Constitution of the ANC

29a. Constitution of the ANC

1. NAME: The name of the organisation shall be the African National Congress.

2. OBJECTS: The aims of the Congress shall be:

(a) To protect and advance the interest of all Africans in all matters affecting them.
(b) To attain the freedom of the African People from all discriminatory laws whatsoever.
(c) To strive and work for the unity and co-operation of the African people in every possible way.
(d) To strive and to work for the full participation of the African in the Government of South Africa.


(a) Individual Bodies: Any person over 17 years of age who is willing to subscribe to the aims of Congress and to abide by its Constitution and rules may become an individual member upon application to the nearest Branch.
(b) Affiliated Members: Any organisation whose aims are in harmony with the aims of Congress may become an affiliated body upon application, in the case of a Provincial or local organisation, to the Provincial Committee and in the case of a National Organisation, to the Working Committee.
The Executive reserves the right to refuse an application without giving reasons.


(a) Branches may be formed with the approval of a Provincial Committee in any locality within its Province.
(b) A Branch shall consist of not less than 20 individual members.
(c) Each Branch shall hold an Annual General Meeting at which it shall elect a chairman, a secretary, treasurer, and not less than two committee members.


(a) The Provincial Conference shall be the highest organ of Congress in each Province.
(b) An annual provincial conference shall be held in each of the provinces of the Union of South Africa. Special provincial conferences may be convened at such other time as the provincial committee may deem fit, and shall be convened upon the requisition addressed to the Provincial Committee, of branches and/or affiliated organisations representing at least one-quarter of the total number of delegates entitled to be present at a Provincial Conference.
(c) Each branch shall be entitled to be represented at the provincial conference by one delegate for every 100 members or in the proportion laid down by the provincial conference from time to time.
(e) [sic] No branch or affiliated body shall be represented by more than 10 delegates at a provincial conference.
(f) The provincial conference in each province shall be responsible for the affairs of congress in that province subject only to the general supervision and control of the National Executive Committee and the Working Committee.


(a) The annual provincial conference shall elect a provincial committee consisting of a president and 11 committee members of whom the president and not less than 5 committee members shall be resident within 50 miles of the Provincial headquarters designated from time to time by the provincial conference.
(b) The provincial committee shall elect a secretary and a treasurer from amongst its members resident as provided in the foregoing section.
(c) The provincial committee shall meet at least once in every 3 months and at such other times as it deems necessary. It shall be the executive body of the provincial conference and shall administer the affairs of Congress within the province between provincial conferences, and shall convene provincial conferences at the times provided herein.
(d) The provincial committee shall submit an annual report of the Congress organisation work and finances in the province to the provincial conference and the working committee not later than 6 weeks before the annual national conference. On failure on the part of any provincial committee to function in terms of this constitution, the working committee may convene a provincial conference to elect a new provincial committee and may form a Committee to carry on Congress work in the province during the interim period.


(a) The National Conference shall be the supreme body of Congress and shall determine its general policy and programme.
(b) An annual national conference shall be held once a year at a time and place decided upon at the preceding annual national conference. Special national conferences may be convened at such other times as the national Executive Committee may deem fit, and shall be convened upon requisition addressed to the working committee by two or more provincial conferences. (c) The provisions of clauses 5 (c), (d) [sic] and (e) shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the election of delegates to the National Conference.


(a) Once every three years the national conference shall elect a national executive committee consisting of a National President, a National Secretary and a National Treasurer, and not less than 15 committee members.
(b) The N.E.C. shall meet on the day of its election and thereafter at least once in 6 months and at such other times as it may be convened by the Working Committee.
(c) The N.E.C. shall be responsible for the activities of Congress between National Conferences and shall supervise and review the work of the Work­ing Committee.
(d) The N.E.C. shall submit to the annual national Conference full report of the work, organisation and finances of Congress during the preceding year which report shall be made available to provincial Committees, branches, affiliated members not later than one month before the date of the annual conference.
(e) Provincial Presidents shall be ex officio members of the National Executive.


(a) At the meeting of the N.E.C. held on the day of its election the N.E.C. shall appoint a Working Committee of not less than 7 persons who shall be persons resident within 50 miles of the National headquarters designated by the National Conference from time to time.
(b) Members of the Working Committee shall be chosen in the first place from amongst members of the N.E.C. having the necessary residential qualification and in the event of there being fewer than 7 so qualified, the remaining members of the Working Committee shall be chosen from amongst Congress members in general who have the requisite residential qualifications.
(c) The National President shall ex officio be a member of the Working Committee. The President shall appoint an assistant National Secretary for the Working Committee.
(d) Between meetings of the N.E.C., the Working Committee shall enjoy the full Executive powers of the N.E.C. and shall carry into effect the policy and programme laid down by the National Conference, convene National Conferences and meetings of the N.E.C. as provided herein. It shall remain responsible to the National Executive Committee.
(e) The Working Committee shall meet once in every month and at such other times as it may deem necessary.
(f) The Working Committee shall place before every regular meeting of the N.E.C. a report of its activities and of the work, organisation and finances of Congress in general. The Working Committee shall take steps to publish a report of the proceedings of all National Conferences within three months after the termination of such conference.


(a) Every individual member shall upon applying for membership and there­after at the beginning of each year pay to the Branch concerned a subscription of 2/6d. There shall be no reduction in the subscription to be paid by members joining in the course of the year.
(b) Affiliated bodies shall upon application and thereafter at the beginning of each year pay to the Provincial Committee or the Working Committee, as the case may be, a sum representing one-fiftieth of the ordinary sub­scriptions or dues collected from its own membership in the preceding year.
(c) Affiliated bodies shall submit a constitution and an annual financial statement.
(d) Each branch shall pay to the provincial Executive Committee two-thirds of the subscription received by it and the Provincial Executive Committee shall pay to the Working Committee one-half of the income received by it.
(e) Funds of Congress shall be raised through membership fees, subscriptions, levies, donations and through functions and entertainments.
(f) All such funds shall be deposited at a recognised bank or post office savings bank immediately they are received at the Branch, Provincial or National Office.
(g) Branch Committees, Provincial Executive Committees and the Working Committees, shall keep full and proper records of all income and expenditure and shall present annual financial statements to the branch, provincial con­ference, and national Conference as the case may be. The Working Com­mittee shall take steps to have a regular audit of its accounts and of the accounts of Provincial Committee, where the provincial Committee fails to do so.


Every Committee of Congress shall have the power to take such disciplinary action as it may deem fit against any member within its jurisdic­tion who acts in breach of the Constitution or rules of Congress, violating its decisions or behaving in a way which is prejudicial to the interests of Congress or of the African people, provided that there shall be a right of appeal against disciplinary action to the Provincial Conference and in the case of a decision of the Working Committee of the N.E.C. to the National Conference.

12. RULES:

(a) The N.E.C. shall have the power to frame rules or approve rules framed by the Working Committee not inconsistent with this constitution for regulating all matters connected with Congress.
(b) Each Provincial Conference shall have power to frame rules not inconsistent with this constitution for regulating the affairs of Congress within its own Province, which rules shall come into operation only with the previous sanction of the Working Committee.


All decisions, save amendments to the constitution, taken by bodies or Congress, including the election of office-bearers and Committees shall be taken by majority vote.


(a) The office of a member of a Congress Committee shall be vacated by resignation, death, expulsion or removal as a disciplinary measure.
(b) Such vacancy shall be filled by co-option by the Committee.


Amendments to this constitution may be made by two-thirds majority vote of the delegates present and voting at a National Conference provided that three month's notice of proposed amendments shall have been circulated prior to such National Conference, to the provincial affiliated bodies.


Congress shall have perpetual succession and the power, apart from its individual members, to acquire, hold and alienate property, enter into agreements and all things necessary to carry out its aims and objects.

(Sgd.)    A. B. XUMA


16th December, 1943 ABX/ARM