Friday, November 28, 2008

Briefing on the ANC Manifesto Policy Conference for 2008

Briefing on the ANC Manifesto Policy Conference 2008

28 November 2008

The ANC will be holding its Manifesto Policy Conference this weekend, from 29 November to 1 December, at Esselen Park in Ekurhuleni.

It will be attended by 800 delegates from ANC national, provincial and regional structures, and include representatives from the Alliance and mass democratic movement.

The conference will be considering a draft manifesto framework document. The outcomes of the conference will be developed into the form of a manifesto, which will be launched on 10-11 January 2009 in the Eastern Cape.

Our approach to the development of the ANC's 2009 manifesto is guided by the strategic vision of the ANC and the broader democratic movement, as outlined in the Freedom Charter.

Proceeding from the Freedom Charter, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), the ANC Strategy and Tactics, the resolutions of the Polokwane conference, and issues raised in government's 15 Year Review, provide the broad policy framework for the development of the ANC manifesto.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) and its sub-committees have further elaborated on the Polokwane conference resolutions. This has involved intensive and extensive consultation with the Alliance partners and other sectors.

These consultations have included the Alliance Summit, held in May; the Mass Democratic Movement Summit, held in September; and the Alliance Economic Summit, held in October.

The ANC has launched a popular manifesto campaign - under the theme 'My Vision. My Future' - calling on members of the public to make suggestions on what the manifesto should contain.

Over 1,700 contributions have been received to date, by e-mail, SMS and post. These have been collated into a summary report that will be distributed to the manifesto policy conference delegates. Members of the public have until 12 December 2008 to send their suggestions.


We approach the manifesto from the understanding that South Africa has achieved much in the first 15 years of democracy.

Since 1994, the policies of the ANC have resulted in a reduction in poverty.

We have pushed back the frontiers of poverty through faster job creation, social grants, free basic services, and the provision of housing, electricity and water for millions of our people.

Through sound management of the economy and by using our national resources better, the economy has grown every year since 1994, accelerating from 2006.

In recent years, for the first time, the economy has been creating jobs faster than the rate at which new people have entered the job market.

The Expanded Public Works Programme has created one million work opportunities, a year ahead of its target. Government has also expanded and streamlined support for small businesses.

Yet despite the achievements of the past 14 years, much still needs to be done. Many households and communities remain trapped in poverty.

Unemployment remains stubbornly high, while there has been a growth of casualised and outsourced jobs. Inequality has increased, with a growing number of the 'working poor'. Due to the global economic situation, the cost of living has increased for many of our people.

While there has been significant progress in access to education and health care, particularly for the poor, much more needs to be done to improve the quality of schooling and health care provision.

There is also a need for a comprehensive social security system that addresses the plight of the poor. We have noted that young people, women, children, and people with disabilities still carry the greatest burden of deprivation.

The socio-economic challenges are closely bound up with the task of nation building and the achievement of social cohesion and stability.

As we develop our manifesto, we need to take into account changing international conditions, particularly the ongoing global financial crisis, and the spectre of a global recession. This will undoubtedly have an impact on our own economy, with a possible slowdown in production, lower rates of job creation, and rising prices.


These challenges underline the need for both continuity and change in policy, which will be reflected in the 2009 Manifesto and will underpin the programme of an ANC government in the next five years.

As a response to these challenges, the ANC has identified the following priority areas to be addressed over the next five years:

* Creation of decent work
* Education
* Health
* Crime
* Rural development

Creation of decent work

The focus on creation and retention of decent work takes as its starting point the fact that whilst many jobs have been created and there has been a decline in unemployment, this remains stubbornly high. Government will thus have to put in place a number of direct and indirect measures aimed at speeding up the creation of sustainable livelihoods and jobs.


It is a well-known fact that in order to grow the South African economy and improve the overall socio-economic status of our people, we need to invest in the education of our people. The ANC has put in place a comprehensive plan, covering areas from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to tertiary education, financial support to poor learners and improving the remuneration of educators; to improve access to and the quality of education in South Africa.


Much has been done to improving access to health care, but the ANC is committed to addressing issues of improving quality of care, making health services available to all South Africans and ensuring better health outcomes all around. This will be done through the progressive introduction of a National Health Insurance (NHI) system and revitalization of public hospitals and improvement of working conditions of health personnel.

The ANC will also strengthen the formal partnership against HIV/AIDS in the form of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and dedicate appropriate financial and human resources to implement the National HIV& AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011.


The level of crime in our country is completely unacceptable. At the centre of our fight against crime will be the establishment of the new, modernised and transformed criminal justice system, which will be linked to mobilising communities and the establishment of street committees to assist law enforcement agencies and compliment visible policing.

Rural development

The ANC considers rural development to be an integral pillar of our struggle against unemployment, poverty and inequality. People living in rural areas, especially those in the former Bantustans, face the harshest conditions of poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to services on an almost daily basis.

To address this, the ANC will implement a multi-faceted programme that focuses on investment in infrastructure, services and training for extension officers and measures aimed at improving food security.

My ANC. My Vision. My Future.

Issued by:
African National Congress
54 Sauer Street
Johannesburg 2001

28 November 2008

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