ANC National Conference 1991-2013


The 48th National Conference of the ANC was held in Durban from 2 - 6 July 1991, just over a year after the organization had been unbanned. It was the first ANC National Conference to be held inside South Africa since 1959 and the organization had been operating in exile and underground for 30 years. The conference was attended by almost 3000 delegates and some 500 international guests, and debated a number of issues facing the country and the organisation's role in determining its future. Nelson Mandela was elected president of the ANC in this meeting and succeeded Oliver Tambo, who was elected national chairperson. Walter Sisulu was elected as the deputy president and Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC Secretary-General, with Jacob Zuma becoming his deputy.

49th ANC National Conference – Bloemfontein 1994

The 49th National Conference of the ANC was held in Bloemfontein from 17-22 December 1994. It was the first national conference where the ANC was not in political opposition to the government of the day. The conference was held in the aftermath of the April 1994 electoral victory of the ANC and the President of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, was also the President of South Africa. Mandela was re-elected the president of the ANC in this conference and Thabo Mbeki as his deputy. Jacob Zuma was elected as the National Chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa as General Secretary and his deputy Cheryl Carolus.

50th ANC National Conference – Mafikeng 1997

Nelson Mandela, on the right and Thabo Mbeki, on the left, are seen during the African National Congress (ANC) 50th conference held in Mafikeng (Mahikeng) in the North West Province of South Africa in December 1997

The African National Congress (ANC) 50th conference held in Mafikeng (Mahikeng) in the North West Province of South Africa in December 16-20, 1997. More than 3,000 delegates attended the conferences voted to choose their leaders among 200 candidates for the 60-member committee. At the Conference Thabo Mbeki was elected the new President of the ANC unopposed and Jacob Zuma became his deputy. Emphasizing his intention to retire in 1999, President Nelson Mandela rejected a nomination during the proceedings.  Kgalema Motlanthe became the Secretary General and deputy secretary-general was held by Thenjiwe Mtintsho while Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota was elected as the national chairperson.

51st ANC National Conference – Stellenbosch 2002

Delegates at the ANC's 51st conference in Stellenbosch

The ANC`s 51st National Conference was held at the University of Stellenbosch from 16-20 December 2002. The highest decision-making structure of the ANC, National Conference is held every five years. The 51st National Conference took place in the year of the ANC`s 90th anniversary. The Conference was attended by 3,400 voting delegates. Of these, 90% were delegates from ward-based ANC branches. There were also delegates from other ANC structures and sectors where ANC cadres are deployed. The Conference was be also attended by observers from allied organisations in South Africa and fraternal parties across the world. Thabo Mbeki was re-elected as president of the party and Jacob Zuma as his deputy. Kgalema Motlanthe also retained his position as a Secretary General.

52nd ANC National Conference – Polokwane 2007

The ANC held its 52nd National Conference at the University of Limpopo in Polokwane from 16-20 December 2007. Jacob Zuma was elected as ANC President defeating Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe was elected deputy president of the party. The 52nd National Conference was attended by 4,000 voting delegates from branches and other ANC structures. It was also attended by non-voting delegates, observers and guests. This is the last ordinary National Conference before the ANC`s centenary in 2012. The conference saw a significant change in the leadership of the ANC since 1997 conference.  Gwede Mantashe became the secretary general and Thandi Modise was elected Deputy Secretary-General while Baleka Mbete was elected party Chairperson.

53rd ANC National Conference – Mangaung 2012

The ANC`s 53rd National Conference was held at the University of the Free State in Mangaung on the 16th - 20th December 2012. The 53rd National Conference took place in the year of the ANC`s 100th anniversary. The Conference was attended by 4,500 voting delegates, representing thousands of branches, located across the length and breadth of South Africa. Jacob Zuma was re-elected as the president of the ANC and Cyril Ramaphosa became the deputy president. Gwede Mantashe was also re-elected the secretary general. Jessie Duarte was elected unopposed as deputy secretary-general. 

• South African History Online.African National Congress Timeline 1990-1999. [online] Available at [Accessed 08 January  2014]

Last updated : 06-May-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 24-Apr-2014

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