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National General Council 2005: Declaration

3 July 2005


'A people's contract to advance the vision of the Freedom Charter'

We, 3 000 delegates mandated by our ANC branches throughout the length and breadth of South Africa, delegates from provincial and national leadership structures of the ANC, from the ANCWL and the ANCYL, from the alliance partners, the SACP, COSATU and SANCO, and from progressive sectoral formations and deployees in various areas of social endeavour, have assembled under the strategic theme: "A people's contract to advance the vision of the Freedom Charter".

We came together to assess the progress we have made as a movement and as a country. We have discussed how to accelerate the national democratic revolution guided by the Freedom Charter vision, a vision whose 50th anniversary we have commemorated in the past week.

This NGC believes that we have now entered a new phase of our national democratic revolution. The consolidation of political democracy, the growing electoral strength of and support for our movement, and the relative stabilisation of the economy have created a new set of opportunities and challenges for the cause of social transformation.

At the heart of this new phase is the challenge of promoting and accelerating sustained development and shared growth, spearheaded by a democratic developmental state, guided and buttressed by an ANC-led popular movement and working in partnership with the people of our country. The consolidation of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist South Africa requires, in particular, the marshalling of our resources and energies to overcome the challenge of persisting under-development, of a deeply polarised society and economy.

In the course of this NGC, we have discussed a wide range of policies and programmatic measures. We have made decisions and we have mandated the NEC of the ANC to carry forward programmes to address the challenges of development, job creation and rolling back poverty. And we are of the firm view that implementation of these programmes depends on the realisation of our commitment to build a strong ANC working in a people's contract with all South Africans.

The spirit of disciplined and vibrant engagement that has characterised this NGC must be carried forward into our branches and communities.

In the course of our deliberations we acknowledged the many challenges that confront poor communities in our country. We are sensitive to these concerns. In the coming weeks and months, we must redouble our efforts to localise the realisation of the objectives of the national democratic revolution and ensure that the ANC scores an overwhelming victory in local government elections.

Through our active participation in this NGC, we, the delegates, have once more affirmed our commitment to our movement that continues to uphold and deepen its traditions of internal democracy, collective leadership and rooted in our communities. The ANC, more than ever, requires hundreds of thousands of cadres who cherish and espouse the solemn pledge we have all made in terms of our ANC Constitution. Today, we reaffirm this pledge. It commits us to abide by the aims and objectives of our organisation, to participate actively in our movement without motives of material advantage or material gain, to work towards making the ANC an even more effective instrument of liberation in the hands of the people, and to defend the unity, cohesion and integrity of our organisation and the movement that it leads.

In committing ourselves to carry back to our branches and communities the discussions, decisions and spirit of this NGC, we are convinced that we shall be propelling forward the people's contract to advance the vision of the Freedom Charter.