South African’s National Liberation Movement

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The Next Five Years Our Programme

1 May, 1999

The ANC`s programme to accelerate change focuses on five main areas:

  1. Speeding up delivery of basic needs and developing human resources
  2. Building the economy and creating jobs
  3. Combating crime and corruption
  4. Transforming the state
  5. Building a better Africa and a better world

The ANC will speed up the programme to improve the quality of life of the people. The fight against poverty requires a co-ordinated strategy that cuts across all sectors and pays particular attention to rural and disadvantaged areas. The ANC will ensure all government programmes work together.


In the next 5 years we will:

  • Seek an honest agreement with the private sector and work with trade unions to channel investments into people`s housing
  • Focus on developing housing on well-located land, with access to amenities, and overcoming the apartheid human settlement patterns based on Group Areas and isolation of the majority from centres of economic activity
  • Improve and speed up the subsidy programme, including comprehensive programmes to uplift conditions of the urban poor in informal settlements
  • Use other affordable ways of financing houses _ like micro loans
  • Build rental stock
  • Support the People`s Housing Process, setting up Housing Support Centres to help poor people build their own houses, share resources, and purchase affordable materials

Reduction of the number of homeless poor must become a practical measure of our success.

Social Security

The ANC remains committed to ensuring that everyone in our country is able to live above the minimum living standard. Our social security net must target the most vulnerable – the poor, the aged, the landless, the disabled, the young. In the next 5 years we will:

  • Continue to improve the management of social grants
  • Put systems in place to eliminate fraud and corruption
  • Improve access to grants through, among others, using the post office infrastructure.

As part of a comprehensive social security system we will introduce a new Social Health Insurance programme.

  • The ANC will develop and promote an integrated public transport system, which will include special assistance to the disabled
  • We will build and rehabilitate public transport infrastructure
  • Our programme includes empowering historically disadvantaged operators and ensuring order in this sector.
Health Care

Over the next 5 years the ANC will develop a comprehensive, affordable and accessible National Public Health System, financed in part by a Social Health Insurance programme.

We will improve health care by:

  • Improving the availability of doctors and nurses, especially in clinics and the rural areas
  • Ensuring availability of affordable medicines in line with our national drugs policy
  • lmproving the management of hospitals and clinics – with community participation
  • Act decisively to attack preventable illnesses through, amongst others, our immunisation programme, and measures to combat TB
  • Developing campaigns against drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse.

In partnership with all sectors of society, we will continue to give absolute priority to HIV/AIDS programmes. The ANC will:

  • Increase efforts to mobilise popular awareness of the seriousness of the epidemic
  • Continue to fund research to find a cure for AIDS
  • Review existing laws to ensure people who are HIV positive are not discriminated against.

Education is not a privilege _ it is a right. The ANC is committed to moving as rapidly as possible to free, dynamic and compulsory education. As we move towards this vision, the ANC will continue to ensure:

  • That we foster a culture of learning, teaching and service
  • No learner is excluded from a public school because a family cannot afford to pay
  • Public schools remain viable, and that resources for learning are more equitably spread
  • National standards increasingly lower class sizes to more manageable levels
  • We press ahead with the National Schools Building Programme, with specific focus on improving infrastructure in rural areas and townships.

Our objective is to ensure that all schools have adequate buildings, electricity, water and sewerage

To improve the quality of education, the ANC will focus on:

  • Raising the quality of school leadership teams, strengthening administrative capacity, and ensuring parental involvement
  • Integrating Adult Basic Education and Training(ABET) with skills development to improve access to educational and employment opportunities, within the National Qualifications Framework
  • Prioritising the development of a national plan and funding system for higher education and eliminating wastage in this sector.

In speeding up the delivery of basic needs, the ANC will accelerate and improve the delivery of many other programmes, including water and electricity, rural development, youth development, and rolling out telecommunications infrastructure and postal services.



The ANC remains staunchly committed to the RDP vision that growth and development are thoroughly inter-connected. Without development (meeting basic needs, creating jobs, overcoming poverty) growth will mean nothing for the majority of our people. But without growth, development will not be sustainable.

To ensure both growth and development, and to weave them together the ANC is committed to:

Achieving growth with equity
The ANC will continue to expand economic opportunities by speeding up job creation, increasing possibilities for self-employment, entrenching worker rights, advancing work-place equity programmes, and developing skills training.

We seek to broaden the base of our economy, and distribute economic power more widely, including through building a co-operative and social sector. Regulation of the financial sector will ensure greater access to affordable finance, together with the extension of public sector financial institutions. The public sector will play a key developmental and enabling role.

Advancing Worker Rights
We will continue to take forward the programme of labour market transformation to protect the rights of working people. We shall also expand opportunities for the unemployed, within an economy characterised by growth and development. This includes consolidation of legislation to protect worker rights, and measures to ensure effective implementation. Special attention will be given to the position of farm and domestic workers, as well as workers in small towns and small enterprises. Legislative amendments will be introduced to ensure negotiation in cases of intended retrenchment.

Improving The Tax System
The ANC will build on our success in broadening the tax base, cutting down on tax evasion. At the same time we are committed to progressive taxation, that lightens the tax burden on most middle income and poor families. There will be special tax exemption on those basic goods which poor families rely upon for survival. Productive, job-creating investment will be encouraged and speculative investment discouraged.

We will ensure transparent budgeting through detailed medium term budget planning. We will continue to give priority to social spending and ensure the resources reach those they are aimed at. At the same time we will continue to improve revenue collection, manage national debt at an appropriate level and ensure that we increase investment in social and economic infrastructure. We will make sure elected representatives in national, provincial and local spheres have the appropriate powers to shape budgets and are accountable for using public money as intended.

Monetary Policy – Interest Rates And Inflation
Monetary policy must advance our development objectives, and promote productive investment by both large and small enterprises. We will discuss and adopt options for the setting of realistic inflation targets, work towards reducing interest rates to stimulate economic activity, and help create conditions for a competitive exchange rate. In this regard, consultation and co-ordination between government and monetary authorities will continue.

Promoting Investment
The ANC will speed up public sector investment through increased capital expenditure and through co-ordinated investment plans of parastatals (like Eskom). The main aims of such investment will be:

  • Job creation
  • Increasing the rate of growth of our economy
  • Meeting basic infrastructure needs
  • Promoting development in regions where it is most needed.

Effective private sector investment will be promoted through:

  • Working together with the private sector to mobilise greater volumes of investment by this sector
  • Measures to mobilise investment from the private sector
  • Improved education standards for the work-force, skills promotion and better telecommunications, transport and other infrastructure
  • Incentives to encourage increased foreign and domestic investment in real, job-creating activities
  • Measures to discourage over-dependence on short-term capital flows and speculative investment.

At the same time we will boost certain key sectors and industries to promote South Africa`s competitive advantage world-wide. Exports will be promoted, at the same time as ensuring the development of our domestic market, to maintain a sound balance of payments.

…and JOBS? Can we really make a dent in the unemployment crisis?
It won?t be easy. This is a very, very serious problem. What are the roots of the problem?
  • We inherited a stagnant and mismanaged economy which has been destroying jobs for over 25 years.
  • Economic development has been too capital intensive – machinery and technologies replace people.
  • Insufficient investment in new factories, plant, equipment and people, and too much investment in financial speculation, instead of productive investment.
  • High interest rates and global economic problems deter investment.

In this environment, even while creating new jobs, our economy cannot create enough jobs for the 350 000 new work-seekers each year, let alone absorbing the current unemployed.

But there are grounds for hope.

Both public sector investment and private sector expansion have in certain sectors begun to show results. In the past 5 years we have been able to create many new jobs – including in tourism and in infrastructure development. Investment by the parastatals, and the creation of employment through public works programmes have also made an important contribution.

What can we learn from this? At least two things:
  • We need to support labour intensive investment throughout our economy, as well as promoting sectors which have large employment potential such as tourism, manufacturing, small and large-scale agriculture and labour intensive beneficiation of raw materials.
  • Infrastructure development programmes (like housing) meet basic needs but they can also create jobs and teach skills. Our public sector and parastatals need to continue to play a key role in this regard.
How do we go forward?

The ANC realises that much more must be done. A major national offensive will be launched against the scourge of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. We are determined to align all government policies and programmes to achieve our objective of sustainable jobs for all at a living wage.

An important key to unlocking the jobs crisis lies in implementing the resolutions of the Presidential Jobs Summit, including:
  • Measures to stem retrenchments
  • Summits in all sectors of industry to develop jobs strategies
  • Mass public works programmes and Youth Brigades
  • Tax incentives, procurement, and monetary policy for job creation
  • Integrated regional development
  • Active labour market measures – including training and retraining
  • Increased opportunities for self-employment, co-operatives and small businesses.

The dark days of apartheid bestowed on us a legacy of crime and corruption. We inherited a criminal justice system which itself was pervaded with the lawlessness and criminality of that era.

The ANC`s approach to combating crime and corruption is in line with our overall vision for our country. We must be

  • Tough on the underlying causes of crime such as poverty and inequality and
  • Tough on crime and corruption themselves.
The Keys To Dealing With Crime

In the next 5 years the ANC will:

  • Drastically reduce the number of guns in circulation, and introduce tougher gun controls
  • Introduce harsher sentences for serious crimes, but alternative sentences for petty crimes, including electronic monitoring systems for some categories of those on parole and probation
  • Improve conditions within the police service – reviewing working conditions, ongoing training, and emphasis on upgrading investigative capacities
  • Greatly improve co-operation between all elements of the criminal-justice system – the police, the courts, the prisons, and a transformed prosecution system
  • Continue to take decisive action against organised gangs, both local and international
  • Strengthen the role of the new Directorate of Public Prosecutions, with special integrated units to deal with serious crimes
  • Pay special attention to serious and violent crimes, including abuse of women and children.

But all of this needs your help

The ANC is committed to accelerating the pace of change, to dealing decisively with crime, but this also requires popular support. The ANC will, therefore:

  • Strengthen community-police partnerships, encouraging Community Policing Forums, and volunteers to assist in police stations
  • Develop laws allowing for community courts to administer court sentences

What about victims of crime?

Dealing with violent crimes against women and children is priority number one. The ANC will establish more Special Courts where cases of abuse against children and women will be heard. As much as possible, victims will receive shelter and counselling from trained personnel.

Through the Victim Empowerment Programme, the rights of survivors of crime, traumatic incidents, abuse and disasters will be safeguarded and support provided through a range of special programmes.

What about corruption?

We will enforce strict measures, without fear or favour, to root out corruption in the public and private sectors, in our own organisation, and in society as a whole.

We have introduced special measures, including:

  • The setting up of dedicated anti-corruption units
  • The office of the Public Protector
  • Increased effectiveness of the South African Revenue Service in combating tax evasion and fraud,
  • Measures to expedite disciplinary action against those guilty of corruption in the public sector
  • More effective policing of international ports of entry to prevent smuggling of goods and people
  • Other legal measures to combat corruption in the private sector.

We will strengthen all of these programmes. 

Because of the seriousness with which we view corruption, we have initiated a major campaign against this scourge in line with government`s call for an RDP of the Soul. We are also working together with the religious communities and other sectors to strengthen the moral fibre of our society.

Together, let us root out corruption, nepotism and bribery – regardless of who is involved.

The apartheid state was oppressive, unrepresentative, fragmented and unaccountable. Over the past 5 years we have grappled with transforming the state. We have made progress, but there is still a long way to go.

Our aim is to build a state that plays an active role in the development and transformation of our society. The state must play a leading role in addressing the huge backlogs left by apartheid. It must harness the resources of the public sector and work in partnership with all sectors of our society.

The ANC will:

  • Develop efficient, user-friendly and accountable governance at national, provincial and local level
  • Use the next 5 years to transform local government. All municipalities must become centres of local democracy and participation, economic development, and service delivery
  • Reorganise the public service to more effectively meet the priorities of social delivery. We will foster within the public service the ethic of Batho Pele
  • Support the ongoing transformation of public institutions like the Land Bank, Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of SA, to ensure their resources and skills contribute to accelerated change
  • Ensure the viability and independence of the SABC as a public broadcaster, playing its part in reconstruction and development
  • Rigorously root out corruption, nepotism and bribery in all state institutions (and broader society as a whole). We will remove those who seek to enrich themselves by corrupt means, at the expense of the people. 
Transforming Local Government

The new transitional local governments have faced many difficulties: the backlog of municipal services and infrastructure; transforming racially divided local government; the culture of non-payment; and resistance of ratepayers in some former white areas.

The ANC will:

  • Restructure local government boundaries to make them financially viable
  • Continue with the RDP municipal infrastructure programme
  • Establish statutory ward committees so that councillors are more responsive to their constituencies
  • Ensure that with fresh elections for local government in the year 2 000 democratic majority rule also becomes a local reality
  • Ensure that our ANC candidates for local government are empowered and responsive to their constituencies.

The time has come for Africa`s Renaissance. Our challenge as Africans is to promote peace and development, to foster democratic systems of government, respect for human rights, and an end to corruption throughout our continent.

In the last 5 years SA has become active in a wide range of leading international forums and initiatives. We have taken a lead in nuclear disarmament, outlawing land-mines, and in the struggle for a more just world economic order.

In the next 5 years we will:

  • Act more decisively to promote peace in the sub-continent and Africa as a whole
  • Campaign for a better managed global economy, including the restructuring of international financial and trade institutions – to make them more sensitive to the needs of developing countries, especially those in Africa
  • Advocate strongly for the relieving of the debt burden on the poorest countries of the world _ many of them within our own sub-region
  • Promote equitable trade, investment and development plans for the Southern African region _ at the same time promoting a common set of democratic values, including fair labour and environmental standards.

In pursuing these goals we will strengthen our ties with all those who strive for peace, development and equity. We will strengthen our ties with our own continent, we will build stronger relations with Latin America and Asia, and we will consolidate our relations with the developed countries

Is that all?