South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Policy Documents

Ready to Govern: ANC policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa

31 May 1992

as adopted at the National Conference

  1. Introduction
  2. A Democratic Constitution for South Africa
  3. A New System of Local Government
  4. Economic Policy
  5. The Land
  6. The Environment
  7. Housing
  8. Health
  9. Social Welfare
  10. Education, Training and Scientfic Development
  11. Education
  12. The Development of Human Resources
  13. Science and Technology
  14. Establishing a Democratic Media
  15. Arts and Culture
  16. Sport and Recreation
  17. Peace and Security
  18. Youth
  19. International Relations



The basic objectives of ANC policy are fourfold:

  • To strive for the achievement of the right of all South Africans, as a whole, to political and economic self-determination in a united South Africa;
  • To overcome the legacy of inequality and injustice created by colonialism and apartheid, in a swift, progressive and principled way;
  • To develop a sustainable economy and state infrastructure that will progressively improve the quality of life of all South Africans; and,
  • To encourage the flourishing of the feeling that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, to promote a common loyalty to and pride in the country and to create a universal sense of freedom and security within its borders.

These are not mutually exclusive goals. On the contrary, the future of our country depends on the harmonious and simultaneous realisation of all four. The advancement of the majority of people will, in the medium-and-long-term, release hitherto untapped and suppressed talents and energies that will both boost and diversify the economy. Developing the economy will, in turn, provide the basis for overcoming the divisions of the past without creating new ones. Finally, the achievement of a genuine sense of national unity depends on all of us working together to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid.

The beacons guiding these advances are equal rights, non- racialism, non-sexism, democracy and mutual respect. A broad, inclusive approach, free of arrogance or complexes of superiority or inferiority, is fundamental.

We have to develop a truly South African vision of our country, one which is not distorted by the prejudices and sectarianism that has guided viewpoints on race and gender, in the past. We have to rely on the wisdom, life experiences, talents and know- how of all South Africans, women and men. There can be no “apartheid” in finding solutions to the problems created by apartheid.

This document does not present a rigid ANC blue-print for the future of South Africa, to which our supporters will be expected to rally and our opponents required to submit. Rather, the document represents a set of basic guidelines to policies we intend to pursue. These ideas will be developed through discussion within the ANC, and through consultation with the broadest spectrum of South African public opinion. The policies will be adapted according to these processes and on the basis of experience.


It is necessary to dwell on the problems which will be faced by the first government which is elected under a new democratic constitution. This will help create an understanding of the magnitude of the tasks involved in transforming our country into one where everyone can enjoy a basic standard of living combined with peace and security. It will underline the fact that there are choices to be made and priorities to be established.

Past minority governments and the current apartheid regime have pursued active political and social policies which, amongst other things, have led to: extreme levels of poverty and disease in the rural areas; the creation of urban ghettos where people have been denied even the most basic means of survival as a result of severely limited access to decent homes, electricity, water-borne sewerage, tarred roads, and recreational facilities; an education system preparing the majority of South Africans for lives of subordination and low wage jobs; a social security system geared almost entirely to fulfilling the needs of the white minority; a health system that has seriously neglected the well-being of most South Africans; the social and political marginalisation of the majority of people, the African community in particular, through their exclusion from public life and decision making as well as the denial of their culture.

Gender discrimination has either excluded or subordinated women`s participation in all socio-economic and political institutions. Combined with apartheid, this has resulted in African women being the most exploited and poverty stricken section of the South African population.

Both the political system of apartheid and the pattern of economic development in our country, have been responsible for these developments. The white minority have used their exclusive access to political and economic power to promote their own sectional interests at the expense of black people and the country`s natural resources. Black people have been systematically excluded and disadvantaged economically with the result that South Africa has one of the most unequal patterns of income and wealth distribution in the world.

Since the mid-1970s the South African economy has stagnated. An average growth rate of per cent in the 1960s declined to 3 per cent in the 1970s and is now below 1 per cent. Unemployment is estimated at over 40 per cent of the economically active population.

For over forty years economic strategy was based on expanding industry through the substitution of hitherto imported manufactured goods for the wealthy minority. There has also been an emphasis on strategic industries such as arms and petro-chemicals. This led to the emergence of a significant manufacturing sector in our country, but one which is generally uncompetitive in terms of international costs and prices.

The alienation of land from the indigenous people and the denial of the African majority`s rights to land and political power in our country are intimately connected. The agricultural sector in South Africa is currently experiencing a deep crisis. Debt levels of white farmers have reached critical proportions.

These problems have led to rapidly increasing unemployment and a serious decline in living standards. Furthermore, they have deprived the black youth of opportunities to realise their talents.

Our people remain divided. We do not know each other. We are prevented from developing a national vision, in terms of which, we would see our country through the eyes of all its citizens, and not just one group or the other. We live apart, physically separated, spiritually alienated, frightened of getting too close, knowing that we have different life-chances and different views of what change means. We are ruled by a multiplicity of fragmented departments, boards, councils and ministries. Apartheid has left us apart.


In this context it is vital that the ANC develops a clear response. This response must be aimed both at establishing a new and democratic political dispensation that replaces the racist and undemocratic apartheid constitution and addresses the legacy of apartheid in the broader socio-economic sphere.

This document is a direct response to the above challenges. It sets out for discussion a comprehensive set of guidelines highlighting the ANC`s broad policy response to all the major areas of political, social and economic life. The document is structured so as to highlight the strong relationship between the creation of political democracy and social and economic transformation.

It is critical, however, that we honestly face up to the extent of the problems confronting our country. They are not going to be solved overnight and there are no easy or quick solutions. The problems run deep and resources are limited. Accordingly, the policies proposed here represent our broad vision. These policies highlight our ultimate goals, which will need to be transformed into effective and realisable programmes in the short-term.

In other words, we will need to establish priorities both within each of the different policy areas and between these broad areas. These priorities must be arrived at through democratic discussions and decision making processes and we must establish just and efficient mechanisms for implementing these decisions. Progress will also depend on involving as many sections of our society as possible in finding solutions.




Sovereignty vests in the people of South Africa. Their will shall be expressed by their democratically elected representatives in periodic free and fair elections. These elected representatives will adopt a constitution which shall be the highest law of the land guaranteeing their basic rights.

The goal of the ANC, ever since it was formed in 1912, has been to give all the people of our country, the chance to choose their own government. That is why generations of our leaders and members have set their sights on the objective of a new and democratic constitution which would at last remove the colonial status of the African people, abolish all forms of discrimination, and recognise the basic equality of all South Africans.

We are proud of our role in pioneering democracy and constitutionalism in our land, especially through the Freedom Charter. None has fought harder for freedom and democracy than we have. The people will finally have won the right to choose their own government. At the same time they will have the right to remove any government through periodic elections.

Our constitution shall not only guarantee an accountable non- racial, non-sexist and democratic structure of government, but shall also empower all citizens to shape and share in the many aspects of life outside government.

Our constitution shall guarantee the space for civic bodies trade unions and the numerous other organisations which people create to deal with their every day problems and aspirations. These are the institutions of civil society which are crucial if we are to have a deep and thorough democratic order.

Our task now is to rally all South African patriots around the principles for which we have always stood, namely, of equality, mutual respect, dignity and promotion of basic human rights. After so many decades of struggle and sacrifice, we must achieve a constitution that guarantees that oppression, discrimination, inequality and division will never stalk our land again.

We want a country that is unified, open, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and free. We must abolish all forms of discrimination, domination, privilege or abuse. We must ensure that the basic rights and freedoms of all are respected. We must see to it that the religious, linguistic and cultural variety of our land is fully acknowledged, and that no person shall be subjected to any forms of oppression or abuse. We do not want new forms of tyranny to replace the old.

South Africa has never had good government for all. Government has until now always been used to harass, divide and humiliate the great majority of South Africans, while securing privilege and relatively high standards of service for the minority. We need a constitution that guarantees a high quality of government service for all. The public service must be based on the principles of representivity, competency, impartiality and accountability. For the first time we envisage a public service that is drawn from and serves the interests of the public as a whole.


The achievement of the vote will signal the achievement of full citizenship and legal equality for all. Elections will be a fundamental element of a democratic political life in our country. From now onwards government shall maximise popular participation and be accountable and responsible to the people.

To promote a nonracial, nonsexist, participatory democracy that will cater for the diversity of our people, appropriate structures, and checks and balances must ensure the active participation of all in political life and prevent the abuse or oppression of anyone.

The ANC opposes the entrenchment of race and ethnic group rights in the constitution and stands for one person one vote on a common voters roll, with each vote being of equal value. All South African citizens above the age of eighteen (18) will be entitled to vote. Such votes will be exercised by all voters within the 1910 boundaries of South Africa.

In keeping with this democratic, inclusive and balanced approach, the ANC proposes the election of representatives by the system of proportional representation provided that proportional representation may be supplemented by the other democratic electoral systems at local level. People will vote for party lists and parties will then get a share of representatives in proportion to their share of the total vote. An appropriate threshold will be fixed, below which a party will not be allocated seats.

In order to ensure that regional and local interests are represented and to enhance the accountability of the national assembly, we propose that there be a single vote which will count towards both the national and regional lists of parties. We believe that such lists should be compiled with sensitivity to gender.

All elections at a central, regional and local level shall be conducted by an independent electoral commission, which shall enjoy freedom from governmental and political control.


South Africa shall be a unitary state in which there shall be government at local, regional and national levels. The Bill of Rights and principles of non-racialism, non-sexism and democratic accountability shall apply at all three levels of government.

The ANC favours a Parliament consisting of the national assembly and senate. The national assembly will be elected by universal suffrage on a common voter`s roll according to proportional representation. It will control the national budget and have primary responsibility for the preparation and adoption of the country`s main laws. The senate will be representative of regions and be directly elected and have the power to review, refer and delay legislation. It will also have special responsibility for promoting regional development and for ensuring respect for the principles of the Bill of Rights. It will not have these powers, however, in regard to legislation dealing with the budget.

Parliament shall determine what powers the regions should have, taking into consideration that certain functions are best performed at a regional level, provided the overriding authority of the central parliament is recognised.

Powers of regional and local government should be harmonised with the powers of central government bearing in mind that in case of conflict the constitution and national legislation should prevail. In essence regional government will have to function broadly within the framework of national policy. Regional government should not be able to contradict national policy as expressed in the laws of the country, but should rather influence the shaping of these policies and play a significant role in developing mechanism for implementation.

The ANC believes that regional government should have powers to co-ordinate and plan development. But the powers and functions of regional government will need to be balanced with those of the urban and rural local authorities in order to avoid conflict.

Traditional leaders – The institution of chieftainship has played an important role in the history of our country and chiefs will continue to have an important role to play in unifying our people and performing ceremonial and other functions allocated to them by law. The powers of chiefs shall always be exercised subject to the provisions of the constitution and other laws. Provision will be made for an appropriate structure consisting of traditional leaders to be created by law, in order to advise parliament – on matters relevant to customary law and other matters relating to the powers and functions of chiefs. Changes in the existing powers and functions of chiefs will only be made by parliament after such consultation has taken place.


The ANC proposes that the head of state be a President with both ceremonial and executive powers. The President should be elected by the national assembly. He or she will have a fixed term of office and be available for re-election only once. The President will appoint and supervise the functioning of the cabinet, acting through and in liaison with a Prime Minister who will be directly accountable to the President and responsible to the national assembly.



A central place in the constitution will be occupied by a Bill of Rights. This will set out certain basic rights and freedoms as universally understood which no future government will normally be able to take away except by special majority. Basically, it will enshrine principles for which we have fought all our lives. At the heart of the Bill of Rights lies the notion of the fundamental equality of all men and women, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

The Bill of Rights will guarantee that South Africa is a multi-party democracy in which people enjoy freedom of association, speech and assembly and the right to change their government. Furthermore, the public have a right to know what is being done in their name – we believe in a strong right to information and a firm guarantee regarding the free circulation of ideas and opinions.

The Bill of Rights shall be binding upon the state and organs of government at all levels and where appropriate, on social institutions and persons.

The Bill of Rights will be enforced by the courts, headed by a separate newly created Constitutional Court, which will have the task of upholding the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens against the state or any body or person seeking to deny those rights. The judges will be independent, and will consist of men and women drawn from all sections of the community on the basis of their integrity, skills, life experience and wisdom.

The Bill of Rights shall secure the rights of all persons in all spheres of life, including housing, education employment and access to facilities and such protection shall be ensured without discrimination on the ground of race or gender.

The Bill of Rights must guarantee language and cultural rights.

It must acknowledge the importance of religion in our country. It must respect the diversity of faiths and give guarantees of freedom of religion.

The rights of the child will be protected, as will environmental rights, the rights of disabled persons, and the right not to be discriminated against or subjected to harassment because of sexual orientation.

The ANC is against capital punishment and will seek to have it outlawed in the Bill of Rights.

Worker`s rights

Workers have fought long and hard for their right to set up independent trade unions, their right to engage in collective bargaining and their right to strike. These rights must be protected in the Bill of Rights, which should be supplemented by a Workers` Charter. This charter should set out all those rights that workers throughout the world have gained for themselves. The state will be a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. The Bill of Rights will also prohibit slave labour the exploitation of children and discrimination in the work place.

Human rights for women

Special emphasis will have to be given to the realisation of women`s emancipation.

Women are discriminated against and subordinated in every area of public and private life. They have inferior access to education and employment and are shut out from decision-making at all levels of society. We in the ANC acknowledge that we still have a long way to go in remedying this state of affairs.

We support the principle of equal rights for women and men in all spheres, and the creation of special agencies to ensure that equal opportunity operates in practice.

Women should be able to walk in the streets freely without fear of assault and should be able to feel safe and free from violence in their own homes. Concepts of family privacy and the nature of the marriage vow are used to deny women legal protection against abuse in the home. While strongly supporting the inviolability of the home, the Bill of Rights should make it clear that this will not in any way deprive women of their constitutional rights to physical and moral integrity.

Guardianship should be shared between partners. Violence in personal relationships is inconsistent with recognition of the integrity of persons. Therefore rape in marriage should be outlawed.

In providing that women should be allowed to take their rightful place in every area of South African life without impediment or discrimination, the law should take account of the reality of the lives that women lead and the contribution they make to society through maternity, parenting and household work. Much of the work that women perform goes unrecognised and unpaid; the contribution of women to national income must be acknowledged.

The Bill of Rights should include mechanisms to ensure that women as well as men are assured of the ability to exercise their constitutional rights in all fields of life. The Bill of Rights should thus be supplemented by a Charter of Human Rights for Women which spells out in detail the full range of rights to which women are entitled, highlighting the range of rights which they have been blocked from exercising, and the means whereby they will be realised.

The right to home and family

People shall be free to form families on a voluntary and equal basis. Subject to the principles of free choice and equality, appropriate legal recognition shall be given to all matrimonial unions. Single parent families shall have legal recognition and support.

The Bill of Rights should support the provision of homes, employment and utilities such as light and water, so as to repair the damage done by apartheid and the migrant labour system, and in order to give real meaning to the right to home and family life.

Property rights

The property rights of the majority have been systematically ignored and violated by apartheid. A new system of just and secure property rights must be created, one which is regarded as legitimate by the whole population.

Property rights impose obligations and their exercise should not be in conflict with the public interest.

The taking of property shall only be permissible according to law and in the public interest, which shall include the achievement of the objectives of the constitution

Any such taking shall be subject to just compensation which shall be determined by establishing an equitable balance between the public interest and the interest of those affected and will not be based solely on the market value of such property.

In the case of a dispute regarding compensation, provision shall be made for recourse to a special independent tribunal, with an appeal to the courts.

Legislation on economic matters shall be guided by the principle of encouraging collaboration between the public, private, co- operative, communal and small-scale family sectors with a view to reducing inequality, promoting growth and providing goods and services for the whole population.

The Bill of Rights shall establish the principles and procedures whereby land rights will be restored to those deprived of them by apartheid statutes. A land claims tribunal, functioning in an equitable manner according to principles of justice laid out in legislation, will, wherever it is feasible to do so, restore such rights. In doing so, it will take into account the role of compensation to be paid by the state to those whose existing titles are affected. Provisions relating to property rights and compensation will have to be applied in such a way that they are not manipulated so as to frustrate a national land reform programme.

Social, educational, health and welfare rights

The Bill of Rights will affirm the right of all persons to have access to basic educational, health and welfare services. It will establish principles and mechanisms to ensure that there is an enforceable and expanding minimum floor of entitlements for all, in the areas of education, health and welfare. It will commit the courts to take into account the need to reduce malnutrition, unemployment and homelessness when making any decisions.

Pensions should immediately be equalised in respect of race and gender, and all future governments should be constitutionally committed to embark upon programmes to ensure that every household has electricity, clean water and access to waste disposal.

Special agencies linked to Parliament and the courts should be set up so as to ensure that national, regional and local authorities apply appropriate shares of their budgets to achieving these rights, taking into account the problems of limited resources and affordability. Removing the inequalities to which the majority of the people have been subjected, both by law and in practice, cannot be left either to paternalism or chance. We cannot have a nation if half the people live in darkness, half in light.


There is strong support in this country for the idea of affirmative action, and some resistance. While taking on a variety of forms, affirmative action means special measures to enable persons discriminated against on grounds of colour, gender and disability to break into fields from which they have been excluded by past discrimination. The ANC proposes affirmative action with a view to establishing a law-governed, progressive and equitable way of ensuring advancement without on the one hand freezing present privileges or on the other going over to arbitrary compulsion. The issue has to be handled with both firmness and sensitivity.

The constitution will make it clear that seeking to achieve substantive equal rights and opportunities for those discriminated against in the past should not be regarded as a violation of the principles of equality, non-racialism and non- sexism, but rather as their fulfilment. Unless special interventions are made, the patterns of structured advantage and disadvantage created by apartheid and patriarchy replicate themselves from generation to generation.

We do not support giving positions to unqualified people simply on the grounds of race or gender. What we will insist on, however, is that the hundreds of thousands of highly merit-worthy persons who have been unjustifiably kept out of jobs, denied advancement in their careers and excluded from training, be given their due. Those who have been kept back by apartheid education and by sexist assumptions should be given special backing to catch up. The rich life experiences, knowledge of languages, and cultural diversity of those previously discriminated against should be seen as enriching the contribution of individual South Africans.

We look to advancement taking place primarily through application of the principles of equal protection, good government and an expanding floor of minimum rights. In other words, our constitution will be profoundly non-racial and non-sexist, but it will not prevent taking the realities of race and gender discrimination into account in certain specified areas and in order to meet well-defined goals when trying to achieve real equality.

Special attention will have to be given to intensive training and the opening up of careers and advancement for those held back by past discrimination. Management in both the public and private sectors will have to be de-racialised so that rapidly and progressively it comes to reflect the skills of the entire population. Equity ownership will also have to be extended so that people from all sections of the population have a stake in the economy and the power to influence economic decisions.

Gender relations in the home have created dependency and subordination for most women in our society. The domestic division of labour has resulted in women performing a range of activities which are unacknowledged for their contribution to social production and reproduction, stability and wealth creation. This situation will be redressed through efforts to recognise unpaid work. The need to actively recognise such work is vital since it affects the nature of broader socio-economic policy formulation. In addition there needs to be a commitment to equal pay for work of equal value in various sectors of the economy.

ANC policies favour affirmative action for disadvantaged sectors of our population. This policy will apply with equal vigour to the marginalised youth in South Africa. Special attention should be given to young women, who are affected by both apartheid and patriarchy.

Affirmative action policies will be aimed at the full integration of youth into our society, in a meaningful and progressive way.

Special measures are necessary to advance the interests of the most disadvantaged, especially in rural areas and all legislative and administrative bodies shall be obliged to adopt policies which shall implement this approach.

Special mechanisms will be necessary to advance and monitor affirmative actions programmes.

The State shall become a party to the large number of human rights conventions and in particular those dealing with racism, gender discrimination and the rights of children,which apartheid has until now rejected. In this way we shall assert our rightful place in the international community.


The whole of the civil service will have to be opened up so as to make it a truly South African civil service, and not the administrative arm of a racial minority. The civil service should be impartial in its functioning, and accountable both to parliament and to the broad community it serves.

There shall be a national, defence and police force and a prison service. These should all be non-racial and non-sexist in character, comprising personnel that are well-trained, disciplined, humane and loyal to the constitution. They should enjoy the full confidence of the population at large.

The ANC proposes that a full-time independent office of the Ombud should be created, with wide powers to investigate complaints against members of the public service and other holders of public office and to investigate allegations of corruption, abuse of their powers, rudeness and maladministration. The Ombud shall have power to provide adequate remedies. He shall be appointed by and answerable to parliament.


All South Africans will be free to participate fully either directly or through their representatives in the law making bodies without discrimination based on race, colour creed or religion.

The laws of the country will be there to advance and uphold the rights of everybody on an equal basis, regardless of colour, gender, language, religion or culture. There will be no part of South Africa from which the law and the Constitution will be excluded.

Those who are most vulnerable in our society should be able to invoke the constitution and law to protect themselves-whether in prison, on the farms or as domestic workers.

All South Africans shall have recourse to independent courts of law and other tribunals.

The bench will be transformed in such a way as to consist of men and women drawn from all sections of South African society. This will be done without interfering with its independence and with a view to ensuring that justice is manifestly seen to be done in a non-racial and non-sexist way and that the wisdom, experience and competent judicial skills of all South Africans are represented.

Maximum provision should be made for the participation of lay people in the administration of justice.


The first priority in any strategy to combat crime is to understand and address the crime producing conditions that prevail in our society. In place of ideologies and official practices that diminish the value of life or place one life above another the ANC will elevate the importance and dignity of all human beings, and commits itself to deal with the pressing needs of the majority of South Africans.

Secondly, the ANC declares that there will be no respect for the institutions that enforce law and order unless the people respect the law. This they will do if the laws are just and if they participate both in their making and enforcement. A just criminal justice system will enhance respect for the courts and obedience to the law.

Finally, the ANC believes that a prison service for the country must play its part not simply in restraining convicts but in rehabilitating convicted persons. Apartheid`s overcrowded and authoritarian jails are crime factories which dehumanise their inmates, feeding a culture of violence and despair. The ANC asserts that adequate resources must be made available for the humane accommodation, education, training and job placement of convicts. Failure to do so will only lead to expenditure on an ever increasing number of new jails. For this reason the ANC proposes programmes that promote reparation and compensation to the victims and service to the community in place of incarceration. The ANC is against any inhumane and cruel punishment.


In the context of a Bill of Rights, the constitution will make provision for a state of emergency to be declared when the life of the nation is threatened. Such a power will be subject to strict controls by parliament and for the first time, by the judiciary, in accordance with internationally accepted standards.

The constitution will provide for the recognition and protection as far as possible of fundamental rights during the period of emergency, including access to their legal representatives, doctor, family and the courts of law.


The constitution must guarantee not only that people are free to speak their minds, but that people can benefit from the free circulation of ideas and information, and be exposed to different philosophies and ways of seeing the world. The right to information must be secured, together with a free press and public media, which is controlled neither by the state nor by political parties, but by an impartial and independent broadcasting authority. There should be a commitment to the constitutional principles of non-racialism and non-sexism.

The constitution is the guardian of our liberties. It should guarantee space to each and every person to live out his or her life in dignity, either alone or in association with others. Freedom of the individual, freedom of civil society and good government according to constitutional principles, go hand in hand. The struggle for freedom and justice never ends.



The ANC believes that there is a need for strong and effective local government to replace the racist, sexist, undemocratic, tribalist and corrupt structures which presently exist. As a result of the large disparities between local areas and regions, a strong central government is required to address the legacy of apartheid and to ensure more balanced forms of local development. Strong local government will be complemented by regional government whose primary tasks will be to ensure integrated and coordinated local development planning, the provision of appropriate regional services and to provide support to those local authorities which lack resources, particularly in the rural areas.

Within this framework, local government will:

  • Play a crucial role in building democracy in a future South Africa. Local government will bring government closer to the people and actively involve them in decision-making and planning processes which affect them;
  • Play a key role in development and in the equitable redistribution and re-allocation of local authority services. It will address as a priority the disparities in our cities, towns and villages which have resulted from the policies of apartheid. The promotion of the needs and interests of disadvantaged sections of communities will therefore become a major focus of local government activities.


During the past decade, communities have waged intense struggles against apartheid local government – struggles over issues affecting their daily lives, such as housing, health, transport, water and electricity provision. There has been widespread rejection of the corrupt, financially unviable and undemocratic racial local government system.

The restructuring of local government is part and parcel of the dismantling of the apartheid system. No meaningful restructuring can take place at the local level unless it is part of a process of national transformation.


The ANC envisages a new system of local government in South Africa which will operate within the national constitutional framework. At the same time, local government will have the scope to take local initiatives, provided these do not conflict with national policy.

Non-racial, non-sexist and democratic local government

A future system of local government must not only assert non- racialism and non-sexism, but will need to actively build non- racialism and non-sexism in processes designed to counter decades of discriminatory government. The ANC is committed to ensuring that mechanisms are built into the system to enable women to participate in decision making and administrative structures at all levels of regional and local government.

All racially-based local government structures will be abolished. De-racialising local government must mean more than an equal opportunity to vote. The fragmented nature of South African cities, towns and villages needs to be addressed and each city and town will be unified under a single municipality, with a single non-racial voters` roll and a single tax base. Villages, commercial farming areas and rural towns will be brought together under rural district councils.

Women must be actively brought into the decision-making process. Programmes must be designed to equip women with skills to enable them to participate. In this regard, special attention will have to be paid to the rural areas where women are disproportionately located.

Democratic and accountable local government

Representation at the local level will be on the basis of one- person one-vote (based on permanent residence), and votes must have equal value. The ANC rejects attempts to entrench privilege at all levels denying the principle of majority rule, for example, through property-based franchise mechanisms.

Democratic local government means more than just having the right to vote in a local election. It also includes facilitating the creation of a strong, independent civil society, a high degree of accountability, transparency and the right to participate in decision-making processes which affect communities between elections.

Participation and accountability are meaningless if people do not have access to information. The public disclosure of all information pertaining to any policy, decision or activity for which any local authority is responsible should be guaranteed. In particular, meetings of the local government council and of council sub-committees should in principle be open to the public.

The independent office of Ombud will be created to investigate allegations of partisanship in the allocation of resources, maladministration and corruption.

Redressing the legacies of apartheid and redistributing resources

Apartheid, as a system of segregation, has resulted in towns and cities where the poor live furthest from work, shops and facilities and where masses of poor people are locked into rural slums. This is inequitable, inefficient and expensive.

Central government will have to play a key role in addressing the severe imbalances in resources and service provision which exist between urban and rural areas and between different regions. In particular, national minimum standards for service provision will have to be set.

The ANC believes that local government must play a key role in addressing the imbalances within local areas, inter alia through effective urban and rural planning, the generation of employment opportunities, the provision of facilities, housing opportunities and services in accessible locations, and efficient, affordable public infrastructure.

The ANC is opposed to privatisation of essential municipal services.

Effective and efficient local government

Apartheid has left a legacy of fragmented local authorities and bureaucracies characterised by corruption, nepotism and inefficiencies. The ANC is committed to an accountable and mandated system of representative local government.

Local government must have access to sufficient resources to carry out its stated functions. Local government should operate so as to ensure that resources are used efficiently.

Local government and development

Local government must be developmental in character.

Local government should actively promote the processes of sustainable and participatory community development. Local government should address unemployment and poverty through local economic development and promotion of informal sector activities. In particular, local government should take steps to protect the interests of the poor through appropriate forms of tenure, housing and access to employment opportunities.



The boundaries of local authorities will be re-drawn on a functional basis, incorporating industrial areas and artificially created bantustan and commuter towns. In order to avoid local gerrymandering, boundaries will be re-drawn by a national delimitation commission, after taking into consideration local submissions. The national legislature shall have the final say over the demarcation of local authority boundaries.

Powers and functions of local government

The ANC believes that future powers and functions of local government cannot be determined in isolation from a consideration of the powers and functions of regional and national government. The allocation of functions and powers should be determined by national legislation, as they should change over time.

A useful point of departure for the allocation of functions to the local tier is provided by the existing powers of local government – planning and growth management, land use control, implementation of housing projects, the provision of services (water, electricity, sewerage, refuse removal), health care, education, roads and public transport, parks, community facilities (including recreation and sport) and environmental protection. Furthermore, it is essential that future local government has a specific responsibility for encouraging local commercial, industrial and agricultural economic development within regional and national frameworks. Circumstances may require rural local governments to have slightly different powers and functions from urban local government.


The ANC believes that national government has a duty to ensure that conditions are created to meet the basic needs of the population. This will be achieved partly by a fairer, progressive and more efficient system of taxation and government spending.

Local government should be able to raise revenue for the implementation of its policies, assisted by higher levels of government where appropriate. The existing system of local government financing, where the poorest areas are expected to pay for all their own services while the rich areas share that burden with business, must end. All areas which are functionally linked should form a single tax base. The metropolitan level should be the focus of revenue collection in metropolitan areas. National government will have to exercise some control over the nature and extent of local government taxation and borrowing in order to ensure efficiency and balance in the overall fiscal system. Borrowing which compromises the long term autonomy of local authorities or the country as a whole must be avoided.

Service charges should be affordable. They should not be set in such a way that the burden of extending services to areas deprived by apartheid falls mainly on those areas. To combat poverty, subsidisation of essential services for those who cannot afford to pay, will be necessary. It will be the responsibility of local government to ensure the provision and maintenance of all services according to acceptable standards.

Tax resources must be distributed appropriately between each level of government and between different authorities on each level. Because of regional inequalities and differences in the taxes collected there will need to be a transfer of resources from higher to lower levels of government. New institutions will have to be developed to ensure that this happens efficiently and democratically, preventing unwarranted interference in the autonomy of each level of government.

New institutions will be developed to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in government spending.

Local government structures

“One city, one municipality” To overcome the legacy of apartheid, the ANC envisages that each city and town will be unified under a single municipality. Where commuter suburbs are far removed from the city, consideration will be given to a two-tier system of local government. This will ensure that local needs are addressed, without excluding these areas from the benefits of being part of the city.

Strong metropolitan government The key issues facing our cities – disparities in services provision, rapid urban growth, the housing crisis and inefficient apartheid city structure – cannot be effectively addressed by lower-tier authorities, whose focus is too local.

The ANC believes that the metropolitan tier would be an appropriate tier to address these issues. This tier will control the primary sources of urban finance, and be responsible for allocating funds for development and services. It will co- ordinate the provision of city- wide services and allow democratic control over broader development decisions. It will set the policy framework for that metropolitan area, within which the lower tier(s) would operate.

Effective rural local government South Africa`s rural areas differ in important respects from urban areas. The ANC believes that it is therefore appropriate to create District Councils within rural areas. This will enable rural communities to develop their own responses to the particular development challenges that they face. In partnership with central and regional government, these councils will be responsible for coordinating development and servicing of rural areas.

In order to increase community participation and involvement in District Council decisions and activities, it may be necessary to institute development structures at a village or ward level which would fall under the District Council.

Civil society

The ANC believes that all legislative and executive power at the local level must be constitutionally vested in elected structures. In order to deepen democracy and ensure grassroots participation in the organs of government, the ANC believes that all organs of civil society, such as civic/residents associations, trade unions, traditional leaders, business organizations, cultural organisations, women`s organisations, religious groups, and other interest groups, need to be given the scope to influence the process of government.

This can be achieved firstly by creating advisory and consultative mechanisms such as:

  • People`s assemblies to debate issues of major significance to that town, city or rural area;
  • Local government sub-committees with outside representation to consult on specific policy areas;
  • Local government commissions to conduct public hearings and to consider submissions from outside interests on proposed local government activities.

Secondly, local government will have the right to negotiate the delegation of certain powers to particular bodies involving organs of civil society.

Besides giving scope to the involvement of civil society, the ANC envisages that local government will play an active role in promoting institutions of civil society, particularly associations representing the interests of disadvantaged sections of society. This could be done by giving support and resources to such organisations.

Staffing and training

Local government bureaucracies have operated as highly hierarchical, centralised structures. This has meant that enormous power and skill has been concentrated in senior bureaucrats. It has also meant that the knowledge and experience of lower level officials has not been duly taken into consideration when managerial and administrative policies are made or implemented. The ANC is committed to the administration of local government on the basis of participatory management and to reorganise the bureaucracy accordingly.

Local government staff will have to be properly trained, if they are to deal effectively with the development and government challenges facing them. This will require a nationally coordinated training effort. Such training will also have to address the question of affirmative action within these bureaucracies. In addition, training should include capacity building in communities to enable them to effectively participate in local structures and policy development processes.

The present system of remuneration of local government officials is affected by the grading of a municipality and this leads to a draining of skilled personnel away from smaller localities. It also allows for the rampant exploitation of lower level staff. The ANC is committed to a more equitable system, in which all employees are paid a living wage and which encourages skilled staff to stay in deprived areas.

Local government structures will adopt progressive employment practices.


The ANC believes that the constitution should provide for the creation of central, regional and local government (a three-tier system of government). Each tier of government should have powers functions and duties listed in legislation.

The delimitation of regional and local boundaries, and powers and function of regional and local government, should be decided by an elected constituent assembly

Powers of sub-national government should be harmonised with the powers of central government, bearing in mind that in case of conflict the constitution and national legislation should prevail. In essence regional government would have to function broadly within the framework of national policy. Regional government should not be able to contradict national policy as expressed in the laws of the country, but should influence the shaping of these policies and play a significant role in developing mechanism for implementation.

The ANC believes that regional government should have powers to co-ordinate and plan development, and to co-ordinate the activities of both national government departments (such as health, education, roads etc) and local authorities (such as urban councils, district councils and metropolitan government) within the region. The powers and functions of regional government will need to be balanced with those of the urban and rural local authorities in order to avoid conflict.




The central goal of ANC economic policy is to create a strong, dynamic and balanced economy that will be directed towards:

  • Eliminating the poverty and the extreme inequalities generated by the apartheid system;
  • Democratising the economy and empowering the historically oppressed;
  • Creating productive employment opportunities at a living wage for all South Africans;
  • Initiating growth and development to improve the quality of life for all South Africans, but especially for the poor;
  • Developing a prosperous and balanced regional economy in Southern Africa based on the principles of equity and mutual benefit;
  • Giving due regard to the environmental impact of the implementation of economic policy.

In order to achieve these objectives, the ANC proposes a national economic strategy with two principal components:

  • Redistribution programmes to meet the basic needs of our people. A priority in this regard will be the provision of basic services, affordable housing and infrastructure. In addition, legal, practical and psychological barriers created by apartheid and patriarchy will be broken down, so as to open up the economy to give opportunities to those who have historically been excluded.
  • The restructuring of the South African economy on the basis of new, comprehensive and sustainable growth and development strategies in all sectors of the economy.

The democratic state will have ultimate responsibility – in cooperation with the trade union movement, business and other organs of civil society – for coordinating, planning and guiding the development of the economy towards a sustainable economic growth pattern. Emphasis will be placed on macroeconomic balance, including price stability and balance of payments equilibrium. The policy surroundings will be characterised by the principles of transparency, consistency, predictability and accountability.

We envisage that such a developmental state will, in consultation with the organs of civil society, especially at local level, have primary responsibility for responding to the basic needs of the population in the areas of health care, education and basic social security. In addition, it will be responsible for the provision of infrastructure in the form of roads, dams, telecommunication, transport and power stations, as well as for the furnishing of utilities such as water, electricity and waste disposal services, in ways that empower community-based organisations.

We envisage a dynamic private sector, employing the skills and acumen of all South Africans, making a major contribution to the provision of good quality, attractive and competitively priced goods and services for all South Africans. Small business activities, which contribute significantly to job creation, should be actively encouraged by a democratic state. Special attention will have to be given to the informal sector, small and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives, family and village economic activity and generally to the encouragement of development in poor and depressed areas.

In the context of the growth and development strategy, the role of the state should be adjusted to the needs of the national economy in a flexible way. The primary question in this regard is not the legal form that state involvement in economic activity might take at any point, but whether such actions will strengthen the ability of the economy to respond to the massive inequalities in the country, relieve the material hardship of the majority of the people, and stimulate economic growth and competitiveness.

In this context, the balance of the evidence will guide the decision for or against various economic-policy measures. Such flexibility means assessing the balance of the evidence in restructuring the public sector to carry out national goals. The democratic state will therefore consider:

  • Increasing the public sector in strategic areas through, for example, nationalisation, purchasing a shareholding in companies, establishing new public corporations or joint ventures with the private sector;
  • Reducing the public sector in certain areas in ways that will enhance efficiency, advance affirmative action and empower the historically disadvantaged, while ensuring the protection of both consumers and the rights and employment of workers.

Such a mixed economy will foster a new and constructive relationship between the people, the state, the trade union movement, the private sector and the market.

Racism and sexism are present in all areas of economic activity in South Africa. The ANC will ensure that all aspects of economic policy address this situation and transform it in accordance with democratic principles of non-racialism, non-sexism and the equality of all South African citizens. To this end, affirmative action will be introduced in all areas of the economy in order to redress imbalances arising from the limitations on the opportunities of black people and women.

Economic planning will take into account the contribution that unpaid labour makes to the creation of wealth. The ANC will progressively introduce an additional set of national accounts, reflecting the value of unpaid labour.


The concentration of economic power in the hands of a few conglomerates has been detrimental to balanced economic development in South Africa. The ANC is not opposed to large firms as such. However, the ANC will introduce anti-monopoly, anti-trust and mergers policies in accordance with international norms and practices, to curb monopolies, continued domination of the economy by a minority within the white minority and promote greater efficiency in the private sector.


The ANC will redirect government expenditure on housing infrastructure education, health and social welfare, to ensure equality for all South Africans, especially rural people. To this end we will coordinate fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policy so as to provide a stable macroeconomic framework and foster sustainable growth.

The ANC will encourage transparency and accountability in the fiscal management of the democratic state. To this end, it will ensure that, in a democratic South Africa:

  • The budget fits into an overall development plan based on consultation with all affected groups, including trade unions, consumers, civic associations and business;
  • The budget establishes concrete targets for each area of expenditure, in line with the national development strategy;
  • There is on-going monitoring and evaluation of budget performance against these targets.

A representative fiscal commission will investigate the necessary changes in the whole fiscal regime. The ANC supports a progressive tax system. To this end we will seek ways to reduce tax avoidance and evasion. We will also end indirect taxation on basic foodstuffs, health care and basic household services.

The democratic state will exercise fiscal discipline in order to avoid inflation.

The ANC will introduce strict mechanisms to monitor and regulate the foreign debt of both the public and private sectors.


The democratic state will ensure that financial institutions in both the public and private sector participate fully in the proposed new path of growth and development. In particular, their activities should help transform social power relationships and build institutional capacity in the historically oppressed communities in order to break the cycle of dependency.

The democratic state will introduce mechanisms to encourage private-sector financial institutions to channel resources into productive investment, the development of the basic-needs sector, and to end discrimination in lending against blacks, women, and informal-sector or very small-scale producers.

The democratic state will encourage the creation of community- based financial institutions managed and controlled by the historically oppressed communities.

Relationships with international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will be conducted in such a way as to protect the integrity of domestic policy formulation and promote the interests of the South African population and the economy. Above all, we must pursue policies that enhance national self-sufficiency and enable us to reduce dependence on international financial institutions.

Further, we will introduce measures to ensure that foreign, non- governmental aid supports the national development strategy.


The ANC is committed to full participation in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and will adopt and implement ILO conventions and appropriate recommendations. This adherence will form the base for a stable, equitable and effective collective bargaining system.

Within its growth and development strategy, the ANC will develop active policies in the labour market in order to ensure the following:

  • Employment creation and public works programmes;
  • Fair and equitable employment opportunities, with legislation against discrimination in employment practices;
  • Affirmative action programmes to address racial, gender and rural-urban imbalances;
  • Training, retraining and human resources development.


Apartheid has shaped and distorted the economies of South Africa`s rural areas in ways that seriously disadvantage black communities through unemployment and landlessness. It is therefore vital that a democratic state establish a rural development policy to redress these distortions and create opportunities for rural people through balanced and sustainable development.

Rural development forms an essential component of the ANC`s programmes for redistribution and growth. To redress the current imbalances in the provision of social services and physical infrastructure requires affirmative action in the allocation of resources.

The rural development policy will give emphasis to generating a viable, productive rural economy through activities such as agro- industry. Sustainable job creation programmes will incorporate the provision of infrastructure and skills to enhance the productive capacity of these areas as well as raise the standard of living of the people. These programmes should focus on economically viable localities, but benefit all people in rural areas, especially women.

The ANC will initiate wide-ranging consultation and coordinated research to develop a comprehensive rural development programme. Such a programme will integrate the relevant sectors of ANC policy, including for instance aspects of ANC policy on land, local government, environment and agriculture.


Industrial policy will be aimed, in the first instance, at producing quality goods and services to meet the basic needs of our people at affordable prices, creating jobs and increasing local processing and manufacturing of our raw materials.

Industrial restructuring will be promoted in accordance with the needs of our economy and international demands and patterns. The ANC will pursue a balanced policy of industrialisation capable of overcoming the regional inequalities and imbalances of the apartheid period, including the unmanageable concentration of economic activities and population, in a few metropolitan areas.

The detail of our industrial policy will emerge from in- depth research and the broadest possible consultation, especially with those communities and organisations most directly affected, within the context of overall economic and environmental protection policies.


As part of the overall industrial policy, trade policy will aim at raising the level of productivity and improving the competitiveness of domestic and Southern African producers. In this context, we will take a differentiated approach towards trade barriers. In particular, tariffs may, in conjunction with performance requirements, enable domestic and regional producers to develop new branches of production. Trade barriers will be adjusted, within an agreed framework, to prevent the destruction of domestic and regional producers, the loss of jobs, and the exploitation of Southern African consumers.

Trade policy will be closely linked to the overall economic policy of the ANC, including monetary and industrial policies. A democratic South Africa will participate in international institutions governing multilateral trading arrangements. In this context, South Africa will cooperate with other developing countries to protect and advance our mutual interests.

In a democratic South Africa the ANC will welcome foreign investment, in accordance with our objectives for growth and development, and will adopt an open approach to the entry of foreign investment. The most important way to promote foreign investment is to establish a climate of political stability, economic growth, and transparent, consistent economic policies.

The principle of national treatment will apply to foreign investors. They would enjoy the same treatment as domestic investors, and would be obliged to abide by South African laws.

Subject to regulations administered by the South African Reserve Bank, foreign investors will have access to foreign exchange for the purpose of remitting after-tax profits and debt service on approved foreign loans, purchasing inputs, and repatriating the proceeds on the sale of assets.

Departures from national treatment may include limitations on domestic borrowing or on foreign ownership in strategic areas such as land and natural resources. Foreign investments that meet defined national growth and development objectives may enjoy specific contractual arrangements.

The ANC will ensure that investments abroad by South African companies function, not as capital flight, but to boost our competitiveness and benefit the entire economy.


The mineral wealth beneath the soil is the national heritage of all South Africans, including future generations. As a diminishing resource it should be used with due regard to socio- economic needs and environmental conservation. The ANC will, in consultation with unions and employers, introduce a mining strategy which will involve the introduction of a new system of taxation, financing, mineral rights and leasing. The strategy will require the normalisation of miners` living and working conditions, with full trade union rights and an end to private security forces on the mines. In addition, the strategy will, where appropriate, involve public ownership and joint ventures.

Policies will be developed to integrate the mining industry with other sectors of the economy by encouraging mineral beneficiation and the creation of a world class mining and mineral processing capital goods industry.

To improve the quality of life of our people, stimulate the economy and reduce pollution levels, the ANC will launch a national electrification programme. We will investigate the appropriate regulatory framework, structure and operation of major energy parastatals such as Eskom, the Atomic Energy Corporation, Sasol and Mossgas, with a view to re-orientating them towards national economic and development goals that are protective of the environment.


Marine resources along the South African coastline form a substantial fishing industry. In the development of this industry, however, access to the resource was removed from many traditional fishing communities. Moreover, although current management strategies – which are based on a mix of limits on catch and limits on access – have shown an improvement over past strategies, there are indications that some stocks are still being over-exploited, particularly by foreign fleets.

Accordingly, the ANC favours restructuring the fishing industry by moving away from large fishing conglomerates to smaller, community-based fisheries. Management of stocks on a sustainable yield basis will be continued and improved. This could be done through the introduction of a more conservative, and longer-term quota allocation system which would impart a greater measure of stability to the industry. The development of additional fish stocks, and the mariculture industry – within environmental constraints – will also be encouraged.


South Africa is part and parcel of the African continent in general and Southern Africa in particular. As such, the ANC will continue to work for the aims and objectives of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) and the Preferential Trade Area for Southern and Eastern Africa (PTA) in achieving the economic integration of the continent.

Trends in the world economy make it essential for countries located outside of the major trading blocks of the advanced industrialised economies to forge greater cooperation. An ANC government will seek to actively promote economic cooperation in Southern Africa in ways that will correct existing imbalances and promote non-exploitative relationships.




Dispossession and denial of rights to land have resulted in the present unequal division of land and landlessness, which will require legislative intervention far beyond the mere repeal of apartheid land laws. Our policies must provide access to land both as a productive resource and to ensure that all our citizens have a secure place to live. The crippling impact of past policies demands the urgent implementation of a national programme of land reform and redistribution. At the same time, we must take account of the need to maintain food supplies and to provide equitable and orderly procedures so as to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

It is the ANC`s view that the legacy of forced removals and dispossession must be addressed as a fundamental point of departure to any future land policy for our country. Effective measures to ensure that landless people gain access to land on fair terms, and a legal process to resolve competing claims to land, will be introduced by an ANC government as a matter of priority.

The development of a productive agricultural sector and a viable rural economy is necessary for economic growth and the well-being of all South Africans. The productive potential of the land and the people living on it should be effectively harnessed, for the benefit of the entire nation. Our agricultural land should be treated as a fragile and precious resource base which belongs to future generations, and our policies will ensure its enrichment, protection, and its productive utilisation as a foundation for food production.


Our approach to land issues must be placed in the context of our overall developmental strategy addressing problems of poverty, malnutrition, landlessness and unemployment.

Our approach must ensure that the homeless and landless will have access to land, shelter and necessary services for family security.

A priority in the programme is the need to address demands and grievances concerning land restoration and land rights including ownership, by the creation of a land claims court through which competing claims to land can be resolved. This land claims court must be affordable and accessible. The state shall provide necessary financial assistance for those with limited means.

The programme will include a policy of affirmative action within a viable and sustainable economic development programme. The major beneficiaries of affirmative action should be the landless, rural poor and women who have been deprived of rights to land through patriarchal systems of land allocation and tenure.

Redistribution of land

The present pattern of land ownership which is the direct result of apartheid laws must be fundamentally changed to address landlessness and land hunger. The programme of redistribution of agricultural land must be accompanied by measures which will ensure that the land will be productively used. These must include the provision of adequate infrastructure as well as training and appropriate extension work.

The state will play a key role in the acquisition and allocation of land and should therefore have the power to acquire land in a variety of ways, including expropriation in accordance with the provisions set out in the Bill of Rights. In addition, the state will use policy instruments, such as land taxes which, if correctly applied, could have the effect of land being freed for redistribution. The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act of 1970 must be reviewed in order to make land available to small farmers. However, measures must be taken to prevent land speculation.

Immediate attention shall be given to legislation imposing a ceiling on landownership and multiple ownership of farms, as in the case where one owner has many farms.

Provision shall be made for the restoration of land rights and land to victims of forced removal.

Vacant, unused and under-utilised state land suitable for residential and agricultural purposes shall be made available for redistribution.

Other land to be made available for redistribution in the towns, countryside and bantustans should include:

  • Land held for speculation;
  • Underutilised land or unused land with a productive potential;
  • Land which is being degraded;
  • Hopelessly indebted land.

In addition, land acquired through nepotism and corruption will also be available for redistribution. Persons who have benefitted from corrupt and illegal transfers of land and interests in land, or from corrupt and illegal investment in, or development of land, shall be required to account for such benefits and make appropriate restitution.

The state shall have the right to acquire land, bearing in mind that it is a fundamental social resource, to be made available to those most in need.

Access and rights to land

All South Africans are entitled to equitable access to land and shelter. In order to achieve the realisation of this entitlement, an equitable balance shall be established between the legitimate interests of the holders of rights to land, and the legitimate needs of those without land and shelter.

The ownership, occupation and use of land carries with it both rights and duties. Land holders will be required by law to respect the human rights of people living on the land, the need for productive use of the land, and the need for the protection of land as a productive asset for the country as a whole. In short, the ANC affirms that land holders rights will be subject to the residual interest of the South African people, present and future, in the proper use of this precious and finite asset.

The diversity of tenure forms in our country, including public land ownership (held by community land trusts for urban residential purposes and rural productive purposes) and strengthened tenancy rights, shall be recognised and protected. This, however, will be subject to the principle that women should have the same rights as men in all land-related issues.

Attention must be paid to the needs individuals to acquire title deeds to residential land they already occupy, providing this does not prejudice the rights of others.

Diverse forms of tenure should not prejudice the ability of people to have access to credit.

Restructuring agriculture

The agricultural sector is characterised by gross maldistribution of land and other resources in favour of white farmers. The agricultural sector is in crisis with debt levels of white farmers rising to R18 billion. There is a productive core of 30% of white farmers who produce 80% of marketed output. This has led to inappropriate agricultural practices, inefficiency and dependence on state subsidies. The agricultural sector will be restructured so as to serve the majority of South Africa`s people and to contribute effectively to economic growth.

The current system of subsidies has intensified the concentration of land ownership in the hands of the few and led to inappropriate and unsustainable agricultural practices. State subsidies should be used to stabilise new farmers and must promote efficient and sustainable agricultural production systems.

The restructuring of agriculture should facilitate a move away from the exclusive reliance on large-scale single crop agriculture, to a more diversified combination of agricultural production systems, including family farms, small scale farms and co-operative farming systems.

The extension of credit, appropriate infrastructure, training extension and marketing facilities and other services to black and women farmers previously denied access to these resources, is necessary.

The unrestricted expansion of forestry, sugar, tobacco and other mono-culture production systems on high potential agricultural land needs to be reviewed.

Farmers associations on a non-racial and non-sexist basis shall be encouraged to advance the interests of all farmers in the context of the national programme of land reform and redistribution.

The present system of regulatory mechanisms, agricultural control boards and the operations of parastatals will be reviewed and amended.

The hidden monopolie and controls that exist in agriculture by virtue of the control linkages between agricultural credit, marketing, commercial co-operatives, the Land Bank and the South African Agricultural Union, must be broken up to enable new farmers to enter the sector.


We envisage the creation of an independent, non-racial, non- sexist and representative land claims court to preside over and make the necessary adjudications with regard to claims to land. The law will lay down clear criteria for land claims. Priority will be given to victims of forced removal who, wherever possible, should get land back taken from them by the apartheid state. Former labour tenants and share croppers, and their families, who have had a long association with particular pieces of land, should have protected rights of occupation and use. No one will be evicted from land or have his or her home destroyed, unless a tribunal or another court has considered the availability of alternative accommodation.

Support services need to be established to inform communities of their constitutional rights, and as conduits of access to the legal system and legal counsel.

The land claims court will focus on the question of land rights.


The land question is a question that affects not just landholders and the landless, but the whole nation. All South Africans have a responsibility to share the burden of solving it. While the market has some role to play, it will barely touch the problem. The very discrimination which forced the people off the land, has deprived them of the capacity to buy the land back. The market could even aggravate present inequalities.

In establishing an equitable balance between the legitimate interests of present title holders and the legitimate needs of those without land and shelter, compensation by the state in the national interest will have an important role to play. It will be unjust to place the whole burden of the costs of transformation on the shoulders either of the present generation of title holders or on the new generation of owners. The state therefore must shoulder the burden of compensating expropriated title holders where necessary and subject to the provisions in the Bill of Rights. At the same time attention must be given to ensuring that appropriate compensation or other acknowledgement of injury done, shall be given to victims of forced removals or other forms of dispossession.

Rural local government and development institutions

The present systems of rural administration are undemocratic and ineffective creations of the apartheid state. They will be replaced by democratic forms of local government formulated in close consultation with rural communities and based on principles of democracy, transparency and accountability as established in the national constitution. Women shall have full and equal rights of participation in these processes. Governmental, non- governmental and community based organisations will have a key role to play in the process of land reform and rural development.

Special programmes shall be undertaken to promote infrastructural development in the rural areas, including roads, postal services, telecommunications, electricity,sanitation and water supplies, housing, education, health and recreational facilities. Economic advancement shall be promoted by the extension of training, the provision of credit, the provision of marketing infrastructure, the establishment of seed-banks in appropriate areas and the establishment of agricultural product processing facilities.

Protection of farmworkers` rights

Those who work and dwell in the rural areas, especially farm workers and women, are particularly vulnerable in our society. They and their families will be guaranteed full rights and protection under relevant labour legislation. The state will actively promote the protection of human rights for all rural dwellers and shall ensure effective enforcement of legislation protecting rural workers. In particular legislation shall secure the right to advancement of farmworkers with special attention to the rapid extension to them of education, health and recreation rights, rights to secure decent housing and rights to move freely and receive visitors. The state shall take the necessary steps to accommodate and encourage the independent organisation of rural workers.

The position of women

The patriarchal system of law and land rights has deprived women of independent access to land and control over the product of their labour. This must be addressed by ensuring that women have the same rights as men in regard to all land-related issues and must be given special assistance to realize these rights. The land claims court should be empowered to consider the claims of women who are or were excluded from land ownership and entitlement by law, custom or practice. Urban land policy

The existing shortage of housing and serviced residential land in urban areas is a product of apartheid policies, and will be addressed. The spatial geography of apartheid will be fundamentally changed. Serviced land for housing will be made available to those who need it, close to towns and cities and to places of work. Urban resources and services will be equitably shared amongst all who live and work in the towns and cities.

Nature Conservation

Land is a natural and national resource to be used in an appropriate and sustainable manner. Declared nature conservation areas will be respected as part of the nation`s common wealth. Wild life management and exploitation should constitute an important component of rural development. Emphasis will be placed on integrated conservation and co-management between communities and relevant local authorities in the development of these resources. Communities will be assisted to achieve rational management and exploitation of wild life resources, particularly in those areas where sustainable utilization is viable. Communities will be consulted before nature conservation programmes are introduced, and people must benefit directly from the economic activities and income generated.




The ANC believes that all citizens of South Africa at present and in future, have the right to a safe and healthy environment, and to a life of well-being. Accordingly, the broad objectives of our environmental policy are aimed at fulfilling this right. In this context, growth and development within South Africa must be based on the criteria of sustainability.


The ANC is committed to bringing about these conditions through appropriate policy measures in all growth and development sectors. In line with this our guiding principles are:

  • Sustainable development;
  • Equitable access to environmental resources;
  • Public participation in all planning decisions which affect the development and management of natural resources;
  • Public right of access to information and the courts on issues of environmental concern;
  • An integrated approach to environmental issues that relates to all sectors of society;
  • Recognition of the integrated nature of the global environment and the need for international cooperation in policy making.


The ANC`s policy objective is to develop a framework aimed at creating conditions conducive to sustainable development. This requires that a future growth strategy is compatible with ecological and human rights principles, and that growth is geared towards the provision of basic needs to benefit the whole community, and is not seen as an end in itself.

An affirmative action programme will be pursued within a viable economic development programme to ensure that all South Africans have access to the natural resources required to satisfy their basic needs and to restore traditional access to natural resources within ecological constraints.

A bias towards development of appropriate environmental awareness programmes for all sectors of our society would reinforce harmonious and traditional links with the environment, and would ultimately empower people to participate in the planning, development and management of resources.

The ANC will establish a legislative and administrative system to ensure effective environmental management. This should be supported by the right of the public to access to the courts. Such a system will embrace a holistic approach, and will encourage trade unions, environmental organisations, and communities to play an active role in ensuring environmental protection in the public interest. It will also make use of environmental auditing, with provision for public disclosure, to monitor the activities of industry.

Policies and programmes to ensure adequate protection, conservation and restoration of the environment will be adopted. These will include:

  • The integration of environmental principles into planning and development using Integrated Environmental Management procedures;
  • The rehabilitation and maintenance of ecological processes and life support systems;
  • The sustainable utilisation of renewable resources and rational exploitation of non-renewable resources;
  • The conservation of biological diversity and protection of endangered species;
  • The introduction of legislative controls aimed at maximizing the benefits while minimizing detrimental effects of alien species;
  • The establishment of mechanisms to ensure safe and healthy living and working environments with acceptable levels of noise and other forms of pollution. Where damage to the environment and the health of our people has occurred, those responsible will be held accountable;
  • A hierarchical system of waste management with the emphasis on pollution prevention and the precautionary principle.

The alignment with and participation in international and regional initiatives aimed at protecting the global environment.

The prohibition of the import and export of all forms of hazardous waste.

The redistribution of land must take into account measures which will ensure it will be used in an appropriate and sustainable manner.

To ensure that other policy sectors incorporate the principles embodied in the environmental policy thus assuring the sustainability of development in a democratic South Africa.




The housing problems created by apartheid are many and varied. They include the racial fragmentation of our cities and the high correlation between housing poverty and race. A high proportion of the population has poor access to basic services such as water, sanitation, refuse removal and electricity and there is a severe shortage of decent, safe and affordable housing. Much of the housing available to the poor is located in monotonous townships and under- serviced informal settlements far from places of work and poorly provided with community facilities, shops, affordable public transport and recreational facilities.

The migrant labour system and the single sex hostels have further contributed to the disruption of family life and social cohesion.

Apartheid`s complex, racially fragmented and inconsistent system of administration and housing delivery has made it difficult to introduce a coherent national housing policy. It has created gross inequalities between and within race groups with respect to the subsidisation and provision of housing. The apartheid housing policy has focused on the housing needs of middle income households at the expense of the disadvantaged.

The provision of housing under the apartheid regime has doubly discriminated against women, with regard to allocation, systems of tenure and all the institutions controlling housing.


The principles underlying the ANC`s housing policy are the following:

  • Housing is a right;
  • Housing should contribute to social equity;
  • Housing is a critical component of development;
  • Community control over and participation in the housing delivery process is of the utmost importance.

The right to housing

The ANC believes that all citizens of South Africa have a right to essential services such as water, sanitation, refuse removal and electricity and to decent housing, appropriate to family and individual needs. The democratic state will undertake appropriate legislative and executive action to ensure that these basic needs are met in a progressive manner. It is recognised that this objective will not be easy to fulfil in the short term but one towards which we should strive.

Housing should contribute to social equity

Given the pervasive poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth and land, the ANC`s housing policy will promote non- racialism, non-sexism and cater for disadvantaged groups such as the very poor, old and disabled.

All racially based housing institutions will be replaced by institutions which are non-racial, non-sexist legitimate and accountable to the people. A uniform housing policy must be introduced as a matter of urgency. Hostels should be transformed into family units. After wide consultation, appropriate single accommodation should be provided.

Equity considerations will also be addressed through, for example, redistributive financial mechanisms and allocative systems. Examples of these forms of redistribution are: service charges and rating systems which favour the poor and not the rich; the diversion of military expenditure to housing production; and the prioritising of investment in inner city housing and the upgrading of the townships, informal settlements and rural areas over investments in middle income housing areas.

To ensure that women`s housing needs are addressed, their full participation in, and influence over, the institutions controlling housing must be guaranteed. Gender sensitivity must be a component part of the design and implementation of housing policy, the design of allocative systems and the criteria used to measure affordability.

Housing and development

The provision of housing will be placed within a total developmental framework. These should include economic, transport, health, amenity, recreational, religious, education, environmental and social welfare policies, and policies which facilitate access to jobs and the restructuring of the apartheid cities, towns and rural areas. As such, an integrated approach which links housing to transport networks, industry, schools, creches, community halls, play grounds and so forth will be adopted. In addition, our housing strategy is based on sustainability in the short-medium-to-long term.

Community participation and control

Community participation in and control over the housing delivery process is critical to the successful implementation of our housing strategies.

The ANC believes that community groups should be able to participate in the design, implementation and management of their housing. We therefore advocate the introduction of a housing policy which encourages and supports community controlled development initiatives. Furthermore the ANC believes that organs of civil society must play a major role in housing policy formation.

Communities will have the right to organise themselves around housing issues and strong community based organisations will be encouraged.


The ANC believes that a single national housing policy administered through one national housing department, is needed to address the provision of housing and services. Within this single framework different, but complementary, policies may have to be formulated for urban and rural areas as well as the upgrading of the existing poor levels of housing and services.

Our housing policy is more than the delivery of a product. It is a process which contributes to the cultural, economic and social development of the entire society and is therefore part of our strategy to improve people`s total living conditions.


Housing and economic development

The ANC recognizes that housing (inclusive of land and ancillary services) is a significant part of our economic development strategy and that the resources devoted to the provision of housing will have to be consistent with the need to maintain macroeconomic balances.

Housing investment will be implemented in such a way as to promote labour based delivery in the context of acceptable labour practices, and improve the capacity of small-and-medium sized builders in the delivery of housing. The possibility of developing innovative technologies and methodologies which can be exported and hence contribute to our foreign exchange earnings will be developed.

The concentration of ownership in the building materials sector is a matter of great concern to the ANC. The ANC is committed to exploring the use of anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation in this regard as well as introducing mechanisms which will cheapen building materials.

Housing finance

As the state acting alone will not have sufficient resources to meet people`s housing needs, the ANC recognises the importance of mobilising private sector resources and it will devise innovative strategies for doing so. The ANC is also committed to ensuring that the poor, men and women, in both urban and rural areas, have favourable access to credit facilities.

The state should play a significant role in the provision of finance for low income housing. While market relations are an essential component of a mixed economy, the ANC does not believe that the market is able to address the housing needs of all South Africans adequately. The ANC therefore supports the provision of subsidies to facilitate access to basic and essential services and housing. We advocate the restructuring of the housing finance and subsidy system so as to target those in most need of assistance.

Land and tenure

The ANC rejects the privatisation of land supply for low income housing and believes that it is the state`s responsibility to ensure that low income households have easy access to well located, affordable land. The state or state organs will play an active role in land acquisition and in curbing land speculation. Some of the measures we will consider using to curb land speculation are the application of high municipal rates on well located undeveloped land, a capital gain tax on land transactions and the use of legal arrangements and tenure forms which take land (and housing) transactions out of the market and guard against downward raiding by more affluent groups. The allocation of land in urban and rural areas should not discriminate against people on the basis of race or gender, foster nepotism or other forms of corruption and should not involve lengthy time delays.

The ANC believes that people should have security of tenure which does not necessarily mean individual ownership of both land and the dwelling unit. Provision will be made for different forms of tenure.

Housing form and delivery

The ANC believes that a uni-focused delivery system cannot adequately cater for people`s diverse housing needs and should encourage housing delivery mechanisms which promote different forms of partnership between the state, private sector, non- governmental organisations and the community. The range of actors to be used should, by and large, be arrived at through consultation with the community concerned.

The private sector will be encouraged to move into lower cost housing, revise its product mix and increase the level of community participation in its projects.

More effective use will be made of the knowledge and housing expertise which will exist in restructured government agencies and other development institutions. Appropriate training initiatives for communities and small builders should be facilitated by the state.

In line with our view that housing delivery is a process and not simply a product, the provision of completed dwelling units is seen as the ideal towards which we are striving. The form of housing provided should, in the final instance, be influenced by community preference, needs and affordability.

To overcome the economic problems and inequities created by low density urban sprawl, more effective use will be made of land within urban areas. Housing densities will be increased in appropriate locations.

Environmental consideration will also inform the nature of housing provision in both rural and urban areas.

Finally, the ANC believes that low income housing should not be equated or confused with poor quality housing. Mechanisms which monitor profiteering, exploitation and malpractices in the provision of housing will be introduced.

The sale of state-owned rental houses should be reviewed, and alternative forms of tenure and management should be investigated.

Employers should be encouraged to provide their workers with housing assistance, or decent housing appropriate to individual and family needs. A special investigation needs to be conducted into the appropriate and secure forms of housing for farm workers.




For people to be healthy it is necessary that families earn enough money to be able to live decent lives, and work under safe conditions. People need decent housing, adequate and safe water, and sufficient nourishing food. There must be adequate and decent toilet facilities, and appropriate and effective waste disposal. This includes getting rid of rubbish and of industrial and human waste in ways that will not damage the environment. Health is also improved where people have a reasonable standard of education, and opportunities for rest and recreation.

People also need a comprehensive health service that promotes good health, prevents illness, provides care and rehabilitative services to the ill and to people with disabilities.


The health services in South Africa reflect all the injustice and irrationality of apartheid. The health service is controlled by a great many departments – one in each of the bantustans and separate ones for general affairs and for each of the coloured, white and Indian “own affairs” houses. It is impossible to effectively plan and co-ordinate health care between these different ministries.

The government`s policy of privatisation and reduction in spending on health has meant that insufficient resources are being channelled into public health services. As a result the quality of health and health care has deteriorated.

The health sector and in particular the private sector focuses its efforts on those who can pay, emphasises the treatment of disease, and so neglects the promotion of good health, the prevention of disease and the rehabilitation of the disabled. The focus on individual care also conceals the socio-economic causes of ill health. Health and lack of health are rooted in the economic and social fabric of any society. Socio-economic circumstances are more important than medical services in ensuring good health.


The provision of equitable health care should be guided by the aspirations of our people as enshrined in the Freedom Charter and by principles which reflect the Primary Health Care Approach adopted by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children`s Fund at Alma Ata in 1978. The primary health care approach is essentially that of community development. It aims to reduce inequalities in access to health services, promotes equitable distribution based on appropriate technology and integrates the many sectors of modern life such as education and housing. Further, it is based on full community participation.

Access to health care is a basic human right. This right will be incorporated in the constitution and the Bill of Rights and will be enforced by law.

A National Health Service (NHS)

The ANC proposes the creation of a comprehensive, equitable and integrated National Health Service (NHS).

There will be a single governmental structure dealing with health for the whole country. It will coordinate all aspects of both public and private health care delivery. It will be accountable to the people of South Africa through democratic structures.

All existing government departments of health including homeland, military and prison services, will be integrated into the NHS, and all racial, ethnic, tribal and gender discrimination will be eradicated from the service. In line with the ANC commitment to a mixed economy, the provision of health care by the private sector will continue to be acknowledged and regulated.

The NHS will actively promote community participation in the planning, provision, control and monitoring of services. Fundamental to this approach will be accountability to local communities and decentralization of decision making.

The responsibility for health care will be coordinated between national, regional and district authorities. These will, as far as possible coincide with regional and local government boundaries. Authority over, responsibility for, and control over funds will be as decentralised as is compatible with rational planning and the maintenance of good quality care. Clinics and health centres will be the points of first referral for medical ailments.

Rural health services will be given priority and made accessible with particular attention given to improving transport.

The health service will give priority to children, mothers, the elderly, the mentally ill, workers, the unemployed and the disabled. Appropriate services to adolescents and to young adults will also be provided. In addition there will be a focus on the eradication and control of major diseases, especially AIDS, tuberculosis, measles and others. Attention will also be given to sex education, family planning, oral health, substance abuse, environmental and occupational health.

Within the national health service, health workers must respect the right of their patients to be treated as equals in all respects. A Bill of Patient Rights will be introduced. Furthermore individuals, interest groups and whole communities will be able to participate in the process of formulating and implementing health policy.

Appropriate and efficient data collection will be an essential part of the NHS. It will allow for rational management and planning and also relevant research to address the most important problems facing the community. The private sector will also be required to collect and submit both financial and clinical data in order to facilitate planning at local, regional and national levels.

The health service will be planned and regulated to ensure that resources are used in the best way possible to make essential health care available to all South Africans, giving priority to the most vulnerable groups.

Health workers at all levels will promote general health and encourage healthy lifestyles.

The NHS will seek to establish appropriate mechanisms that will lead to the integration of traditional and other complimentary healers into the NHS.

Inter-sectoral cooperation

At all levels of government the health service should promote inter-sectoral cooperation to promote the health of communities. The health service will play a role in coordinating government authorities responsible for sanitation, water supply, fuel supply, food and agriculture, housing, and other social services. To the extent that a threat to public health is identified, the health service will ensure that the necessary steps are taken to remove such a threat.

Financing health care

The democratic government will mobilise sufficient funds to ensure free and equal access to essential health care for all South Africans. No-one will be excluded from any public health facility because they cannot afford such services. Only when this is achieved, will it be possible to reduce the gap in access to health care between rich and poor, black and white, and urban and rural communities.

Since, however, government resources are limited, those who can afford to will contribute to the cost of health care, either through general taxation, or by contributing to a national health or social insurance fund, or both. The cost of medical care will be kept down by careful accounting and the rational use of resources. Methods of providing additional funds for public health services will be explored.

Essential health care available at public health facilities will be free at the point of service. Provision of this essential health care is in line with the commitment in the Bill of Rights to “an expanding minimum floor of entitlements for all”. This level will rise with time.

The private sector

In the longer term, most health care should be provided by the public health service. The public service will be strengthened and made accountable to the communities it serves. It will therefore be necessary to create incentives to induce many of those health workers who have chosen private practices, to return to the public sector. At the same time, we envisage active cooperation between the two sectors with the common goal of improving the health of the nation.

Public subsidies to the private sector such as tax concessions for medical aid contributions will be removed.

Both public and private sector health care will be carefully monitored through mechanisms such as peer review and audit review, and in the private sector tighter regulations will be applied on the licensing of facilities and on share holdings in private clinics and hospitals.

A national pharmaceutical policy

At present there are many parts of the health service where there is not enough medicine in store. In the private sector too much money is spent on medicine. The ANC will implement a national drug policy to deal with these problems. This policy will include sections on essential drug lists and encouraging the development of the local drug industry. The national drug policy will also ensure strict standards of quality, safety and use of drugs both in routine and in research situations. Safety and efficacy will take priority over the profits of individual drug manufacturers.

Personnel and training

The term “health worker” includes all those working in the health sector whether engaged in clinical or in non-clinical duties. All of them will have the right to join trade unions of their choice.

The statutory bodies governing the registration of health workers and the maintenance of standards will be restructured to protect the interests of all South Africans.

Training of all health workers should be appropriate and community oriented. Training programs will be implemented to continually upgrade the skills of existing health workers. This training will include the reorientation of health workers with regard to the rights of patients and respect for their privacy and dignity at all times.

In the light of this the present health-worker training institutions, particularly medical schools, will have to be transformed. Training of new categories of health workers will be investigated.

Recognizing the substantial subsidies from the state to all tertiary education, health workers should, on completion of their training, be required to work where needed in the public sector for a specific period before entering the private sector.

There are racial and gender inequalities in the training of health workers. In particular, Africans and women have historically formed a small minority of the total number of trained doctors, or managers at middle or senior levels. Affirmative action needs to be undertaken to correct this imbalance.

Women`s health

The NHS will provide sensitive and supportive care to victims of sexual violence and other forms of abuse against women. Special counselling and support for victims of rape and incest will be provided.

Women will have the right to control their own bodies. Contraceptive services will be based on informed choice, will be free and accessible, and will protect fertility. They will also be gender sensitive and will engage both men and women.

Very high priority will be given to the early prevention, detection and treatment of cervical and breast cancer.

Women and female children will be provided with information to enable them to make free and informed choices about all matters relating to their fertility.


The spread of HIV infection will lead to severe loss of human life, especially of the economically active. The stigma which is associated with HIV infection and the absence of a vaccine or curative measures place the responsibilities of curbing the spread of HIV beyond the health sector alone. The ANC is committed to making HIV a priority of all sections of society and especially of the highest decision making body in the land.




The ANC, in keeping with its general commitment to an egalitarian society, rejects the dictum that the poor will always be with us. It believes that poverty is created by society and it can therefore be eliminated by society.

Therefore, the department believes that people are the fundamental resource of the country, since they have the capacity to develop personally and are central to the development of the economy and the nation as a whole.


Social Welfare includes the basic rights to shelter, food, health, employment, education and all those aspects that promote the physical, social and emotional well-being of all in our society. In addition, provision will be made through a social safety net for those who are unable to care for themselves because of certain problems (i.e. the disabled, women, children, youth, families in need of care, the aged and those in chronic emotional distress). The task of rehabilitating and integrating juvenile and adult offenders will also be addressed.

The ANC`s social welfare policy will accordingly pursue welfare in the context of social reconstruction, development and affirmative action.


The attainment of basic social welfare rights for all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour, religion and gender through the establishment of a democratically determined, equitable, just and effective social delivery system.

The redressing of past imbalances through a deliberate process of affirmative action in respect of those who have been historically disadvantaged, especially women, youth and rural communities.

The empowerment of individuals, families and communities to participate in the process of deciding on the range of needs and issues to be addressed through local, regional and national initiatives.

The recognition of the role of organs of civil society in the welfare system, such as non-governmental organisations, civic associations, the private sector, religious organisations, traditional and other complementary healers, trade unions and individual initiatives through the establishment of guidelines for mutual cooperation.

The encouragement of economic growth and the development of economic policies that ensure equitable redistribution through social services that are not only seen as forms of consumption, but also as a means of social investment.


This policy is based on the belief in the human dignity of all in South Africa.

We acknowledge that the state has a major role in meeting the legitimate and realistic expectations of all, especially the poor, disadvantaged and other vulnerable persons.

We do not encourage the hand-out approach to social welfare provision because it does not address the root causes of social problems.

We believe in the importance of the family as it is understood within the social and cultural norms in South Africa in the context of a normally functioning society. Special attention will therefore be given to promoting the reconstruction of family life.



People have the right to fair treatment based on their contributions to society, except where the ability of individuals to contribute to society through work or other ways is beyond their control.


Services must be accessible not only in terms of physical proximity but also in terms of language and the elimination of bureaucratic red tape.


The interests and needs of all should be represented, planned for and implemented through a democratic process.

Community participation

People affected by social problems or need must have access to and be part of decision making structures which attempt to resolve these problems.


Officials and civil servants will constantly refer to the users of services for feedback and recommendations. The office of an Ombud will have to look into the violation of pre-determined codes.


Benefits will be allocated in a way which will equalise the distribution of resources and opportunities in our society.

Social services as a right

All those who require services should feel free to apply for such services without fear of being treated as second class citizens.


Services shall be planned and developed at as local a level as possible to allow for participation and access.


Meeting basic needs

An inter-sectoral approach will be pursued to ensure that basic needs, according to acceptable minimum standards are met, especially with regard to work, housing, health care and education.

Direct social services

A comprehensive range of services addressing child and family welfare, alcohol and substance abuse, mental and physical health and rehabilitation of juvenile and adult offenders will be ensured. In addition, services of a social development nature aimed at empowering communities will be actively encouraged. Counselling and other support programmes will be promoted through policy and programme measures, particularly for the following:

  • Victims of political and criminal violence;
  • Youth who have been destabilized as a result of political repression and the breakdown of the education system;
  • Rural communities which are underdeveloped and disempowered;
  • Women who have suffered the effects of domestic violence, rape and other factors which undermine their full development as contributing members of society;
  • Returnees, ex-political prisoners, ex-combatants and veterans who have played a critical role in fighting apartheid, as well as their dependants and the dependants of those who have died or been injured in the cause of the struggle;
  • The disabled whose rights to full participation in society through appropriate legislative measures will be ensured;
  • Children who have suffered as a result of apartheid;
  • The aged who are in need of community care and other facilities.

Social security provision

The ANC commits itself to a National Social Security System within the limits of its resources. The existing social assistance legislation will have to be reviewed in accordance with acceptable agreed criteria. The two major forms of social security will include:

  • Social Insurance financed through contributions of potential beneficiaries and subsidised by employers. This aspect falls within the ambit of Human Resource Development but should be reviewed in consultation with Social Welfare;
  • Social Assistance for those who cannot provide for themselves because of circumstances beyond their control, e.g. the aged, disabled, families in need and other maintenance grants shall fall within the ambit of Social Welfare.

All social pensions, including those for the aged, will be equalized and the dignity, safety and convenience of recipients will be observed at all times.

Provision will be made for those who have fought for national liberation in the same manner that South African society has traditionally catered for those who have served in its armed forces.


There will be a single department of Social Welfare and Development with key functional departments.

Inter-sectoral government structures will be developed in consultation with key departments to promote a coordinated national development plan.

Regional and local social development structures will be negotiated with regional and local government departments.

Existing state-subsidized voluntary welfare organisations shall be restructured to meet the principles in these policies.

There will be a comprehensive review of all existing legislation on social welfare services to ensure that such legislation is in line with the goals and principles in this policy. Voluntary welfare organisations which are subsidised by the state will have to go through a rigorous process of restructuring to comply with affirmative action principles with regard to staffing, decision- making structures and services.


Emphasis will be placed on appropriate training to address the immediate development needs at community level. The education and training of social service personnel shall be geared to developing a pool of skilled personnel that can be deployed within communities within a short period of time. Curricula at institutions will be developed within the context of the experiences and social economic and political realities of Southern Africa while retaining essential theoretical frameworks and techniques. Personnel shall be selected and trained with regard to affirmative action.


Social welfare expenditure will be channelled through the national budget of the central government. Allocations for the financing of the social services at regional and local levels will be determined according to need, the existing inequalities in service provision and the priorities determined by structures on social development. In instances where regional authorities are unable to meet projected social welfare goals or targets because of inefficient social delivery systems further funds to the regions will be dependant on measures taken to address the situation.

Private sector sponsorship of community welfare programmes shall be encouraged. In this regard community based initiatives shall be developed within an agreed, phased, coordinated programme targeting priority needs.


There shall be a continuous process of monitoring and evaluating the policy goals and the methods used to attain them.




The challenges that all countries face in realising their full potential for development, growth and democracy have been compounded in South Africa by the ravages of apartheid. Our policies for the development and conservation of our national resources – human, natural and scientific – will both address the consequences of the past and lay the basis for a different future.

The goals we have set cannot be achieved unless all people are empowered, through education and training, for active involvement as citizens in the democratic process and as workers in the economy.

We believe that education and training is a basic human right and that all individuals should have access to lifelong education and training, irrespective of race, class, gender, creed, age, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability. Furthermore, we believe that the right to education and training should be enshrined in a Bill of Rights which should establish principles and mechanisms to ensure that there is an enforceable and expanding minimum floor of entitlements for all.

The ANC`s science and technology policy will serve democracy, will not be made in secret, but with openness and maximum participation. A key objective of this policy will be to improve understanding of and democratic access to science and technology for all.


The ANC is committed to the evolution of a coherent and nationally integrated strategy for the development of our country`s human resources. Education and training policies will be integrated within the framework for economic transformation and with the strategy for the conservation of our natural resources, and with the objective of using the benefits of science and technology to the full.

The ANC believes that the state has the central responsibility for the provision of education and training. Only the state is in a position to ensure that the present inequalities are redressed. More generally, given the importance of education for social and economic development, its provision cannot be left to the market as has been the case in the past, especially in relation to industrial training.

However, organs of civil society have an important role to play in the provision of education and training. Where non-governmental agencies provide education and training, the state will ensure that this is undertaken within the framework of national education policies and principles.

It is essential that problems be looked at in an inclusive way, with a broad national vision, employing the talents and know-how of all with experience in the field. It is also important that we plan development on a step-by-step basis, concentrating our resources on realisable targets at each stage.

The ANC believes in democratic participation, not only in the development of policy in education, human resources and science and technology, but in the administration and management of institutions in these fields. We are committed to the establishment of relevant structures for such participation.




Early childhood educare

We believe that the state must develop a framework and infrastructure to address the needs of early childhood educare.

The provision and financing of early childhood educare will be undertaken by the state in conjunction with employers and the community.

School and further education

We are committed to the provision of a minimum of ten years of free and compulsory education which shall include, where possible, one year of pre-school education. This commitment is based on our belief that ten years of quality education is the minimum necessary to prepare individuals to participate in the economy and society.

We are also committed to redressing the inequalities relating to subsequent years of schooling and further education. This will be done through creating institutional and financial mechanisms that ensure:

  • Maximum flexibility and mobility between different levels of the education and training system – both formal and non- formal;
  • That students who wish to proceed beyond ten years of schooling and who do not have the means to do so will have access to financial assistance in the form of bursaries, student loans, etc.

Appropriate provision will be made for individuals with disabilities and special learning needs.

The provision of free and compulsory education will be based on equalising the per capita expenditure between black and white education. This will be done within a framework which ensures that resources are redistributed to the most disadvantaged sectors of our society, in particular, women, rural and adult students, and mentally or physically disabled children and adults.

We are committed not only to increasing the quantity (i.e. number of years) of education that individuals have access to, but also improving the quality of the education that they receive. This will require, amongst others, the adequate provision of basic resources such as equipment and textbooks, improving teacher training and development, improving teacher-pupil ratios, etc.

Marginalised youth

We are committed to creating institutional mechanisms to provide education to a level equivalent to a school-leaving certificate to meet the specific needs of the large numbers of youth who have been expelled or dropped out of the school system as a direct consequence of apartheid practices. Such mechanisms will be designed to ensure the reintegration of these youth back into the formal education system.

Adult education

We are committed to the development and provision of adult education (including general education, literacy and numeracy) to a level equivalent to a school-leaving certificate. Special programmes involving the community as a whole will have to be developed to address the problem of illiteracy, especially in the rural areas.

Employers will have the prime responsibility for providing adult basic education for those in their employ and the state will have responsibility for ensuring the delivery of adult basic education to the unemployed.

There will be a national system of standards and certificates for adult basic education and adult education in general to enable individuals to participate in, and move between, the formal and non-formal education and training system.


The administration and management of education and the development of educational policy will be governed by the principle of democracy, within a unified national education and training system. The active participation of organs of civil society in both formal and non-formal education should include teachers, students, parents and workers. Gender balances at all levels will also be redressed.

The democratisation of the education and training system can best be achieved by creating a balance between the role of the central state and that of regional and local authorities. While the central state should be responsible for the development of national policies and principles, financing education, the development of a national curriculum, and the development and maintenance of national standards, regional and local authorities should be responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of the education and training system.


The ANC believes that there should be a national core curriculum which reflects the norms and values of a non- racial, non-sexist and democratic society and which is relevant to both the needs of the individual, as well as the social and economic needs of society. We are committed to a curriculum which is based on the principles of co-operation, critical thinking and social responsibility, and which empowers individuals to participate in all aspects of society. We believe that this can best be achieved by a national curriculum which provides a general education based on integrating academic and vocational skills.

We believe that a general education, firstly, better prepares individuals to adapt to the needs of a changing and dynamic economy; and secondly, by not differentiating between different types of education, ensures equality of opportunity for all.

We believe that a national core curriculum should encourage the development of a national democratic culture which accommodates cultural and regional diversity as long as this does not conflict with national goals.

The national core curriculum will promote non-sexist values and attitudes and remove all gender stereotyping from the curriculum. The structure of the curriculum will also ensure that gender is not a criterion for access to any subject. Furthermore, special help should be available to female students to improve and extend their skills in areas from which they have been previously excluded.

A national core curriculum should be complemented by a national accreditation and certification system for both formal and non-formal education and training. This would ensure that there is maximum flexibility for horizontal and vertical mobility between different levels of the education and training system, both formal and informal.


We recognise the multilingual nature of South Africa and believe that all individuals must have access through their mother tongue and a language of wider communication to all avenues of social, political, economic and educational life.

We are committed to providing access to a minimum of two languages – a regional lingua franca and English. In cases where, firstly, there is more than one regional lingua franca access will be provided to each except where not possible because of practical constraints; and secondly, where the home language of the student differs from the regional lingua franca, access to the mother tongue will be provided except where impractical.




The ANC`s goal for Human Resources Development is full employment with a rising standard of living and quality of social and working life for all South Africans, regardless of race, sex, class, religion, creed, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability.

To ensure democratic participation, the ANC is committed to the establishment of structures in which the executive arm of the state, employers, trade unions and other organs of civil society are represented, and which will have a determining role in the setting of policies and practices for employment, training and skills development, subordinate to the supreme will of parliament.

The ANC is committed to the establishment of a nationally integrated system of education and training. All sector- specific training, including training for the public sector, welfare and sports, will take place within the national framework to ensure that skills acquired are nationally recognised, portable and contribute to career-pathing.


Provision of education and training will be linked to the development of human resources within a national development strategy aimed at the restructuring of the economy, redistribution and the democratization of society.

Such a strategy will ensure that all development programmes are pursued in a systematic, coordinated and comprehensive manner to ensure that:

  • Development programmes are sensitive to specific needs of each community, particularly with regard to the needs of women, youth, rural people and the disabled;
  • Allocation of resources in development programmes must redress deprivations and imbalances between and within different communities;
  • The provision of education and training within development programmes should have recognition within the national education and training system.


The human resources of South Africa are our greatest asset and source of national wealth. The ANC believes that without massive and consistent investment in our human resources we will not achieve the economic development and growth that we need to ensure a productive economy.

The ANC is committed to the establishment of a national training fund to promote investment in human resources development. The fund will include a levy on employers. An additional levy will be paid by employers when retrenching workers – such levies to contribute to the retraining of retrenched and unemployed workers.

There will have to be a vigorous skills upgrading programme, especially for the most disadvantaged sectors of our society, in particular women, youth and rural people. This upgrading will be fundamentally integrated with the restructuring of the economy and employment creation programmes.

The ANC is committed to the creation and development of productive employment opportunities with a living wage for all South Africans.

The ANC`s human resources policy has the objective of active labour market policies aimed at developing and directing human resources to areas of social and economic need, including rural development. This includes putting in place mechanisms which identify areas of decreasing labour needs. It will include the creation of opportunities as well as identifying existing opportunities where more people can gain useful and meaningful employment. These will ensure that workers whose employment is threatened by the introduction of new technology, new forms of work organisation or the decline of certain sectors of the economy are actively assisted and encouraged to develop the knowledge and skills needed to move to new areas of work. Communities will be encouraged to play an active role in identifying and implementing such new areas, for example, basic infrastructure.

Active labour market policies will aim at achieving full employment and will include strategies to ensure: firstly, the development of an integrated education and training system which allows people to develop to their full potential and possess employment mobility across companies and industries; and secondly, the development of a comprehensive social security system with adequate provision for unemployment and workers` compensation.

Research and development programmes will be established to support and promote these objectives, with the emphasis on rural development.

The state must ensure that a proper population census is established and proper statistics are kept in consultation with the National Labour Commission.


A National Labour Commission

We propose the establishment of a National Labour Commission, which will be composed of representatives from government, trade unions, employer organisations and other relevant organs of civil society. It would act as a central coordinating body in relation to all labour matters and would make recommendations, including draft legislation, to parliament.

The commission would deal with all matters relating to labour rights and employment practices. The commission will be empowered to devolve its powers and functions to subordinate bodies whose composition will be specific to their functions.

Affirmative action

For the short to medium term, the ANC is committed to the active implementation of affirmative action strategies as part of a code of employment practice, to redress historically disadvantaged groups and regions.

The ANC will pursue a vigorous affirmative action and restructuring programme for the public service to reflect the national composition of our population in order to meet the needs of all South Africans.

Employment policy

In implementing the development of productive employment opportunities with a living wage for all South Africans, the ANC is committed to fair and equitable recruitment and selection policies. There will be no forced labour, press ganging, or use of the apartheid migratory labour system and child labour and non-rehabilitatory prison labour will be abolished.

In ensuring the realisation of fair and equitable employment opportunities, legislation will be adopted which will outlaw all forms of discrimination in the workplace.

Health and safety

The ANC is committed to the establishment of health and safety standards that shall be enforceable, to preserve both the working and the natural environment, and will guarantee the protection, health and safety of workers in all sectors of the economy.

Legislation will be enacted to provide adequate compensation to those whose health has been damaged through inadequate health and safety practices.

Labour relations policy

The ANC`s Labour Relations Policy is aimed at fostering industrial peace and the settlement of disputes through:

  • Recognising the rights of free association of workers and their rights to representation in all structures where their interests are affected, especially the extension of these rights to farm and domestic workers;
  • Recognition of the right to strike for workers in all sectors;
  • Maintaining the system of collective bargaining and underpin collective agreements as legally binding on the different parties;
  • Recognition of the right to paid maternity and paternity leave with employment security;
  • The formulation and implementation of a Labour Relations Act which will protect the interests of all workers, including farm, domestic and public service workers;
  • The transformation of the Industrial Court system to enforce the provisions of the Labour Relations legislation;
  • The ratification of ILO conventions and the consequent respect of employer and employee rights and employment codes, as recognised by these conventions.


Our policy proposals with regard to the training, education and employment of women will address the special problems of women workers, including:

  • The recognition of women`s skills through equitable remuneration based on the principle of “equal pay for work of equal value”;
  • The training of women for skilled jobs normally performed by men;
  • Career paths for areas of “traditional” women`s work;
  • The provision of child-care facilities in training, at meetings and at work;
  • The provision of equal facilities for men and women in training and at work;
  • The development of non-sexist training materials and documentation.


A code of practice in relation to training, education and adult education, as determined by the state, together with employers, trade unions and other organs of civil society, will promote the achievement of our policy objectives. It should encompass at least the following:

  • The integration of training, education and adult education into a national system of qualifications and accreditation which allows people to transfer credits between the different systems, which is recognised and accredited by employers, and also allows people full employment mobility;
  • On-going employment advice, career guidance and counselling from basic schooling through to retirement;
  • The training of trainers and educators in an integrated national strategy to meet the needs of all sectors of the society;
  • The effective use and deployment of community members after the completion of training programmes on which they have been sent in consultation with their communities. They will feed back into the community the skills that they have gained. A data base of those who have been on such training programmes will be established and follow-up tracer studies used to enable the implementation of this.
  • Prioritising the development of an appropriate technology policy and the training of technical specialists to ensure that our economy meets the needs of all South Africans within the context of the world economy;
  • The adoption of a national policy on the importation of skills and technological know-how which will aim to lessen our dependence on these imports and increase our capacity to be self-reliant. We will actively seek the support of our international allies to achieve this goal;
  • Prioritising strategies for employment creation programmes and employment security. Within these programmes, the training of youth and women will be prioritised. Such programmes and training will include safety and protection rights.


Training will be linked to economic policy and form an integral part of the restructuring of the economy. It will be developed within the following framework.

The state together with trade unions, employers and other organs of civil society will play a central role in planning, implementing and monitoring training, with agreed procedures for selection and testing, which accord with national standards.

The effects of apartheid discriminatory policies will be redressed.

All workers will have the right to paid education and training leave. Retrenched and unemployed workers have the right to re-training to help them secure employment or contribute, with assistance, to creating employment.

Access to education and training will be made available throughout a person`s life to enable him/her to keep pace with technological changes and continually develop his or her abilities in order to achieve secure employment and a rising standard of living.

Training must be linked to an independent and agreed grading system, pay and the person`s potential. Workers must be able to advance along a career path through training. These will be determined at national level and will apply to urban and rural people, and to both formal and development linked employment.

Provision will be made for the recognition of skills which people already have. Such recognition will be linked to and integrated with the national accreditation system.




The use of technology can enhance human potential and improve the quality of life for all citizens of South Africa, thereby helping to achieve the broader socio-economic and political goals of a democratic South Africa. However, technology can also be misused, as has been the case with the apartheid regime, under which the benefits of technology have been directed to the white minority at the expense of the majority. The ANC is committed to redressing this imbalance, using science and technology for all.

Advances in science and technology cannot be achieved unless grounded in sound education and research policies, which have as their aim the maximum utilisation of the full potential of all human resources in our country and which allow for creativity in scientific and technological research and design.

A sound science and technology policy is based on the recognition that technology and technical knowledge are inputs into national economic development, on the same level as capital and labour. If these inputs are to be productive then the provision of appropriate technology must be supported by a skilled workforce which can operate that technology effectively and develop it further.

The ANC supports affirmative action to encourage all people, and particularly women and rural communities, to acquire and develop technological and science skills.


To achieve these ends South Africa requires a healthy indigenous and appropriate technological base, which is founded upon:

  • The widest possible access to programmes of education and training in scientific and technical fields at all levels;
  • Relevant, publicly accountable and efficient research and development;
  • The selective application of new technologies, especially in the areas of micro-electronics, information technology, biotechnology, new materials and medical technologies;
  • Industrial re-orientation and restructuring, to strengthen the manufacturing base;
  • The integration of trade unions and other relevant organs of civil society into the decision-making process.

To achieve these ends there is a need for the right macro-science and technology policy, covering education, training and research and the application and development of technology in all economic and social spheres.


A broad and multi-faceted programme of education and training will be promoted to foster the development of our indigenous technological base. Its aims will be:

  • To foster a climate for the growth and development of a scientifically literate and technically able society;
  • To provide high-quality, appropriate and flexible programmes in science, mathematics and technology within general education at all levels;
  • To provide ongoing accredited adult science and technology education programmes, including worker training and education, especially as regards the retraining of workers whose jobs were replaced by machines;
  • To implement affirmative action programmes to increase the numbers of scientists and engineers from amongst all our people;
  • To include an environmental perspective in science and technology training and education;
  • To include a perspective in the development and application of science and technology which is sensitive to gender specific needs, the disabled and elderly people.


Ensuring that scientific and technological knowledge are both developed and effectively applied in ways which help achieve our economic, social and developmental goals, will require concerted action along a number of paths, with these objectives:

  • To assess technology priorities in sectoral needs and to advise on policy development in those sectors;
  • To support innovation and the growth of indigenous technologies, especially by encouraging increased spending on research and development by the private sector;
  • To foster co-operation in science and technology between industry, education and research institutions, and state organisations;
  • To retain a basis of fundamental research which is internationally recognised and relevant to the long term needs of the country;
  • To identify opportunities for local expertise and locally manufactured goods in overseas markets;
  • To foster regional co-operation in science and technology.


Policy objectives compete for state funds. Science and technology policy requires the use of resources to be efficient, equitable and publicly accountable.

The ANC will review and restructure the science and technology system in consultation with the relevant organisations. The ANC will accord government a key role in technology development by establishing appropriate and powerful democratic structures to formulate policy with maximum participation. The ANC will consider establishing an independent Office of Technology Assessment.

For rural areas, appropriate (but not necessarily low-level) technology and technical training should be essential components of integrated rural development programmes.

Overall science and technology policy will be integrated with specific sectoral science and technology policies, to produce the right mix of skills, products, services and know-how for those sectors. These sectoral policies will be used directly to support the economic and social development necessary to satisfy basic needs and improve quality of life for all.

In the economic sectors, predominantly in manufacturing, mining and agriculture, technology is a direct input into the production process. Policies for Research and Development, for incremental innovation and for the protection of intellectual property rights (e.g.patents) are necessary to enable technical change to occur. The degree of protection accorded to intellectual property rights shall be consistent with the optimum requirements of our economic policy.

In the socio-economic sectors technology choice will play a major role in the equitable provision of health and education, and in infrastructure development in both urban and rural areas.

Telecommunications, energy and water resources are common to both the economic and socio-economic categories. Broad ANC policies for telecommunications, electricity and water supply incorporate the following:

  • Technology provision, social need and economic policy providing access to these essential services for all South Africans;
  • The equitable allocation of these resources between industry, agriculture and domestic consumers;
  • The democratisation of the control of utilities which provide these services.




South Africa has been a closed society, with many restrictions on the flow of information. Legislation, the structure of ownership of media resources, skills, language policy, and social deprivation have undermined access to information for the majority of the population.

The ANC believes that the transition to democracy in South Africa entails a movement from a closed society into one based on a free flow of information and a culture of open debate.

At the core of democracy lies the recognition of the right of all citizens to take part in society`s decision-making process. This requires that individuals are armed with the necessary information and have access to the contesting options they require to make informed choices. An ignorant society cannot be democratic.

The ANC asserts that mere declarations of media freedoms on their own are not enough. These freedoms must be underpinned by an equitable distribution of media resources, development programmes and a deliberate effort to engender a culture of open debate. This requires policies of affirmative action to redress the inequalities in our society.

The ANC is committed to media freedom and various mechanisms to bring it about. A Media Charter which sets out broad principles to promote these freedoms will contribute immensely to the democratic process. Elements of such a charter will find expression in a constitution and Bill of Rights; while others will be realised through relevant legislation. Still others will serve as social guidelines.

The outcome of negotiations depends on the assertion of these rights. It is crucial, therefore, to strive for these freedoms way ahead of the advent of democracy. An open negotiations process – in which the public is informed about developments and itself participates in the debates -is a necessary prerequisite for a democratic transition.


The basic principle around which our Media Charter should revolve is maximum openness within the context of a democratic constitution and Bill of Rights. Thus, for instance, it would be erroneous to advocate the setting up of bodies which determine what society should and should not read, hear or watch. Rather, judicial procedures should be effected if and when civil rights are threatened or violated. Media freedoms should be understood in the context of other citizens` rights such as the right to privacy and dignity.

The citizens` right to privacy, dignity and any other freedoms entrenched in the Bill of Rights shall not be violated in favour of the free flow of information.

The media shall strive to interact with society as a whole, and organisations, institutions and citizens shall have the right (and mechanisms) of reply regarding information and opinion published about them.

All people shall have the right of access to information held or collected by the state or other social institutions subject to any limitations provided for in a constitution and Bill of Rights.

There shall be no institutional or legislative measures restricting the free flow of information or imposing censorship over the media and other information agencies.

All people shall have the right freely to publish, broadcast and otherwise disseminate information and opinion, and shall have the right of free access to information and opinion.

All media should subscribe to a Standard of Practice and/or Code of Conduct agreed upon among the producers and distributors of public information, communications and advertising.

There shall be no restrictions on private broadcasting initiatives beyond the accepted constitutional constraints and technical regulations arising out of legislation governing media.


The forms and mediums of mass communication will take account of the diversity of communities in respect of geography, language, gender, interests and prevailing levels of literacy.

Measures will be taken to ensure that all communities have access to the technical means for the receipt and dissemination of information, including electricity, telecommunications and other facilities.

All communities will have access to the skills required to receive and disseminate information, including the skills of reading and writing.

Ownership of media resources, production facilities and distribution outlets shall be subject to anti-monopoly, anti- trust and merger legislation.

Affirmative action will be implemented to provide financial, technical and other resources to those sectors of society deprived of such means.

Affirmative action, in terms of race and gender, will be applied to allow access to and control of the media institutions. This includes ensuring the participation of women in managerial positions on these media bodies.


Media resources in the hands of the state shall be used to promote and strengthen democracy, which would include monitoring the media for gender and race bias.

The state shall maintain a public broadcasting service which shall serve society as a whole and give a voice to all sectors of the population.

Such a public broadcasting service shall be independent of the ruling party or any other interest group.

There should be structure(s) responsible for public media and this (these) should be broad-based and act as facilitator(s) to ensure fair access to air time and resources.


Society and the state shall strive to create the necessary environment in which the gathering, processing and dissemination of information can be conducted without restrictions.

Media-workers shall be protected against intimidation and other forms of pressure which inhibit their work.

Media-workers shall be protected by law from disclosing their sources of information.

Media-workers shall have the right to form or join trade unions, political and other organisations of their choice, and they shall enjoy the rights accorded to all other workers.


The state and media institutions shall provide facilities for the training and upgrading of media-workers.

In the provision of skills, account shall be taken of the need for affirmative action in favour of those who, because of racism, sexism and other discriminatory practices, are disadvantaged.

Training programmes and school curricula shall include mechanisms aimed at empowering communities in their endeavours to publish and to broadcast.

As part of civic education programmes, the state and media institutions shall strive to inform citizens and media workers about their media rights and duties.


In order to promote and monitor the realisation of these freedoms, independent structures shall be set up for defined sectors of the media, including advertisers and their agencies.

These structures shall be representative of media-owners, workers, political parties, civil society, relevant experts and others.

Standards of practice or codes of conduct are necessary to ensure the implementation of the above principles, and these shall be established through a democratic process involving the major media parties.

An Ombud shall be appointed to receive and act on complaints relating to the infringement of the above principles; and such an appointment shall also be made through a democratic process.

Society shall have the right to challenge decisions of all these structures and persons in a court of law or constitutional court.




A flourishing cultural life is vital to the well-being of South Africa. The ANC strives to facilitate and celebrate cultural production that captures the diversity, complexity and vibrancy of all South Africans. The right of all South Africans to practice their religions, uphold their cultures and speak languages of their choice should be promoted and protected.

The ANC recognises that through arts and culture a sense of national identity and pride can be cultivated. Arts and culture are thus a potentially unifying force in a country divided along ethnic and cultural lines by apartheid. Thriving and thought- provoking artistic and cultural practices can contribute to a democratic and tolerant socio-political environment. A single national department to promote arts and culture should be created. The national anthem and flag, being symbols of apartheid should be replaced by symbols of national unity. The monopoly over public symbols and names should give way to a more diverse range, representative of our whole population.

Arts and culture are not the property of any one political party or group. Consequently the ANC believes that state-funded cultural institutions should be non-sectarian. While it is the governments duty to actively support artistic and cultural production, such support must be severed from party political interest. Public funded, non-sectarian artistic and cultural institutions which serve all of South Africa`s communities and all our cultural workers are central to ANC policy. Arts Councils will be established to foster and promote the arts and to assist both professional and amateur artists and cultural workers. Such councils will allow for the representation of cultural workers.

Parastatal cultural institutions have almost exclusively promoted Eurocentric art in English and Afrikaans in the white and black communities. Arts and culture in the black communities, most notably in the rural areas, have received negligible state support. In particular, the imbalances between rural and urban areas should be addressed. ANC cultural policy aims to redress the imbalances inherent in our society in terms of race, class and gender. In particular our rich and diverse artistic traditions in the fine arts, literature and music must be nurtured and promoted, as must alternative and under-represented traditions.

Arts education and training institutions must be established and appropriate programmes must be incorporated in all educational institutions, schools, teacher training colleges, technicons and universities, with particular emphasis on black schools which have been grossly neglected in the past. Art exhibitions and performances will be included in school programmes. Where arts education has been undertaken under the present system the content has been biased in favour of Eurocentric high art and indigenous art has been denigrated. A conscious effort to promote, document and research South African and African forms of cultural expression should be made. The ANC will promote artists` and writers` associations which explore and encompass the diverse cultural values within South African society.

Arts and culture should assist in transforming customs and practices that oppress or discriminate against women. ANC policy will, through a programme of affirmative action strive to increase the participation of black people and women in all spheres of the arts and culture, including participation in the direction and management of state-funded cultural institutions.

Apartheid policies have resulted in an alarmingly high rate of illiteracy amongst the black population, especially Africans. ANC policy will strive to raise the national level of literacy and numeracy, particularly as literacy is a precondition for many forms of creative and artistic expression.

The ANC supports freedom of expression. However if a conflict arises between the principle of freedom of expression and constitutional rights, it shall be resolved by the Constitutional Court.

Cultural centres, with appropriate facilities, should be established in disadvantaged communities in order to promote all the art forms. The ANC recognises that a broad spectrum of South Africans should have the opportunity to pursue and appreciate the arts including the music, photography, fine and performing arts. In this regard access to training should be promoted.

Apartheid language policy, applied through group areas and separate education legislation has had the effect of dividing our people into ethnic groups. The ANC strives to actively promote and develop multi-lingualism as a way of building national unity. A multilingual national literature, especially in the African languages, will be promoted.

The ANC recognises the need for progressive labour and copyright laws that protect the rights of cultural workers. Together with a programme of public education, such laws will attempt to eliminate and/or monitor the breach of copyright and, in particular, record piracy.

The public broadcasting service will be required to commission and broadcast an appropriate quota of South African programmes, including those that have hitherto been excluded.


ANC policy recognises that well-stocked libraries should be established throughout the country, in both rural and urban centres, to encourage a reading culture among all our people;

ANC policy recognises that arts and crafts should be preserved, promoted and exhibited as part of our national heritage and production of arts and crafts should be supported and encouraged in our communities.

A comprehensive and accessible archive of South African photographic material, both past and present, should be created.

Heritage resources and facilities, including those previously neglected, should be popularised, preserved, democratised, be open and belong to all South Africans and should serve as community resource centres. Community needs will be integrated into the appropriately restructured management of heritage resources.

The ANC believes that a democratic state should allocate funds to the arts, which funding must be fairly and widely distributed and for the enrichment of the country, not merely for profit. Further funds for the arts should be raised from the private sector and taxes raised on local and overseas commercial exploitation of cultural products.

The ANC will encourage cultural exchange between the people of South Africa and those of the rest of the world. This exchange must take into account the views of cultural workers and associations and promote local developmental programmes and international understanding, without exploiting the local arts and culture industries.

In view of the fact that the film and video industry has been dominated by the influence of the apartheid state, the ANC believes that a National Film Council should be established. The council will be responsible for the administration of public funds set aside for the development of the film and video industry. This council shall examine the viability of establishing professional training centres in film and video and conducting research into the structure of the industry.


South Africa is a multilingual society with a large number of languages. ANC policy will recognise, protect and develop all languages and ensure that all citizens will have access to all spheres of the nation`s life.

To overcome the practical problems of multi-lingualism, it will be possible to designate a single common language to be used for record purposes or for other special use, either at the national level or in the regions. All the major languages spoken in our country should be equally available for such purposes (in alphabetical order – Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu). Other languages spoken by South Africans – such as Portuguese, Tamil, Hindi, Gujerati, Hebrew, Urdu and Arabic, and others, will be respected and promoted.

All South Africans will be free to use any South African language of their choice in dealings with the state. Within the limitations of reasonableness steps will be taken to ensure that no citizens who are illiterate or whose knowledge of a particular language is limited, will thereby be impeded in their access to public services, or in the realisation of their rights as citizens.

The removal, from all spheres of the nation`s life, of linguistic barriers to understanding and participation will require the following:

  • Language services will be developed, such as the provision of interpreting and translation;
  • All South Africans will have the right of educational access to the development of such linguistic skills, in languages of their choice, as are necessary for full participation in national, regional and local life.

ANC policy will further the development of all our languages, in all aspects of life, in order to engender respect for different languages and to prevent the use of any language or languages for the purpose of domination or division. A programme of affirmative action will be implemented in respect of languages whose status was reduced under apartheid.




ANC sports policy is closely linked to the development of the non-racial sports movement in South Africa, which we have supported. We have actively encouraged unity amongst the various non-racial codes and the establishment of umbrella sporting organisations. This has been done in the belief that sport and recreation will facilitate the promotion of national unity through developing a united national pride transcending cultural, linguistic and racial barriers, as well as enhancing international relations and friendship.

Successive governments in South Africa have systematically promoted sport in and ensured the provision of sporting and recreational facilities for the white community, to the exclusion of the majority of black people in the country. In spite of this, many disadvantaged sports persons have made commendable achievements. The ANC will be guided by policies of affirmative action for the benefit of all people, with particular emphasis on disadvantaged communities. Key to redressing imbalances will be an extensive, integrated and sustained sports development strategy. Development is thus central to ANC sport and recreation policy.


Participation in sport and recreation is a right of each and every person and not a privilege. Facilities and opportunities in sport and recreation must be open to all, irrespective of age, physical condition, class and gender.

These principles can only be realized through development programmes which are expressly aimed at facilitating increased participation in sport and recreation in the black communities, villages and rural areas across the country. This requires programmes aimed at the development of grassroots sport. It is therefore imperative that sport and recreational facilities be an integral part of all community development programmes.

The development of sport in our communities will contribute to the health, general quality of life and productivity of the population as a whole.

Sport is also an effective means through which to redress gender inequalities and discrimination against the disabled. The ANC, in line with its other affirmative action policies on gender, will promote the participation of women in different sports codes, administration, training and advancement. This will be done with the intention of breaking the past racial privilege and domination of men in particular sports.


The democratic state, through a ministry of sport and recreation, will be responsible for the promotion of sport and recreation by providing facilities at educational and community centres as well as institutions for the disabled.

The autonomy of the sports movement will be guaranteed and legislation protecting individual sports persons, codes and organisations from political manipulation, will be established.

The government shall appoint a statutory body, a National Sports Commission, for the purpose of regulating the promotion and development of sport and recreation.

The National Sports Commission will liaise closely with all national sports organisations for the advancement of these objectives.


The National Sports Commission, acting in concert with the relevant organs of civil society will be entrusted to set up sports academies for the training of sportspersons, administrators, coaches and other officials.

Educational institutions will be provided with qualified teachers responsible for physical education and recreation as sport will be an integral part of the curriculum.

Clear guidelines will be drawn up regarding the sponsorship of sports development, aimed at correcting the imbalances within underprivileged communities. The private sector will be encouraged, through the provisions of incentives, to sponsor sports development.

Provision should be made by management to encourage full worker participation in sport and arrangements for those who excel in specific competitive codes should be made with the unions concerned so that his/her performance is not impaired by work conditions.

The National Sports Commission shall establish a national rural sport and recreation development programme to redress the historical neglect of black rural communities with regard to sport and recreation facilities and activities.


As a result of apartheid most sports codes are non- existent or weak within the black community. This has a retarding effect on development and the unification process. In the transitional period the ANC`s attitude towards sport is guided by the following:

  • Continued facilitation, encouragement and monitoring of the unity process on national, regional and local level, the existence of concrete affirmative action developmental programmes and agreement on symbols not associated with apartheid as prerequisites for admission into the world sports family;
  • Ensuring the democratisation and de-racialisation of the sports movement in line with the Olympic Charter and principles of international federations;
  • Regular and consistent consultation with the various sports bodies to enable us to develop acceptable policy to ensure that all present sports development plans be carried out with a clear view to correcting the imbalances caused by apartheid;
  • The typical focus and promotion in the South African media and advertising during peak recreation times, of traditionally male sport, excludes most women from enjoying their right to sport and recreation. The ANC should strive to address this issue with the intention of promoting non- sexism in sport and recreation.




For several decades the apartheid regime has relied on its formidable police, defence and intelligence structures to maintain the system of apartheid and minority rule and to suppress popular resistance to that system. As a result of its Total Strategy, the whole of the South African state and society became militarized.

National security was pursued primarily through military and paramilitary means. The effects of this approach to security are evident: high levels of violence and crime, economic decline, regional arms races, destabilization and perpetual insecurity throughout the sub-continent.

The South African security institutions themselves developed a racist, closed, secretive, undemocratic structure, lacking legitimacy in the eyes of the people. The process of democratization under way in our country will not be complete without addressing this problem.

On the other hand, Umkhonto we Sizwe – the People`s Army – represented the cutting edge in the struggle for a non-racial and democratic society. Viewed by the majority of South Africans as a liberating force, its popular support was demonstrated at countless rallies, marches and demonstrations.

The challenge is to address not only the security institutions and their composition, but also to go deeper and address the very nature of security policy itself. The basic principles underpinning such a policy should be based on a realistic assessment of threats to peace, territorial integrity and personal security.


The ANC believes that national and regional security should not be restricted to military, police and intelligence matters, but as having political, economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Underdevelopment, poverty, lack of democratic participation and the abuse of human rights are regarded as grave threats to the security of people. Since they invariably give rise to conflict between individuals, communities and countries, they threaten the security of states as well.

The ANC is committed to the following principles which underpin a new approach to security in a democratic South Africa:

  • South Africa shall be committed to resolving internal and external conflict, primarily through non-violent means;
  • National security and personal security shall be sought primarily through efforts to meet the social, political, economic and cultural needs of the people;
  • South Africa shall pursue peaceful and co-operative relations with neighbouring states;
  • The security institutions shall be bound by the principle of civil supremacy and subject to public scrutiny and open debate;
  • The security institutions shall reflect the national and gender composition of South African society. In this regard, a programme of affirmative action shall be implemented;
  • The security institutions shall be accountable and answerable to the public through a democratically elected parliament;
  • The security institutions shall respect human rights, non- racialism and democracy, and act in a non-discriminatory manner towards the citizenry;
  • The security institutions shall be politically non- partisan;
  • The role of the security forces shall not be usurped by private security companies. The private security industry shall be regulated with a view to ensuring that the industry performs its functions in a manner that is consistent with democracy;
  • Members of any existing security institution shall be eligible to serve in the new institutions should they accept the new constitution and are committed to its values.


The ANC is committed to the formation of a new Defence Force which shall enjoy legitimacy in the eyes of the entire population. The primary role of the Defence Force shall be the defence of the country`s sovereignty and territorial integrity:

  • To act in support of the civilian authority in socio- economic reconstruction and in the case of natural disasters;
  • To fulfil their obligations in accordance with international agreements.
  • The principles of the new approach to defence include the following:
  • South Africa shall have only one Defence Force which all South Africans of the age of eighteen and over shall be entitled to join;
  • The Defence Force shall at all times uphold and adhere to the constitution;
  • There will be civil supremacy over the armed forces and they shall be accountable to the public through parliament;
  • The Defence Force shall respect the ideals of democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism, national unity and national reconciliation;
  • The Defence Force shall endeavour to reflect the national and gender composition of South African society. In regard to recruitment, training, deployment and promotions, a programme of affirmative action shall be implemented;
  • The Defence Force shall be politically non-partisan;
  • The Defence Force shall respect and uphold the Bill of Rights;
  • The Defence Force shall respect the rights of the soldier as citizen;
  • No member of the Defence Force shall hold office in any political party;
  • There shall be no conscription in the new Defence Force, save where in exceptional and extreme situations, parliament authorises such conscription and in which event the rights of conscientious objectors shall be respected;
  • The Defence Force shall be bound by international law treaties and conventions governing the use of force and the conduct of war;
  • The Defence Force shall be defensive in its character, orientation and its strategy, and its force levels will be adjusted accordingly;
  • South Africa shall be committed to resolving conflicts primarily through non-violent means;
  • The Defence Force shall be bound and guided by a code of conduct based on universally accepted democratic principles;
  • The Defence Force shall not be engaged in any internal policing role except in extreme circumstances and where so authorised specifically by parliament;
  • The Defence Force shall strive for high professional standards;
  • Foreign nationals shall not be allowed to be members of the Defence Force.


The ANC is committed to the creation of a single police service. The primary function of policing will be the prevention of crime and to guarantee the personal security of citizens and the free and peaceful exercise of their rights as defined in the constitution. The principles governing the new police service, which shall also be inculcated in their training shall be the following:

  • The police service shall respect the ideals of democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism, national unity and reconciliation and act in a non-discriminatory fashion. The police shall be non-partisan and no member of the service shall hold office in any political party;
  • Policing shall be based on community support and participation;
  • Police shall be accountable to society and the community it serves through its democratically elected institutions;
  • There shall be a professional police code governing standards and suitability of membership to the service, and a code of conduct to which the police shall adhere;
  • Policing priorities shall be determined in consultation with the communities they serve;
  • Policing shall be structured as a non-militarised service function;
  • The police service shall carry out its work primarily through non-violent means;
  • Policing shall be subject to public scrutiny and open debate;
  • Allegations of police misconduct shall be dealt with by independent complaints and investigations mechanisms;
  • Members of the service shall be entitled to form and join employee organisations, of their choice, representing their interests;
  • The police service shall strive for high performance standards.


The ANC believes that the role of the national intelligence agency shall be to gather, collate and evaluate information that pertains to the security of the state and its citizenry. The role of the intelligence service shall be to act in the interests of the country as a whole. The principles of intelligence shall be the following:

  • The national intelligence agency will be responsible for gathering, collating and evaluating strategic information that pertains to the security of the state and the citizenry;
  • The national intelligence agency shall respect the rights of all South Africans to engage in lawful political activity;
  • Intelligence activities shall be regulated by relevant legislation, the Bill of Rights, the constitution and an appropriate Code of Conduct;
  • All intelligence institutions will be accountable to parliament and subject to parliamentary oversight;
  • The public shall have the right to information gathered by any intelligence agency subject to the limitations of classification consistent with an open and democratic South Africa;
  • The national intelligence agency shall be politically non- partisan;
  • The national intelligence agency shall guard the ideals of democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism, national unity and reconciliation and act in a non-discriminatory way;
  • The composition of the national intelligence agency shall reflect the racial and gender composition of South Africa, and affirmative action programmes shall be implemented to this end.




South Africa has a large youth population. ANC policies will fully recognise this important section of our society, with specific emphasis on the marginalised youth.

South African youth has an important role to play during the transitional period. Special attention should therefore be given to the continued mobilisation of youth for the speedy attainment of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.


The ANC believes that society has a responsibility to develop and nurture its youth, to allow them to reach their full potential in order to make a meaningful contribution as individuals and as members of society. Their resourcefulness, energy and enthusiasm must be harnessed to allow them to play their meaningful role in our in our country.

The basic values for our youth policy are democracy, non- racialism, respect for human dignity, non-sexism, tolerance and all values encompassed in the general ANC policies.

The objectives of our youth policy include the following:

  • Address the problems faced by youth who have been directly marginalised by apartheid, including young exiles and political prisoners, with particular emphasis on the immediate issues of education, unemployment and violence;
  • Promote the development of all South Africa`s youth and implement policies which will prevent the recurrence of the marginalisation of our young people in the future;
  • Focus programmes on the socio-economic development of the youth;
  • Develop guiding principles for all governmental and non- governmental organisations (NGOs) consistent with the above values in our society;
  • Set in place an autonomous, broad and representative structure of youth to coordinate and develop youth activities;
  • Encourage a spirit of understanding and respect between the young and old, parents and children.


Our youth policy also has the objective to entrench and promote the rights of young people in all spheres of our society, in particular:

  • The right to be represented in relevant decision-making structures of the state and other structures, at all levels;
  • The right to education and to seek answers;
  • Protection against violence, crime and abuse;
  • The right to health;
  • The right to recreation and leisure;
  • The right to a stable family life and good care;
  • The right to develop to their full potential;
  • The promotion of youth employment;
  • The full social integration of young disabled persons;
  • The right to work within a safe and healthy environment;
  • The right to live in peace and friendship;
  • Freedom of belief, cultural expression and language;
  • Recognition of the rights of children as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Children`s Rights.


The youth policy will recognise the obligations of South African youth to make an active contribution to the development of society, in particular:

  • A patriotic obligation to work for reconciliation and to promote a common South African identity;
  • A democratic obligation to participate actively in the political, social and economic life of the country, to combat discrimination and racism, and to promote democratic values;
  • An obligation to acquire skills and to play a productive role in the economic reconstruction and development of the country.


To foster links with youth in the Southern African region, the African continent and the world in the spirit of friendship, co- operation and solidarity.

To ensure that youth play a role in shaping foreign policy.




The foreign policy of a democratic South Africa will be primarily shaped by the nature of its domestic policies and objectives directed at serving the needs and interests of our people.

A democratic South Africa`s foreign policy will further be influenced by the emergence of a New World Order whose major elements include the collapse of the socialist community of states and the emergence of a uni-polar world, whose features include the increased influence of the U.S. and its allies in world affairs, as well the division of the world essentially into three major economic blocs, namely: the U.S.-led North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA); the European Economic Bloc; and the Japanese-led East Asian Economic Sphere.

These developments, in turn, have resulted in a growing discrepancy between the developed and developing countries and, in particular, the marginalisation of Africa.

A democratic South Africa will be non-aligned and will not affiliate to any international military blocs.

A democratic South Africa will actively promote international cooperation to promote environmental conservation.


The foreign policy of the Apartheid regime was an extension of its oppressive and violent nature. Isolated by the international community, it pursued every means to circumvent such isolation. Where it could, it appealed to narrow self-interest in order to undermine its isolation. Where it could not, it resorted to coercion, destabilisation and military aggression.

ANC policy will contribute to the democratisation of international political and economic relations, and so help secure a global context within which a democratic South Africa will be able to coexist peacefully and to cooperate on a democratic basis with its neighbours in the region and further afield.


A democratic South Africa will actively promote the objectives of democracy, peace, stability, development, and mutually- beneficial relations among the people of Africa as a whole, as well as a Pan African solidarity.

A democratic South Africa will establish relations with all countries, and join such international organisations as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the Non-Aligned Movement, and assume its responsibilities in the United Nations, as well as rejoin the Commonwealth.

A democratic South Africa will continue as a member of the International Monetary Fund ((IMF) and the World Bank, as well as seek membership of the African Development Bank (ADB).

Relations with these and other international financial institutions will be conducted in such a way as to protect the integrity of domestic policy formulation, and to promote the interests of the South African population and economy.

A democratic South Africa will ensure that it remains a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as a token of its resolve and commitment to help create a world free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction. In this context, it will seek to promote the Africa and the Indian Ocean as nuclear-free zones and areas free of foreign military forces and bases.

A democratic South Africa will abide by the relevant covenants and treaties relating to the peaceful use of outer space, international waters and air-space, and will engage in multilateral cooperation in the exploration and conservation of the universe.


Inter-African relations will continue to be built on the basis of regional cooperation, as is expressed by such organisations as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

South African membership of regional organisations will have to be predicated on the elaboration of an agreement by all countries in the region, which will ensure balanced regional development, so that the inclusion of South Africa in these organisations does not impact adversely on the economies of the member countries. The democratic South Africa will therefore move away from the position asserted by the white, minority regime, that South Africa must be recognised as a dominant regional power.

A democratic South Africa will rationalise its armed forces in conformity with its defence needs.


A democratic South Africa will aim for the establishment of a professional foreign service, in which training, employment equity and affirmative action will be important components for the attainment of high standards of service.

A democratic South Africa will establish and maintain a comprehensive foreign information policy and service.