South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Policy Documents


1 March 2009



The ANC’s 2009 Election Manifesto is drawn from the Policy Framework set out in this document. The Policy Framework provides further detail and elaboration of the ANC ‘s commitments contained in the Manifesto.

Our 2009 Manifesto is guided by the Freedom Charter; the ANC Strategy and Tactics; the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP); the Constitution of South Africa; relevant resolutions and policies of 52nd ANC National Conference (Polokwane); the 2008 January 8th NEC Statement and the 15 Year Review of Government.

The ANC NEC and its Sub-Committees have further elaborated on the Polokwane policy resolutions and this has involved extensive consultation with the Alliance Partners, especially through the Alliance Summit held in May 2008, the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) Summit in September 2008, and the Alliance Economic Summit held in October 2008.

The ANC launched a public manifesto campaign in November 2008 entitled “MY ANC; MY VISION; MY FUTURE” which invited the public to submit suggestions on what the Manifesto should contain.

The ANC leaders have interacted with many of our people in public meetings and have visited many homes as part of the process of developing the Manifesto.

The Manifesto Policy Conference was held from 29th November to 30th November 2008 and was attended by our constitutional structures, Alliance partners and various sectors of our society.

Publicly launched on the 10th January 2009 during our 97th January 8th Anniversary Celebrations, the Manifesto mandate will be translated into a government Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2009-2014 period.


The 2009 Election Manifesto outlines the leading contribution of the ANC, working together with its Alliance Partners and all our people, in championing the progressive and democratic traditions and values of our Movement, nationally and internationally.

We make reference to our principled and consistent struggle for nation building; support and respect for basic human and democratic rights; for socio-economic rights; and the strengthening and deepening of both representative and participatory democracy.

We emphasise the capacity of the ANC, as the National Liberation Movement, to bring together all our people behind a common programme of transformation of society. The ANC has earned this leadership capacity through decades of struggle, superiority of its ideals and policies and through its practice of working together with various sectors of our society.

The 2009 Election Manifesto highlights many social and economic achievements of the ANC government over the last 15 years. We also note many social and economic issues which still need to be addressed. The key message from the ANC’s accumulated experience is that of working together with our people for more and faster change. Thus the theme: Working together we can do more!

In particular, our Manifesto reflects on the major challenges facing our society – high unemployment, poverty, deepening inequality and rural marginalisation.

In particular, our Manifesto reflects on the major challenges facing our society – high unemployment, poverty, deepening inequality and rural marginalisation. As a response to these challenges our Manifesto identifies the following five priority areas of the ANC government in the next five years:

  • Creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods;
  • Education;
  • Health;
  • Crime;
  • Rural development, including land reform, and food production and security.

A number of strategies and policies are brought together to make the best use of all our resources to address these five priority areas.

In this regard, the creation and retention of decent work and sustainable livelihoods will be the primary focus of all economic policies of the ANC government. It also means that there must be a direct connection between the economic programmes and the developmental priorities of the ANC government. Economic policies must support the developmental priorities and in turn development priorities must support the economic programme.

Key to addressing these priorities is the integration of economic growth with development, and the building of an effective developmental state, with the capacity to co-ordinate planning throughout government. One of the defining features of a developmental state is the state’s intervention in the economy, in favour of the needs of society as a whole. A key instrument for state intervention will be a state-led industrial policy programme that will guide key aspects of economic transformation, supported by an appropriate and sustainable macro-economic policy stance, as well as trade and labour market policies.

Our priorities will specifically target the needs of the workers, youth, women, rural masses and people with disabilities.

In addition to the key development priorities identified above, the Manifesto will emphasize the need to maintain, and where necessary, expand existing social policies and programmes. This will include programmes on housing, water, sanitation, social security, sports, arts and culture. Our role and responsibilities on the international front are also mapped out.

It is recognised that these programmatic goals will be pursued under present conditions nationally, regionally and internationally which are not of our own choosing. We refer particularly to the current global financial crisis and the unfolding global recession and the impact these will have on our domestic economy.

Careful consideration has been taken to ensure that our Manifesto does not contain a list of empty promises designed to win votes in the elections, but that our plan can be successfully financed and therefore be achievable in the next five years or more. The undertakings in the Manifesto are therefore underpinned by the ANC’s commitment to act decisively to protect the interests of our people and our economy, in the face of these international economic challenges.

The 2009 Manifesto is also the ANC plan to mobilize all our people and all the resources to accelerate progress in building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

In the following paragraphs we expand on these key features of the Manifesto.



Throughout its proud history, the ANC has been committed to building national unity against all forms of tribalism, racism, and sexism. From our beginning the ANC held together the unity of the African people in their struggle for freedom and dignity. We moved on to embrace the unity of all South Africans irrespective of their race, culture or religion. In the 1955 Freedom Charter, we declared that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, both black and white.

Through the Freedom Charter we were projecting a different vision from that of our apartheid past, a past which sought to divide our people along racial and gender lines and trap the overwhelmingly majority of the population in conditions of poverty, and social, economic and political exclusion.

The end of white minority rule on April 27, 1994 was a historic breakthrough in the ANC struggle to build national unity.

Fifteen years into our democracy, the ANC, working together with many sectors of our people, has been seized with the task of nation building. Central to this task has been the fight against unemployment, poverty and inequalities in our society. It also has included the struggle against xenophobic discrimination.

The collective celebration of our cultural and sporting achievements is part of building a sense of national pride and patriotism.

The Constitution

The challenge of building common nationhood, a common citizenship and a more equal society is today enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic – one of the most progressive and democratic Constitutions in the world.

The ANC has a long-standing tradition of advancing basic human and democratic rights, which were denied to the overwhelming majority of our people and for which many fought and died. Not only were our people treated without dignity by white minority rule, but they were also excluded from the political and economic power centres in our country.

The progressive and democratic ideals of our movement are embodied in the 1955 Freedom Charter and the 1996 Constitution. Throughout our struggle we have been consistent and principled in our support and respect for human rights, the independence of the judiciary, and a multi-party democracy with vibrant elected legislatures.

The peaceful nature of our transition and 15 years of uninterrupted stability, largely thanks to the ANC, has enabled us to build and put in place strong democratic institutions.

Our country’s Constitution enshrines “second-generation rights” for all South Africans including the right to food, education, health, water, housing and so on. Since 1994 the ANC government has taken active steps to ensure progressive realisation of these rights.

However much more still needs to be done to ensure that the human and basic democratic rights provided in the Constitution are strengthened and made effective. This will involve continuing transformation of the judiciary to ensure that it is more representative and accessible to all. It will involve the strengthening of the oversight role of National Parliament and Provincial Legislatures. The ANC has taken active steps in this direction, including the repeal of floor crossing and the introduction of legislation to empower Parliament to amend the budget.1

Participatory Democracy

Many of the progressive and democratic principles of the country’s Constitution will not be effectively implemented without active mobilisation and participation of all our people.

The ANC takes as its starting point the Freedom Charter clause: “The people shall govern”. Democracy is more than electing representatives to power once every five years. It means empowering people, especially women; workers; youth and rural people, to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Our country’s Constitution encourages active citizen participatory democracy and empowerment in people’s lives through social cohesion. Working together with the ANC government, many of our people are involved daily in their communities in efforts to fight crime through community policing forums, to transform our schools and hospitals through school governing bodies and hospital boards etc. But more needs to be done to deepen and broaden this participation.

Together with our people, the ANC government will continue to provide necessary support to the building and strengthening of the institutions of popular democracy and social cohesion.

Various sectors of our society – the workers, women, youth, disabled, business, religious, traditional leadership and other sectors and organisations will be mobilised behind a common programme of nation-building, economic growth and development and the deepening of our democracy.


Our approach to 2004 elections, under the statement “a people’s contract to create work and fight poverty”, was based on the core objectives of increasing employment and reducing poverty.

The 2004 Manifesto mandate was translated into the government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2004-2009.

Significant progress has been made in transforming our economy and society since 1994. We can record the following:

  • We have the longest economic growth and expansion recorded in South African history. From 1994 to 2003 the economy grew at an average of 3% to 5% per annum. The country’s investment as a share of GDP rose from 15% in 2002 to more than 22% by 2008.
  • Unemployment has decreased from 31% in 2003 to 23% in 2007, using the official narrow definition. This has translated into 500,000 new jobs being created annually since 2004. However unemployment remains unacceptably high.
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) coverage has been expanded to include nearly a million domestic workers and farm workers. Access to social grants has massively increased from 3 million people in 1997 to 12.5 million in 2008, 8 million of whom are children under 14 years;
  • 3.1 million subsudised houses were built, including 2.7 million houses, giving shelter to an additional 14 million people.
  • 18.7 million people have access to clean water and 10.9 million provided with sanitation. The number of households with the bucket system reduced from 605 675 in 1994 to 113 085 in 2007.
  • The expansion of electricity has reached 80% of the population.
  • In health, progress has been recorded through the expansion of free primary health care. We have expanded health infrastructure, including the building and upgrading of 1,600 clinics and 18 new hospitals. Many public hospitals have been revitalized and refurbished. We have increased the Anti Retroviral Treatment rollout programme with more than 480,000 people enrolled. There were a number of successful initiatives to combat smoking.
  • In education, access to our primary and secondary schooling has reached near-universal enrolment, with the participation of girls being the highest in the world. A total of 98% of children aged from 7 to 15 years are enrolled in schools; 88% for 6 years olds; and participation rate for children in early childhood development aged 4 and 5, (Grade R) has now reached 70%.

Pupil-to-teacher ratios have improved from 43:1 in 1996 to 32:1 in 2006.

The mass literacy campaign is now covering more than 500,000 of our people who could not read and write.

We are well within target to ensure South Africa is free of illiteracy by 2014.

In higher education, since 1994, 140,000 students have benefited from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which is aimed at improving participation of students from poor and working class communities in higher education.

It has been 15 years of advancing worker rights. The workers have benefited from the generation of progressive labour legislation and social security benefits. We have introduced laws to protect workers, create machinery to negotiate wages and working conditions, set minimum wages for domestic workers, farm workers, and hospitality sector and established maximum hours of work for all. We introduced affirmative action laws and legislation to promote skills development.

It has been 15 years of struggle for gender-equality. 30% of all our parliamentarians, provincial legislature and councillors are women and 43% in cabinet. ANC policy will further increase women representation in parliament and government to 50% by 2009. A number of laws and policies were enacted to empower women, to improve the quality of their lives and opened up space for their voices to be heard on matters concerning their lives. More importantly, opportunities for women to access basic services and social, economic and political opportunities have been actively promoted.

It has been 15 years of struggle for gender-equality. 30% of all our parliamentarians, provincial legislature and councillors are women and 43% in cabinet. ANC policy will further increase women representation in parliament and government to 50% by 2009. A number of laws and policies were enacted to empower women, to improve the quality of their lives and opened up space for their voices to be heard on matters concerning their lives. More importantly, opportunities for women to access basic services and social, economic and political opportunities have been actively promoted.1 2The impact of these economic and social policies has seen significant reduction in the level of severe poverty and an improvement in the quality of life of millions of South Africans. Significant progress has been made toward the vision of creating a united, non-racial and non-sexist society.

Our country has become more cohesive and we have collectively celebrated achievements in sport, especially being awarded the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During this period we became Rugby World Champions, Angling World Champions and world class Paralympians, whose performance contributed to national pride at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

On the international front, the ANC government has strengthened the country’s role in peace, reconstruction and development, especially on the African continent. Our international responsibilities and recognition has also grown. Our membership of the United Nations Security Council provided the opportunity to promote peace. Strategic partnerships with major countries of the South (China, India and Brazil) were strengthened. We have also been active in international global forums, such as the Group of 20 industrial countries, to advance the South African and African development agenda.


Despite major achievements of the last 15 years, much more needs to be done. Many households and communities, including single-headed and child-headed communities, remain trapped in poverty.

Unemployment remains unacceptably high. Related to this has been a growth in casualised, sub-contracted and outsourced labour, aggravated by the growth of labour brokers.

 Inequality has increased, with a growing number of working poor whilst at the same time the workers share of national income has been declining. Accompanying high unemployment and inequality is the rising cost of living for many of our people

Therefore, the Manifesto will place the large-scale creation of decent work opportunities at the centre of our economic agenda, to deal with the triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty

The rural areas remain divided. There are well-developed white commercial farming areas and impoverished rural communities. Land and agrarian reforms have not produced the desired results.

While there have been significant achievements in quantitative terms, much more needs to be done to qualitatively transform our education and health sectors.

There is consensus that crime has become a national concern and that not enough has been done to fight crime and corruption and transform our criminal justice system.

The socio-economic challenges are closely bound with our task of nation building. Part of the nation-building process is the struggle against xenophobia, which has raised its ugly head in recent years.

While significant progress has been achieved, the objectives and priorities of government have not been completely achieved. In some areas, we have not met the objectives we have set ourselves, particularly in terms of reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality. While there has been progress in transforming our economy, the benefits of economic growth have not been broadly shared. From our review of the progress made since our 2004 Election Manifesto, we have identified key priority areas for the development of the 2009 Election Manifesto.

We have also taken into account the changing international conditions, particularly the on-going global financial crisis and the reality of global economic recession, whose impact on our domestic economy through a slowdown in production, potential job losses, rising prices etc – cannot be ignored. We need to identify measures required to protect our economy and advance the goals we have set ourselves, despite these conditions.

The space to engage on policies and theories has opened up because of international recognition of the failure of policies such as neo-liberalism, liberalisation and deregulation and a new acceptance of the key economic role of the state.

Our country is vulnerable to the current account deficit, which has been widening in recent years. Structural transformation is required to address this imbalance, including measures to increase domestic production and cut back on unnecessary imports.

Even though the impact of the current financial crises has not significantly affected the financial sector in South Africa there are worrying signs of its impact upon our economy as illustrated by threatened and actual job losses; rapidly falling commodity prices such as platinum and gold and a declining demand for our exports. If decisive action is not taken, these conditions could lead to a contraction or recession in key sectors, with a serious impact on the mining and retail sectors and certain manufacturing sectors.

Various countries are developing large-scale rescue and stimulus packages for their economies. We too need to develop a package suitable to our conditions. These challenges underline the need for continuity and change in policy development and the need for faster change.

These challenges also require decisive leadership and programme implementation that will minimise the negative impact of global recession. It will however also affect our ability to be flexible in the implementation of our social and economic programme.


The ANC 52nd National Conference identified five priority areas for the next ANC government:

  • creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods,
  • health,
  • education,
  • crime and
  • rural development, including land reform, food production and security.

To address these developmental priorities, the ANC government will build on the economic and social progress of the last 15 years to deal with the challenges that lie before us. Primarily we will ensure that we work towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic development path, which will enable us to address these priorities.

One of the key instruments for achieving economic growth that creates decent work and sustainable livelihoods and addresses basic needs, is the building of an effective developmental state.

The state will be at the centre of development and sharply improve our planning and coordination capacity throughout government by means of a planning entity within a reconfigured cabinet system. This will involve, amongst others, the coordination of the gender machinery throughout government including possible establishment of a Women’s Ministry.

An important aspect of a successful developmental state is investment in public sector workers and in turn our people expect that they execute the tasks with which they have been entrusted. This means that the right personnel should be placed in the correct positions and where this is not the case; government should have the capacity to implement corrective measures, either through training and redeployment where warranted.

The Manifesto priorities:-


The Freedom Charter says that:

The state shall recognize the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;

Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;

There shall be a forty-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers;

Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work;

Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.

The expansion of our economy in the last six years has developed at a faster rate than new entrants to job market. However, unemployment remains unacceptably high and the present slowdown in economic growth will have a direct impact on the growth rate of employment and requires us to act decisively. Further, the quality of jobs which have been created has not yet met our goal of creating decent work.

In addition to the unemployed, there are many who are underemployed. The decline in the quality of jobs has led to the growth of the working poor as more labour is casualised and outsourced. Inequalities have also widened with the workers share of national income declining.

The ANC is committed to building a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive economic growth path, centred on the creation of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods. We need to ensure that the majority of our people benefit meaningfully from economic growth.

Decent work is broadly defined by International Labour Organisation (ILO) as work that provides for workers rights and adequate protection by legislation, and provides for access to social security and social dialogue

Decent work is the foundation of the fight against poverty and inequality and its promotion should be the corner-stone of all our efforts. Decent work embraces both the need for more jobs and for better quality jobs.

Coordination and integration

The creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods will be the primary and overriding objective shaping other policies from industrial and trade policy; to macro-economic policy; labour market policy and skills development.

Building a sustainable and labour-intensive growth and development path

The developmental state will play a central and strategic role in the economy, by directly investing in under-developed areas, directing and promoting public and private sector investment to support a sustainable and labour-intensive growth path.

State-led industrial, agricultural and trade policies will underpin the development of a macroeconomic framework that supports growth and employment. These include: measures to ensure large-scale investment in the productive sectors of the economy; public investment in creating and maintaining strategic economic and social infrastructure; the improvement of human resources through investments in skills-building, education and health; engaging in trade negotiations for reforms that support development objectives; and establishing and strengthening institutions to support innovation, research and development and agricultural activities.

Our macro-economic policy stance

Our macro-economic policy over the next five years is informed by the priorities that have been set by the ANC 52nd National Conference. The monetary and fiscal policy framework that government will operate is structured to provide for accelerating growth, creating decent work opportunities, developing and growing the economy whist continuing the transformation of the economy.

This means that over the next 5 years, the macro-economic policy will decisively address the most significant obstacles that limit the pace of employment creation and poverty eradication and will intervene in favour of a more sustainable and inclusive growth for all South Africans.

Our fiscal and monetary policy mandates including interest rates and exchange rates need to take into account employment considerations, economic growth and other developmental imperatives.

Measures to promote decent work and sustainable livelihoods

To achieve the objectives of decent work and sustainable livelihoods and to ensure a labour-intensive growth path, the ANC government will pursue well resourced and strengthened state-led industrial policy programme by:

  • a major upscaling of industrial policy with significant resources. To do this Government will use all means at its disposal to leverage productive assets in the economy, to achieve decent work outcomes, to meet basic needs, promote technological innovation and improve beneficiation and local value;
  • investing in research and development programmes and information communication technology;
  • supporting investment in the productive sectors, especially manufacturing and agricultural production;
  • targeting labour-intensive production sectors and encouraging activities that have high employment opportunities.
  • completing the review of the mandates of the development finance institutions to ensure that they are clear and truly developmental and that their programmes contribute to investment finance, job creation and sustainable livelihoods; and
  • providing systematic support for the co-operative sector by way of a dedicated support institution and small business.

The ANC government will also use its leverage through: procurement; the budget; taxation; state owned enterprises etc. In particular industrial policy will be used to channel investment and promote the creation of decent work in the private sector.

ANC government will ensure that the mining and agriculture sectors contribute to the beneficiation programmes, to translate the natural wealth of the country into decent work opportunities in manufacturing and services. Tourism and other services will be supported to expand work for our people.

As part of industrial policy, government will commit resources to ensure sustainable and secure provision of sufficient energy to meet the country’s economic and developmental needs and pursue an energy mix that includes clean and renewable sources. This will involve support measures that develop and invest in industries and facilities that are designed to mitigate the effects of climate change and create a large number of “green jobs”.

Our government has called upon all citizens to become part of a national movement to conserve electricity in their residential areas and workplaces, whilst ensuring that key functions, safety and security are not compromised.

A massive public sector investment will play a critical role in employment creation and sustainable livelihoods through the:

  • expansion of public sector employment, targeting the youth;
  • expanded public works programme; and
  • provision of social and economic infrastructure in rural and urban areas.

The ANC government will launch a much larger national youth service programme and a new national youth development agency, focusing on access to funding and employment creation, which will be linked to skills development opportunities and build decent work opportunities for young people.

ANC Government will continue to work with the private sector to create an environment for more labour-intensive production methods, procurement policies and building public-private partnerships.

There will be a need for continued government’s engagement with the private financial sector to facilitate its transformation and diversification, including the development of co-operative financial institutions, as well as ensuring that the sector contributes to the investment and development goals of the country.

In order to avoid exploitation of workers and ensure decent work for all workers as well as to protect the employment relationship, introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and out-sourcing, address the problem of labour broking and prohibit certain abusive practices,. Provisions will be introduced to facilitate unionisation of workers and conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers in these different legal relationships and ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers. Procurement policies and public incentives will include requirements to promote decent work.

ANC government will vigorously implement broad-based economic empowerment and affirmative action policies and adjust them to ensure that they benefit more broad sections of our people, especially the workers, youth, women and people with disabilities.

An effective public transport system will be required to address the legacy of apartheid planning which led our people to travel long distances to their place of work and spend a large share of their income on transport. Most of the unemployed cannot even afford to pay for transport to search for jobs. As South Africa moves into the 2010 World Cup, government will continue to pursue to roll out a public transport strategy, starting with the host cities, which addresses the needs of working people.

The current global financial crisis and the unfolding global recession impress upon us to work even harder to ensure that our people are cushioned against economic downturn.

Whilst South Africa was relatively insulated from the global financial market collapse, thanks to our sound regulatory environment, credit legislation and exchange control regime, we are part of the global economy and the effects of the international credit crisis is being felt in our domestic economy and requires counter measures to protect ourselves especially in the manufacturing sector.

Under the present economic climate, government will act decisively to defend our economy, and take measures to advance our own developmental agenda. This will include an economic stimulus package which will assemble various policy instruments to stimulate the economy to avert massive slowdown in the economy. In addition, government will take active measures through an appropriate social package, to avert or minimize job losses and cushion the poor from the economic down turn by strengthening the manufacturing sector, saving and growing jobs in the clothing and textile sector, strengthening the automobile and components sector, expanding the food and beverage industry and other sectors.


Rural Development

ANC considers rural development as a central pillar in our struggle against unemployment, poverty and inequality. People living in rural areas face the harshest conditions of poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to services on an almost daily basis.

Workers living in rural areas face the brunt of poverty. Many of them work long hours for poverty wages. Women in particular, who form the majority of residents in rural areas, face the burden of poverty.

This underlines the necessity of effective rural development programmes, ensuring that investment in infrastructure, services and training reaches those areas of the country that have been most adversely affected.

The ANC is committed to a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to agrarian reform, which builds the potential for rural sustainable livelihoods, particularly for African women.

Economic development in the rural areas needs to go beyond land and agrarian reform. It must include affordable financing to promote economic development; support programmes and training in assisting co-operatives and small enterprises; public sector ventures; and strategies to develop appropriate industries including light manufacturing, handicrafts, services, tourism etc; This also requires the putting in place of the necessary economic infrastructure including IT services, roads and rail.

Part of ANC government measures to support rural development includes infrastructure development to produce thriving rural economies and ensure sustainable development. The expansion of basic infrastructure, which includes roads, electricity, water connections and public toilet systems in rural areas, becomes a central priority for the next administration.

By 2014, all rural schools and health facilities will have adequate basic infrastructure.

Traditional Leadership

ANC recognises that the institution of traditional leadership has a legitimate role to play in rural communities on matters of custom and culture. At the same time, democratic practices need to be enhanced and respected in the rural areas. Government will improve its support to this institution, so that it can fully implement the legislation on traditional leadership playing its appropriate role, with necessary public resources. The partnership between government and this institution will be strengthened to focus more directly on rural development and fighting poverty.

Food Security

The Freedom Charter says:

Rent and prices shall be lowered; food plentiful and no one shall go hungry;

The pursuit of household and nationalfood security is a constitutional mandate of the ANC government. We have to create an environment which ensures that there is adequate food available to all, now and in the future, and that hunger is eradicated.

ANC government is already putting in place an emergency food relief programme on a mass-scale, in the form of food assistance projects like soup kitchens to the poorest households and communities. This programme will be linked to existing mass mobilisation activities on the ground.

In the next five years, government will also introduce a “food for all” programme to procure and distribute basic foods at affordable prices to poor households and communities. Government will consider appropriate institutional approach to implement to this programme.

Government will take active steps to procure and promote food production as the way to lessen our dependence on food imports. This will be linked to the “food for all” programme outlined in paragraph 113.

Government will expand access to food production schemes in rural and peri-urban areas to grow their own food with implements, tractors, fertilizers and pesticides. Other government measures will support existing community schemes, which utilise land for food production in schools, health facilities, churches and urban and traditional authority areas.

Land and agrarian reform

Linked to food security is the land and agrarian reform programme. The Freedom Charter says that:

Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger;

The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;

Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land; all shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;

People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.

ANC government will work to intensify the land reform programme, so as to ensure that more land is in the hands of the rural poor. Government will provide the rural poor with technical skills and financial resources to productively use the land and to create sustainable livelihoods.

Government will review the appropriateness of the existing land redistribution programme, introduce measures aimed at speeding up the pace of land reform and redistribution and promote land ownership by South Africans.

Government will review the appropriateness of the existing land redistribution programme, introduce measures aimed at speeding up the pace of land reform and redistribution and promote land ownership by South Africans.

Government will also ensure that the land reform programme is integrated at provincial and local government levels. ANC government will also promote land ownership by South Africans.

Linked to the land reform programme will be an expanded agrarian reform programme. This programme will focus on the systematic promotion of agricultural co-operatives throughout the production cycle. There will also be active promotion of agro-processing in the agricultural sector. Government will develop support measures to ensure more access to markets and finance by small farmers.

The ANC Government will ensure a much stronger link between land and agrarian reform programmes and water resource allocation so as to ensure that the best quality of water resources reach all our people, especially the poor.

There will be support measures for organised labour to organise and unionise farm workers. The capacity of the Department of Labour to enforce labour legislation will be strengthened. Strategies will be developed to improve the living conditions of farm workers including the provision of subsidized houses and other basic services to farm dwellers.


Our approach to education derives its inspiration from the Freedom Charter. The Charter says;

The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;

Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children; Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;

Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan; Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens; the colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.

Education is a means of promoting good citizenship as well as preparing our people for the needs of a modern economy and a democratic society. Building on the achievements in education, the ANC government will aim to ensure progressive realisation of universal schooling, improving quality education and eliminating disparities. This requires a major renewal of our schooling and education system, by taking the following steps:

  • Work together with educators, learners, parents, school governing bodies and other stakeholders, to make education the priority of all.
  • The ANC is committed to a free and compulsory education for all children. As the immediate step it will ensure that at least 60% of schools are no-fee schools.
  • Ensuring that South Africa is completely liberated from illiteracy by 2014.
  • Introduce a sustainable Early Childhood Education system that spans both public and private sectors and gives children a head start on numeracy and literacy. The ANC government will also train and employ 15,000 trainers per annum and strengthen support for crè’8fches and pre-schools in rural villages and urban centres.
  • Improve the quality of schooling, particularly performance in mathematics, science, technology and language development. Measures will include provision of incentives for mathematics and science teachers.
  • Promote the status of teachers, ensuring the employment of adequate numbers, and improving their remuneration and training, as an important part of our drive to ensure that quality teaching becomes the norm, rather than the exception. Together with the trade unions, we need to ensure that teachers are in school, in class, on time, teaching, that there is no abuse of learners and no neglect of duty.
  • Increase graduate output in areas of skills shortages. This will include measures to streamline Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS) and other institutions to addressing existing and forecast skills shortages.
  • Embarking on the re-opening of teacher training colleges where appropriate.
  • Revive the role of state owned enterprises in skills development to support the economy.
  • Place Further Education and Training colleges at the centre of a popular drive to transfer skills to our people.
  • Encourage students from working class and poor communities to go to tertiary institutions by reviewing and improving the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
  • Extending school feeding schemes to all poor primary and high schools.
  • Strengthening the relationship between government and organised labour, at all levels of the education system, to ensure that public sector workers play a central role in achieving of objectives of transforming education and improving quality education.


The clauses of the Freedom Charter on health commit us to:

A preventive health scheme [to be] run by the state;

Free medical care and hospitalization [to be] provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children;

Although there have been many achievements in improving access to health care, much more needs to be done in terms of quality of care, and by making services available to all South Africans through ensuring better health outcomes.

South Africa commands huge health care resources compared with many middle-income countries, yet the bulk of these resources are in the private sector and serve a minority of the population, thereby undermining the country’s ability to produce quality care and improve health care outcomes. The ANC is determined to end the huge inequalities that exist in the public and private sectors by making sure that these sectors work together.

The ANC has identified the following ten priorities for a major improvement in our health care system:

  • Implement the national health insurance plan
  • Improve quality of health services
  • Overhaul management system
  • Improved human resource management
  • Physical infrastructure revitalization
  • Accelerate implementation of the HIV and AIDS and STI plans
  • Attaining better health for the population
  • Social mobilization for better health
  • Drug policy review
  • Research and development

Introduction of the National Health Insurance System (NHI) system, which will be phased in over the next five years. The principles of NHI will include the following:

  • NHI will be publicly funded and publicly administered and will provide the right of every South African with access to quality health care, which will be free at the point of delivery. People will have a choice of which service provider to use within a district.
  • The social solidarity principle will be applied and those who are eligible to contribute will be required to do so, according to their ability to pay, but access to health care will not be according to payment.
  • Participation of private doctors working in other health facilities, in group practices and hospitals, will be encouraged to participate in the NHI system.

Improving the quality of health care is an integral part of implementing NHI for the achievement of access to healthcare for all. An independent quality improvement and accreditation body will be established to set the quality national standards in both the public and private sectors. The body will tasked with inspecting and sanctioning health facilities in line with professionally determined standards of health care, including staffing ratios, management, etc.

The management and democratic governance of health facilities will be drastically improved. The ANC government will ensure improved management and leadership skills at all levels of the health system, as well as meeting the national standards of quality care. An explicit and effective accountability framework will be established for a decentralised management model, including governance arrangements, for health service delivery.

There will be major improvements in the human resource health plan for the country. This plan will provide for detailed norms on the levels of health professionals per population ratios. This will include composition of primary, secondary and tertiary care teams which are necessary to provide packages of health services under the National Health Insurance. Such a plan will include providing adequate numbers of workers at all levels of the health care system, including recruitment and filling of vacant posts. There will also be a focus on increasing health care worker training output in the public sector. This will include re-opening nursing training colleges, encouraging nurses who complete training to register for practising the profession, and possibly bringing in health workers from countries with an excess supply.

Other interventions include the following:

  • Specifying staff targets for key health personnel needed over the next 5 years.
  • Increasing bursaries for health care professions;
  • Increasing the employment of community health workers, which will be linked to the improvement of the district health system.
  • Improving working conditions and the provision of decent wages for health workers.


Many of our public facilities, especially our hospitals and clinics need to be revitalized. Accordingly the ANC government will expand on progress made in upgrading facilities in many public hospitals and clinics as part of a physical infrastructure programme.

In 2005 it was estimated that about 5 million South Africans were living with HIV and/or Aids. The fight against AIDS can only be won through collaboration with partners at all levels of society.

Government will dedicate the requisite financial and human resources to accelerate implementation of the national plan on HIV and HIV and STI. The primary aim of the national HIV and AIDS and STI plan is to reduce the rate of new infections by 50% by 2011. The ANC will seek to:

  • Reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS on individuals, families, communities and society by expanding access to appropriate treatment, care and support to 80% of all HIV positive people and their families by 2011.
  • Strengthen the formal partnership against AIDS at all levels of our society including the strengthening the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).

To improve the health status of the population and achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals: 4, 5 and 6 which are: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating TB, malaria and other communicable diseases, it has become more urgent and critical to intervene to reduce child mortality and maternal mortality rates which are unacceptably high. The ANC government will work hard to ensure an uptake in the Prevention for Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) – the main cause of child mortality.

Strengthening community organisation and mobilization will be central to our effort to improve the health status of the population. The ANC government, working together with all of our people will:

  • Promote continued campaigns and developed new campaigns, whilst overseeing their implementation and monitoring. This as part of the raising of awareness and informing the public about changing harmful practices and adopting protective practices, including anti-tobacco campaign and the campaign against alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Mobilising the community to adopt healthy diets, to exercise, to encourage pregnant women to use PMTCT and encourage people to get tested for HIV.

The existing national drug policy and strategy will be reviewed so as to support effective implementation of the NHI and strengthen the managerial and technical capacity of government. Government will also conduct the feasibility study for the establishment of a state-owned pharmaceutical company.

Government will continue to invest in research and development in the health sector, including infant mortality research, HIV prevention technologies, health status surveys, development of new medicines, and indigenous knowledge systems.


The level of crime in our country is unacceptable. There is a need to overhaul the criminal justice system to ensure that we drastically reduce the levels of crime and corruption is stamped out in our country.

The ANC government will pursue the following objectives

  • Establish a new modernised, efficient and transformed criminal justice system to enhance the capacity for fighting and reducing crime in real terms. Government will review the functioning of the police, the judiciary and the correctional services to achieve integration and coordination.
  • Actively combat serious and violent crime by being tougher on criminals and organised syndicates. In this respect, we will increase the capacity of the SAPS through recruitment, rigorous training, better remuneration, equipping and increasing the capacity of especially the Detective Services, forensics, prosecution and judicial services;
  • Establish and strengthen the new unit to fight organised crime.
  • Provide greater support for the SAPS, especially to combat the attacks on the members of the SAPS, including through introducing legislative measures to protect law-enforcement officials in the execution of their duties.
  • Combat violence and crimes against women and children by increasing the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with such violence.
  • Mobilise communities to participate in combating crime through establishing street committees and community courts, amongst others.
  • Step up measures in the fight against corruption within society, the state and private sector, including measures to review the tendering system to ensure politicians do not tamper with the adjudication of tenders. Measures will also be taken to ensure transparent process of the tendering system as well as ensuring much stronger accountability of the public servants involved in tendering process.


In addition to the developmental priorities we have identified above, the government will continue to maintain those social policies and programmes it has pursued with success. Where necessary, some of the programmes will need to be accelerated to ensure faster change in the lives of our people.

 In keeping with the vision of the Freedom Charter, we will, in particular, continue to work towards a comprehensive social security system; maintain and enhance our mass housing delivery programme; support sport and recreation; and promote arts and culture as part of our efforts to build a caring and cohesive society.


To build on the achievements made in the last 15 years and to propel society towards further development in line with the Freedom Charter, the ANC will introduce a comprehensive social security system in the next five years which will include:

  • Expansion of the provision of the child grant for children aged 15 to 18. The implementation of this provision will be linked to other requirements, including requirements for compulsory schooling.
  • A special focus is required on ensuring that social security is extended to more unemployed adults. Therefore we will look at measures to achieve a bolder expansion of unemployment insurance
  • Introduce a contributory social security system to provide for guaranteed retirement, disability and survivors’ benefit, while streamlining the road accident, occupational injuries and the unemployment benefits.
  • Furthermore, the ANC government will consult widely with various sectors to establish a consensus on our future social security system to make it comprehensive and inclusive.


The Freedom Charter says that:

All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security; Unused housing space to be made available to the people; Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry;

Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crè’ches and social centres; The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;

Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all: Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed.

Our national housing programme is not just about building houses but also about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive and non-racial communities. In order to contribute to the end of the apartheid spatial arrangements, government will roll out housing programmes closer to places of work and amenities.

The ANC government will continue to increase access to secure and decent housing for all through its newly adopted “Breaking New Ground” Strategy. Key elements of this strategy will include the following:

  • Accelerate the delivery of housing as well as improving the quality of subsidized housing;
  • Continue the programme to convert hostels into family units;
  • Increase access to secure and decent housing for all by strengthening partnerships with financial institutions and the private sector and increasing their role;
  • Accelerate the delivery of new rental housing, provide support for housing co-operatives and ensure that provincial and local government allocate land for this purpose;building skills;
  • Encourage people to build their houses based on their own plans and choices and provide people with building skills;
  • Spearhead a programme for the allocation of building materials to rural communities for purposes of self-building and provide people with building skills; and
  • Ensure all qualifying military veterans receive adequate housing.


With regard to water and sanitation, the ANC government will:

  • Work with municipalities to ensure the continued implementation and strengthening of free basic water to the poor and the vulnerable; and
  • Ensure that there is universal access to water and sanitation by 2014 and that municipalities provide the best quality water to our people, especially the poor.                         


The Freedom Charter has this to say about sports:

The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.

In the next five years, the ANC government will pursue the following objectives:

  • Revive school sport and ensure that it forms part of the school curriculum;
  • Ensure that the provision of sport facilities in poorer communities receives priority and is integral to the government’s housing programme.
  • Ensure that the 2010 FIFA World Cup leaves a proud legacy that our children and our communities will enjoy for many years to come, and contributes to the long-term development of the country. The ANC government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that this world event contributes to create decent work opportunities, particularly for the youth, women and street traders; promotes procurement of local goods, services and products; and that housing units and sports facilities developed for the event are made available to local communities after the event is over. Further opportunities will be created for intensifying the training of sports administrators, referees and coaches to improve standards in sport.


The Freedom Charter enjoins us:

All people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs;

All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride; The preaching and practice of national, race or colour discrimination and contempt shall be a p

The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;

All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands punishable crime;

ANC will develop a national programme aimed at building social cohesion through the support and promotion of arts, cultural and heritage activities at national, provincial and local levels.

The ANC will continue to promote partnerships with interfaith forums to promote social education for moral regeneration, religious tolerance, social cohesion and development.


The Freedom Charter says:

South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;

South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation – not war;

Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all.

The struggle against poverty and under-development is also an international struggle. Our foreign policy will continue to focus on efforts of reconstruction and development in the Southern African region and Africa in general.

The ANC government will continue to play a leading role in the international arena, strengthening South-to-South relations and working towards regional integration in Southern Africa, as well as peace and socio-economic development on the continent.

More specifically the ANC government will:

  • Work together with people of our continent for cohesion, unity, democracy and prosperity of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union, strengthening our capabilities to respond to the challenges we face.
  • Continue to work towards regional economic integration in Southern Africa on a fair, equitable and developmental basis, promoting SADC integration based on a developmental model that includes infrastructure development, cooperation in the real economy and development of regional supply-chains. The ANC government will ensure that trade unions and representatives of the business community are represented in SADC.
  • Spare no energy in our efforts to find democratic and lasting solutions to the situation in Zimbabwe, Swaziland Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Western Sahara.
  • Continue to support the global campaign to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
  • Conduct awareness campaigns among our people to prevent incidents of xenophobia and to work for the integration into our communities of all who are resident in our country, acknowledging the contribution that foreign nationals have made to our liberation struggle and make to our economy.
  • Work together with the countries of the South to promote south-south relations and agitate for a fairer and more humane international trade and financial system and a just world order.
  • Commit to the peaceful resolution of all conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and rest of the world. We support a two state solution as a model for peace between Israel and Palestine, recognising the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state and support the establishment of a strong and sovereign Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
  • House the Pan Africanist Women’s Organisation (PAWO), following the outcome of the historic event held in South Africa in 2008.


Our country does need change in the way government relates to the people and in the delivery of services.

We are committed to ensuring that we develop a service delivery culture that will put every elected official and public servant to work for the people, and ensure accountability to the people.

We will continue to develop social partnerships and work with every citizen.

We will manage our economy in a manner that ensures that South Africa continues to grow, that all our people benefit from that growth and that we create decent work for the unemployed, for workers, for young persons, for women and for the rural poor.

We will remain in touch with the people and listen to their needs. We respect the rule of law and we will defend the constitution and uphold our multi-party democracy.

We have achieved much in the last 15 years, but we are aware of how much more needs to be done.

Working together we can do more!

A vote for the ANC is a vote to take our country forward!