55th

National Conference​

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Declaration

As Presented by Secretary General Fikile Mbalula and Adopted by the 55th ANC
National Elective Conference.

We, the delegates to the 55th National Conference, gathered at Nasrec in Gauteng on 16-20th December 2022 and concluded on 5 January 2023 at Imvelo Lodge in the Free State, under the theme

“Defend and Advance the Gains of Freedom. Unity Through Renewal” deliberated on critical tasks facing South Africa with the view to finding lasting solutions.

We considered the outcomes of the 6th National Policy Conference held in July 2022, the outcomes of regions, provinces, branches, and submissions from Leagues of the ANC, from Alliance partners and deliberated on the Political Report by the President, the Organisational Report, and the Treasurer General’s Report.

55th National Conference affirms as follows:

The strategic objective of the ANC remains the resolution of the three basic and inter-related contradictions of colonialism of a special type (CST) – racial oppression, women’s oppression and class super-exploitation. We seek to achieve this through the fundamental socioeconomic transformation of South Africa into a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous society based on the vision, values and principles of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of our country.

Simply put, the ANC’s is primarily about building a better life for all South Africans.

That in 2024, South Africa will reach a historic milestone of 30 Years of Democracy. Conference further asserted that the democratic gains made over the first three decades of freedom should be highlighted, consolidated and defended. The narrative by the conservative and neo-liberal forces in our country that suggest that life was better under apartheid and colonialism must be rejected and rebutted by all freedom-loving and democratic-minded people in our country and in the world.

We must publicise the achievements and gains such as a transformative Constitution that guarantees political, socioeconomic and other human rights; progress in the expansion of basic services and infrastructure to meet the needs of millions of people who now have access to housing, education, health, water, energy and other services; the establishment of a credible democratic political system which is based on the will of the people; institutions that function in accordance with the Constitution and setting the economy on a positive growth trajectory in the early years of our democracy.

The ANC is the principal architect of the transformative constitutional democratic order in our country –

a democracy with South African characteristics wherein the state is accountable and capable of improving the quality of life of all citizens.

The newly-elected NEC must act with demonstrable urgency in addressing the shortcomings, setbacks, and reversals that threaten to undermine and erode the democratic gains. These include chronic poor economic performance and the resultant high rate of unemployment, poverty and inequalities; rising lawlessness, criminality and violence.

The ANC-led government must move decisively to implement conference resolutions to end load-shedding and stabilise electricity supply. Priority must be given to speeding up the resolution of the energy crisis, in particular undertaking critical maintenance at Eskom so we return existing generation capacity to reliable service.

We must transform and grow the economy so that it creates jobs and empowers African in particular and Blacks in general, particularly the youth, women and people who live in townships and rural areas.

We must introduce new measures to cut red tape and ensure small enterprises, co-operatives and informal businesses, particularly those owned by women and young people, have effective means of raising finances, and accessing markets.

We call on government to prioritise unlocking the potential of the country’s land for employment, rural development, food security and economic development. We must do more to bring underutilised land into production and enable the state to acquire agricultural land for purposes of distribution to previously disadvantaged persons.

Social support provides a safety net for communities living under conditions of poverty. Conference therefore supported the continuation of the social relief of distress grant while government investigate the modalities and affordability of the basic income grant.

The security agencies must more effectively tackle rampant crime and corruption

While we welcome recent deployment of new police recruits, security agencies working with communities must take decisive steps to stamp out kidnapping, gender-based violence and femicide; gangsterism, the drug trade; illegal mining and the wanton vandalism of public infrastructure.

We note with concern that our mission to create a non-racial, non-sexist society and democratic society has been undermined by conservative and neo-liberal forces opposed to fundamental transformation of South Africa who have been gaining confidence and expanding their zone of influence with the aim of sustaining racial and patriarchal privilege in the economy and broader society. Racism and sexism remain prevalent in all spheres of society.

We condemn in the strongest terms the continued harassment of and discrimination against Black people who regularly get attacked and victimised on the basis of their skin colour. The ANC calls for the introduction of more effective instruments to combat racism which has no place in our constitutional democracy.

Because the ANC has been the principal architect of our transformative Constitutional Democracy, Conference instructed that we must recommit ourselves to developing and deepening this democracy into a truly people-oriented, people-centred participatory democracy.

The agenda for state transformation includes transforming the three arms of the state and all its critical apparatus. The transformation consists of institutionalising integrity and ethical leadership across the state. In this regard, the ANC-led government will push ahead with the implementation of the outcomes of the state capture commission.

We must push ahead with the reforms to professionalize the public service to ensure capacity and stability in the state. Through institutions such as the national school of government and the public service commission, we must continue to recruit the best skills in society and, more importantly, recruit capable and ethical women and men to serve the people of South Africa.

As the ANC, we must continue with the agenda for equality by ensuring that women hold leadership positions, including the LGBTQI+ community, who continue to play a critical role in development.

We also believe that the state must play a significant role in realising the one plan and one vision through the district development model. In this regard, the conference declares commitment to long-term planning and makes sure that through an intergovernmental relations framework, we respond to the challenges facing the people in a focused manner as envisaged in the district development model.

We reaffirmed that the cause of socio-economic transformation is taking place in a global environment

characterised by contradictory tendencies in terms of human development.

We will continue to work toward a multipolar world order, wherein national sovereignty and solidarity are not undermined. The conference declares that we will work with progressive forces in the world by focusing on the implementation and realisation of the goals of Agenda 2063 for the Africa we want.

We believe the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area presents an opportunity to improve trade in the continent and promote investment in critical sectors.

We will work with the progressives in the world to realise the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, which include human security and peace.

We will continue to support the struggles of the people of Western Sahara, Cuba, Venezuela, and Palestine. We will also continue to support peace efforts in war-torn countries such as the DRC, Somalia, CAR, Yemen, Syria and the peace agreement in Ethiopia.

The ANC and the Alliance must act together in a decisive, empathetic and principled manner to generate hope for a more inclusive, just, equitable and sustainable future for our country.

The ANC will only succeed in realising its strategic objective of transforming South Africa when it has successfully transformed itself into a renewed, responsive, modernised, well-governed,

well-resourced, caring and effective political formation – the central focus of the ANC Roadmap to 2032.

This means we must build an outward-looking ANC with a clear programme to serve the people.

Consequently, all ANC structures have to change their focus towards the people we serve and the problems and challenges they face in their daily lives.

We must build dynamic ANC branches that engage with communities, and become active in ward committees. Branch members must join community policing forums work with local law enforcement to promote safety in our communities and combat vandalism of community infrastructure.

We must develop strong branches that monitor local services to prevent corruption and poor service delivery while they strengthen advice offices and contact centres for residents to access government services.

We also believe that central to the renewal agenda is the quality of the membership. In this regard, we declare that we will strengthen the programme of building the New Cadre over the next five years.

We equally reaffirm the importance of compulsory introduction and political schools for all leadership

collectives and public representatives. This includes attracting skilled people with abilities that can help us in our transformation agenda.

55th National Conference rose with determination to implement the immediate programme of renewal, which demonstrates that the ANC by its actions can be trusted to put the improvement of the condition of life of all the people at the centre of all its actions. The campaign will focus on three issues critical to our people which are (a) delivery of basic service at the local government level, (b) addressing state capture and corruption, and (c) ensure the active participation of the people in development.

As delegates to 55th National Conference, representing ANC members, Veterans League members, Women’s League members, Youth League members, together with our allies Cosatu and the SACP, and a broad range of organisations who participated in our conference, remains resolute to defend and advance our democratic gains, and to continue to unite around the common goal of a building a better life for all.

ANC LIVES. ANC LEADS

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