Statement of the National Executive Committee on the occasion of the 102nd Anniversary of the ANC
8 January 2014
Comrades and Compatriots
The African National Congress celebrates one hundred and two years of service to our people today.
We have gathered to pay tribute to our organisation, our people and our country for the strides we have made together to free our country from apartheid colonialism and to build a National Democratic Society.
We meet just a few weeks after our loss of one of the greatest sons of our Movement, Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Africa and the world descended upon our shores to celebrate the life of this giant of our struggle, produced by South Africa and the African National Congress.
Comrade Madiba`s contribution, as the first president of a democratic South Africa, laid the basis for and continues to inform our struggle to move South Africa forward.
May his soul, and the souls of all our fallen comrades, rest in peace.
Comrade Madiba exemplified the importance of adherence to the core values and traditions of the ANC.
He was unambiguous about the fact that the ANC has always been the organisation best placed to unite the broadest cross-section of South Africans around the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution and put in place a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as enshrined in the Freedom Charter.
The ideals of unity and non-racialism have been cornerstones of the ANC since before our formal establishment in 1912 and are succinctly captured by former president Pixley ka Isaka Seme when he said in 1911:
"The demon of tribalism and ethnicity . must be buried and forgotten; it has shed among us sufficient blood! We are one people. These divisions, these jealousies, are the cause of all our woes and of all our backwardness and ignorance today."
This ideal, of a South Africa that is `one people` and united in our diversity, remains one that the ANC continues to strive for. Our emphasis on unity further demands that South Africans remain vigilant and actively combat the dangers of tribalism and ethnicity.
Equally, the ANC remains resolute and leads the quest for gender equality.
Our former president Comrade OR Tambo, said that the liberation of South Africa would not be complete until the women of this country were emancipated.
We reaffirm our commitment to all these core values and core principles of our movement, on this significant anniversary of our movement which coincides with the fifth national general elections to be held in this year.
The ANC, on this 102nd anniversary, humbly presents our 2014 National Elections Manifesto together with this Statement. The Manifesto is a pledge to move South Africa forward over the next five years, working with the masses of our people.
The commitments in the Manifesto represent the core elements of our plan to continue building the National Democratic Society.
We seek to mobilise and unite all South Africans around this common vision of building a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.
This year, we celebrate the following important anniversaries:
IT HAS BEEN ONE HUNDRED YEARS SINCE THE DELEGATION OF OUR FORMER LEADERS, COMRADES JOHN LANGALIBALELE DUBE, SOL PLAATJE AND WALTER RUBUSANA travelled to Great Britain to formally protest the Native Land Act.
We continue to suffer from the effects of this heinous piece of legislation that so unjustly deprived our people of their land.
IT HAS BEEN NINETY-FIVE YEARS SINCE THE FORMAL PROTESTS AGAINST PASS LAWS, firstly by women in the Free State and also anti-pass campaigns organised in the Transvaal.
IT HAS BEEN NINETY FIVE YEARS SINCE THE WITWATERSRAND STRIKE BY AFRICAN MINERS and the horrendous response by the racist regime`s police to these mostly peaceful protests. We honour those who lost their lives and were injured, during this strike, through our ongoing commitment to protecting workers` rights and conducting labour relations in a formalised and developmental manner.
IT HAS BEEN SEVENTY YEARS OF UNINTERRUPTED YOUTH STRUGGLES since the formation of the ANC Youth League; our preparatory school for the future leaders of the ANC.
IT HAS BEEN FIFTY YEARS SINCE THE END OF THE RIVONIA TRIAL and we celebrate the impact that the outcomes of this unjust and farcical trial had on mobilising the world against the horrendous apartheid regime.
IT HAS BEEN TWENTY YEARS OF FREEDOM. Our great nation will unite in celebrating that momentous achievement; brought through the sacrifice and dedication of many of our people, when South Africa ceased to be `the skunk of the world`.
SOUTH AFRICA IS A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN!
We have made tremendous progress in the past 20 years. South Africa is a much better place to live in today than it was before 1994.
It has been 20 years of reconciliation and nation building n Discriminatory laws have been abolished and segregated institutions replaced by unified ones. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped heal the wounds of the past. We sing one national anthem, fly one national flag and embrace our cultural diversity.
Non-racialism is entrenched in our Constitution which states amongst other things, that nobody will be discriminated against, on the basis of their race.
In the past 5 years there have been several moments that have exemplified our sense of a common nationhood. In 2010, we welcomed the world to the first FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament in Africa.
Every year, on Nelson Mandela International Day, South Africans volunteer
67 minutes of their time in support of a worthy cause. Most recently, we came together as one people, to bid farewell to the father of our nation and first President of a democratic South Africa, Tata Madiba.
It has been 20 years of democratization
n Our constitutional democracy has advanced the right of our people to equality, to protection against racial, gender and other discrimination, and to the progressive realisation of access to the basic necessities of life.
An independent judiciary has been established and entrenched.
Representative and participatory democracy has been consolidated n In the past 5 years, as we advanced the rights of our people, we have remained true to the values of the Constitution.
n We have ensured the policies we implement advance the constitutional imperative to improve the quality of life of all citizens and free each person`s potential.
It has been 20 years of reconstruction, development and growth n We have gone a long way to overcome the systemic divisions of apartheid in the economy, education, health and human settlements. The lives of most South Africans have greatly improved.
n In the past 5 years we have worked together to achieve further improvements in the lives of all South Africans.
It has been 20 years of advancing workers interests and aspirations n The ANC has safeguarded and entrenched the hard-won rights of workers, including trade union workplace organising, collective bargaining, equal pay for equal work, health and safety, affirmative action, skills development, minimum wages for workers in vulnerable sectors, the right to strike, and the right to peaceful protest.
n In the past 5 years the ANC has begun to put in place measures to address labour broking and the casualisation of labour to protect vulnerable workers.
Unemployment insurance benefits have been improved.
It has been 20 years of championing the struggle for gender equality n In democratic South Africa, women`s voices are heard and women`s issues are seriously addressed. Institutional mechanisms have been established to protect women`s rights and dignity. Progress has been made in freeing women from customs and practices that undermine their rights. Progress in meeting basic needs such as housing and access to water has especially benefited women, redressing past inequalities.
More girls are in school and tertiary education than ever before and more women are in employment. Women continue to benefit from economic empowerment programmes and they are the major recipients of social security programmes.
In the past 5 years we have continued with active campaigns against the abuse of women and children. We have improved representation of women in parliament and government, and promoted a policy of equal representation of women and men in all institutions of government. We have continued to confront the challenge of violence against women and children and prioritised it in our strategies directed at creating a safe and secure society.
It has been 20 years of peace and security for all n The politically-inspired violence that engulfed many parts of our country before 1994, was brought to an end. Overall levels of serious crime have been reduced. We are working together to transform our security forces and judicial system to ensure they reflect the national and gender character of our country.
We have ensured fairness and equality for all before the law and enabled access to justice to millions more South Africans.
n In the past 5 years we have strengthened special institutions to fight corruption, with firm action taken against corrupt public servants, public representatives and private sector companies.
The last five years of delivering on the mandate given to the ANC by the people of our country have been years of tremendous progress.
On the economy and jobs, the last five years has been a period of unprecedented growth and development in this country.
Our national wealth has grown to a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than R3.5trillion and government`s annual revenue has grown to R880billion.
We have been using our infrastructure expansion programme to improve our economic capabilities, create sustainable jobs and improve the lives of our people. Our landscape has changed significantly through the building and improvement of hospitals, schools, airports, roads, stadia, dams and other infrastructure for basic service delivery.
The ANC is aware that the most critical problem facing South Africa is that of unemployment and particularly, youth unemployment. The ANC government has put in place one of the biggest public works programmes ever seen and in line with the 53rd Conference, we have directed that significant numbers of these jobs be reserved for young people.
We are also increasing the number of training and skilling opportunities for young people throughout the state owned enterprises and other government entities.
Our infrastructure programme continues to generate massive numbers of sustainable jobs, whilst changing our landscape and economic capabilities.
This programme is complemented by our industrial and trade policies and other initiatives, which are all aimed at creating sustainable jobs and empowering South Africans to take an active part in their own development.
It has been five years of success in the implementation of the HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programme introduced in December 2009.
We expanded treatment and the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV programmes from 2009. We are proud that the average life expectancy of South Africans has improved from 54, 5 years in 2009 to 60 years in 2012 due to interventions.
The mother to child transmission of HIV has decreased by 66 percent in the past five years, saving the lives of many children.
The HIV testing programme has attracted more than 20 million South Africans.
We thank our people for cooperating and ensuring the success of the HIV and AIDS programme.
It has been five years of expanding access to education and of improving the quality.
Basic and higher education departments in the ANC government were separated to allow intensive attention to be paid to basic education. The intervention has yielded results. More children are receiving quality basic education including pre-school education and early childhood development.
The gradual improvement in matric results each year since 2009 is a cause for national pride and celebration. The achievement of our 2013 matric class has made our nation stand proud. All our learners carry our hope