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The Reconstruction and Development Programme

A Policy Framework


This document - The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) - is the end of one process and the beginning of another. The document is the result of many months of consultation within the ANC, its Alliance partners and other mass organisations in the wider civil society. This consultation has resulted in the policy framework contained in this document.

The process now underway is that of developing the detailed policy and legislative programme necessary to implement the RDP. In preparing the document, and in taking it forward, we are building on the tradition of the Freedom Charter. In 1955, we actively involved people and their organisations in articulating their needs and aspirations. Once again we have consulted widely.

However, in 1994 we are about to assume the responsibilities of government and must go beyond the Charter to an actual programme of government. This RDP document is a vital step in that process. It represents a framework that is coherent, viable and has widespread support. The RDP was not drawn up by experts - although many, many experts have participated in that process - but by the very people that will be part of its implementation. It is a product of consultation, debate and reflection on what we need and what is possible. For those who have participated in the process it has been invigorating and reaffirmed the belief that the people of our country are indeed its greatest asset.

The RDP has gone through six drafts. This document incorporates the numerous comments and proposals arising from our Conference on Reconstruction and Strategy in January (1994). In the process there has been much public comment - both favourable and critical. We welcome this, even though we may not always agree with the comment. However, in many cases, both public and private comments have made very valuable contributions and caused us to rethink because by doing so the greater interests of all will be served.

With this document we will now consult very widely to ensure that all considered views are available to the policy making process. We are encouraging local communities to begin developing their own priorities. Within this framework we are able to organise and develop further the vast amount of research and information available to us in the developing of detailed policy.

The ANC and its Alliance partners have principles and policies to which we are deeply committed, but we will not close our ears to other viewpoints. Let me encourage all to express those viewpoints. Democracy will have little content, and indeed, will be short lived if we cannot address our socioeconomic problems within an expanding and growing economy. The ANC is committed to carrying out these programmes with the support of its allies and our people.

From 26-28 April (1994) each of us has a right to exercise a choice - without doubt one of the most important choices any of us will ever make. That choice will determine our socio-economic future and that of our children. Join us in the patriotic endeavour to ensure that all our people share in that future.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela