Umtata, 8 January 2005
Compatriots and comrades,
On the occasion of the 93rd anniversary of the African National Congress, January 8th 2005, we extend our greetings and best wishes to you, the people of South Africa, as well as the peoples of the rest of Africa and the world.
Three important moments will mark our political calendar this year. The first of these will be the holding of our National General Council in July. The second will be the celebration on June 26th of the 50th Anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the 1955 Congress of the People. The third will be the Local Government Elections towards the end of the year.
As was the case when we celebrated the 90th Anniversary of our movement in 2002, this January 8th Statement celebrates that historic document of our struggle and movement, the Freedom Charter. It spells out our tasks as we pursue the goals spelt out in the Charter, conscious of the fact of the changed domestic and global circumstances since it was adopted half-a-century ago.
In the 90th Anniversary January 8th Statement our National Executive Committee said:
"We must look forward to the tasks we have to accomplish during the critical decade that will take us to the Centenary of the ANC. This will give us a much-needed road map, dealing with all aspects of our national and international life, as we advance to the Year 2012.
"Clearly, the guiding principle of this road map must be the objective to move forward decisively to eradicate the legacy of racism, sexism, colonialism and apartheid. This is the central aim that must inform the detailed work done daily by the vanguard movement for the social transformation of our country and Continent, as well as our democratic state.
"We must base our vision, programmes and actions on that historic manifesto of the people of South Africa, the Freedom Charter. This demands especially of our vanguard movement that we ensure that the Freedom Charter plays its role in the formation of the new South Africa, as a living document."
Our late President, Oliver Tambo, spelt out the true meaning of the Freedom Charter to our country and people in the 1980 January 8th Statement, when, to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Charter during what he proclaimed as the Year of the Charter, he said:
"The Freedom Charter contains the fundamental perspective of the vast majority of the people of South Africa of the kind of liberation that all of us are fighting for. Hence it is not merely the Freedom Charter of the African National Congress and its allies. Rather it is the Charter of the people of South Africa for liberation ... Because it came from the people, it remains still a people's Charter, the one basic political statement of our goals to which all genuinely democratic and patriotic forces of South Africa adhere."
These words remain true to this day. The Charter embodies a vision of an alternative society to the society we inherited. It constitutes the programme of the people of our country for the creation of a truly democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous country.
It guides us about the broad outcomes we must pursue to achieve the strategic goal we have set ourselves - to eradicate the legacy of racism, sexism, colonialism and apartheid, as we said when we marked our 90th Anniversary.
THE RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
A decade ago, we adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme as the instrument we would use to pursue the broad objectives contained in the Freedom Charter. As we mark our 93rd Anniversary and enter into our Second Decade of Liberation, we recommit ourselves to pursue the programme for reconstruction and development as confirmation of our determination to uphold the vision contained in the Freedom Charter.
During our First Decade of Freedom, the period since we adopted the RDP, we have put in place the necessary specific programmes to bring the objectives of the RDP and therefore the Freedom Charter, into reality. We have achieved a great deal of progress as we implemented these programmes.
As we have done this work, we have not lost sight of the heavy responsibility that falls on the shoulders of our movement to lead our country and all our people towards the creation of the society visualised by the masses of our people when they adopted the Freedom Charter.
Accordingly, not only do we have the responsibility to ensure the realisation of the goals of what Oliver Tambo correctly described as "a people's Charter, the one basic political statement of our goals to which all genuinely democratic and patriotic forces of South Africa adhere."
We also have the task to lead the people of South Africa as a whole to act in unity to achieve these goals, in the interest of all our people, of all races, colours, genders, age and geographic domicile.
During our third democratic elections in April 2004, the masses of our people reconfirmed their confidence in our movement as the best defender of the vision spelt out in the Freedom Charter, a true custodian of their aspirations and a trustworthy leader of all our people as they continue to act together to meet the difficult challenge of eradicating the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and building a winning nation. The masses of our people indicated their firm support for our vision to unite our country around a People's Contract to Create Work and Fight Poverty.
That massive vote of confidence also places a sacred obligation on our movement and "the genuinely democratic and patriotic forces of South Africa" of which Oliver Tambo spoke, to respect the wishes of the people and ensure that they do not disappoint their expectations.
THE ANC NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL (NGC)
Inevitably, the eyes of the nation will focus on our National General Council (NGC) when it convenes in six months' time. Our people will be keenly interested to know what will come out of this important gathering, which, in terms of our movement's political calendar, is second in importance only to our National Conference.
The NGC will therefore have to assess the progress we have made in implementing the decisions we took at our 51st National Conference in 2002. It will also have to assess the progress we have made towards the achievement of the goals contained in the Reconstruction and Development Programme particularly as they relate to the accomplishment of the tasks of our Second Decade of Liberation.
Of particular importance, it will have to make a proper evaluation of the means and resources we have to enable us to meet these goals. In this regard, it will have to indicate the steps we have to take to ensure that we deploy the adequate human and material resources without which it will not be possible for us to make the advances we must make towards the achievement of the goal of the eradication of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid.
In this context, the NGC will have to pay particular attention to the further strengthening of our system of local government, which is critical to the success of our reconstruction and development efforts.
This relates not only to the state structures but also to the functioning of our councillors and our local branches, both of which have to maintain the closest contact with the masses of the people in their localities and respond expeditiously to their demands. This is a critical element in ensuring that our local government system discharges its responsibilities to assist in the process of the speedy eradication of the legacy of the past.
The NGC will also have to consider the progress we have made towards the transformation of our society with regard to such objectives as non-racism, non-sexism and respect for the rights of people with disabilities. It will have the responsibility to decide on the steps we have to take to achieve better and faster progress with regard to these objectives.
In this context, it will have to consider the steps we have to take to respond both to our own determination to promote the goal of gender equality and the decision of the last Summit Meeting of the African Union, which requires all member states of the Union to achieve such equality in all government decision-making bodies.
The first possibility our movement will have to address this challenge practically will be in the process of the constitution of the municipal councils that will be formed after the local government elections later this year. In this context, we will have to take into account the decisions of the last Congress of SALGA, the Local Government Association, which called for the immediate achievement of gender equality in the composition of our municipal councils.
All this emphasises the importance of the deliberations and decisions of our movement to the future of our country and therefore the need for us to approach this work with the greatest seriousness.
In this regard we must draw attention to the fact that the NGC will be the first major decision-making representative conference our movement will hold as we begin our Second Decade of Liberation. Its decisions will therefore make an important impact on the progress we achieve during this important stage of our national democratic revolution.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE FREEDOM CHARTER
In observing 50 years of the Freedom Charter, our movement as a whole will reconfirm its commitment to revolutionary struggle to bring into being a better society, founded on dignity and equality for all.
Our challenge remains to translate the ten clauses of the Charter into solid progress towards the realisation of a better future. All the structures and cadres of our movement have the duty to honestly re-examine their work in the light of the Charter's political, social, economic and moral vision.
THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN!
Once more, the ANC recommits itself to realising in practice the call of the Charter that 'The People Shall Govern'.
The democratic mandate of 2004 has further consolidated our democratic system, thus ensuring the entrenchment of the Charter's demand that "only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright".
The Freedom Charter boldly asserts "All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country". As a movement we have made sustained efforts to reach out to our people and engage them directly in the system of government, including through the programme of Izimbizo and the Letsema campaign.
In the coming year we must advance decisively toward this vision by ensuring that the principle and practice of 'Batho Pele' infuses our democratic state with a degree of energy capable of transforming the lives of our people.
The coming year will also see the extension of the programme of Community Development Workers, who constitute an important component part of the frontline cadres engaged in struggle to realise the vision of the Charter at the local level.
In 1955, we actively involved people and their organisations in articulating their needs and aspirations. In the spirit of this tradition, the ANC will continue to extend its engagement with the masses of our people and civil society further to strengthen the People's Contract.
PEOPLE'S POWER FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Of critical importance in the coming year will be to focus on the local sphere of government. As a movement we must ensure that local government, including elected representatives, ward councils and other forums and structures for popular participation, genuinely realise the vision of the Freedom Charter at local level.
The critical challenge over the next decade will be to ensure that democratic and developmental local government, which empowers our people to act as their own liberators and directs reconstruction at local level, is further strengthened to play its role.
The creation of one million jobs through the expanded public works programme, as well as many of the other commitments of Manifesto 2004, require that popular local government is constructed on a firm foundation.
As we approach the local government election campaign we will face the critical task of mobilising communities to become active in the selection of their local government candidates and in setting the priorities and programme for the local governance structures where they live. We must also give serious attention to the objective of achieving gender parity with regard to the ANC local government councillors.
In practical terms the coming year will see our movement engage in a sustained campaign to build local government's developmental and democratic capacity. This will include:
Popularising ward committees, School Governing Bodies (SGBs), Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and other mechanisms for democratic participation at local level;
Intensifying our efforts to roll-out and capacitate community development workers, to serve and mobilise our people;
Embarking on an intensive "know your neighbourhood" campaign, in which national, provincial and local leaders of the Alliance engage in door-to-door work;
Building cooperatives, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and other mechanisms, and mobilising the rest of civil society to involve the people in the process of reconstruction and development; and,
Strengthening popular involvement in the development programmes focused on the 21 nodal areas identified by the Integrated and Sustainable Rural Development and Urban Renewal Programmes.
THE PEOPLE SHALL SHARE IN THE COUNTRY'S WEALTH!
The Freedom Charter guides our progress towards the realisation of a future in which "the national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people".
It declares that 'The people shall share in the country's wealth'; that 'The land shall be shared among those who work it'; and that 'There shall be work and security'.
Colonialism and apartheid robbed our people of productive property, and created an education system designed to confine them to the perpetual status of 'hewers of wood and drawers of water'.
The democratic state must take the lead in the transformation of our economy away from the fetters of the past, which constrain growth and development. Among the mechanisms that the developmental state deploys to restore the national wealth of our country to the people are:
Sustained and substantial investment in economic and social infrastructure, built with methods with a bias towards labour intensive technologies;
Increasing the access of the masses of the people to physical resources, particularly land, housing and community infrastructure;
Poverty reduction and eradication through job creation, skills development and budget interventions to increase the social wage, bearing in mind our limited means;
Affirmative action, broad based black economic empowerment and other interventions designed to fast-track the inclusion of the previously marginalised in the mainstream economy and simultaneously transform the structure of the economy; and,
Ensuring the growth and development of our economy to provide the means to achieve the broad goals indicated by the Freedom Charter.
To advance the poverty eradication agenda, the United Nations has declared this year as the Year of Micro-credit. Building the cooperative movement, as well as the Developmental Micro-Finance movement will therefore make a key contribution to the popular mobilisation of our people for economic liberation.
At the same time, the ANC will continue to mobilise our communities in general, and targeted groups in particular - women, institutions working with children, people with disabilities, the youth and the elderly - to take up the black economic empowerment opportunities and to help us achieve the broad based development we seek.
Government and the state owned enterprises must and will intensify their sup port for small, medium and micro enterprises, including black farmers and those who work the land, as critical component parts of black economic empowerment, ensuring that this support helps to improve the quality of the lives of as many of our people as possible.
THERE SHALL BE HOUSES, SECURITY AND COMFORT!
The Freedom Charter envisions a society in which all people have a right to live where they choose; to be decently housed; to bring up their families in comfort and security; to have accessible, quality health care; and to have free, compulsory, universal and equal education.
The Freedom Charter declares that 'There shall be houses, security and comfort' and that 'The doors of learning and culture shall be opened'.
In the First Decade of Freedom we have worked together to make this vision a reality. We have provided houses, electricity, water and sanitation, telecommunications, roads, and bridges. We have made quality health care more accessible to the poor, through, among other things, the provision of new clinics and free health care to pregnant women, young children and many people with disabilities. Children in all parts of the country have access to better education. Millions of those most in need now have access to social grants.
Yet given the scale and depth of deprivation and underdevelopment, so much more needs to be done before we can indeed say that we have realised the vision of the Freedom Charter.
Working together with all sectors of society and through the developmental state, we will strive to:
Accelerate programmes to provide water and sanitation, electricity and telephone services to those who are not yet connected;
Pursue an integrated housing plan which broadens access to quality housing to even more South Africans, particularly those living in informal settlements;
Improve service in health facilities through improved training, recruitment and retention of health personnel, improved infrastructure, and enhanced health promotion and awareness;
Improve access to education by, among other things, ensuring all children have decent classrooms, improve spending in favour of the poor, expand the school nutrition programme, and ensure that no learner is barred from school because of inability to pay fees decided by school governing bodies;
Ensure that all who are eligible for social grants receive them; and,
Speed up the programme to provide free basic water and electricity to ensure each family receives a basic minimum of services.
A critical challenge is to ensure that people are aware of the services and opportunities available to them, and are able to access them. One of the central tasks for the year ahead is to ensure that the Community Development Worker programme, among others, increases the impact of government programmes on the lives of the poor, by bringing government closer to them and empowering them to act as agents of their own development.
ALL SHALL BE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW!
The Freedom Charter envisions a society in which 'All shall be equal before the law'; that 'All shall enjoy equal human rights'; and that 'All national groups shall have equal rights'.
Today, we enjoy a Constitution, which guarantees the rights of all South Africans, including the right to equality. It protects the rights of all people to life and human dignity, freedom and security, privacy, and citizenship. It protects the right of all people to freedom of religion, belief and opinion; freedom of expression, association and movement.
The task we face is progressively to work to ensure that these rights are upheld, and that these freedoms become part of the lived daily reality of all South Africans. We need, in particular, to continue to work to eradicate the legacy of racism, racial discrimination and oppression. We need similarly to eradicate gender discrimination and oppression, and ensure that all South Africans do indeed have equal and unfettered access to opportunity.
We need to ensure that all have equal protection under the law, and that all have access to the institutions of state designed to protect and uphold their rights.
We face the continuing and important challenge to work for the transformation of the judiciary. Much work has already been done to address the race and gender imbalances within this institution. Nevertheless, more progress has to be achieved in this regard.
However, we are also confronted by the similarly important challenge to transform the collective mindset of the judiciary to bring it into consonance with the vision and aspirations of the millions who engaged in struggle to liberate our country from white minority domination.
The reality can no longer be avoided that many within our judiciary do not see themselves as being part of these masses, accountable to them, and inspired by their hopes, dreams and value systems. If this persists for too long, it will inevitably result in popular antagonism towards the judiciary and our courts, with serious and negative consequences for our democratic system as a whole.
We have the task and the responsibility to mobilise all sections of the community to join in the People's Contract to work for the realisation of their rights, including the rights contained in the Constitution to housing, health care, food, water and social security. We need to pay particular attention to the rights of those in society who remain vulnerable to neglect or abuse - children, the elderly, the sick and the disabled. We need to continue to work to building a caring state and a caring society.
THERE SHALL BE PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP!
Meeting South Africa's developmental challenges cannot be separated from the quest for peace and democracy in Africa and the world. This means that we must recommit ourselves to the injunction of the Freedom Charter that, "South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war".
The forces of religious fanaticism, exclusive nationalism, greed and militarism are on the rise in various parts of the world. It is incumbent on the progressive movement to intervene decisively in favour of multilateralism, a democratic world order and respect for the rights of all nations and peoples.
In this regard, we have a responsibility to contribute to the strengthening and restructuring of global institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This is also in keeping with the ANC's African Claims document, which set the agenda for a consolidated approach to the struggles of the peoples of Africa and presaged the United Nations' Human Rights Charter. Our national anthem represents an all-embracing spirit that acknowledges the interrelatedness of the African struggles and serves as an umbilical cord that binds us to the rest of our continent.
We continue to commit ourselves to become part and parcel of crucial players who genuinely seek to find lasting solutions in the continent and beyond. The ANC will have to build its own capacity during this year so that it is better prepared to manage and undertake all these important tasks.
This year we will honour the Zimbabwean people, who will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of their liberation from colonial rule. We will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the independence of Angola and Mozambique. It will be a fitting tribute to these brave peoples that we should redouble our efforts to help bring peace, democracy and development to Africa.
During the coming year, our movement will focus on the following tasks:
Strengthen the progressive movement on the African continent and work with other political party, union and civil society formations to contribute meaningfully to peace, democracy and development;
Support the continuing struggle for democracy and peace in such sister countries as Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, the DRC, Burundi and Sudan;
Help build the progressive youth and women's movement in Africa through, inter-alia, exchanges among youth and women in popular organisations between South Africa and the rest of the continent;
Continue our support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for national self-determination and the just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
Participate in the global movement for development, democracy and social justice, focusing among others on such countries as Haiti and Somalia.
TASKS OF OUR CADRES
Having sketched some of the broad tasks of our movement as we work towards the achievement of the vision of the Freedom Charter, we should now identify some of the practical responsibilities of each and every structure and cadre of the movement over the course of the year.
We expect that every cadre of the movement should undertake the broad tasks of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) wherever they find themselves. In this, they should be guided by the vision provided by the Freedom Charter, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), the resolutions of the 2002 Stellenbosch National Conference and the 2004 Manifesto.
All provinces, the leagues and components of the Alliance should assign structures the responsibility of coordination and monitoring of the work. These structures will also ensure that regions and branches develop detailed action plans within the broader ambit of this programme. The planning processes will run concurrently to ensure a smooth flow of processes and implementation on the ground. At the end of the year an evaluation will be undertaken which will inform future programmes.
Structures will organise public meetings, seminars and political discussion groups in each quarter to discuss the relevant clauses of the Freedom Charter, and the political and policy challenges of working to realise each of them. This is intended further to deepen the level of understanding and commitment to the tasks of the national democratic revolution not only within the democratic movement, but also in society more broadly.
First quarter: January - March 2005
There Shall be Houses, Security And Comfort
The Doors of Learning & Culture Shall be Opened
Programmes will focus, in the first instance, on ensuring that effective schooling begins from the start of the school year; that all eligible learners are enrolled and in attendance; and that all schools have the necessary learning materials and other resources. The campaign will extend to institutions of higher learning, to ensure, in particular, that issues of student funding are effectively dealt with, so that all eligible students can begin their academic year with minimal disruption.
At a local level, structures of the movement and the Alliance will mobilise communities to access government assistance in the form of housing subsidies, service provision - free basic water and electricity, in particular - health care, social grants and identity documents. Local structures will need to undertake an audit of service provision, including the quality of service, and engage with local, provincial and national government to ensure backlogs and other problems are addressed.
Drawing on the experience of previous years, and in the spirit of Letsema, structures will mobilise volunteers to assist in improving the general environment and functioning of schools, clinics and hospitals, community centres, and other places of public service.
Second quarter: April - June 2005
The People Shall Share in the Country's Wealth
The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It
There Shall be Work and Security
Structures will develop programmes around the challenge of creating work and fighting poverty. Work will need to focus on assisting community members to access available assistance from the various agencies and institutions that are tasked with fostering entrepreneurship, job creation and skills development. These include the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the IDC, Umsobomvu Fund, the Small Business Development Agency, the Apex Fund and the IDT.
Structures should also make communities aware of learnership opportunties, and employment and training opportunities under the Extended Public Works Programme.
There needs to be specific focus on the needs of the youth, with the ANC Youth League taking the lead in ensuring that youth are able to access government programmes designed to ensure that all our youth are equipped with skills, resources and support to enable them to participate effectively in the mainstream economy. Our approach towards youth development should be to incorporate it as an integral and central component of national, provincial and local development.
Work will need to be done to ensure that the gains that workers have made during the First Decade of Freedom are strengthened and consolidated. Programmes should include efforts at local level to identify and challenge employers who continue to violate the basic rights of workers, including agricultural workers, encompassing the right to a minimum wage, basic conditions of employment, and health and safety matters.
Programmes should include a significant focus on land reform and agricultural development, mobilising rural communities to participate in the land redistribution process, and to access finance, resources, training and other assistance provided by government and non-governmental institutions.
Third quarter: July - September 2005
All Shall be Equal Before the Law
All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights
All National Groups Shall Have Equal Rights
There Shall be Peace and Friendship
Programmes should endeavour to educate communities about their rights, how they can be exercised, and what recourse they have if their rights have been violated. Local structures should conduct audits of the realisation of socio-economic rights within each community, and develop strategies for ensuring that these rights are progressively achieved.
Structures will need to mobilise communities in the fight against crime, and work to strengthen partnerships between communities and the law enforcement agencies. Volunteers should be encouraged to become police reservists, and campaigns should be conducted to motivate people to provide the police with information about criminal activity, and to discourage people from buying stolen goods.
Communities should be mobilised against racism, sexism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination. This should involve both awareness-raising activities and practical action to prevent the perpetuation of discriminatory practices.
Under the leadership of the ANC Women's League, we need to mobilise South African women to work together towards changing the lives of women for the better. We also need to ensure broad participation in the process of reviewing progress since the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.
Our role as a country in promoting peace and friendship on the African continent and in the world will become the focal point in this message. The advent of the African Union and NEPAD as instruments to bring development, peace and friendship will be important to highlight. The work we do in partnership with others in many hotspots of the world including DRC, Burundi, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, the Middle East, Iraq, Haiti and elsewhere will underpin our message.
Fourth quarter: October - December 2005
The people shall govern: Victory in the local government elections!
Programmes should be developed which place emphasis on good governance, representative government and the advancement of the batho pele principle in all areas and across all spheres of government. Izimbizo, People's Parliaments and other forums where the public is able to directly interact with their government will be organised.
In celebrating the Freedom Charter, activities to celebrate the advent of democracy will be given prominence, highlighting the long road our people had to traverse to achieve the right to vote and to stand as candidates for all law-making bodies in a free country.
A major emphasis of this quarter will be activities that build People's power for local development. Structures will work to strengthen, and where necessary, establish, Ward Committees, Community Policing Forums (CPFs), Community Development Forums (CDFs), and other structures of local popular participation. Work will need to be undertaken to ensure that communities participate in local decision-making, including the implementation of the local government Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
Of particular importance, once more we will also have to engage the masses of our people to participate in the important process to elect our next municipal governments. Once again, we will have to mobilise the people to mandate our movement to lead them at the local level as we strive further to give full expression to the objective that The People shall Govern!
We must crown our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter and the 93rd of our movement by organising the masses of our people to vote yet again for their movement, the ANC, to constitute the political leadership of our system of local government. Our mobilising call must be -all out for an ANC victory in the Local Government Elections!
STRENGTHEN THE STRUCTURES OF THE PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT
Everything we have said emphasises the need for us to pay particular attention to the task of building and strengthening the movement, to ensure that it is capable of meeting the important challenges it faces.
In particular we have to ensure that we mobilise our branches to work vigorously and diligently to implement our programme of action. Preparations for the NGC will also demand the involvement of our branches, as will the implementation of its decisions and the preparations for the Local Government Elections.
At the same time, we must also pay attention to the task of further strengthening the Alliance and ensure that it implements the agreed common programme of action, maintaining its unity and cohesion, together to confront the challenges ahead.
The implementation of the programme of action contained in this January 8th Statement, which includes intensified political and ideological work both within the ranks of the movement and among the people should also help us further to develop the level of political development and maturity of our members, making them even better combatants for the victory of the national democratic revolution.
Both our structures and cadres must understand their increased responsibilities during our Second Decade of Liberation. In particular we have to work closely and continuously with the people to ensure the detailed implementation of our reconstruction and development programmes to eradicate the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and bring closer the realisation of the broad vision contained in the Freedom Charter.
This will demand committed and disciplined cadres as well as strong and active structures of our movement. The achievement of this task must be one of our central objectives as we mark the 93rd Anniversary of our movement.
In addition to celebrating 50 years of the Freedom Charter, during 2005, we will also mark:
The 50th Anniversary of the formation of the SA Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU),
The 20th Anniversary of the formation of our Alliance partner, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU),
The 10th Anniversary of the death of Isithwalandwe Joe Slovo.
In marking these important occasions in the history of our ongoing struggle for national liberation, we will draw on the inspiration of those who shaped our history and contributed so much to what we have achieved as a nation.
WE SALUTE OUR BEST CADRES AS WELL AS OUR FALLEN HEROES AND HEROINES.
We now have the pleasure to announce the recipients of this year's Awards to those among our comrades who have made an outstanding contribution to the realisation of the vision of the Freedom Charter during this past year.
We are therefore pleased to announce this year's winners of our movement's prestigious awards:
The Sol Plaatje Award conferred on the best performing ANC branch goes to Moretele Ward 7 Branch, Bojanala Region, North West Province. The runner-up branch is Johannes Maseng Branch, Siyanda Region, Northern Cape Province.
The Charlotte Maxeke Award conferred on the best performing ANC Women's League branch goes to Tirisano Branch, Bojanala Region, North- West Province. The runner-up branch is Thembeka None Branch, City of Cape Town Region, Western Cape Province.
The Anton Lembede Award conferred on the best performing ANC Youth League branch goes to Hector Petersen Branch, Lejweleputswa Region, Free State Province. The runner-up is Matjwane Seroto Branch, Fezile Dabi Region, Free State Province.
The Z.K. Matthews Award conferred on the best performing ANC local government councillors goes to Ekangala District Municipality, Hlanzeni Region, Mpumalanga Province. The runners-up are Matsopa Municipality, Motheo Region, Free State Province.
We must also take this opportunity to salute those patriots who passed away during the past year. Among the outstanding contributors to the freedom and dignity of the people of our country who left us last year are Isithwalandwe Wilton Mkwayi, Isithwalandwe Ray Alexander, Abdullah Omar, Beyers Naude, Dumisani Makhaye, David Bopape, Joyce Kgoali, Bernard G Molewa and Sheila Weinberg.
These veterans of our movement stood fast behind the pledge they made in 1955: Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here: These freedoms we will fight for, side by side, throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty!
Last year, we also learnt with sadness of the passing of comrade Yasser Arafat, an outstanding leader of his people and steadfast opponent of national oppression, wherever it is found.
To honour these outstanding revolutionaries and to mark the ANC's 93rd anniversary, as well as 50 years of the Freedom Charter, we are pleased to declare this year:
THE YEAR OF POPULAR MOBILISATION TO ADVANCE THE VISION OF THE FREEDOM CHARTER.
African National Congress
National Executive Committee
8 January 2005
Umtata, Eastern Cape