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1994 National Election Manifesto

Together we have won the right for all South
Africans to vote.

On 27 April, for the first time in our history,
all of us will stand tall and proud as equal citizens in our common home.

South Africa`s first democratic elections are
about our common yearning for freedom, peace and a better life for all. They are
about a past of oppression and despair and a future of hope and democracy.

There are those who would like us to believe that
the past doesn`t exist: that decades of apartheid rule have suddenly
disappeared. But the economic and social devastation of apartheid remains. Our
country is in a mess.

To eradicate the serious problems caused by
apartheid, South Africa needs a government with the political will to meet the
challenge. A government that understands the needs of the future because it
understands the neglect and division of the past. We need a government that puts
people first.

Proud of Our Past - Confident of the Future

When the African National Congress set out its
vision for a non-racial society on 8 January 1912, we did not know how long it
would take to achieve it. What we knew was that we would not rest until these
ideals were realised.

For over 80 years, the ANC has led the struggle
to bring about a South Africa that belongs to all the people.

The ANC is a home for all South Africans. Our
strength flows from our roots among the people. That is why we inspired people`s
resistance during the darkest moments. That is why we initiated and led the
negotiations process. Our programme reflects years of people`s struggles and is
informed by their aspirations.

A Clear Plan

To build a better life for all requires clear
goals and a workable plan. Any solution to the crisis of apartheid needs an
approach which rises above narrow interests and harnesses all our country`s
resources. It requires:

  • a democratic society based on equality,
    non-racialism and non-sexism;
  • a nation built by developing our different
    cultures, beliefs and languages as a source of our common strength;
  • an economy which grows through providing jobs,
    housing and education;
  • a peaceful and secure environment in which
    people can live without fear.

These are the principles which will guide us as
we work together to build a new society. The detailed framework is contained in
our Reconstruction and Development Programme.

The ANC is ready to govern: we are ready to
listen. In developing our policies over the years, we have consulted widely,
most recently in People`s Forums. We have also discussed with role players in
the economy, education and other areas.

While others throw up their hands in despair or
point fingers, we want to roll up our sleeves and tackle the problems. We are
aware that eliminating the mess created over decades by the National Party will
not be easy. But we know that you can make a difference. If we all work
together, we are capable of achieving even more.

A Government of the People

One of the most urgent challenges facing South
Africa is the adoption of a new democratic constitution. In the Constitutional
Assembly, whatever our majority, the ANC will strive through consultation and
debate to reach national consensus.

The ANC has always stood for basic democratic
principles which include:

  • a constitution and Bill of Rights which
    guarantee human rights for all, including the right to a minimum standard of
  • the right of all people to elect a government
    of their choice in regular, free and fair elections in a multi-party
  • democratic government at provincial and local
    levels, with the powers and resources to meet people`s needs;
  • an independent judiciary and constitutional
    court protected from any government or party political interference;
  • freedom from discrimination on racial, gender
    or any other ground;
  • freedom of association and the right to

A Good Beginning

Through negotiations and struggle, the ANC has
ensured that South Africa`s new constitution will be drafted by
democratically-elected representatives.

We firmly commit ourselves to the Constitutional
Principles agreed to in multi-party negotiations as a basis for drafting a new
democratic constitution.

The interim constitution is an important first
step towards democracy. However, the new democratic constitution and Bill of
Rights need to be truly democratic. The challenge is to make democracy a living

An Open Society

The ANC will strive for an open society that
encourages vigorous debate. People must be free to express their views without
fear, including criticising the government of the day. Freedom of the media will
be essential for a flourishing of democracy.

Unity in Diversity

All South African languages will have equal
status. No one culture will be promoted over another. Traditional leaders will
be accorded the status they deserve in line with the principles of democracy.
Freedom of religion and worship will be a basic right: Christians, Muslims,
Hindus, Jews and all others - none will be discriminated against.

A New Style of Government

Government administration exists to serve the
people. It must be answerable to them. The ANC will encourage private citizens
to use the independent Public Protector to investigate corruption, dishonesty or
violation of rules of conduct on the part of government officials - those found
guilty will be dealt with. Forums representing government and workers, business,
education and other groups will be strengthened to help in policy formulation.
In government, the ANC will continue the tradition of People`s Forums - meetings
in which ordinary people can voice their opinions.

Improving the Quality of Life

Democracy means more than just the vote. It must
be measured by the quality of life of ordinary people - men and women, young and
old, rural and urban. It means giving all South Africans the opportunity to
share in the country`s wealth, to contribute to its development and to improve
their own lives.

For years, our economy ran for the benefit of the
minority, with opportunities and facilities limited to a few. While all parties
speak of improving the quality of life, only a government that represents the
majority can be trusted to do this.

Jobs and Better Incomes

The millions of people without jobs will be at
the top of the ANC government`s agenda. In establishing a dynamic and growing
economy we will employ various means to create more jobs and opportunities.

A Growing Economy

As a legitimate government, the ANC will be able
to work with others to create an environment of peace and stability, boosting
investor confidence. The international community is already responding
positively to our call for massive investments.

A new trade and industry policy will focus mainly
on job creation, strengthening our manufacturing capacity and industries that
export goods.

Our economic programmes will take into account
the need for sustainable development which does not destroy our natural
resources. Tighter controls will be introduced to preserve our environment for
future generations.

Public Works Programme

An ANC government will immediately start a
national public works programme which will address community needs and create
jobs. Through this programme alone we will aim to provide employment and
training for about 2.5-million people over the next ten years, building roads
and providing water, electricity, schools, clinics, housing and meeting other

Opportunities for Small Business

Our programme will create more job opportunities
by making it easier for people to start their own businesses. An ANC government
will change licensing laws, provide training and access to loans, and, in
particular, assist women. The government will give the small business sector
some of its contracts to help them grow.

Workers` Rights

The ANC is committed to full rights for all
workers in both public and private sectors, including domestic and farm-workers,
to organise, bargain collectively and be represented by trade unions. The
democratic government will:

  • outlaw all discrimination;
  • protect and extend hard-won employment
    standards, maternity and child-care rights;
  • introduce Adult Basic Education and more
    opportunities for specialised training for workers and the unemployed,
    especially youth and women;
  • promote centralised bargaining and strong
    trade unions;
  • guarantee the right to strike;
  • raise and enforce standards of health and

A Just Tax System

An ANC government will ensure that South Africa
has an efficient tax system. The income that ordinary people earn will not be
lost through unfair taxes. We will:

  • end VAT on basic foods like flour, milk and
  • reduce income taxes on people earning under
    R4,000 a month;
  • end unfair taxation of women, married and
  • ensure through efficient collection that every
    business pays its fair share.

Ending Rural Poverty

In addition to opportunities which our programme
will open for rural people, an ANC government will introduce a rural development

Most people in the rural areas - the majority of
whom are women - live in poverty. Central in the development programme will be
job-creation through industrial development and opportunities for small
business, alongside land reform. We will focus on provision of water, clinics,
schools, toilet facilities, electricity, telephones and roads.

Land Reform

South Africa belongs to all who live in it. To
make this a reality, an ANC government will:

  • guarantee women equal rights to land and
    special assistance;
  • assist small farmers to get access to
    training, credit and markets;
  • encourage large-scale farming, and ensure
    security of tenure and all basic rights for farm workers;
  • restructure development agencies and marketing
    boards to serve the farmers and consumers;
  • guarantee victims of forced removals
    restitution, which should be carried out fairly through a Land Claims Court;
  • use state land in the implementation of land

Opening the Doors of Learning

An ANC government will make education a priority.
The challenge is immense, but it will not require finding more money. We need to
ensure that the R23-billion set aside is used for the benefit of all.

For too long, the NP government has denied too
many people the right to education or the proper conditions for learning and

Emphasis will be placed on teacher training and
upgrading and improving their conditions of service. Above all, we will
encourage a culture of learning and teaching, and introduce a new curriculum
which promotes both technical quality and humane ideals. .

An ANC government will:

  • introduce one education system that provides
    ten years of free and compulsory education for all children;
  • start utilising all existing school
  • provide more classrooms and repair and
    modernise inadequate facilities;
  • double the number of free text-books within
    one year;
  • allow mother-tongue instruction and education
    in the language of choice;
  • provide a national bursary and loan system;
  • provide adult literacy programmes;
  • assist youths who have not been able to
    complete their education;
  • focus on ways of providing pre-school educare;
  • give special assistance to women.

Housing and Services for All

A roof over one`s head and reasonable living
conditions are not a privilege. They are a basic right for every human being.

For over two decades, the National Party stopped
the building of houses for Africans in the urban areas. Influx control and a
lack of urban planning have resulted in a crisis that is at the very root of
many of our social problems. Women were denied the right to own houses. Decent
family life has been denied to millions of people.

We will focus on the 7-million squatters and the
homeless, and the upgrading of townships. We will upgrade hostels to meet the
needs of the residents as part of a programme to eliminate the apartheid migrant
labour system. The ANC will work with building societies and other banks and
financial institutions to ensure that people have the loans and means to build
their own houses. Consumers will be protected from fly-by-night building
contractors and unfair lenders.

Housing plans will take into account the need for
people to stay close to where they work and the need to build efficient
transport systems and to provide recreational and other basic facilities.

The ANC will ensure democratic, efficient and
open local government which works closely with community structures in providing
affordable housing and services.

We have calculated that, within five years, the
new government can:

  • build one million homes;
  • provide running water and flush toilets to
    over a million families;
  • electrify 2.5-million rural and urban homes.

Health: Caring for All the People

South Africa has more than enough health
resources to care for all its people.

Under apartheid, these resources were used to
care for a small portion of society on the basis of race and wealth. Deaths of
young babies through poverty-related diseases has reached levels that no
self-respecting nation can tolerate.

The aim of the ANC`s health policy is primary and
affordable health care, to ensure that all South Africans are guaranteed basic

Prevention will be the priority, and resources
will be directed especially at rural areas and poverty-stricken communities.

An ANC government will, in its health programme,
do the following:

  • promote safe motherhood and play a major role
    in caring for the nation`s children through programmes of immunisation,
    nutrition and free health care for children under five;
  • introduce measures to make medicines more
  • direct major resources at combating TB, AIDS
    and other sexually-transmitted diseases, cancer and other plagues;
  • facilitate the integration of traditional
    health practice.

Welfare and Pensions

A caring approach to children, senior citizens,
the disabled and victims of violence will be central to our welfare policy.

An intensive programme will be devoted to
homeless children.

All people deserve to grow old in dignity and
with security. Government will assist in the provision of facilities for the
aged. Pensions and grants due to people will be assured and allocated through
post offices, banks, building societies or other outlets which are easy for
rural people to use.

In consultation with the disabled, the ANC will
eliminate discrimination against them in the provision of services and jobs.
They will be assisted to develop their full potential. Attention will be given
to the removal of obstacles which make access to places of work and learning

Eliminating Discrimination - Affirmative Action

It is not enough to talk of equality. Especially
when the vast majority of our people have been left behind by a system that
excluded them by law and deprived the country of the contribution they could
have made.

Opportunities must be opened to all who were
discriminated against as Africans, Coloureds and Indians, as women, the disabled
and as people staying in rural areas.

This will not be done at the expense of others;
nor lead to a lowering of standards. Special emphasis will be placed on their
training and upgrading so they can rise to higher levels in business, civil
service, skilled jobs and other areas.

South Africa as a whole will benefit if all
levels of society represent the broad spectrum of its people. It is essential to
the growth of our economy and the flourishing of our culture that more people
are skilled and that they feel part of the national effort.

Making the Plan Work

We know that financing and implementing the
programme of reconstruction and development will not be easy. But it is an
opportunity to set the economy on a path of sustained growth and development.

By putting people first, we will be investing in
jobs, housing and education at the same time as helping our country grow. More
jobs and higher incomes will bring the government more revenue for expenditure
on basic needs in future years.

An ANC government will increase public
expenditure and encourage the private sector to put money in productive
ventures. We will establish a reconstruction fund and seek beneficial
international aid and loans.

Our objective is to use resources more
efficiently and not to increase the tax burden. Large sums of money already go
to education, health and other areas. But the results are poor. Money has been
used on a racial basis and squandered in corruption and bureaucracy. This will
be done away with.

Peace and Security for All

Our country needs peace. We need an end to the
violence against communities and to the abuse of women and children. We must end
the culture of violence created by apartheid. This hope and prayer of the
overwhelming majority must be realised.

As the organisation that represents the victims
of apartheid we understand the difference between a government that intimidates,
and one that cares. We all deserve to live in a safe environment. Together with
communities, an ANC government will ensure that criminals are dealt with to the
full extent of the law.

What is required is:

  • a government that represents all the people
    and implements a programme to create jobs;
  • a government committed to dealing firmly with
    violence and crime and one that does not simply point fingers;
  • a programme to promote political tolerance,
    respect for the country`s constitution and laws, and peaceful ways of
    handling political differences;
  • a gun control programme to minimise the number
    of guns in the hands of individuals and to eliminate gun smuggling;
  • a police force accountable to the communities
    in which it is based;
  • a programme which emphasizes rehabilitation
    instead of vengeance.

Security Forces

All security forces will be reformed to reflect
the national and gender character of our country. They will be non-partisan,
professional, uphold the constitution and respect human rights.

A new volunteer army will deal with the defence
of the country and not internal political matters. It will also be used for
productive purposes and upgrading skills of the youth.

Criminal behaviour in these forces will not be
tolerated. Those serving today will be encouraged to continue, in line with the
new culture. Like other civil servants, security personnel will be guaranteed
their pensions on retirement or resignation. They will also enjoy fundamental
human rights.

Equality Before The Law

For the anti-crime measures to succeed, it will
be necessary to have a court system that broadly reflects society`s racial and
gender composition and provides fairness and equality for all before the law.
Detention without trial will be done away with. The system of justice will be
made more accessible, cheap and fair to everyone.

Taking Our Rightful Place in the World

The ANC and its leaders enjoy recognition and
respect worldwide as upholders of democracy and human rights. An ANC government
will take South Africa fully back into the world.

South Africa will play its part in the worldwide
campaign for democracy, human rights, peace and nuclear disarmament. It will
accede to all international agreements which protect human rights, including the
rights of women and children, and it will co-operate fully with human rights

An ANC government will work for just economic and
social relations between the developed industrial nations and the developing
countries. We will encourage relations between South Africans and the peoples of
the world in fields such as sport, culture and tourism.

Our Region and Our Continent

Our destiny is intertwined with that of Southern
Africa. An ANC government will build closer co-operation and economic
integration in the region. We will take active part in the Southern African
Development Conference and other regional institutions on the basis of equality.

An ANC government will build extensive links with
countries of Africa and work with other states to ensure that the continent is
not ignored by the rest of humankind.

South Africa will become a full member of the
Organisation of African Unity, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, the
Commonwealth and other international bodies.

A Pledge

These policies of the ANC lay the foundation for
us to work together to change South Africa for the better.

The ANC recognises the depth of our country`s
crisis. We are convinced that political will, an environment of peace and
stability and a technically sound programme are the sure foundation for
reconstruction and development.

The ANC pledges to spare no effort to realise
these ideals. We are ready to tackle the problems.

Above all, the ANC believes that the plan will
succeed only if it is based on the active participation of all, a tradition we
will carry into government. Together as South Africans - men and women of all
colours, young and old, urban and rural - we have the power to build a better
life for all.

Together let`s change South Africa. So that, once
and for all, our country can know peace and security. So that we can join the
rest of humankind as a proud and united people working together for a better

Now is the time!

God bless South Africa!