”The Policy and Platform of the African National Congress.” Statement by Dr. A. B. Xuma in August 1941

The African National Congress is the mouth-piece of the African people of the Union of South Africa.
It stands for racial unity and mutual helpfulness and for the improvement of the African people,POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY, SOCIALLY, EDUCATIONALLY AND INDUSTRIALLY.


(1) To work and unite Africans for common action.
(2) To educate Bantu people on their rights, duties and obligations to the state and to themselves individually and collectively; and to promote mutual help, feeling of fellowship and a spirit of brotherhood among them.
(3) To encourage mutual understanding and to bring together into common action as one political people all tribes and clans of various tribes or races and by means of combined effort and united political organisa­tion to defend their freedom, rights and privileges.
(4) To discourage and contend against racialism and tribal feuds or to secure the elimination of racialism and tribal feuds, jealousy and petty quarrels by economic combination, education, goodwill and by other means.
(5) To be the medium of expression of representative opinion and to formulate a standard policy on Native Affairs for the benefit and guidance of the Union Government and Parliament.
(6) To educate Parliament and Provincial Councils, Municipalities, other bodies and the public generally regarding the requirements and aspirations of the Native people; and to enlist the sympathy and support of such European Societies., Leagues or Unions as might be willing to espouse the cause of right and fair treatment of coloured races.


(1) Right of Franchise to Africans.
(2) Participation of Africans in the building of a Union Policy acceptable to all sections including the African.
(3) Representation of Africans in all Government Chambers and other Governing Departments.


Removal of all industrial and commercial restrictions against the African.

(1) Living wage and better working conditions.
(2) Right of all classes of African workers to organise into Trade Unions.
(3) Recognition and registration of African Trade Unions under African leadership by the Union Labour Department with all rights, privileges and immunities appertaining to such organisations.
(4) Right to learn skilled trades and engage in them.
(5) Trading rights for Africans.


(1) Eligibility of Africans to enjoy all benefits from Social Welfare De­partments of the Union Government on same principles as other sec­tions.
(2) Pensions for aged and physically disabled Africans.
(3) Adequate hospital facilities for general and special purposes.
(4) Full extension of public health and preventive health measures to Afri­cans.
(5) Permanent married quarters within walking distance from work for large groups of workers, such as miners, domestic servants, railway workers in larger centres, etc.


(1) Adequate land for Africans in rural and urban areas.
(2) Right of Africans to acquire freehold title to land from any seller in rural and urban areas:
(a) Right of Africans to buy land and acquire freehold title individually or as groups or syndicates inside or outside released areas.
(b) Freehold title areas in every urban area must be available to Africans.
(c) Land Bank facilities to assist African farmers.


(1) Abolition of Pass Laws.
(2) Abolition of Lodgers' Permits and Fees.
(3) Abolition of Special Native Taxation based on Native Development and Taxation Act (1925) and substitution of it by taxation based on ability to pay as is the case with all other sections, (b) Abolition of all punishment or penalty for inability to pay tax.
(4) Repeal of Masters and Servants Act.
(5) Abolition of Municipal Beerhalls to be replaced with licence of Beer Stores or Home Brewing for those who desire such facilities.
(6) Mere possession of Native Beer to be no crime.
(7) Abolition of Police Raids.


(1) Participation by Africans in the best educational system planned by the State and enjoyment of the best educational facilities provided by the State.
(i) Financing of the education of the Africans on a per caput basis from General Revenue based on the number of children of school going age.
(ii) Sufficient annual grants to meet current needs and allow for expansion.
                  (iii) State responsibility for erection of school buildings and supplying equipment.
                  (iv) Adequate salaries for African Teachers to maintain a decent standard of living and leadership.
                 (v) Direct representation of African parents and teachers in education and school boards.
                 (vi) Appointment of qualified Africans into any post in African Educational Institutions.


Africans should be trained and employed in graded positions in Civil Service and Public Service according to standards and qualifications required of other sections.

Fellow Africans,

I place before you in concrete form a few things upon which I want you to organise, unite, close ranks, work and fight for. They are things that other sections enjoy in greater measures. They are the rightful claims of a citizen in any country that calls itself Christian or Democratic. They are moderate claims.

I know you want these things but you always ... and expect a benevolent Government to imagine that you want these, or for well-intentioned white friends to mediate for you, that is why these good people have sometimes been unfairly charged as "busy bodies" and "putting foreign ideas into the native's mind."

Remember that this world is not a charitable ... disposed to give alike to everyone. People have to ask for, work for, even fight for, what they want. South Africa is big enough for both white and black to enjoy her wealth and live in peace, prosperity and mutual helpfulness. South Africa stands for freedom, democracy and Christianity. And, if she is true to her ideals, and I cannot believe she can be otherwise and maintain her national honour, she must, therefore, open these institutions to ....

We have a God-given opportunity to use every constitutional means now and henceforth to press our claims along the lines I have suggested and thus help South Africa attain her ideals.

I urge men and women, young and old, to join or organise Congress Clubs in all areas.
We are ready to sacrifice for you. "FREEDOM NOT SERFDOM" is the Motto of Congress.

Yours for Freedom,

Dr. A. B. Xuma President - General African National Congress