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Statement of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress on the occasion of the 103rd Anniversary of the ANC

8 January 2015, Cape Town, Western Cape

Comrades, Compatriots and Friends,

We are celebrating 103 years of the existence of the African National Congress.

We are the ANC of John Langalibalele Dube, Sefako Makgatho, Zac Mahabane, Josiah Gumede, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, AB Xuma, JS Moroka, Nkosi Albert Luthuli, OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Yusuf Dadoo, Billy Nair, Brian Bunting, Albertina Sisulu, Reg September, Francis Baard, Johnnie Issel and many others.

We are the descendants of many warriors who fought against colonialism such as Autshumato, King Hintsa, King Makhado, King Cetshwayo, King Sekhukhune, King Moshoeshoe, Adam Kok I and Nkosi Bhambatha.

These are some of the Giants, upon whose shoulders we stand one hundred and three years after the ANC was founded. The vision of the founding mothers and fathers of our movement was confirmed by the people of South Africa, who gave birth to the clauses of the Freedom Charter at a Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto in 1955.

It is our task to take forward the vision they forged over decades.

In this 103rd year of our formation we also commemorate certain notable anniversaries;

  • We are celebrating sixty years since the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto, where the Freedom Charter was adopted. This was a mass gathering of the people who came as delegates from every village, town and city.
  • Despite the heavy presence of the Apartheid military machine, the spirit of South Africans acting in unity could not be dampened. We salute those heroes and heroines, who were fundamental in shaping the pillars of our democracy as enshrined in our Constitution.
  • This year represents the fifty-fifth Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, where the Apartheid police brutally mowed down innocent citizens who were protesting against the unjust pass laws.
  • We recall that it is thirty years since the ANC`s Kabwe Conference,a truly watershed Conference in our Movement. The resolutions, taken in Kabwe, Zambia, consolidated the strategic objectives of the ANC to put in place a non-racial, non- sexist, united and democratic South Africa. It was in Kabwe, where leadership of our organisation was opened to all races after membership had been opened to all races in 1969 at the Morogoro Conference in Tanzania.
  • The revolutionary trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) was formed thirty years ago, and it remains the major fighting force for the rights of workers in South Africa. It is important that we maintain and protect the integrity and unity of COSATU.
  • The Movement commemorates thirty years since the Maseru Massacre, the Uitenhage Massacre, the Trojan Horse Massacre right here in Athlone, the Duncan Village Massacre and other tragic incidents where innocent people were killed for protesting against the unjust laws.
  • Victoria Mxenge was brutally assassinated thirty years ago and we honour her defiant spirit and heroism.
  • Many of us here will remember that twenty five years ago the peoples` organisations were unbanned and we began the journey to transform our country from Apartheid.
  • This year is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the re-launch of the ANC Women`s League, whose objectives remain the emancipation of women and an end to patriarchy.
  • A great South African, Isithwalandwe/ Seaparankoe Joe Slovo, died twenty years ago. We remember him as a person of bravery, ingenuity and a revolutionary.
  • We recall the KwaShobashobane Massacre of twenty years ago in Port Shepstone, which happened as a result of violence sponsored by the apartheid state against our people.

Today the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) reports back to our people on how far we have come in giving effect to the ideals of the Freedom Charter. We shall set out what the ANC will continue to do to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa, based on the sound principles of the Freedom Charter as articulated by the people of this country in 1955.

SOUTH AFRICA BELONGS TO ALL WHO LIVE IN IT

The Preamble of the Freedom Charter reminds us:

"We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know that South Africa belongs to All Who Live In It, Black and White and that No Government Can Justly Claim Authority unless it is based on the Will of All The People".

Sixty Years later, we celebrate the unity of the people of South Africa and the prescripts of the Freedom Charter find expression in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

The Preamble of The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa proclaims:

"We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of the past, honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land, respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity."

With that Preamble it can be seen that the Constitution has its foundation in the Freedom Charter. Let us recognise that, under the ANC government, indeed the people govern. We have held democratic elections every five years. Every South African has the right to elect a government of his or her own choice.

The ANC can proudly say we have achieved a government based on will of the people and that all governments since 1994 can claim legitimate authority as the result of free and fair elections.

We are committed to building a South African nation that is diverse. The birth of a nation is never an easy task. We began this journey by removing all forms of legislative and institutionalised discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, culture and sexual orientation.

It is our task to work together to foster social cohesion and build a common South African nationhood. The National Development Plan (NDP) is an overarching plan and a vision to realise the ideals of the Freedom Charter to put in place a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.

The NDP sets out Vision 2030 for South Africa where key targets have been identified and specific steps are set out for implementation.

It is a long-term, national development plan that takes a strategic, wide-ranging view of the challenges and opportunities before us and is based on deliberate consultation with every sector of the South African public.

It is a plan for dealing with unemployment, inequality and poverty, consistent with the National Democratic Society in both form and content. The ANC is the Movement best placed, as the leader of society, to bring hope to all South Africans around the vision of the NDP. To implement the NDP effectively, we must remain the most credible and be exemplary amongst our people.

Our people entrusted us, overwhelmingly, to give effect to the will of the electorate and we must do so according to the mandate upon which we were elected. Let us, therefore, give meaning to "Service to the People" and serve them with humility and dignity.

THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN

Peoples` power has its roots in the manner in which the ANC elects its leaders.

ANC members have a say from the very first stages of how we select those who will lead us. The ANC enables our structures to nominate and vote for their preferred candidates through a series of democratic processes and eventually the National Conference of the ANC decides on national leadership. Similar processes apply when we choose those who will represent our people to all the legislatures and the national executive of the country.

This is a very dynamic and open process and is not found in many other parties in our country. The ANC strives to be a model of democracy and people-driven governance because we know what it means to be repressed and not have a say in your own destiny.

We must continuously guard against the manipulation of our democratic processes by those among us who wish to use the ANC for personal gain and self-aggrandisement. Our major task is to deepen discipline and service to the people at all times.

We must take charge of how we shape the future of the ANC. Let us rededicate ourselves to the core values of the ANC. These are unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collective leadership, humility, honesty, discipline, hard work, internal debates, constructive criticism and self-criticism and mutual respect.

Let us root out those members and representatives who are corrupt, factional and who undermine the unity and cohesion of this great Movement.

South Africans also have a big say in formal government structures.

We have a peoples` Parliament and ordinary South Africans now have unprecedented access to legislatures and their representatives. Our law-making is through consultative processes and often includes public hearings. There are instances where legislatures hold hearings in far-flung towns and villages so that they make sure that even the most remote voices are heard.

The NDP calls on our people to be part of an active citizenry and to take greater collective responsibility for our own development. The NDP is a call to all South Africans to unite behind a common goal of building a democratic and prosperous country. This call in the NDP must be led by the ANC.

It is the ANC cadre who must be involved in the ongoing challenges that our people face in our neighbourhoods, community safety forums, school governing bodies and all organs of civil society.

Our primary message to all members and branches is that the ANC belongs to all the people of South Africa that is why it is called a liberation movement.

The duty of members is to organize people and draw them into the ANC.

The NDP is our blueprint for taking this country forward and must guide how we become our own liberators!

Tasks of the Movement:

  • In this Decade of the Cadre; the first task is to engage in the Imvuselelo Campaign which intends to regenerate the ANC at a grassroots level. The primary objectives of the Imvuselelo Campaign are:
    • Focused and sustained membership recruitment for the quantitative growth of the organisation.
    • Enhancing the quality of membership through programmes targeted at raising political consciousness and ideological depth.
    • Building strong and vibrant ANC structures at grassroots level that are able to provide leadership to government and society.
  • Our branches must therefore serve as the leading force to address issues in their communities through the establishment of street committees. It is the ANC that must forge the spirit of volunteerism amongst our people.
  • Each branch of the ANC must hold regular branch meetings and regular meetings with the community on issues that affect our people. ANC members must actively serve their communities through activities such as volunteering their time and services to clinics and schools.
  • The ANC must remain a constant factor in the daily lives of communities to promote a sense of civic duty. This must be replicated at zonal and regional levels.
  • Our ANC branches must play a leading role in influencing all community involvement aimed at building legitimate institutions of governance and shaping our future. ANC Members must be familiar with the recommendations of the NDP; and must consequently be at the forefront of contributing towards implementation of NDP.
  • The ANC relies on its Women`s League to lead efforts, aimed at the total emancipation of women in our society. The emancipation of women is not the responsibility of the Women`s League only, but the responsibility of all members and leaders of the ANC. However, the Women`s League must take the lead in mobilising all sectors of society in an effort to end patriarchy and the discrimination of women in South Africa.

We urge the Women`s League to move speedily towards holding their national conference given that they have not had one since 2008. We must rekindle the spirit of Lillian Ngoyi, Albertinah Sisulu, Amina Cachalia, Ray Alexander and Helen Joseph, amongst others, to inspire our women to take forward all issues that affect women directly in every community throughout our country.

  • We are increasingly becoming a youthful society as 60% of our population are young people. The youth of today is much more educated, more mobile and connected to each other through various social media platforms.
  • The challenges that face our country, especially the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality have a negative impact on young people. We need to give the youth hope that the future is in their hands. Let us prepare our young people to embrace that brighter future.

South Africa needs a strong, vibrant ANC Youth league to ensure that the progressive future of our country is guaranteed. We need the political clarity of an Anton Lembede, the militancy of a Peter Mokaba, the courage of a Solomon Mahlangu and an Ashley Kriel and the pragmatism of a Walter Sisulu in the ANC Youth League. Our youth, today, need to emulate leaders of that calibre. They should be militant, politically clear, courageous - militant but disciplined.

  • We owe the progress and achievements; we take for granted today, to those who came before us. They had the courage to take on the might of the oppressive state and forged the fountain of our democratic dispensation. Our Veterans League must consist of men and women with over forty years of unbroken service in the ANC and who are over sixty years of age. This will ensure that the ANC`s institutional memory is passed on from generation to generation.

ALL NATIONAL GROUPS SHALL HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS

After twenty years of an ANC government, we can declare unequivocally that South Africans have equal rights, which are entrenched in the Constitution.

It is our wish that we deepen these rights and the access of our people to courts, the institutions of state and schools, hospitals and other public facilities. The ANC will also continue to strive to improve the quality of government services for all our people, wherever they live.

The ANC celebrates our Constitution and that the many laws that criminalise discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and other grounds have been removed. We are very proud of our Constitution as it flows directly from the Freedom Charter and the fundamental beliefs of our Movement.

Many of our comrades and leaders made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

We must not be blind to the reality that many of our people still live in abject poverty and have little access to government services. We must continuously strive to improve their lot.

The people of our country ask only that we serve them properly and this we must do without hesitation.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • ANC Members have a duty to defend our Constitution and the laws of our country. We must be exemplary in our conduct and be at the forefront of transforming the justice system and other sectors to be more accessible to all.
  • We are calling on all our members to actively promote all rights and freedoms and to fight all forms of discrimination, in all its manifestations.

THE PEOPLE SHALL SHARE IN THE COUNTRY`S WEALTH

South Africa is a much better and different place today than it was before 1994.

The overwhelming majority of our people live in conditions which are vastly different from what it was, even ten years ago.

More people have access to housing, better and more equal access to basic services, more households have been electrified, there have been enormous advances in healthcare and education and economic opportunities have been opened to the people.

The ANC has been at the forefront of creating the possibilities for the much bigger middle class we have today. We will make sure that the middle class, particularly the black middle class, continues to grow.

However, the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality persist and the task of the ANC in the second phase of the democratic transition is that of RADICAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION. This represents a fundamental break with the ownership patterns of the past and the putting in place of a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.

We are deracialising the South African economy. The ANC government is taking steps to enhance its developmental role and create a more conducive environment to achieve that objective.

Monopoly capital still has an unhealthy effect on our economy. We must break the stranglehold of monopoly capital on our economic development. It is imperative that the Competitions Commission continues to address monopolistic, collusive and anti-competitive behaviour and become even bolder in their preventative and punitive measures.

Our economic development also depends on our ability to untangle the reams of red tape that stifle the unleashing of the full potential of our economy.

The NDP guides interventions that make the most difference to the quality of life of our people, particularly the poor. Within this context, the ANC government remains committed to the programmes envisioned under the New Growth Path (NGP) and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP). These programmes aim to improve re-industrialisation, expand and diversify our manufacturing sector and create sustainable jobs across various sectors.

The ANC government has also established the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission to bolster job creation, accelerate economic transformation and improve service delivery. We shall do this by improving and maintaining water, energy, hospital, education and transport infrastructure among other key projects. This is in line with the priorities of the NDP and its success calls for investment and participation of government, business, labour and civil society.

The vast mineral wealth of our country, which lies beneath the soil, has been transferred to the ownership of the state on behalf of the people as per the provisions of the Freedom Charter.

However this has not yet translated to equal and full benefit of all South Africans. The ANC commits itself to continue working with our people to ensure that there is enhanced benefit from this ownership. This year, we must finalise the amendments to the applicable laws to ensure that mineworkers and mining communities share, much more equitably, in South Africa`s mineral wealth.

Banking has become much more accessible to the majority of South Africans, but the excessive bank charges and fees mean that many people still cannot afford bank services. The ANC government is moving ahead with our efforts to establish a bank directly linked to and administered by the Post Office (Postbank).

The ANC is committed to a South Africa where entrepreneurship can flourish. Economic development, job creation and a better life for all are our end goals in these endeavours. The establishment of a small business ministry is welcomed.

Our people are able to trade freely and freedom of movement is enshrined in the Constitution, but we are aware that economic capacity inhibits the movement of people.

The ANC continues to massively improve the public transport system throughout the country to make sure that people can move between home and places of work more freely and safely. It is important that food security and farming as an economic activity be improved. Therefore, ANC government must radically step up efforts to provide extension services to rural areas and will assist small and medium-scale farmers to access the support available to them.

We have electrified more households, since 1994, than in all the years under the colonial and Apartheid regimes. Our economy has also grown and many new businesses are operating in this country. As a consequence, this growth is placing more strain on the electricity grid than at any other time in our history.

Our country needs creative and pragmatic solutions to this problem to guarantee security of supply for our energy needs. In line with the recommendations of the NDP, the ANC government is accelerating the pace to bring the Medupi and Kusile power stations onto the grid and we are licensing Independent Power Producers.

We are assessing projects in the region which have the potential to produce power in the short term. We continue to evaluate options to maximise our energy mix including coal, gas, nuclear, solar and renewables. The ANC is therefore putting energy as one of our apex priorities.

The price of oil is unpredictable and the recent drop in the price is an important development. As long as the oil price remains low, the ANC calls for businesses to pass on the benefits to our people. We call on households to use this opportunity to reduce their debt burden and save more.

We cannot ignore the scourge of corruption that eats at the fabric of our society and constrains economic development. The ANC must continue to lead in ending corruption in the state, the private sector and amongst our own membership!

Tasks of the Movement:

  • ANC branches must take an active interest in the development of local economies through encouraging local entrepreneurs. It is important that procurement of services benefit local communities.
  • ANC branches must work more closely with our Alliance partners on their financial sector campaigns to make banking services even more affordable to our people and to ensure that this sector becomes more diversified.
  • ANC members and structures must ensure that the values that inform the role and outlook of the middle class are consistent with our historic values, namely sacrifice, accountability and integrity.
  • We call on our members and all South Africans to support our government in all efforts to save energy and to be part of finding a solution to this national challenge.

THE LAND SHALL BE SHARED AMONGST THOSE WHO WORK IT

Land has been at the heart of the historic injustice of dispossession and the stripping the dignity of the African people. The majority of our people can mainly trace their suffering and deprivation back to land dispossession.

The ANC Government has restored nearly 3,2 million hectares of land. Where people have chosen to receive financial compensation, government has paid out more than R18 billion between 1995 and November 2014.

Altogether, nearly 1, 8 million claimants have benefitted from this programme during this period. However, we are deeply concerned about the pace of land redistribution and will continue to balance the national interest of restoration, economic development and food security.

We reassert the correctness of the Constitution, but admit that usage of the ‘willing buyer: willing seller` policy went on for far too long and had unsatisfactory results.

Our Constitution is very clear on this matter and states:

"Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application

a) for a public purpose or in the public interest; and

b) subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.

The amount of the compensation and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected... "

We commit that the land will be returned to our people and the ANC calls on its government to act with the necessary speed to put the legislation in place, this year, to ensure that this happens!

Expropriation will be done in line with the Constitution and the Act to be passed this year. There is no greater public interest than returning the land to the people! The ANC calls on farmers to do more to improve the lives of farm workers and farm dwellers on their farms.

We call on our government to take decisive steps to prevent the evictions of farm-workers, the indigent and the poor. The efforts of trade unions, in the agricultural sector, are contributing towards improving working conditions on farms.

Whilst the heinous tot-system has been legally abolished, some farmers are still practising the use of alcohol as a form payment. This is an issue that the ANC and its alliance partners must engage in as a campaign to expose and end this practice.

How land is allocated for commercial, residential and leisure developments is an important matter that every ANC branch must be intimately involved with across all communities. We must strike a proper balance between the use of land for food security purposes as well as other uses.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • All ANC branches must monitor the speed with which the government accelerates the implementation of land restitution.
  • Our branches must educate themselves about legislation that prevents evictions (The Protection of Illegal Evictions Act) and lead efforts to protect farmworkers and farm-dwellers.

ALL SHALL BE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW

A key cornerstone of any democracy is an effective, independent, impartial and accessible justice system.

We must remain steadfast in our efforts to protect the separation of powers between the executive, legislature and the judiciary. We can boldly state that laws which discriminate on the basis of race, gender and other prohibited grounds have been removed.

We can also say that equality before the law and the justice system can be unduly affected by economic status as well as the attitudes of those who interpret the law.

The transformation of the judiciary remains a priority for the ANC and we shall work continuously to ensure that the judiciary represents all South Africans. There can be no true transformation of any system, without a mind-set change by the people in the system.

The ANC calls on some in the judiciary, to apply the law and the Constitution without fear, favour or prejudice and to resist the temptation to do otherwise.

The ANC will also insist that the state prosecutorial and defence services are of standards that are comparable to international best practice.

We are now seeing a gradual, but steady decline in serious crime. However, crime still remains a major social and economic challenge. The ANC urges communities to participate fully in the various community safety forums and work with the South African Police and other law enforcement agencies to fight crime.

It is only by working together that we can eradicate crime from our communities and also hold the police accountable should they act outside the boundaries of the law.

We condemn, in the strongest of terms, the killing of law enforcement officers and urge communities to work with the police to eliminate this scourge. The ANC condemns the violent crimes against women, children, the elderly and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. These attacks are despicable and they must be stopped.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • ANC members must play a leading role in interactions with Community Safety Forums and our branches must be at forefront of efforts to ensure safety in our communities.
  • Branches must be active in community education on laws, rights and duties of South African citizens. Once people are aware of their rights and responsibilities, they are then better able to live as responsible citizens and to respect one another, our laws, public property and the authority of the state.
  • ANC members are urged to participate in the campaigns against all forms of violence and also to report, to law enforcement agencies, any knowledge regarding these attacks.

ALL SHALL ENJOY EQUAL HUMAN RIGHTS

South Africa is steadily emerging from a history of injustice, repression and the dehumanisation of the majority of our people.

The Freedom Charter emboldened the drafters of the Constitution to ensure that the rights of the people in South Africa are set out in the Bill of Rights and entrenched in our constitution.

The ANC has always put human rights above any other consideration and calls upon the state to continue to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Our Bill of Rights, which is justiciable, enjoins the state to implement measures to promote dignity, freedom of security and the person, equality, freedom of religion, belief and opinion, freedom of expression, assembly, demonstration and picketing and freedom of association.

South Africans have the greatest freedoms available to them and we must work together to exercise these rights and freedoms in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others in society. We call on citizens to respect the rights of one another.

Our Constitution has created various institutions to support democracy such as the Human Rights Commission, Commission for Gender Equality, Public Protector, Auditor General, Independent Electoral Commission and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

This Constitution empowers the ANC government to take measures to protect or advance those people or groups of people, who have been discriminated against under Apartheid.

Economic opportunities and resources remain largely locked in historical patterns. We will, therefore, continue to implement affirmative action and broad-based black economic empowerment in a manner that advances historically disadvantaged individuals.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • The ANC calls on all our members and South Africans as a whole, to promote the Bill of Rights, to live according to the Freedom Charter and the Bill of Rights and to accept the responsibilities that come with these freedoms.

THERE SHALL BE WORK AND SECURITY

The right of workers to form and belong to trade unions is enshrined in the Constitution.

The ANC has put in place a range of laws such as the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Employment Equity Act and other mechanisms to protect workers` rights and to bring about equality in the workplace.

We are concerned that the transformation of the workplace is not taking place fast enough. Semi-skilled and unskilled workers, in South Africa, remain highly vulnerable to exploitation and we urge all trade unions to ensure that no worker is left unorganised at the factory floor, shops, domestic work, farms and on the mines. An unorganised worker is an exploited worker.

A national minimum wage for South Africa will be a progressive step forward. The ANC, together with our Alliance partners, are investigating the modalities of implementing a national minimum wage.

When our strategic ally, COSATU, was going through a challenging period, the ANC as the leader of the Alliance, sought to intervene to assist COSATU to find solutions to the problems that threatened to divide the organised working class.

We reiterate that the integrity and unity of COSATU is non-negotiable. The ANC will continue to support the decisions that COSATU makes as an independent partner of our revolutionary strategic Alliance. The NEC calls on all workers not to allow themselves to be divided and to remind themselves that when the labour movement is divided, the only winners are the bosses.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • Protect the unity of the strategic revolutionary alliance between the ANC, SACP and COSATU as well as SANCO. The strategic Alliance was forged through decades of solidarity and struggle and our members have a revolutionary duty to protect the integrity and the unity of the Alliance.
  • We call on all members of the ANC, all members of the SACP, all members of COSATU and all members of SANCO to join hands and close ranks to defend the revolutionary strategic alliance that is a bulwark against all attacks on our nascent democracy.
  • We call on all those who love democracy to encourage and protect the unity of our people.

THE DOORS OF LEARNING AND CULTURE SHALL BE OPENED

Education continues to be our number one priority. The ANC has made great strides in ensuring that education and training is available to all and in addressing the injustices of the past. Focusing on reversing the systemic impact of apartheid education, we have put in place a comprehensive and integrated education system.

South Africa spends about 5% of its GDP on basic education and 1,4 % on higher education. This is showing significant results. Pre-school education has expanded massively. There is gender parity in school enrolment and we are doing really well in terms of the matric pass rate. We congratulate the class of 2014.

We are also showing steady improvements in tertiary education and student financial aid is increasing all the time. Our figures show that more than 1,4 million students have benefited from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

However, we are concerned at the escalating costs of tertiary education and the annual raising of fees by universities and other institutions of higher learning. This escalating cost has become another source of exclusion for the poor and vulnerable South African child. While we appreciate the autonomy of universities, we must caution universities against excluding students on the basis of price and race.

South Africans are now free to enter any profession they wish and the biggest limitation to this right is often peoples` own internal capacities.

The ANC government assists, in many ways, to make sure that our people can express this right freely. For too many years, the majority of our people were prohibited from giving expression to their cultures. Our songs, our plays, our practices and most other forms of expression were regarded as unacceptable.

The ANC says to our people; sing, dance and express yourselves in all your wonderful diversity! It builds our national identity and collective pride as South Africans that act in social solidarity with one another and advances our common purpose.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • Our Movement must be at the forefront of efforts to sustain and improve the quality of education and we must be an integral part of making the national curriculum reflect our developmental imperatives.
  • ANC members must promote the constitutional rights of all South Africans to express their culture.

THERE SHALL BE HOUSES, SECURITY AND COMFORT

The ANC can certainly celebrate the fact that in the past twenty years we have made unprecedented progress in delivering water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal to millions who were denied these services by apartheid and colonial regimes.

Local government has been at the forefront of these tremendous achievements. Despite this, the governance of many of our municipalities is a cause for serious concern. Local government is the sphere of government that is closest to our people.

Every single cadre of our movement must know that his or her responsibility is to make local government function better by getting the basics right – wherever they have been deployed.

Getting back to basics means working tirelessly to ensure that municipalities provide water, electricity, parks, street lighting, refuse removal, repairing of potholes, dealing with the frustrating interruption of services and the problems with billing systems.

Getting back to basics means providing these services in a professional and caring manner that recognizes the human dignity of each resident. We are here to serve the people, the people are not here to serve us. We must build a caring ANC. ANC branches must champion the interests of communities wherever they are found. Our people need to know that the ANC is their trusted ally and there is no issue that is too big for the ANC to resolve nor too small to warrant its attention.

Getting back to basics means actively communicating and interacting with the community in every ward.

Getting back to basics means fighting fraud and corruption and reviewing tendering systems in local government.

Getting back to basics also means working harder to expand poverty alleviation programmes such as the Community Works Programme, which provide skills and work opportunities for our people.

Apartheid forced the majority of our people to live far away from economic and social opportunities and services. This legacy of separation, division and exclusion must be defeated. The legacy of apartheid spatial patterns and the challenges of rapid urbanisation must be confronted through integrated urban development that is linked to the development of our rural areas. Our ANC government gives poor people free houses and we are very proud that we have delivered housing to millions of people.

We remain committed to providing universal health care to our people and the ANC is happy to report that the National Health Insurance Scheme is now being moved to more pilot sites that will cover all nine provinces.

South Africa has turned a corner in the fight against HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis. but we want to remind our people that many people still lose their lives to these two preventable diseases. All people, in our country, must take responsibility for ensuring that they are active in combating these and other communicable diseases.

We support efforts to improve the security and efficiency of supply of critical services in the health sector, such as cleaning, food, laundry and others. The ANC government has decided that these services will no longer be outsourced.

Children under the age of six, pregnant women and the indigent are entitled to free medical care at public health facilities. The ANC government also provides nutrition at public schools through the National School Nutrition programme.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • We must de-racialise communities so that a new and more cohesive society can be built. All residents, black and white, must enjoy the benefits of development equally. This requires all our branches to lead in building cohesive communities.
  • Getting the basics right will require leadership and commitment at all levels of our organization and across government. We must be at the forefront of mobilizing all sectors of society in a campaign to get back to basics. ANC public representatives must serve with humility, selflessness, honesty and dignity. They must also be self-critical, open to criticism and responsive to their constituencies.
  • The ANC must be actively involved in the campaigns against HIV and AIDS and TB.
  • The ANC is calling on our people to participate in the healthy lifestyles campaign and to take responsibility for living longer and healthier lives. Engage in physical exercise, stop smoking, eat healthier and eliminate the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

THERE SHALL BE PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP

In his address to the First Congress of our sister movement, the MPLA in Luanda, Angola in 1977, our President Oliver Reginald Tambo said; "We seek to live in peace with our neighbours and the peoples of the world in conditions of equality, mutual respect and equal advantage".

We are proud members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the United Nations, Socialist International and many other international organisations.

We believe that there can be no development without peace.

South Africa has thus, at the request of the AU and the UN, committed many young men and women in peace-keeping missions on the continent. We express condolences to the families of those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuance and defence of peace and development.

The ANC congratulates all our sister parties on the Continent and the world, who have won elections during 2014. Special congratulations must go to those parties of the Former Liberation Movements who won at the polls last year.

On a more worrying note, the ANC is deeply disturbed by the killing of civilians in any conflict and, again, extends our condolences to those families who have lost loved ones in political and other types of conflict.

We call on all peoples to concentrate on finding more peaceful mechanisms to resolve conflict and the ANC strongly condemns acts of violence and terrorism committed against innocent civilians, most especially women and children. We condemn the rape of women in general, but in particular the abduction and rape of women and young girls as an act of war.

We continue to advocate for peace in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of the continent. We remain committed to assisting in various ways in efforts to build lasting peace and security.

The ANC pledges our ongoing solidarity with the people of Palestine, Cuba and Western Sahara. The ANC re-affirms our continued solidarity with the people of Palestine and will continue to play a constructive role in finding a lasting resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Our Movement, together with other progressive organisations, have tirelessly campaigned for the release of the Cuban Five. We celebrate the release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five and the reciprocal actions by the Cuban government.

We commend this positive step taken by President Raul Castro and President Barack Obama. The ANC wishes both Cuba and the United States well in further moves to improve diplomatic relations between these two countries.

The ANC re-affirms our ongoing solidarity with Cuba and the Cuban people and will continue to offer support for an end to the US economic blockade.

Western Sahara remains one of the last bastions of colonialism on the African continent and the ANC calls on Morocco to end the occupation of Western Sahara. We, therefore, call for the Saharawi people to be given the right to self-determination immediately.

The ANC will continue to consolidate and strengthen existing party-to-party relations with like-minded sister parties all over the world. We will also forge new relations with other progressive organisations and will work with other governing parties on issues of common interest.

In pursuance of new South-South relations, the ANC fully supports the inclusion of South Africa in the group of developing nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China that cooperate on a similar set of strategic interests. We are excited at the notion of trade, political, economic and social exchange that will result from the BRICS relationship. We congratulate these countries on the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank with its headquarters in China and the regional centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The ANC is a disciplined force of the left and remains an internationalist movement of the left.

Tasks of the Movement:

  • ANC branches must play a more active part in solidarity campaigns on Palestine, Western Sahara and Cuba. This will also require a greater effort in educating our people on the historic and strategic origins of such solidarity.
  • It is becoming even more important for our Movement to celebrate Africa Day on the 25th of May and to promote the African Agenda of economic and political integration. Let us promote the singing of the AU Anthem. We must continue to highlight the importance of realising the AU Agenda 2063 that speaks to pan-Africanism, a sense of African unity, self-reliance and solidarity. These are critical to Africa`s success.
  • The ANC must play an increased role in the reform of international institutions such as the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions on principles of equity and fairness.

Conclusion

Sixty years ago at the end of the Congress of the People, facing the wrath of the apartheid machine, our forebears pledged:

"These freedoms we will fight for,

Side by side, throughout our lives,

Until we have won our liberty".

Today, as South Africans, we pledge to leave no stone unturned until we have achieved economic freedom for we know, that political freedom without economic emancipation, is incomplete.

Let us continue to serve our people!

OBITUARIES

We have lost many ANC cadres during 2014 and express our condolences to the families of all the deceased comrades, including: Martha Mahlangu, Reggie September, Epainette Mbeki, Masefako Sophia Motlanthe, Caroline Motsoaledi, Yolanda Botha, Michael Coetzee, Elizabeth Mbatha, Nosipho Ntwanambi, Sisi Mabe, Florence de Villiers and others.

THE ANC LIVES!

THE ANC LEADS!

THE NEC DECLARES 2015

THE YEAR OF THE FREEDOM CHARTER AND UNITY IN ACTION TO ADVANCE ECONOMIC FREEDOM!