. The sterling work done by the department of health in making communities aware of the health and social hazards associated with tobacco and smoking;
  2. The serious effect of alcohol and other substance abuse on: family and social life, the health system by creating an unnecessary burden on the financial and human resources, the economy of the country;
  3. The increase in the availability of harmful drugs and the consequent demands made on the health and criminal justice systems.

Conference hereby resolves to:

  1. Commend government on creating greater awareness on the health and social hazards of smoking and the abuse of alcohol and drugs;
  2. Support initiatives aimed at curtailing the availability of drugs and discouraging smoking and abuse of alcohol;
  3. Support rehabilitation programmes for victims of such abuse with a view to reintegration into society; 4. Promote a healthy life style by supporting anti-smoking campaigns and to declare all ANC and government buildings to be smoke free zones; and
  4. Urge all ANC structures and alliance partners to participate in and lead the campaigns against substance abuse.
Non-governmental organisations

Noting that:

  • The involvement of civil society and its organisations in the process of governance is an important pillar of our work;
  • NGOs and CBOs are not a homogenous grouping.

Believing that:

  • NGOs must derive their legitimacy and mandate from the mass base of communities they serve;
  • Accountability to funders should not replace accountability to their constituency;
  • NGOs need to creatively look at their roles in relation to representative democracy as complimentary in terms of their specific strengths.

Resolves to:

  • Investigate partnership between government and NGOs in relation to service delivery around particular programmes and projects;
  • Support the enabling legislation adopted by government allowing NGOs and CBOs to thrive.



  • That poverty is the single greatest burden of South Africa’s people, and is the direct result of the apartheid system and the grossly skewed nature of business and industrial development which accompanied it;
  • The commitment of the ANC to “attacking poverty and deprivation as the first priority of the democratic government”;
  • Poverty is geographically and gender based, hence a larger percentage of rural and periurban people and particularly women are poor.

Resolves that:

  • Economic growth and human development are linked and should have the aim of achieving sustainable improvements in the quality of life of all South Africans;
  • Capabilities of disadvantaged communities, households and individuals need to be improved by enhancing access to both physical and social infrastructure; Inefficiencies in markets, institutions, spatial structure and delivery mechanisms that prejudice those who are underprivileged should be identified and removed to ensure that the macro-economic conditions support sustainable growth and reduces vulnerability of the poor;
  • The ANC must ensure that a more assertive role is played by government in facilitating the process of reviewing priorities of services and resources, and a commitment to the delivery of social infrastructure and services to complement these efforts; The collection of social, economic and demographic information for the purposes of monitoring the extent and nature of change is a priority in order to ensure that the reduction of poverty and inequality be managed on a sustainable basis;
  • Redressing poverty and inequality must be a central focus of the ANC to ensure that government and other sectors of society meet the basic needs of the underprivileged in our country.
Comprehensive social security system

Noting that:

  • The government inherited a system of Social Security which was fragmented, uncoordinated and based on past NP policies of discrimination, inequality and inaccessibility to beneficiaries;
  • The ANC is committed to the provision of a comprehensive social security system which is based on the needs of our people, is affordable, fair and just as outlined in the RDP, the White Paper on Social Welfare and the Constitution of the country;
  • The Alliance and the government have broad proposals on a number of these areas (social security system, retirement fund, public housing, public transport and the national health system).


  • To acknowledge and support the present process in government to transform the social security system into a coordinated and comprehensive policy;
  • To support the development of a comprehensive social security system, including contributive and non contributive systems of social security, which takes into account all those who are engaged in full economic activities.
  • To support the proposal for a National Health Insurance which should form part of the national social security system;
  • To continue with research to scrutinise the form, organisation, delivery mechanism and financing of these elements of a social wage, as well as the level (amount) and the coverage (means-tested otherwise) of the population;
  • To call on all workers and employers to support and join hands with the ANC, in the financing of such issues as health care, social insurance and the payment of the social wage;
  • To call on all our members and the public to accept the principle that those who are employed make a contribution that should be to the benefit of all citizens and the need to continue the reform of the health system so as to improve the quality of the Public Health Care System;
  • To call on the broader democratic movement to develop steps including monitoring by the ANC and Alliance structures of delivery of social issues, to arrest and prosecute those who are engaged in fraud, theft and corruption;
  • That the ANC look at how it can involve the informal sector and to avoid abuse in this system; To ensure that those who are employed in sensitive areas in the public sector are committed to the NDR, and that they should be guided by the broad policies for social transformation.
Special pensions


  1. Problems in the processing of:
    • applications,
    • qualifying beneficiaries;
  2. Many potentially qualifying persons have missed the cut-off date of 1 December 1997 due to an absence of information and infrastructure in terms of their location in rural areas.


  1. To request the relevant government ministries to investigate the possibility of shifting the deadline to 31 March 1998;
  2. That the ANC Constitutional Structures mount a drive to identify and assist with applications from ANC/MK members who qualify for the special pensions;
  3. That the ANC look into the issue of people who fall outside of the criteria.
Training for developmental social welfare

Noting that:

  • The RDP and other policy documents of the ANC and Alliance advocate a developmental approach to poverty relief and the delivery of services to children, youth, families and communities;
  • The training and education of social workers and other personnel in this field is generally based on a pathology model and on individual work, and not on a developmental community-based approach. This existing model is extremely expensive and not necessarily effective in the development of communities, families and individuals;
  • The training for youth workers, child and youth care workers, community workers and probation officers have not been sufficiently developed.

Therefore resolve:

To call on training institutions and government to:

  • Develop appropriate training for child and youth care workers, youth workers, community workers and probation officers, which ensures the necessary knowledge and skill within a developmental approach;
  • Set up additional training for practising child and youth care workers, youth workers, community workers and probation officers to facilitate the transformation towards a developmental approach to service delivery, and towards the full transformation of the child and youth care system;
  • Ensure a link between social security, welfare services and social development; Draw on indigenous models and experience to develop homegrown models which will inform a South African appropriate developmental welfare approach;
  • Review the curriculum for the training of social workers and to ensure skilling and orientation towards developmental social welfare;
  • Set up additional training facilities for practising social workers for a developmental approach to service delivery.
Free and Compulsory Education


  • Our commitment in the RDP to provide free and compulsory education to all for the first ten years of schooling;
  • The advice given to the Ministry of Education by the Hunter Committee and international education economists, namely that the vastness of the gap between the rich and the poor do not make it advisable to implement this policy fully at this stage as this might have negative effects on the quality of public schooling;
  • That nevertheless, the Ministry has developed norms and standards for the exemption of poor parents from an obligation to pay fees as a first step in the implementation of this policy position, and that the Schools Act prohibits the exclusion of children on the basis of their parents’ inability to pay;
  • The over-expenditure in education which has resulted in serious cutbacks in the delivery of services and the termination of contracts of temporary teachers throughout the country and the potential of this situation leading to serious destabilisation of education;

Further noting:

  • The launch of the campaign on the Culture of Learning, Teaching and Service (COLTS) by government;
  • That it is increasingly becoming more expensive for learners to acquire quality education;

Believing that:

  • The ANC’s policy of free education for the first ten years remains critical to the attainment of the goal of opening the doors of learning and culture to all;
  • The ongoing restructuring of education is fundamental to the social, political and economic transformation of our country and that we should achieve real progress and consolidation of our achievements in this sector as we approach the new millennium.

Therefore resolves:

  • While confirming our commitment to the RDP goal, we urge all parents and communities to contribute in whatever manner to the enhancement of the quality of education in schools;
  • To engage our allies and the public at large to ensure that they support the spirit and thrust of the norms and standards on funding of schools;
  • To convene a summit of alliance partners and progressive forces to consider a strategic approach to budget for the education and social sector as a whole, which should also ensure that government continues consultation with the relevant stakeholders;
  • To participate in the campaign to build the Culture of Learning, Teaching and Service, to urge our structures to actively work towards the transformation of our schools into centres of quality educational activity and call on all structures of civil society, especially business, to support the schools in whatever manner possible.
Higher Education Transformation


  • The importance of the transformation of the higher education system to meet the developmental and growth needs of the country and the continent;
  • The passage of the Higher Education Act, which is crucial to the process of transformation;

Further noting:

  • That Higher Education institutions continue to be faced with a crisis of non-payment of fees, resulting in large debts and calls made to government to assist institutions to deal with this student debt;
  • That government has established a National Student Financial Aid Scheme to assist needy students;
  • The usage of language as a tool for exclusion and the historical disadvantage of certain languages in Higher Education;
  • That the Higher Education Act directs the Council on Higher Education to immediately investigate and advise the Minister on a framework for language policy in higher education.

Therefore resolves to:

  • Urge the speedy implementation of this Act and to develop with our allies a coherent approach and strategy as well as ongoing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assist this process;
  • Encourage the management of institutions to enter into discussions with student representatives to find mechanisms for dealing with the payment of fees, to call on all students who can afford to pay fees to do so and to explore possibilities to eliminate the need for financial exclusions and to urge government to maintain or increase the level of funding to the National Students Financial Assistance Scheme;
  • Explore the possibility of meeting with student organisations and management of institutions to discuss how the enhancement of the academic programme can be achieved;
  • Ensure that institutions of higher learning stop discriminatory practises of denying access to students on the basis of language;
  • Adopt affirmative action policies for the empowerment of previously marginalised African languages within the broader context of a language policy which seeks to provide access to all, affirmative action for previously disadvantaged languages and relevance to the developmental needs of our country and the Southern African region.
ANC Education Structures


  • Educational structures within the ANC are weak at branch, regional, provincial and national level;
  • That as a consequence, the ANC is unable to provide effective leadership to fraternal organisations, in particular COSAS, SASCO and SADTU in education, nor are our cadres at branch level able to provide leadership to communities around burning educational issues.

Believing that:

  • The ANC must lead in education;
  • The mandating process for those in government must be effective from branch level;
  • The process of policy formulation and monitoring needs broad public support to be successful;
  • The ANC values its relationship with fraternal organisations.

Therefore resolves that:

  • Education must be a central focus for organising and campaigns of the ANC at every level in 1998;
  • Provincial, regional and branch chairpersons must ensure that structures are established at the respective levels under the leadership of members of their respective executive committees. These structures must lead in policy co-ordination, mobilisation and effective leadership in education and must include comrades deployed at various relevant structures in government;
  • An effective structure for national co-ordination be established;
  • All the ANC education structures work with allied organisations to strengthen the alliance in education.
Refugee policy


  • That South Africa can and should play a leading role in the resolution of the problem of African refugees.


  • The absence of legislation on refugees.


  • To support the work of the local UNHCR and international NGOs assisting to alleviate the plight of refugees.
Further resolves:
  • To ensure that refugee legislation is in place by June 1998.
Sport and Recreation

This Conference, noting that:

  1. The misallocation of sport and recreation facilities in South African society constitutes one of the cruelest legacies of apartheid;
  2. The discrepancies in the provision of physical, financial and human resources in sport and recreation between disadvantaged and privileged communities continue to prevail and that;
  3. This continues to inhibit the development and access to sport in these communities;
  4. Sport and recreation continue to play a significant role in the reconciliation and nation-building process in South Africa;
  5. With very few exceptions, South African representative teams do not reflect the racial demographics of the society;
  6. South African athletes and teams are likely to achieve greater successes if the pool from which they are drawn constitutes 100% of the population rather than the 20% from which they are presently drawn;
  7. Sport and recreation has the potential to contribute significantly in addressing national issues of social importance such as sport against crime, the physical health of the nation, creation of employment opportunities, etc.;
  8. Sport and recreation continue to occupy the last position in the budgetary queue when it comes to budgetary allocations;

Hereby resolves to:

  • Urge the national government to explore the positive potential of sport and recreation to contribute to reconciliation, reconstruction, development and nation-building in society by putting adequate financial, infrastructural and human resources at its disposal;
  • Urge the national government to put the necessary enabling legislation in place which will allow the Minister of Sport and Recreation to intervene proactively to unlock the potential of sport and recreation to serve as a vehicle for achieving national goals;
  • Speedily finalise the formulation of the lottery legislation as this remains the only hope for a fair dispensation in sport;
  • Explore all possible avenues to encourage sponsors to invest more heavily in sport, particularly the lower profile mass sports;
  • Call on the macro-sports bodies and the national sports federations to give substance to their espoused objectives of making sport accessible to the entire South African society; Pay tribute to the achievements of our athletes and teams who have brought recognition and honour to the country as a whole.