What is the ANC?

The ANC is a national liberation movement. It was formed in 1912 to unite the African people and spearhead the struggle for fundamental political, social and economic change. The ANC's key objective is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. This means the liberation of Africans in particular and black people in general from political and economic bondage. It means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor.


The aims and objectives of the ANC are to:

  • Unite all the people of South Africa, Africans in particular, for the complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression.
  • End apartheid in all its forms and transform South Africa as rapidly as possible into a united, non-racial, non-sexist and demo-cratic country based on the principles of the Freedom Charter and in pursuit of the national democratic revolution.
  • Defend the democratic gains of the people and to advance towards a society in which the government is freely chosen by the people according to the principles of universal suffrage on a common voters` role.
  • Fight for social justice and to eliminate the vast inequalities created by apartheid and the system of national oppression.
  • Build a South African nation with a common patriotism and loyalty in which the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the people is recognised.
  • Promote economic development for the benefit of all.
  • Support and advance the cause of women`s emancipation.
  • Support and advance the cause of national liberation, development, world peace, dis-armament and environmentally sustainable development.
  • Support and promote the struggle for the rights of children and the disabled.

The character of the ANC

  • The ANC is a non-racial and non-sexist and democratic liberation movement.
  • Its policies are determined by the membership and its leadership is accountable to the membership in terms of the procedures laid down in this Constitution.
  • The ANC also contests elections as a registered political party drawing its electoral support from all sections of South African society.
  • The ANC shall, in its composition and functioning, be democratic, non-racial and non-sexist and against any form of racial, tribalistic or ethnic exclusivism or chauvinism.
  • While striving for the maximum unity of purpose and functioning, the ANC will respect the linguistic, cultural and religious diversity of its members.
  • The ANC will support the emancipation of women, combat sexism and ensure that the voice of women is fully heard in the organisation and that women are properly represented at all levels.
  • The principles of freedom of speech and free circulation of ideas and information will operate within the ANC.
  • Membership of all bodies of the ANC will be open to all men and women in the organisation without regard to race, colour or creed.