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 ANC is in an alliance with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Each Alliance partner is an independent organisation with its own constitution, membership and programmes. The Alliance is founded on a common commitment to the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution, and the need to unite the largest possible cross-section of South Africans behind these objectives.
This book is a basic guide to the ANC's Reconstruction and Development Programme - the RDP, it contains the main points from the RDP.
In this book...
- Why do we need an RDP?
- The six basic principles of the RDP
The RDP is a plan to address the many social and economic problems facing our country - problems such as...
The RDP recognises that all of these problems are connected. For example, we cannot successfully build the economy while millions do not have homes or jobs. And we cannot provide homes and jobs without rebuilding the economy. We need policies and strategies to address all of the problems together. The RDP aims to do this.
The RDP is a programme to mobilise all our people and all our resources to finally get rid of apartheid and build a democratic, non racial and non sexist future.
The RDP was drawn up by the ANC-led alliance in consultation with other key mass organisations and assisted by a wide range of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and research organisations. This inclusive approach to developing and implementing policy - involving as many organisations as possible - is unique in South Africa's political history.
The ANC - because it is a liberation movement and based on the traditions of the Freedom Charter - is the only political organisation which can bring together such a wide range of social movements, community-based organisations and numerous other sectors and formations. This widespread and broad-based support throughout South Africa will allow the ANC within a Government of National Unity successfully to implement the RDP.
Our history of colonialism and apartheid has divided our country. Some of our people enjoy a high standard of living while many do not have even the basics such as homes, jobs, land, medical care and education.
Millions of ordinary South Africans - black and white, women and men, old and young - have struggled against the apartheid system for many years in order to bring justice and prosperity to all. The elections on the 27th of April 1994 are a great victory for our struggle. They are the first step to rebuilding a new, democratic and prosperous country.
But the elections are only the first step. We don't just need a new government. We also need a programme of action to rebuild and develop the country.
The RDP is this programme. It is not full of empty promises designed to win votes at an election. It identifies the real problems we face and what we need to do to overcome these problems.
The RDP contains five key programmes which aim to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all South Africans. You can read a summary of these five key programmes of the RDP in the rest of this book.
The RDP is a programme...
These are the six basic principles of the RDP.
The effects of apartheid cannot be overcome by policies which only look at some of the problems and ignore others. The RDP addresses all of the problems. It brings together strategies to make the best use of all of our resources, both now and for the future.
This programme is essentially...
Our people, with their hopes and their strengths, are our most important resource. The RDP focuses on our people's most immediate needs, and it relies, in turn, on their energies to meet these needs.
This programme, based on the needs and energies of people, is closely bound up with...
In the past, the police, the security forces and the law served apartheid and were unable to control the wave of violence against our people. In order to rebuild and develop our country we must establish security forces which protect all our people and a legal system which will treat all people fairly and equally, according to the constitution. As peace and security are established we will be able to start....
Apartheid underdeveloped "third world" communities. The RDP aims to build a strong nation which cannot only develop itself but also can play a part in the development of the whole Southern African region. It aims to build a nation which can play its full part in the world community.
As peace and security are established we will be able to start...
Apartheid divided us into developed "first world" communities and underdeveloped "third world" communities. The RDP aims to build a strong nation which cannot only develop itself but also can play a part in the development of the whole Southern African region. It aims to build a nation which can play its full part in the world community.
Nation building calls for...
Some people argue that we must first strengthen our economy and only then can we provide money to develop our poorer, disadvantaged communities. The RDP says NO to this. Of course, we need our economy to grow. We need to produce more. But we also need to start now to wipe out poverty. Our people can wait no longer. Building the economy and developing the country must happen side by side. The RDP spells out how to do this.
Finally, these first five principles all depend on...
A programme based on democracy Under apartheid a minority of people controlled everything. This led to great inequality and under development. The way to real development is through democracy which allows everyone the opportunity to shape their own lives and to make a contribution to development.
It says that people who are affected by decisions must take part in making those decisions. This is not something which only happens in elections. It happens every day of our lives, allowing us all to contribute actively to rebuilding and developing our country.
The RDP sets out five key programmes to rebuild and develop our country...
1. Meeting basic needs
Jobs Land Housing Water Electricity Telephones Transport Environment Food Health Care Social Security and Welfare
2. Developing our human resources
Education and training Literacy Further education and skills Arts and culture Sport and recreation Youth development
3. Democratising the state and society
Industry, trade and commerce Mining and minerals Agriculture, fisheries and forestry Tourism Upgrading infrastructure Reform of the financial sector Labour and worker rights Southern African regional policy
4. Building the economy
The new constitution & the Constituent Assembly National and provincial government Security forces Administration of justice Public sector Local government Civil society Democratic information programme
5. Implementing the RDP
One of the most important aims of the RDP is to meet the basic needs of our people as soon as possible. The list of important facts below shows that almost half of our people do not have such basic things as jobs, houses and medical care...
A few important facts...
We need go no further. It is clear that meeting basic needs is a priority. On the following pages you can read how the RDP aims to meet people's basic needs.
A National Public Works Programme aims to provide basic needs such as water supply, sewerage and roads and at the same time create jobs, particularly in poor and rural areas. The programme will provide adequate wages, working conditions and skills training and will be based on community involvement. Women and youth will be given priority.
A national land reform programme is essential for rural development. The reform programme must put right the injustices of forced removals and give access to land to those who were denied it by apartheid laws.
The land policy must ensure security of tenure for all South Africans In other words, it must ensure people's right to stay on their land, whether they own it, or rent it, or hold it according to tribal custom.
The policy must remove all forms of discrimination which prevent women from having access to land.
The land reform programme has two parts...
The RDP aims for land reform to raise incomes and productivity through better use of the land. Within five years the RDP will distribute 30% of the land through redistribution and restitution.
The RDP aims at decent, well-located and affordable shelter for all by the year 2003. In the short-term, the aim is to build one million new low-cost houses in five years.
Houses will be funded by government and by business through a national housing bank and a national home loan guarantee fund. Government will provide subsidies and make sure that poor people can get finance for housing.
The transfer of home ownership to long-term residents will be completed.
Hostels will be transformed, upgraded and become part of the local community.
The RDP plans to supply 20 to 30 litres of clean water each day to every person within two years, and 50 to 60 litres a day within five years from a point no more than 200 metres from their dwelling. All homes must have sanitation and refuse collection within two years.
Two and a half million more households and all schools and clinics will have electricity by the year 2000. The programme aims to pay for itself.
All South Africans should have access to a modern, affordable telephone system.
All schools and clinics should have telephones within the next two years.
The publicly owned transport systems - road, rail and air - will be improved to provide safe, convenient and affordable transportation.
Privately owned taxis, buses and airlines will be regulated so that they meet the same standards.
A campaign to improve road safety will be undertaken.
Apartheid led to the misuse of our natural resources. The RDP proposes better and fair control over access to our natural resources, education and awareness about the environment and careful monitoring of waste and pollution.
Laws will promote safe and healthy living and working conditions with full community and worker participation in monitoring and controlling threats to the environment.
A commission on the environment will be established.
The RDP aims to wipe out malnutrition and hunger in a three year programme. The new government will...
While land reform, job creation and rebuilding the economy are the best ways to prevent hunger, the government will introduce short term measures like price control on bread and food subsidies.
The Position of children will be watched carefully to prevent hunger reoccurring.
The government will develop a national health system offering affordable health care. The focus will be on primary health care to prevent disease and promote health, as well as to cure illness.
The national health system will...
A new social security and welfare system will be provided to all people regardless of their race, gender or physical disability. It will be just, fair and easily accessible to all. There will be no unnecessary bureaucracy.
Workers will be able to retire at 60 or 65 and will be entitled to a state pension from the age of 60. The pension system will be restructured to meet the needs of workers in the formal and informal sectors, as well as unemployed people, and to link with non government pension and provident funds and other schemes.
Social security will first focus on those groups who have been most disadvantaged, such as...
The rights of children will be protected and centres provided for children who need care. Immediate steps will be taken to remove children from prisons and police cells.
The social security system will involve community and nongovernmental organisations, the private sector, religious organisations, traditional healers, trade unions, and so on.
In the Freedom Charter we demanded that: "The doors of learning shall be opened". Now is the time. The RDP plans to open those doors by giving all people - young and old, women and men - access to education and training, arts and culture, sport and recreation. It also plans to give special attention to youth development.
The RDP aims to create a culture of teaching and learning and to give people access to education and training throughout their lives - not only at schools and institutions but also at the workplace and in communities.
Structures will be set up at all levels to involve parents, teachers, students, trade unions, employers and non-governmental educational organisations in decision making and the implementation of our human resource development plan.
The RDP proposes one education and training system that provides equal opportunities to all, irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, age, religion, where people live, or what their opinions and beliefs are.
Curriculums will prepare students at all levels for the challenges of reconstruction and development. Curriculums will break with the past, where black people, especially women, were educated to fulfil traditional, subservient roles and will empower them to take their place as equals in society.
As soon as possible there will be 10 years of free and compulsory education for all children. By the year 2000 no class should have more than 40 pupils in it.
The learning needs of children and adults with physical or other disabilities will be cared for and efforts made to assist them to play a full role in society.
All people will have access to education and training throughout their lives to improve their skills and to develop themselves.
Further education will be provided through formal institutions such as technicons, colleges and universities and also at the workplace and in community learning centres. Students, especially black and women students, will have improved access to universities and technicons.
A priority will be given to the training of workers to meet the challenges of our new political and economic conditions and our reentry to the world economy. Training will recognise and give credit for experience and skills. A national qualifications system will be introduced which will make sure that workers get skills which can be transferred to other jobs and careers.
All children and adults must be able to read, write and count.
To achieve this, the RDP proposes a national literacy or adult basic education programme which will involve employers, trade unions and all levels of government. This programme will target those most discriminated against eg. rural women.
All South Africans will have the right to practise their culture. The customs, traditions, beliefs, language and crafts, as well as dance, film, art and theatre, written and oral literature of all our people will be promoted.
At the same time, the RDP aims to build a unifying national culture, reflecting the diversity of our society.
Resources for the promotion and production of arts and culture will be made available and accessible to all. Democratic Arts Councils should be established in each region. A Ministry of Arts and Culture will be set up. Arts and culture will form part of school and all educational curriculums. We need to develop the skills and talents of all our people.
Arts and culture will help with development in priority areas such as health, housing and tourism.
There will be more libraries, museums, galleries, monuments and historical sites which will reflect our differing cultures and be accessible to communities.
A Pan South African Language Institute will assist in the development of all languages. There will be financial and other support to ensure that all languages are developed and used.
Apartheid divided our people in sport and denied sporting and recreational facilities to the majority of our people.
The RDP aims to change this. In all development programmes sporting and recreational facilities must be included so that they are accessible and affordable.
Particular attention will be paid to schools and communities where there are many unemployed youth.
A new national agency will be established to improve training, coaching, umpiring and the control of drugs in sport.
The high levels of youth unemployment and the importance of the youth in our society require special programmes.
A National Youth Service Programme will encourage youth development, training and employment.
This National Youth Service Programme will contribute in areas such as child care, literacy, health, environmental protection, development projects and peace monitoring.
A National Youth Council will be established to coordinate activities and to represent youth in South Africa and internationally.
The apartheid system created massive inequalities in wealth, incomes and power. Our economy is in a bad state.
Our economy also has stronger points that we will have to build on.
To rebuild our economy we need the government to play a leading role in promoting reconstruction and development.
There also needs to be a thriving private sector and active involvement of all sectors of civil society including trade unions.
Our central goal for reconstruction and development is to create a strong and balanced economy which will...
The South African economy is a medium sized economy by world standards. So there is a base of wealth and production that we can build on.
Total value of production (GDP) R327 billion (1992)
Total population approx. 38 million
Value of investment R52 billion (1992)
Value of exports (including gold) R58 billion
Value of imports R39 billion
But there are serious problems in the economy.
Growth is low
Savings and Investment have declined
Employment and Capacity Utilisation* have dropped.
The Three Keys to Building the Economy
The RDP proposes a new approach to the economy which will be more effective than past approaches and those proposed by other political parties. This is best understood by looking at 3 key words used in the RDP...
The RDP's aim is to build the economy. But in doing so we must accept that the present economy was constructed under the colonial, racist, apartheid system. So in order to escape this the RDP talks of reconstruction - that is, programmes such as...
Our industries will have to undergo changes so that...
This restructuring is necessary if we are to survive as an economy trading in the world.
Racism, the migrant labour system and apartheid denied the majority of our people the basic necessities of life. There are inadequate facilities for the majority. Development is needed to correct this and meet the basic needs of all.
The RDP will succeed because it understands that we will only be able to make our economy grow - now and in the future - by combining these three approaches: reconstruction, restructuring and development.
The RDP deals with the changes that are needed in industry, trade and commerce in order to meet the needs of our people and at the same time meet the needs of a changing world economy.
The RDP aims at a 5% growth of the economy and to create between 300,000 and 500,000 jobs in industry, trade and commerce within five years.
The RDP's proposals cover the following areas...
This section deals with the challenges of reducing protection in a way that does not severely disrupt employment but makes us a successful trading country.
The RDP looks at the changes that will be required and stresses the importance of negotiating structures such as the National Economic Forum.
The RDP looks particularly at empowerment of black people, especially black women, and the need for more competition in the big business sector.
The RDP sees this as a very important area for development. Small business can allow more people to participate in the economy, create jobs and spread income. This sector can also improve the efficiency of the economy.
Improvements in the way we use technology are needed to improve our economic performance. Mining and Minerals Mineral rights should be returned to the democratic government to allow open access to mineral resources. This must be done in full consultation with all stake holders. In addition, attention will be paid to...
The RDP aims to increase production and employment in agriculture through further developing commercial agriculture. At the same time it sees the need to change ownership patterns through land reform and to improve support to small scale agriculture, and particularly to women.
A key aim of the RDP is to provide affordable food to meet the basic needs of all South Africans.
Full worker rights will be extended to farm workers and their working and living conditions improved.
The fishing industry must be restructured so that poor coastal communities have access to sea resources and there is sustainable management of these resources.
There must be tighter government control and better management of our forestry resources in order to lower the price of paper.
Tourism is a major source of employment and foreign exchange and therefore will receive greater priority than it has in the past.
The tourism industry must be restructured to take maximum advantage of South Africa's extraordinary human and natural resources.
To do this communities must be consulted and involved in partnerships. To develop tourism, links must be developed with the rest of Southern Africa and complete and open environmental tests must be carried out.
An infrastructural programme is more than just providing electricity, water and telephones. It is a programme that links and upgrades existing infrastructure at the same time.
For example, upgrading telecommunications and information technology can also help upgrade education and health care. Better transport systems can link up rural and urban areas as well as Southern Africa as a whole. In these ways, upgrading infrastructure can contribute broadly to economic development and to social upliftment.
Apartheid distorted the working of the financial system - the banks, insurance companies, stock exchange and so on. There is a concentration of power in the financial sector. It is quite developed and modern - which is a strength - but there is not enough participation by black people and in particular by women.
Changes need to be made in order to...
Worker rights are central to building the economy. Under apartheid workers were exploited and there was an imbalance of power between employers and workers. The RDP aims to correct this.
The basic rights of workers to organise and to strike will be guaranteed.
Structures will be set up to ensure collective bargaining and full worker participation at national level, industry level and at the workplace so that workers can play a full role in the reconstruction and development of our country.
Workers' skills will be upgraded and affirmative action programmes adopted.
The new government will also ratify (recognise and support) the International Conventions of the International Labour Organisation.
There will be consultation on the restructuring of the Department of Manpower, the Unemployment Insurance Board, The Workers' Compensation Commission, and other such bodies.
The RDP recognises that we are a part of the Southern African region and that trade, investment, labour standards, technical cooperation, electricity and telecommunications systems must be developed in the interests of all the people who live in the region.
The RDP proposes government support for bodies which promote regional co-operation and co-ordination and for programmes and projects which are of benefit to all the peoples of Southern Africa. South Africa cannot succeed alone.
The RDP takes as its starting point the Freedom Charter clause: "The people shall govern". The RDP aims to make the country democratic -to give all people access to power. Without this democratisation, efforts to reconstruct our country will fail.
Democratisation means that all South Africans have access to power and the right to exercise their power - to participate in the process of reconstructing our country.
Democracy is more than electing representatives to power once every few years. It means enabling people, especially women, to participate in decision making at all levels of their lives - through people's forums, negotiating forums, work place committees, local development committees and referendums.
Democracy also requires that our people are well informed so that they can participate fully in decisions which affect their lives.
Trade unions, civics, sectoral organisations and NGO's must be empowered to continue playing a role.
The RDP stresses that women must participate equally in all institutions committees and commissions.
To reinforce the RDP, the new constitution should ensure that social, economic, environmental and peace rights are more fully included in the Bill of Rights.
The new constitution should also permit the use of property to be regulated when this is in the public interest. It should allow for referendums to overturn unpopular laws, recognise the fundamental equality of women and men and provide for sufficient central government powers to ensure that the RDP can be effectively implemented.
To ensure the implementation of the RDP, provinces and central government must work together and provinces must receive an equitable share of taxes that are collected nationally.
The process of making laws must be changed to increase the role of the public in the process.
The security forces must be under the control of civilians, at a national level through a civilian ministry and at a local level through community policing.
The security forces must be non-partisan, uphold the constitution and reflect the composition of South African society.
The court system should be accessible, affordable and should be able to be trusted by the people. The legal processes should be simpler and in people's own language.
Workers who have complaints with employers should be able to resolve these disputes cheaply and quickly through a restructured Industrial Courts system.
The public sector - which includes such things as government departments, the post office, the railways, schools and public hospitals - should reflect the gender and racial composition of South African society by the turn of the century. These institutions must develop more efficient systems of delivery.
The RDP proposes that people from groups that were previously excluded from the public sector should be employed to ensure that all our people are fairly represented. There should be training and support for these people.
The number of staff employed in the public sector should match the need to deliver services to the people.
There will be codes of conduct for all government officials. These codes will set the standards of professional service that all South Africa's people expect from the public sector. Training will ensure that public servants are able to serve people effectively.
To ensure the end of apartheid local government, about 800 local authorities will need to be linked together to create 300 new democratic, non-racial local authorities.
Informal settlements as well as those hidden behind bantustan boundaries must be included when drawing up local boundaries.
Rural areas and traditional authority areas should also have elected local authorities.
Rich consumers should be able to subsidise the poor so that they can have access to services. Funds should also be available from other sources of government to address the backlog of services in some areas.
The RDP is not only a programme for a new government to implement. Its success also rests on the active involvement of all groups in society - groups such as trade unions, civics, women's groups, and youth movements - what we call civil society.
In the past these groups played a leading role in opposing the apartheid government. They now need to play a leading role in reconstruction and development.
Trade unions must be able to be involved in economic decision making at national and factory level. Parents must be able to be involved in the management of schools, residents in local government, and so on.
Forums such as the national and regional economic development forums should become important places for government to consult. Some may need to be restructured to improve their effectiveness, and to make them more representative and accountable.
To democratise society, citizens must be well informed. This means the media needs to provide detailed, accurate information and there needs to be a free flow of opinions.
Government needs to be open and share information with the public.
The media - radio, television, newspapers and so on - must play an important role in areas like education and health.
There need to be measures to limit monopolies which control the media as well as measures to promote community based media.
The RDP is an achievable plan because...
Financing the RDP
The RDP is not merely a list of demands. It is a carefully considered programme that can be financed over the next five to 10 years.
This will be done in the following ways...