As adopted by the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress - 25 November 1992.
The strategic perspective of the ANC is the transfer of power from the white minority regime to the people as a whole. This will usher in a new era characterised by the complete eradication of the system of apartheid, fundamental socio-economic transformation, peace and stability for all our people. The basic principle underpinning this new order is democratic majority rule.
1. BALANCE OF FORCES
By the end of the eighties, the strategic balance of forces was characterised by:
1.1 The liberation movement enjoyed many advantages over the regime, both internally and internationally. All the pillars of the struggle had grown from strength to strength:
· a very high level of mass mobilisation and mass defiance had rendered apartheid unworkable;
· the building of the underground had laid a basis for exercising political leadership and was laying a basis for the intensification of the armed struggle;
· the world was united against apartheid.
1.2 At the same time the liberation movement faced certain objective weaknesses:
· changes in Southern Africa were making it increasingly difficult for the ANC in the conduct of struggle;
· there was no longer a visible intensification of the armed struggle;
· the international community was making renewed attempts to impose a settlement plan.
1.3 The crisis in Eastern Europe, and the resultant change in the relations between world powers brought the issue of a negotiated resolution of regional conflicts to the fore,
In this context. South Africa was not going to be treated as an exception. Importantly, these changes also exerted new pressures on the regime to fall in line with the emerging international 'culture' of multi-party democracy.
1.4 The apartheid power bloc was no longer able to rule in the old way. Its policies of repression and reform had failed dismally; and it faced an ever-deepening socio-economic crisis. At the same time the liberation movement did not have the immediate capacity to overthrow the regime.
1.5 All these factors set the stage for a negotiated resolution of the South African conflict. The regime was forced to unban the ANC and other organisations, release Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, acknowledge the defeat of the apartheid ideology and seek negotiations with the liberation movement. This constituted a major strategic retreat for the regime and a victory for the democratic forces.
2. SHIFT IN THE BALANCE OF FORCES