African National Congress (ANC)

The African National Congress has been South Africa's governing party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco), since the establishment of majority rule in May 1994.

It defines itself as a "disciplined force of the left".

Members founded the organization as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein to increase the rights of the black South African population.

Following the seismic happenings around the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the party was banned by the National Party (NP) government.

From 1961 organised acts of sabotage began, marking the emergence of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC.

The ANC was to be an underground and exiled organisation for the next 30 years.

In February 1990, the government unbanned the ANC and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. The ANC was again able to openly recruit members and establish regional structures.

In the historic 27 April 1994 elections, the ANC won 62% of the vote. Nelson Mandela was subsequently inaugurated on 10 May 1994 as South Africa's first democratic president.

Five years later in the 1999 general elections, the party increased its support to a percentage short of a two-thirds majority. After this election, Mandela's former deputy Thabo Mbeki became president.

Since its founding, there have been four splinter parties emanating from within the ranks of the ANC: the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) in 1997, the Congress of the People (Cope) in 2008 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in 2013.

In the 2004 elections, the ANC achieved its best electoral outcome in post-1994 South Africa, clinching almost 70% of the popular vote. Thabo Mbeki went on to serve his second term as South African president.

In 2009 however, the party faced its first electoral decline post-1994, falling short of a two-thirds majority in the general elections. Before the poll, the ANC party machinery decided to ‘recall’ Mbeki, effectively denying the leader the completion of his second term. In protest, a number of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers resigned from the executive. Some stayed on after ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe was sworn in as Mbeki’s replacement until the 2009 elections. After the poll, Motlanthe was replaced by ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was Deputy President of the African National Congress from 1997 to 2007. He was elected to the position of president at the party's 52nd National Congress in Polokwane in December 2007 and was inaugurated on 9 May 2009 as South Africa's fourth democratically elected president.

On the 24th of May 2014 Jacob Zuma was inaugurated for his second and final term. The swearing-in ceremony took place at the recently-renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings.

The party has won every election in post-Apartheid South Africa.

According to the IEC, the party won 58% of the ballot in the 1995/1996 local elections; 64.8% in 2000; 66.3% in 2006; and 62% in 2011.

The party won the most number of seats and councils in the last local government elections: 5631 and 198 councils respectively.

It has 249 seats in the National Assembly

The ANC launched its 2016 election manifesto in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, Eastern Cape on 16 April 2016. The theme is Advancing People's Power - Local Government is in Your Hands!

Summary of commitments:

Expand the electrification programme to the remaining areas and will roll out solar energy in certain areas.

Increase the capacity of existing dams, build new dams and improve water treatment infrastructure

Roll out sanitation facilities in informal settlements and rural municipalities and increase access to waste removal in towns

Strengthen municipal by-laws on anti-dumping.

Job creation and sustainable livelihoods at the centre of local economic programmes.

Nine-point plan is being implemented by the ANC government to boost economic growth and job creation in various sectors.

Will continue to alleviate unemployment through the Expanded Public Works programme.

Ensure that municipalities strengthen the structures of Local Economic Development.

Encourage municipalities to support the township and village economies, including shops and cooperatives and buy goods and services from them.

Work with traditional leaders to ensure that communal land under the trusteeship of traditional leaders is accessible and available for development and economic growth.

Encourage municipalities to do better in the fight against illegal trading

Provide residents with information about programmes on sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Assist rural smallholder farmers to access municipal land for food production and sustainable agriculture.

Collaborate with farmers to create better working and living conditions for farm workers.

Encourage local businesses to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship and expand broadband access in local government, including free Wi-Fi areas to enable the youth to apply for jobs.

Discourage municipalities from outsourcing the basic services that they are able to render themselves.

Develop sound regulatory and monitoring mechanisms for the outsourced municipal services

Work with the provincial and national departments to deliver ideal clinics through the new Operation Phakisa programme that we have introduced.

ANC municipalities will invest in the upgrading and integration of informal settlements to further improve the quality of life.
Prioritise sports and recreational facilities as part of the municipal infrastructure programmes.

Work with parents, teachers, students and relevant stakeholders to take the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign to communities.

Promote community ownership of schools, colleges, universities and other public education facilities.

Ensure that all ANC councillors abide by the ANC’s code of conduct.

Hold corrupt municipal officials and councillors liable for the losses incurred by the municipality.

Work with communities to fight crime by strengthening the community safety forums and forming street committees.

Embark on massive campaigns against drug and substance abuse in communities.

Will continue to work with all sectors to end violence against women and children in communities.

Will establish and develop the municipal capacity to manage disaster risks that may be presented by the changing climate.

Will improve functioning of municipalities through implementation of Back to Basics Programme.

Will roll out the Batho Pele citizen care programme to improve delivery of services.

ANC-Manifesto-2016 (PDF)

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