Comrades and Friends

Fellow South Africans,

This year, the African National Congress celebrates 107 years of exist-ence.

We celebrate this momentous occasion keenly aware of our collective responsibility to build a society based on the best in terms of political and human freedoms, socio-economic rights, value systems and identity.

Our founding principles of unity, non-racialism, non-sexism, democracy and our commitment to a nation of shared prosperity, has earned the peoples trust. A trust that has endured over the last 25 years as we strive to build a better life for all.

We can say with conviction that South Africa is, today, a better place to live in for the overwhelming majority.

Although much has been achieved, we could have moved faster and the quality of services could have been much better. We accept that mis-takes have been made and in some critical areas, progress has stalled.

The ANC is now emerging from a challenging period, where the values and principles of our organisation were eroded and undermined. History has shown that each time we have emerged from difficult periods, the ANC has come out stronger, more united and more determined to pursue the struggle for freedom.

The ANC’s Morogoro Conference, held 50 years ago, confronted both internal challenges and developed a strategy to deal with the changed environment within South Africa. The organisation dug deep, confront-ing internal challenges and emerged with a clear purpose to unite and strengthen the organisation.

It is this historical spirit of dedication that every ANC member must now draw upon, to confront the challenges facing our organisation and coun-try at this point in time.

In our struggle today, the leadership of the ANC is once again humbled by the commitment that ANC members and supporters throughout the length and breadth of our country have shown towards the ideals and values of our founders. We now know with certainty that the strength and resolve that saw us through our struggle for liberation will guide us through this period.

Let us move boldly into this new dawn of hope and renewal.


This year, we will celebrate 25 years of a free and democratic South Africa.

It is a quarter of a century since the founding father of our nation, Nelson Rolihahla Mandela, stood before the people of this country to declare:

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

We are confident that South Africans from all walks of life will celebrate this anniversary with joy at the progress that our nation has achieved. At the same time, we all have to remain steadfast in our resolve to ensure that all our people experience justice, peace, work and a decent life.

During the course of this year, we will mark several other milestones in the history of the struggle for peace and freedom.

  • It is 360 years since Chief Autshumato was imprisoned on Robben Island for his resistance to colonial incursions;
  • It is 200 years since the Battle of Grahamstown, the town which we have now appropriately renamed Makhanda;
  • It is 125 years since the Natal Indian Congress was formed;
  • It is 80 years since the death of Charlotte Maxeke;
  • It is 75 years since the ANC Youth League was formed;
  • It is 65 years since the Federation of South African Women was formed;
  • It is 60 years since the Cuban Revolution which was led by comrade Fidel Castro and brought into existence the revolutionary socialist state;
  • It is 50 years since the Morogoro Consultative Conference;
  • It is 40 years since Solomon Mahlangu was executed; and it is also
  • 40 years since the Congress of South African Students and Azanian Students Organisation were formed;
  • It is 45 years since the assassination of Onkgopotse Abraham Tiro;
  • It is 30 years since the assassination of David Webster; and it is also
  • 30 years since the Defiance Campaign was launched by the Mass Democratic Movement.

We recall these moments in history to remind us of the great hardships that our people have endured and the tireless struggle that was fought to achieve democracy.

We know that the struggle to free all South Africans from all forms of discrimination and oppression continues. The brave deeds of our fore-bearers inspire and guide us as we move forward to build a national democratic society.


As we mark the second January 8th celebration since the landmark 54th National Conference, we can declare with confidence that both the ANC and the country have entered an era of renewal.

Much has been achieved over the last year, but there is still more that needs to be done to give effect to the resolutions of the 54th National Conference and the priorities outlined on January 8th last year. We will not falter in our resolve to act with urgency and purpose to take the pro-cess of unity and renewal to even greater heights.

In the January 8th Statement last year, we agreed to undertake a de-liberate programme of organisational renewal that addresses prob-lems of division and dysfunction. Over the course of the last year, most structures have diligently undertaken efforts to unite, build and renew our movement. Cadres are showing a greater sense of purpose and a sin-cere commitment to restoring the link between the ANC and the people.

The work of organisation-building requires commitment and hard work. A good start has been made, but far more work needs to be done to convert the mood of renewal into practical action to build a fully united, cohesive and effective movement for ongoing transformation.

We have also made progress in restoring the integrity and credibility of the ANC. Where necessary, we have taken measures to deal with cadres who have undermined the integrity of the movement and the ethi-cal standards expected of public representatives and ANC leaders. This is amongst the most difficult of organisational tasks, but we remain reso-lute in our efforts to stamp out deviant and abhorrent practices.

The ANC established our Integrity Commission and their wisdom guid-ed us in addressing instances of wrongdoing and unethical behaviour throughout the past year.

We have done much to bring the ANC closer to the people. Through the Thuma Mina Campaign, we have reached out to communities, dem-onstrating the ANC’s commitment to improving people’s lives. Our public representatives and branch members are working hard to ensure greater consultation and engagement with communities on issues that affect their lives.

One of the most important achievements of the past year has been to reinvigorate the process of uniting all South Africans around a shared vision of fundamental transformation. Across society, our people are embracing the ‘new dawn’ and demonstrate renewed commitment to tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality. The values of respect, equality, dignity and integrity exemplify this period of working together towards transformation of our society.

In line with this task, we are mobilising all social partners behind an economic recovery plan. This has been demonstrated through the Presidential Jobs Summit, which agreed on a series of measures to create additional jobs and protect existing ones. Business, labour and civil society are centrally involved in government’s ambitious investment drive. This includes the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference which aimed to mobilise significantly higher levels of domestic and inter-national investment as a necessary condition for growth and greater job creation. Our social partners support government’s economic stimulus and recovery plan, which includes a number of short-term measures to return the country to shared growth.

Addressing youth unemployment remains a pressing priority. We have made it easier for young people to enter the public service by scrap-ping work experience as a requirement for entry-level jobs. The ANC-led government has also expanded artisanal training, focused skills develop-ment on future areas of work such as information technology and encour-ages youth entrepreneurship.

The Youth Employment Service (YES) is a public-private partnership that facilitates the entry of disadvantaged young people into the job market by opening opportunities to gain work experience for a period of one year.

We have taken bold steps to confront corruption and state capture and restore the credibility of public institutions. Through commis-sions of inquiry into state capture, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), we confronted some of the key challenges to good governance and the rule of law.

The ANC-led government has taken measures to strengthen the National Prosecuting Authority, South African Police Service and the State Security Agency, and to restore public confidence in their ability to ensure the safety of all citizens.

Important changes have been made to the boards and senior manage-ment of several state owned enterprises, corruption is being rooted out and work has begun to ensure they are financially stable and meet the needs of society.

We also are determined to expose and root out wrongdoing and corruption in the private sector. There should be nowhere to hide for those who steal from our people, no matter who they are or what positions they occupy.

The wanton looting that took place at VBS Mutual Bank, a financial in-stitution that was built and sustained through the hard-earned savings of working and rural people, left people poorer and without access to financial services.

We are extremely concerned that those were entrusted with public mu-nicipal resources, invested public money in VBS without exercising the necessary caution and vigilance.

We commend the ANC in Limpopo and North West for instruct-ing their governments to take the appropriate corrective meas-ures and strongly urge other affected provinces to do same.

We call on law enforcement agencies to act with speed to bring those who are implicated to book.

In line with the resolutions of the 54th National Conference we have embarked on a comprehensive approach to accelerated land re-form. Parliament has undertaken extensive public consultation on land expropriation without compensation, in line with the resolutions of the ANC’s 54th National Conference. The ANC-led government has lead the process around a far-reaching programme of accelerated land reform through an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Deputy President and a Presidential advisory panel on land reform.

The ANC-led government has published the revised Expropriation Bill as part of the package of interventions to ensure equitable land owner-ship in both rural and urban areas. We urge structures to study the Bill and to participate in the public consultation processes to follow.

Much has been achieved over the last year and we have established a firm foundation for growth and renewal across society. The progress we have made is by no means irreversible. We cannot take the successes we have achieved for granted. We therefore call on ANC structures and broader society to strengthen our resolve and maximise our unity in pur-suit of our task of radical social and economic transformation.


A decisive mandate for unity, renewal and faster progress

South Africans will head to the polls later this year to elect their repre-sentatives in national and provincial government in our country’s sixth democratic elections. The ANC will contest these elections to achieve a decisive mandate for societal renewal, faster social and economic trans-formation and national unity.

We will seek a mandate from the people to grow South Africa; to grow

its human potential, to grow its solidarity and nationhood and to grow its economy to become a more humane and caring society.

The movement has learned from both our positive and negative experi-ences over the past 25 years.

We recognise that over a number of years, our movement has fallen short of the people’s expectations. The reasons for this declining popular confidence was critically and thoroughly discussed at the 54th National Conference, and a programme was adopted to correct these mistakes.

The ANC has begun to self-correct. We ask you to walk this path of self-correction and renewal with us. Let us be each other’s guides on this journey.

We will appeal with all humility to the South African people to once again express their confidence in the ANC to lead society in pursuit of shared growth, job creation, radical economic and social transformation and na-tional unity.

In our 2019 Election Manifesto, we have a clear plan for growth and faster progress. It is a plan for an inclusive economy and society in which all South Africans experience a steadily improving quality of life and en-joy shared prosperity. It is a plan to unite the country, grow the economy, create jobs and reduce inequality.

The last 25 years have demonstrated the enormity and complexity of the task of redressing the injustices of the past and advancing fundamental change. These years have also shown the great power of a nation work-ing as one to achieve a common goal.

Let us unite.

Let us grow South Africa, together.


Investment, jobs and inclusive growth

The most pressing task in 2019 is to set the economy on a higher path of shared growth, to create more jobs and provide opportunities for millions of South Africans. This requires levels of investment far beyond what has been achieved in recent years.

We are tasked with restructuring an economy that currently excludes the majority of South Africans. We need to mobilise domestic and in-ternational investment while we work with greater effort to unleash the economic potential of all our people – especially youth and women – by ensuring they have skills, assets and opportunities.

This requires that we intensify the efforts we have already begun to re-store investor, business and consumer confidence to ensure policy con-sistency and certainty; to introduce growth-enhancing reforms in key sectors; to root out public and private sector corruption and improve the competitiveness of our economy.

The ANC is forging ahead with plans to bring about a more inclusive economy. We will draw more women, more rural people and more youth into the economy through programmes that extend ownership to work-ers, through expanding access to digital skills training to young people, by developing and supporting technological and digital start-ups, and a more concerted focus on SMMEs, cooperatives and township and village enterprises.

We will deliberately and consciously use government’s massive procure-ment spend to further our economic transformation objectives and sup-port job creation and localised re-industrialisation.

To further support township and village enterprises, the ANC govern-ment will step up the enforcement of measures to prevent illegal trading and selling of counterfeit and unsafe products. We will prevent displace-ment of local enterprises by big retail stores and will ensure that small producers have a place in their retail value chains.

Radical socio-economic transformation requires greater financial inclu-sion, which, amongst other things, demands more diverse ownership of the financial sector and a greater role for state and cooperative banks. We are working with the social partners to put in place a new compact with clear targets and commitments.

Commercial private banks and other financial institutions must contribute positively to the country’s development and we will work with them to find meaningful solutions to issues of access to funding and capital for small enterprises, housing, township and village enterprises and infrastructure.

The SA SME Fund is a prime example of what is possible when govern-ment and big business – including financial institutions – work together. This Fund is seeded by capital from business and will invest just over R1-billion in black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, including tech start-ups.

We remain steadfast in the national ambition to raise R1.2 trillion worth of investments over five years to drive job creation, the eradication of poverty and bringing about a more equal society. Many citizens, across the social spectrum, are working diligently to achieve this goal.

Central to the recovery plan is the intensification of infrastructure construc-tion and maintenance, to provide social and economic services, create jobs, expand the infrastructure supplier industries, draw in the private sec-tor and bring to life the continental plans for African economic integration.

The ANC-led government will work to ensure effective partnerships in building more roads, schools, health facilities, water and sanitation sys-tems, rail, roads, ports, telecommunications, as well as electricity gen-eration and distribution. This is supported by a dedicated Infrastructure Fund that involves private sector players.

From its formation, the African National Congress has fought for the re-turn of the land to its rightful owners. All our efforts are geared to undo-ing a grave historical injustice and giving effect to the injunction in the Freedom Charter that the land shall be shared among those who work it!

For all its historical, social and political meaning, land is fundamentally an economic resource. Like all other economic resources in this country, it has historically been employed to serve the interests of a narrow section of society.

In effecting redress, the ANC recognises and will continue to promote a range of land ownership forms – public, private, cooperative, family and communal. We are making sure that everything we do to address the original sin is done within the prescripts of our Constitution and will ad-vance economic development, agricultural production and food security, and transform the unjust spatial realities in urban areas.

The ANC resolved at our 54th National Conference to pursue, with greater determination, the programme of land reform and rural development as part of the programme of radical socio-economic transformation.

The ANC-led government will give special focus to land adminis-tration and management to support accelerated land reform. The development of skills in land related careers such as land valua-tions, land surveyors, town and regional planners will be prioritised.

The ANC will work with the producers and agribusiness to ensure that the sector continues to increase its contribution to export earnings.

More attention will be paid to investment in agricultural research and technology to enhance the sector’s market share in the global trade. The ANC-led government will continue to work with like-minded countries to ensure a just international agricultural trade regime.

Given the reality of climate change, the ANC-led government will develop an adaptation strategy to ensure that new growth areas for production are identified. We shall also promote and support diversification to new agricultural products to ensure food security.

Capable, credible and ethical state

Our Constitution and legal framework guarantee the rights of citizens to receive quality government services and we therefore have a positive duty to realise the rights conferred.

This means that government must work to ensure citizens have access to quality education and healthcare and ensure the most vulnerable are protected by a social security net and we build sustainable communities.

While many of our public servants are committed and dedicated profes-sionals who perform their tasks diligently, there are some whose indif-ference to citizens suffering has led to a deterioration in the quality of services and assistance rendered. This has to change.

Land claims must be processed faster, title deeds must be provided quicker. Housing projects must be completed on time. Text books must reach all learners, and clinics must provide medical services and medi-cines to those who need them. The police service and the criminal justice system must respond timeously to the cries of our people.

We call on all South Africans to work with us in ensuring that we have a responsive and developmental public service.

Government will do its part by ensuring ongoing monitoring and evalu-ation of its performance across all spheres. More importantly laziness, corruption and indifference will be met with sanction, disciplinary action and other corrective measures.

Ours is a legacy of selfless service to the people. The organisation and the country will not tolerate those who give substandard service or use public resources for their own selfish gains.

Legislation and regulations already exist to prevent public servants from doing business with the state and we warn transgressors to expect no mercy.

We call on all South Africans to join us in this endeavour to build a ca-pable and ethical state and to ensure that those who are responsible for stealing both public funds and private investments face the full might of the law. We include in this call the brave men and women in the media whose ethical and professional work has made it possible for our soci-ety to unearth the misdeeds that threatened to destroy our hard-won democracy.

Education and skills for a changing world

The last 25 years have seen many achievements in our education sys-tem. We have created a single non-racial education system; and there is now almost universal enrolment in primary schooling and we have sys-tematically expanded access to early childhood development.

We congratulate the matric class of 2018 for the outstanding results achieved. The pass rate improved to 78.2%, up from 75.1% in 2017.

We are particularly proud of the fact that learners from predominantly poor and working class backgrounds (quintiles 1-3) again made up the greater majority of those attaining Bachelor passes. President Mandela said it best when he said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Gauteng and Free State have consistently performed well and the top 10 best performing schools are in these two provinces. A special apprecia-tion is extended to the Eastern Cape department of education whose pass rate increased by 5.6% to achieve an overall rate of 70.6%.

Much, much more needs to be done to ensure that access is combined with quality across the length and breadth of the country.

The ANC welcomes the expansion of fee-free education for students from poor and working class backgrounds as this will now extend to cov-er qualifying second year students. We are committed to ensuring that this support continues to extend to accommodation, transport and study materials for qualifying students at public TVET colleges and universities.

Many generations of young people fought hard for the ideals of free high-er education and we urge this generation to study hard. This will be the most lasting tribute the current generation of students can pay to the sacrifices of their predecessors.

Rapid technological and digital advances mean our education system must respond to the changing world of work and knowledge generation. We must equip citizens, and especially young people, to master the de-mands of the new age.

The ANC government will ensure that our education curricula at all levels prepares learners to be active participants in the technological change that the global economy is experiencing.

We will scale-up skills development for the youth in data analytics, the internet-of-things, blockchain and machine learning. A social plan will be designed to address retraining and support for workers displaced by new technologies.

Government will open up opportunities for young people to develop new software and applications, devices and equipment through specialised start-up support programmes. Enhanced support will be given to existing Innovation Centres and Hubs over the next three years.

At the same time as we adapt our educational system to respond to new technological realities, we must also ensure, as a matter of principle, that we mould a generation that combines technical excellence with a humane approach to social relations – wholesome citizens who are their sisters’ and brothers’ keepers.

Universal quality health care

The ANC reiterates its commitment to putting in place a quality system of national health care. We will expedite the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system through finalising enabling legislation and putting in place the National Health Insurance Fund. All South Africans must be able to access quality health care based on need and not on their ability to pay or their overall socio-economic situation.

To achieve this seismic shift; we must promote social solidarity and work towards the cross-subsidisation of services – where those who can afford to pay more assist those who cannot pay; where the young subsidise the old and where the healthy subsidise the sick. The NHI is a chance for South Africans to contribute to the collective health and well-being of one another and extend access to quality healthcare to everyone.

Government, for its part, will honour citizens’ commitment by ensuring that resources are well managed and efficiently deployed.

We are fully aware that the journey to universal health care has to start with deliberate efforts to address the immediate crisis in the public health system to tackle such issues as corruption, poor management of financial resources, human resource planning, training, budgeting, maintenance and upgrading of equipment and infrastructure. To this end, we welcome government’s announcement that more than 5,000 posts for health work-ers would be filled from this month.

Social Transformation

Social transformation must result in a more equal, more just and more humane society where all citizens can live freely and prosper.

The ANC has always been clear that radical social transformation in-cludes the prioritisation of the rights of women and reducing discrimina-tion and violence against women and girls.

We have made huge strides in improving the position of women in soci-ety, using our Constitution, legislation and policies to tackle discrimina-tion and increase representation within the leadership of our movement, in our public institutions and in the world of commerce.

However, we must hang our heads in shame that even as we make pro-gress in forging a non-sexist society, too many women and girls face unprecedented levels of abuse, violence and murder – often by those closest to them. We all heard the harrowing stories told by survivors at the recent Summit on gender based violence.

This is a national crisis that we are determined to end so that all South African women and girls may live in peace, safety and dignity.

We call on South Africans to work together to end gender-based violence and the patriarchal practices that give rise to it. We say this fully aware that the emancipation of women requires a change not only in attitudes, but also in the material conditions that perpetuate the oppression and marginalisation of women.

In other words, women must be economically and socially empowered in order to increase their capacity to remove themselves from emotionally, physically or economically abusive situations.

We must work more closely as stakeholders to implement the range of in-terventions adopted at the Summit, including finalising the National Plan on Gender Based Violence.

We must improve educational programmes to provide psychological and social support to vulnerable learners, and targeting young children to change social attitudes. It is important that children learn from a young age to respect one another as equals and not to resort to violence in situ-ations of stress and conflict.

The ANC government will continue to scale up the network of Thuthuzela Care Centres and other victim empowerment initiatives to ensure effec-tive responses to incidents of violence against women and children, elim-inate secondary victimisation, and improve conviction rates.

We fully support the calls for stricter bail conditions and harsher sen-tences for perpetrators of gender based violence and sexual assault.

More and better skilled police and prosecution authorities are needed to improve the capacity to investigate and prosecute all crimes, especially gender based violence and sexual assault. It is encouraging to report that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has put in place a dedi-cated plan to improve the way they respond to gender based violence and sexual assault. The plan focuses on treating survivors with respect and dignity, on diligently investigating such crimes, on providing survivors with appropriate support services and on proactively reporting back to survivors and their families on progress being made with their cases.

Racism, ethnic chauvinism and tribalism undermine social cohesion and have no place in society. The founders of the ANC recognised, from the outset, that ours will be a non-racial organisation and we owe it to their legacy to eradicate these backward tendencies from our organisation and country.

As said by former ANC president, Pixley ka Seme in 1911:

“The demon of racialism, the aberrations of the Xosa-Fingo feud, the animosity that exists between the Zulus and the Tongaas, between the Basutos and every other native must be buried and forgotten; it has shed among us sufficient blood! We are one people. These divi-sions, these jealousies, are the cause of all our woes and of all our backwardness and ignorance today.”

Leadership and membership of our organisation have, for many dec-ades, been composed of South Africans from the broadest sections of our country. We are stronger in our diversity and will not be moved away from our principled approach on non-racialism.

The legacy of Apartheid means that the poor and working class are too often located far from economic activity and must travel long distances to and from work. This has negative effects on their quality of life; their health and travel costs often constitute a disproportionate part of their expenses.

The ANC is developing a more coherent approach to spatial develop-ment that addresses social inequality and economic inefficiency. People must live closer to where they work and more economic activities must take place in areas where the majority of the people live.

A big part of addressing apartheid spatial patterns is improving our public transport system and ensuring that all people have access to safe, af-fordable and reliable public transport. We shall, amongst others, invest in rail infrastructure and work with the taxi industry to ensure a more reliable and safe system.

The programmes to provide social assistance to the most marginalised in society will continue, household food insecurity will be tackled head-on, public employment programmes will be scaled up and initiatives to ensure sustainable livelihoods will be intensified.

Sports and the arts are powerful instruments for social cohesion and the ANC government commits to promoting positive values through sports, arts and cultural activities. We will also expand our initiatives to bring sports and recreational facilities to all communities, especially poorer and disadvantaged communities.

Too many of our communities continue to be plagued by drug and alcohol abuse. The ANC government commits to improving both our social and criminal justice response to this scourge.

In addition to our social programmes aimed at improving the lives of all people, we will also implement the Drug Master Plan more vigorously. We will expand recreational facilities and diversion programmes to pre-vent vulnerable people from becoming dependent on substances.

The ANC believes wholeheartedly that all persons must be free to prac-tise their religions and belief without interference by government. We are, however, gravely concerned where harmful practices and abuse are per-petrated in the name of religion. We shall not allow this and call on law enforcement to swiftly and decisively deal with those who pervert religion and abuse people under the guise of religion.

Safe and secure communities

We are working towards a society where everyone is able to walk the streets, play and work throughout this country at all hours of the day and night without fear.

We will strengthen police visibility in our communities by increasing the number of policemen and women. We are working to ensure that law en-forcement personnel are better trained to investigate cases and improve success rates; and that there is better co-operation between prosecutors and investigators.

The ANC-led government has re-established the anti-gang units and they have been in operation throughout the areas of Bishop Lavis, Nyanga and Bonteheuwel in the Western Cape since October 2018. These areas are hardest hit by gang violence and we are working very hard to ensure that people living there are protected. We pledge to you that the anti-gang units will remain active until the situation in the Cape Flats and the greater Western Cape return to normality.

The anti-gang units will be rolled out across the country wherever the need arises.

The ANC-led government established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to address the scourge of political killings and it is widely acknowledged that the work of this Committee has paid off. The number of political killings has reduced significantly and any suspects have been arrested and are now being prosecuted.

However, the ANC wants to say to you that one political killing is one too many. We will show no tolerance for these acts and will not give an inch in prosecuting perpetrators of such heinous acts.

We must promote the rule of law, the cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. This is essential for the security of all citizens, for the integrity of our democratic state and for the inclusive society we seek to build.

The ANC is committed to promoting access to justice, protecting human rights and strengthening institutions of the criminal justice system. We will scale up constitutional education and legal awareness within our edu-cation system and communities. Through appropriate conduct by officers of the law and systematic civic education, we will build respect for our justice system and men and women in uniform.

We call on South Africans to strengthen Community Policing Forums and Community Safety Forums. All of us must know our neighbours and be concerned about their lives.

Effective border management is an important aspect of ensuring that the country and its people are safe. The ANC will improve cooperation with other countries in the region to ensure that we put in place a more effec-tive system to manage migration.

A better world and a better Africa

It is important to strengthen and reinforce South Africa’s place as part of the international progressive movement in the face of rising right-wing nationalism across various parts of the world.

We must work together with other progressive forces to bring about a more just and humane global order through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and global financial institutions. South Africa will continue to campaign, along with other in-ternational partners, for the democratisation of these multilateral bodies. We will use our country’s tenure as a member of the UN Security Council to contribute to the creation of global peace, security and prosperity.

We recently held the BRICS Political Parties Dialogue as part of our ef-forts to build international solidarity in support of multilateralism, partner-ship and cooperation.

The ANC and the majority of the people of South Africa share the com-passion of humanity for the plight of the people of Palestine, Saharawi Democratic Republic, South Sudan, Yemen, Central African Republic and other parts of the world gripped by war and instability. We reiterate our support for the people of Cuba for an end to a blockade that lacks any reasonable basis.

The ANC places the success of Africa’s efforts at attaining inclusive de-velopment at the top of our agenda. We are committed to the success of initiatives of the African Union, including continental economic integration and our long-term aspirations contained in Agenda 2063.

The economic development of our continent must continue to be a pri-ority and South Africa recently ratified the Agreement establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area, linking the markets of three regional economic blocs and opening up more economic opportunities across our continent.


In advancing our vision of a free and equal society, the following priority tasks have been identified for 2019.

  • We will mobilise for a decisive victory in the 2019 elections. Since the ANC remains the most effective vehicle to unite the broad-est cross-section of society, all our structures, members and public representatives must work diligently to ensure that the ANC receives a clear mandate to intensify the efforts to build a better life for all South Africans.

ANC branches and members must spread the message of the ANC far and wide, be consistent and humble in highlighting the many successes and be frank about our challenges. Cadres must also use mobilising efforts towards the elections to recruit members to the ANC.

  • We will intensify the renewal of our movement. All leaders and members should focus their efforts on strengthening unity and working together to address challenges facing communities. Our branches must be strong organs of civil society that reflect the broader composition of communities where they are located and that lead in addressing community concerns.

We will work more diligently to ensure that factionalism, gatekeeping, patronage and other deviant practices are eradicated. The ANC must once again be the first and trusted agent for change in any community.

  • We will accelerate the fight against corruption in the organisation, government and society. Members of the ANC, working with communities and various sectors of society, should expose corruption and state capture, understanding that there will be resistance to our efforts to build an ethical society. The survival of our democracy and the sovereignty of our nation are at stake, and we must heighten our vigilance and activism.
  • We will organise against social ills such as gender-based violence, substance abuse and racism. Non-racialism is a founding principle of the ANC and it is our revolutionary duty to promote the national strength of unity in diversity. Our forebearers abandoned racism and tribalism in a commitment to forge a new South African nation which is non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous and there is no room in the ANC for racists, chauvinists and tribalists.

All people, who adhere to the ethos, rules and principles of the ANC, are welcome in the ANC. We shall not deviate from this principle.

We shall, together with progressive community based organisations, run community based campaigns against gender based violence. These campaigns will focus on addressing the root causes of gender based violence and will include a specific effort to educate young children on healthy gender relations.

Together with anti-drug and alcohol abuse campaigns, ANC structures must promote healthy lifestyles and positive youth activism.

  • We will lead the nation-building effort. We are one people, one South Africa. Our cultures, our languages, our traditions and our skin colours may differ, but we are all South Africans. In the spirit of Thuma Mina – send me, send us – ANC members must be at the forefront of the efforts to build non-racialism and wage war on all forms of ethnic and racial chauvinism in our country.

Our structures must strengthen ties with cultural, religious, sports and other bodies of civil society. Branches must work with new and emerging progressive organisations such as those of youth and women and ensure that the ANC represents the broadest section of society and reflects the ever-changing face of our nation.

We must re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring that both the structures of the ANC and those of our representative bodies reflect the diverse non-racial nature of our society.

  • We will focus on the task of building a better Africa and a better world. Through forging stronger partnerships with progressive formations and governments across the world, we will actively campaign for the interests of Africa and developing countries on all international platforms.

We will champion the struggles of the colonised and oppressed, especially those of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara.

ANC structures, together with the Alliance, must organise a series of lectures throughout the country to educate South Africans about the challenges and obstacles faced by the Saharawi and the people of Palestine and use these lectures to build a critical mass of support for the cause of the people of these countries.


The ANC honours the courage, dedication and selfless service of those activists who passed away over the past year.

We dip our banner in honour of giants and stalwarts such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mendi Msimang, Agnes Msimang, Edna Molewa, George Chaane, Hugh Masekela, Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe, Zola Skweyiya, Eric Mtshali, Moss Chikane, Billy Modise, Archie Sibeko, Joyce Mashamba, Duma Ndleleni, Eddie Funde, George Nene, Reverend Chris Wessels, Phillemon Moletsane, Khabisi Mosunkutu, Connie Bapela, Stephen Gawe, Buyiswa Fazzie, John Ncinane, Galo Veto, Fezeka Loliwe, Flip Potgieter, Trudy Thomas, Sipho Khohlakala, Monde Dakuse, Ndibulele Nzamela, Mzimasi Giwu, Ndumiso Batali, Mandla Makupula, Nalibongwe Yokwe, Themba Kiro Kana, Sipho Mbikwana, Mzimela Cletus, Andy Sefotlhelo, Paseka Machebela, Morwesi Diswai, Nancy Khunou and others.

Their contribution to the struggle for humane social relations must con-tinue to guide and inspire our actions.


The African National Congress bestows Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, its highest order, on comrades who have made an outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle.

These comrades, as illustrated by the literal translation of Isithwalandwe “are the ones who wear the plumes of the rare bird” and have shown themselves to be among the bravest warriors of our people in pursuit of social justice.

It is a great honour to bestow Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe upon:

  • Sophie de Bruyn
  • Denis Goldberg
  • John Nkadimeng

and, posthumously, upon:

  • Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
  • Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu
  • Ahmed Timol
  • Charlotte Maxeke

All ANC members must strive to emulate the example of selfless service and dedication set by these great leaders.

In recognition of the tasks set by the 54th National Conference of the ANC and the ideals for which our movement was founded, the National Executive Committee declares 2019 as THE YEAR OF


Let freedom reign!


The ANC lives!

The ANC leads!