South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANCYL 20th National Congress

20 March 1998

We, delegates to this 20th National Congress of the ANC
Youth League? gathered at the World Trade Centre in Johannesburg in the words of the
President of the African National Congress, comrade Thabo Mbeki “a generation
blessed by history a million times over with an opportunity to usher in a new century and
to face the new challenges of the African Renaissance”.

In this regard, we take note of the Declaration and
Resolutions of the 50th National Conference of the ANC, which defined the basic pillars of
the National Democratic Revolution as:

  • building and strengthening the ANC as a movement that organises and leads
    the people in the task of social transformation
  • deepening our democracy and culture of human rights and mobilising the
    people to take active part in changing their lives for the better
  • strengthening the hold of the democratic movement on state power, and
    transform the state machinery to serve the cause of social change
  • pursuing economic growth, development and redistribution in such a way as
    to improve the people’s quality of life and
  • working with progressive forces throughout the world to promote and
    defend our transformation, Africa’s renaissance and build a New World order.

We approach the next general elections, which should
usher in unfettered majority rule for the first time in the history of our country, with
the need to ensure once again an overwhelming electoral majority for the ANC.

We are coming to the end of a decade and century in a
world which has seen political changes, wars, advances in science and technology, and a
widening gap between the more developed countries and less developed countries, and
between the rich and poor in an interconnected and interdependent world.

As delegates to this congress we accept the challenge:

To mobilise South African youth for reconstruction,
development and the building of a united, non-racial and non-sexist South African nation.

‘The expectations of the ANC leadership that the Youth
League should strive to develop an all-round cadre and truly be a preparatory school for
new cadres and leaders of the movement and the need to build on the advances made in
revitalising the YL structures and the adoption of programmer that strengthen our role as
a leader and voice of the South African Youth.

We realise:

The constructive role played by our allies COSAS, YCS,
SUCA, SASCO and SASPU in the deliberations of this Congress and commit ourselves to build
and strengthen our alliance.

The importance of our friendship with progressive youth
organisations and movements of the world, represented at this Congress, signifying our
common commitment to building a world order characterised by peace, equality and social
justice amongst the nations of the world.

That this 20th Congress takes place on the doorstep of a
new century. As delegates to this Congress we therefore:

We Re-affirm:

Our unwavering, uncompromising and dedicated loyalty to
the African National Congress, its leadership, its policies and its strategy and tactics,

Our historic tasks to mobilise all young people behind
the strategic objective of the African National Congress and to champion the interests of
young people for a better life.

Our character as a mass based political movement of
young people, mobilised behind the leadership of the ANC, capable of exercising effective
leadership to all the democratic forces within the youth sector and the broader masses of
young South Africans

We remain at the service of our movement and our people, and
therefore declare that we shall:

  1. Commit ourselves to work towards a landslide victory for the ANC in 1999
    Elections by delivering the youth vote through concerted campaigns to organise, mobilise,
    educate and develop a Youth Elections Platform together with other progressive youth
    organisations and drive campaigns such as the ID and voter registration campaign and voter
  2. Reach out to all sectors of South African youth, black and white, young
    men and women, the working youth and students, young professionals and intellectuals, the
    unemployed and rural youth, mobilising them behind the vision of a non – racial,
    democratic, nod-sexist and unitary South Africa.
  3. Forge closer links with other progressive youth organisations, supporting
    their sectoral work and working with them in pursuit of a better life for all.
  4. Continue to advocate for the towering of the voting age to sixteen (l6)
  5. Establish a National Economic Commission which should raise economic
    literacy in the Youth League and ensure that as an organisation we participate in the
    economic policy formulation, ensuring that process of economic transformation is sensitive
    to the needs and aspirations of youth.
  6. Commit ourselves to adopt an employment strategy in preparation for the
    Presidential Jobs Summit, in the context of youth economic empowerment.
  7. Encourage joint ventures between established companies and youth
    enterprises, encourage youth cooperatives, lobby for a quota of government tenders and
    procurement to be awarded to young entrepreneurs, especially young women and financial
    institutions to set up favourable interest rates for SMME.
  8. Investigate the nature of the Apartheid debt and the possibilities of
    ending it.
  9. Challenge the private sector, especially financial institutions, to
    invest in infrastructure development, job creation and the training of young people in
    science and technology.
  10. Call on all students in higher education to contribute to the cost of
    their education through repayment of loans, community service and student placement
    services and on government and business to continue their contributions to the National
    Student Aid Scheme and support the establishment of a Redress Fund.
  11. Strengthen and expand our campus branches, broaden the membership of the
    ANCYL and accelerate the process of forming PYA structures at all levels of the
  12. Mobilise our members, our allies and the youth in general to participate
    in the transformation of education through the Campaign to build the Culture of Learning,
    Teaching and Service in schools.
  13. Participate in the activities organised around the Year of Science and
    Technology and further encourage our members and the youth in general to take an interest
    in science and technology education.
  14. Convene a continental conference of African  youth on the African
    Renaissance, lobby for youth issues to be placed on the agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement
    at the summit which will be held in our country and take forward our campaigns of
    solidarity with the people of Palestine, Western Sahara and Sudan  and the people of
    the world engaged in struggle for self-determination.
  15. Participate in the national campaign against crime and towards the
    transformation of the security forces.
  16. Commit ourselves to strengthen bilateral and multi-lateral relations
    amongst youth in the South African region.
  17. Mobilise our structures, allies and the youth in general to participate
    with government and the National Youth Commission in the establishment of the National
    Youth Service Programme.
  18. Encourage branches of the ANCYL to participate in their local sports and
    arts councils.
  19. Mobilise youth in campaign against HIV/ AIDS and establishing youth
    support networks for young people with HIV/AIDS.
  20. Encourage young people to make use of and engage in programs and policies
    of our government and actively participate in the National Youth Commission.
  21. Participate in and strengthen the South African Youth Council at all
    levels. As we conclude this historic 20th Congress; We shall spare no effort in defending
    the gains of the national democratic revolution. We call on all young men and women from
    the length and breath of our country, regardless of their political or ideological
    affiliation, to join hands and use their abundant energy and creativity to build a better
    life for all in our country, South Africa.

As we move into the next millennium, we declare that the
21century is an African century, it is a millennium to end poverty and hunger, a century
to bring peace and stability throughout the world.