The African National Congress first adopted the strategy and tactics document at its 1969 Morogoro conference. It analyses the socio-political environment in which the organisation has to operate. 

It offers an analysis of the domestic and global developments and consequently outlines tactics and strategies to be employed in the prosecution of the current phase of the struggle (the national democratic revolution).

This is critical given the restlessness of the ‘motive forces’ that clearly have “lost confidence in the capacity of the ANC” – as shown in the 2016 local government elections – to carry out the agenda of fundamental  social transformation.  This was shown either through non-participation or by voting for parties that have broken away from the ANC.

The strategy and tactics adopted at the 2017 conference has provided a road map to guide all the structures of the organisation across women, youth, veterans as well as branches, provincial and national structures.  All have to play their part to ensure that the organisation wins the 2019 general elections. This also applies to our allies in the tripartite alliance plus SANCO.

Forces aligned against the ANC have not hidden their desire to dislodge the ANC from power. It is indisputable that the ANC is by far the biggest and most supported political organisation in South Africa. It has held the country together since the dawn of democracy in 1994. The further weakening of the ANC will invariably undermine the state and the democratic system, as a whole. 

Key characteristics of the strategy and tactics document are: 

The main content of the NDR remains the liberation of Africans in particular and blacks in general. This means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor

This is being affected by the distributive mechanism offered by the comprehensive security system, the old age pension and other grants, etc, that provide a safety net for the poor and infirm and other vulnerable people. 

The need to build a developmental state that has the capacity to intervene in the economy in the interest of higher rates of growth and sustainable development

Mobilising the people as a whole to act as their own liberators through participatory democracy. Accordingly the ANC will continue its attempts to build a democracy with social content

There is a need to continue to change the structure, system and design of the South African economy which, 23 years after democracy, continues to be dominated by monopoly capital. The ANC will accordingly continue to be vigorous in the manner in which it manages the relationship with this sector. This will be characterised by co-operation over the need to attract investment for the creation of jobs, promotion of technological advances, encouraging competition.  Equally, there will be contestation where there is typical monopoly behaviour, price fixing and rent-seeking. Such inherently anti-competitive behaviour will be addressed through regulation, legislation and policies and will involve utilising the Competition Commission to drive correct behaviour

In doing all the above, the fate of SA is inextricably linked to that of the African continent. This will be expressed through investment, trade and peace attempts as we play our part in the African Union and all its structures.


The President of the ANC Youth League, Cadre Collen Maine has called for constitutional amendments to prevent the ANC from being taken to court. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the 54 National Conference at Nasrec, Cadre Maine said there is a need for delegates to behave, disciplined and not be afraid to engage in the deliberations. Maine also said that the leader that get elected must unite the ANC and understand that when the organisation is not united then the country will never be united.

“The ANC must ensure that the constitutional amendments adopted by conference empowers the party to curb this thing of being taken to court” said President Maine.

“As things stand, everytime we meet we get a monitoring report from government which means government is monitoring itself, therefore we need to build that capacity in the ANC” further said Cadre Maine. 

The Youth League, which has in the past raised concerns about the requirement for experience on entry level positions in government, wants conference to adopt a policy position that scrap this requirement.

“It is quite unfair for young people to go to school and get degrees and be told about experience, this requirement must be scrapped” concluded Cadre Maine.

*Pic* Collen Maine


The Western Cape Acting Chairperson, Cadre Kaya Magaxa has put the unity of the Alliance as top priority for the unity of the ANC to be achieved. 

Speaking on the second day of the 54 National Conference, Cadre Magaxa said the ANC must appreciate the importance and contribution of the entire alliance. 

“We need to lay some principles to avoid the ANC being a law unto itself and to the alliance. ANC needs to appreciate that it is in power because all other partners of the Alliance contribute towards that victory” said Cadre Magaxa.

Magaxa further emphasized that ANC, SACP, COSATU and Sanco are important to the alliance and if the ANC can appreciate that first it will be able to have a united alliance.

The Western Cape Acting leader called on all members to be disciplined and respect each other, the leadership and the chairperson for the success of the conference.

Magaxa appealed on delegates that “discipline is key in the conference and we must respect democratic processes and try and avoid provocation, sing songs that are acceptable and respect the leadership of the ANC and chair in this conference”. 

*Pic* Snuki Zikalala

The ANC must emerge the winner 

The ANC and South Africa must be the winner at the end of this conference and it must emerge united to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

The President of the Veterans League, Cadre Snuki Zikalala emphasised the need to ensure that the ANC becomes the winner of the 54 National Conference. 

Cadre Zikalala says the ANC has the best policies however it falls short when it comes to implementation. 

“We must come out of here committed to ANC values and principles, and we must implement policy decisions and appoint people in government who are skilled, passionate and committed” said Zikalala.

President Zikalala said that the league will ask for electoral reform to avoid the kind of contestation we have seen during credentials. This will be to make sure that delegates should come from and be elected by constituencies and accountable to the constituencies. 

“The electoral reform we seek must be constituency based and reduce the number of NEC members from 80 to 60 members. Within the NEC there must be people who are credible and who have the interests of serving society and not themselves” said Cadre Zikalala.

The league also seeks for conference to adopt a resolution that 60% of people in the NEC must not be deployed to government so that they can hold government accountable including its President. 



The Limpopo Provincial Chairperson, Cadre Stanley Mathabatha says the outcome of the 54th National Conference must be the best conference the ANC has ever held.

In the ANC, the Morogoro conference is always referred to as the best conference that the ANC has ever held, therefore we expect the same from delegates said Cadre Mathabatha.

Mathabatha further said “We must make the conference to be the most successful, you know we always talk about Morogoro, lets talk about Nasrec as the best conference even better than Morogoro”.

Mathabatha appealed to delegates to exercise their revolutionary morality and political consciousness.  

“ To make the conference the best conference, that can only happen if we have delegates who uphold what we normally call revolutionary morality and political consciousness which is the cornerstone of any revolutionary cadre of the ANC” emphasized Mathabatha.

“As Limpopo province, we would want to make sure that conference adopts resolutions that ensure that the land issue is resolved which will benefit a rural province like Limpopo” he said.



The Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC) Comrade Gwede Mantashe has delivered the Organizational Report to the 54th National Conference of the ANC. It covers the five-year period since the 53rd National Conference at Mangaung in 2012.

ANC Today interviewed him on the side-lines of the National Conference about the work covered by the report; organizational challenges, and the future of the ANC.

How do you see the ANC’s current role in society?

Owing to its programmes of advancing change and transforming the conditions of the country’s poor and marginalized, the national liberation movement, the ANC, remains at the helm of South African society. It is our responsibility to continue to earn the trust of society.

What are the biggest challenges we face as a country?

We are now in the second phase of transition to the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which is characterized by radical socio-economic transformation. This is in acknowledgement that unemployment, poverty and inequality must be obliterated. Full change cannot be realized unless economic power is conferred on the majority.

The Organizational Report has strongly referenced the Decade of the Cadre – please elaborate on this?

For any organization to withstand contemporary challenges and at the same time remain true to its values, principles and ideological grounding – it is imperative that we need to undergo a process of developing the right calibre of membership. This is where the notion of cadreship comes in. The focus of this decade-long programme is the ideological, political, academic and moral training of a critical mass of ANC members. Notwithstanding our challenges, efforts are underway to realize this objective. At the heart of this is political education. The discussion on organizational renewal must be a permanent feature of our movement to ensure that we adapt and change.

Please elaborate on what you have identified as the key challenges facing the ANC?

Some of the challenges we face are as a result of self-inflicted wounds. One notes for instance Then there are the fierce, even fatal contestations, together with an almost endemic factionalism between and amongst comrades dominating our structures, causing grievous divisions in the movement.

Others can be attributed to external factors opposed to our movement and its outlook on society and the world. There is for example a rising groan about state capture, corporate capture and the role of money in politics and policymaking.

It is also a reality that over a sustained time period, our movement has experienced a decline. This has manifested itself in a multi-faceted manner – including but not limited to the quality and quantity of our membership; ideological outlook and policy articulation; efficiency and effectiveness of structures; organizational discipline and the waning of values and principles amongst the leadership and membership alike; cohesiveness in the Alliance; electoral performance and ability to govern – and influence in the broader society.

In your view are any of these challenges insurmountable? 

No, because all normal organizations pass through such phases. However, decline is arrested when there is recognition that something dramatic has to be done – and a new growth trajectory initiated. We have reached such a moment.

The report speaks to a ‘trust deficit between the ANC and the people – please elaborate?

As a result of some of the aforementioned factors, there is a growing gap between the movement and the people, which has placed the legitimacy of our movement as the standard bearer in society under threat. In the second half of this term, we witnessed a decline in our performance at the polls in the 2016 municipal elections – with our support dropping by 8% compared to the 2014 elections. Of particular concern was the massive losses incurred in the Metros. The latter threatens to relegate the ANC into a rural party in a manner similar to those of other liberation movements that are in decline.

It is important however to note that trust deficit is a problem facing liberal democracies in general, and also occurs where there is a general mistrust for the ruling and business classes.

This Conference is taking place in the centenary year of OR Tambo. How do you see his legacy living on in the movement?

Next year we will also begin to mark the centenary of Comrade Nelson Mandela. We should use such anniversaries as an opportunity to energize our movement and remind us of the quality and selflessness of the leadership that has inspired us and provided a vision as well as sense of unity and purpose to our movement, but to the people as a whole.

What has been your observation regarding the unity of the leadership in this period?

Despite extremely challenging conditions, we have sought to maintain our unity as a leadership collective. This however has come under strain as a result of factions and slates. In some instances, decision-making has been removed from structures – reducing them to being sounding boards. That notwithstanding, structures are expected to take collective responsibility for as well as defend decisions they cannot honestly own.

How has the ANC culture of internal democracy suffered as a result of factionalism and slate politics?

This vibrant internal culture, wherein all views are sought and consensus reached based on the best and most appropriate course of action – is virtually non-existent. A symptom of this is when the results of every conference are immediately appealed – because some are motivated only by the need to win any debate or election. Court challenges have become the preferred method of engagement when results do not favour one or another faction.

How have perceptions of corruption dented the reputation of the ANC?

We are faced with a painful situation where the entirety of the liberation movement is projected as corrupt as a result of the actions of some. State capture is a reality and forms part of public discourse – and the ANC cannot afford to be perceived as confused or defensive in the face of this debate. The Conference must provide concrete guidance to the leadership not only on the position the ANC must take, but on how it should engage with this debate.

What can be done to arrest the ANC’s electoral decline, particularly with the 2019 elections looming?

The ANC remains the only realistic formation that can unite a cross section of all our people and engender real change. What is lost on some is that the ANC has since the inception of democracy continued to be victorious at the polls. In each national general election, we have maintained a majority of 60%. This despite many commentators and analysts predicting the ANC would poll in at below 50%.

A number of things need to be done to arrest this decline. It starts with ensuring that our support base goes out and votes; and that we are registering more voters for each set of elections. We need to reduce opportunities of local parties and independent candidates who are breaking away from the ANC. We urgently need to continue to improve our candidate selection processes. It is important equally that our leaders at all levels are made to appreciate that factional selection of candidates is very costly to the ANC, and even more so in the long term. Provinces and regions that need our urgent attention must be helped. Most importantly, we need to prioritize rebuilding the reputation and image of our movement. The serious signs of decline must be arrested – and a new growth trajectory developed.


ANC TODAY sat with the ANC Treasurer General (TG), Dr Zweli Mkhize, after his presentation of the organisations audited financial statements at the 54th National Conference for the years ending March 2013, March 2014, March 2015, March 2016 and March 2017.

ANC TODAY: How has the economic environment affected ANC fundraising over the last five years?

TG: The economic environment under which the ANC has operated over the last 5 years highlight to the members that the success of fundraising programmes and the flow of donations are heavily impacted upon by the economic situation. However, despite the challenging economic environment, the African National Congress has been able to raise funds which far surpasses previous records, in order to cover most of its activities, but more work still needs to be done.

ANC TODAY: Where does ANC get most of its funding?

TG: 65% of ANC Funding comes from our Fundraising programmes.

ANC TODAY: Does this not affect the organisations independence

TG: It is important for organisations to maintain independence from external donor influence. The recent examples have demonstrated that donors have a possibility of dictating terms to some parties, creating distortions to those parties in how they exercise their policy choices. This is a subversion of the will of the people. However, such subversion can never happen in the ANC.

ANC TODAY: Is the independence of political organisations the reason ANC has been championing a different model of funding in Parliament?

TG: It’s important to emphasise the need for the fiscus to be the main source of funding for political parties. That way the control of the political parties in South Africa remains securely in the hands of South African people.

ANC TODAY: How has negative perceptions about the ANC affected its fundraising ability?

TG: Fundraising for the ANC political programmes dependent on the public appeal of the “BRAND ANC”. Perceptions about the ANC as a brand over the last few years, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, unprofessionalism, have made the process of fundraising all the more difficult because these are the traits most private donor’s loath, as does the rest of society.

ANC TODAY: Does the ANC have enough income and investments?

TG: The main challenge for the ANC is to create a culture of saving and investing resources as well as to reduce the high expenditure pattern. This required the revamping of its administration and review its Human Resources Plan.

ANC TODAY: How is ANC’s spending pattern and what are its high cost drivers?

TG: The monthly operational cost of running the movement still remain stubbornly high. Remuneration costs, Travel and Accommodation costs, Communication costs, Legal Fees, Stationery and Consumables and Security costs continue to be the key cost drivers. The biggest expense of the ANC, is employee benefits which take almost a third of the budget. We must revamp the administration and review Human resource plan in order to eliminate all excesses and costs.

ANC TODAY: Would you say the organisation is financially stable?

TG: The organisation has a stable and consistent income stream, with modest increments year on year.

ANC thanks all its supporters who have ensured that we remain a financially viable entity that is able to fund all its programmes and fulfil all its responsibilities.

We remain a people centred organisation sustained only by the generosity of our members and donors.


The ANC must emerge from this 54th National Conference more united, with policies that take forward its mission of building a united, non-racial non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa, according to President Jacob Zuma.

Speaking at a gala dinner on Friday night, President Zuma said the ANC and the country must emerge as winners. “We have called on all our members and delegates to ensure that unity prevails at the conference,” he said. While much attention has been paid to the leadership contest, it is just as important that Conference adopts policies that improve people’s lives.

Organised by the Progressive Business Forum, the gala dinner was attended by ANC leaders, business people and supporters of the organisation.

President Zuma called on progressive businesses to invest more in the economy to create jobs, drastically reduce poverty, break monopolies and deal with inequality.


“Your investment in strategic sectors of the economy will help secure meaningful participation in the economy by the majority of our people. We want to partner with investors who, notwithstanding profit motives, also understand our strategic national interest as well as the imperative of creating a better life for all,” he said.


It is important that such investment advances radical economic transformation by ensuring the participation of the black majority in key sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, industrialisation, mining, agriculture, tourism, telecommunications, water, energy and others. He said the long term interests of the country are guaranteed under conditions of social stability.

President Zuma said the partnership between the ANC and progressive business people allows the business community to engage meaningfully with the ANC in a solution oriented manner, “understanding that the work that needs to be done to achieve our desired and necessary levels of economic growth does not and cannot rest solely on the shoulders of our organisation”.


He reiterated that the ANC has always held the view that the society we are building will have a mixed economy, with state, cooperative and other forms of social ownership, and private capital. This is important because the economy requires massive investment from both public and private capital.


“What we must work to build consensus on is the areas to which this massive investment should be directed. Finding the correct answers as to where investment should be directed must necessarily begin with understanding that in order to deal with the problems facing our country, we need the kind of economic growth that does not only increase the value of current investments but which also significantly increases our tangible assets,” he said.


President Zuma highlight the importance of the partnership between the ANC and business in tackling our economic challenges. This must be a mutually beneficial relationship from which the people of South Africa as a whole are the biggest winners.

“Be encouraged to continue investing in your movement, the ANC, because it is the one most capable of changing the lives of our people for the better and creating a conducive environment for business to thrive,” he said.

President Zuma concluded by thanking the progressive business community for its support during his terms as ANC President. “Everything has been done to ensure a smooth and successful national conference,” he said.




While the ANC government has delivered water, electricity, housing, clinics, roads and other services, many other communities are still waiting for delivery, President Jacob Zuma said in his Political Report. He said National Conference should reflect on how to speed up the pace and quality of the services provided to our people.

One of the key changes introduced since the previous Conference was the establishment of the performance monitoring and evaluation as well as planning functions which has made it easier to organise and monitor work. The ANC needs to establish the same mechanism at headquarters in Luthuli House to fill the gap that exists currently.

The President highlighted key achievements in the implementation of the National Development Plan and the resolutions of the Mangaung Conference:

  • Close to a million households have been connected to the electricity grid since 2014.
  • Reliable water services have been provided to more than 300,000 households in 2017, while overall, access to water has increased from 80% in 2002 to 85% in 2016.
  • More than a million households have been given access to decent sanitation since 2014.
  • A total of 17 million people have benefited from social grants, the majority of whom, about 10 million, are orphans and vulnerable children.
  • The ANC government has expanded access to free education for children from poor households. More than 9 million children attend no fee schools and receive free meals at schools, which represents at least 80% of our schools.
  • The proportion of South Africans with post-school qualifications increased from 9.3% to 14% between 2002 and 2016.
  • The National Student Financial Aid Scheme increased from R2.4 billion in 2008 to R15 billion in 2017.
  • South Africa has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world with 4.2 million people on treatment. Life expectancy was 54 years in 2008 and it is now 64 years
  • The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission programme continues to ensure that we are able to reduce HIV transmission to newborn children. In 2004 more than 70,000 babies were born HIV positive. In 2017 this reduced to 4,200.
  • The number of new HIV infections has declined from 360,000 in 2012 to 270,000 in 2016.


The ANC needs to act decisively to advance radical economic transformation, President Jacob Zuma said during his Political Report to the 54th National Conference. He said that doing nothing “almost guarantees that there will be little progress in the resolution of the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment”. On the other hand, he said, reckless action would plunge the country into deep economic and social distress.

In presenting his report, he paid tribute to Isithwalandwe Oliver Reginald Tambo, saying that delegates should be inspired by the vision, character, wisdom and clarity of Tambo during conference deliberations.

Below are some highlights from the report:

Economic Transformation

Radical socio-economic transformation underpins the policy framework of the ANC in this current phase of our struggle. This means the fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

The state must play a central and strategic role in the economy by directly investing in underdeveloped areas and directing private sector investment. The ANC government has been directed to utilise to the maximum, the strategic levers that are available to the state to achieve transformation. These include legislation, regulations, licensing, budget and procurement as well as Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Charters to influence the behaviour of the private sector and drive transformation.

Land reform

The land question is a fundamental issue. This ultimate natural resource must be distributed in an equitable manner while enhancing its productivity and ensuring food security. The ANC government has made considerable progress in the last five years especially in establishing a strong policy and legislative framework with regard to such matters as land tenure and the shift from “willing buyer willing seller” to “just and equitable.”

With regards to human settlements, we have to move with speed to roll back the legacy of apartheid spatial planning which condemns the majority of our people to be born and bred in areas determined for them by the racist Group Areas Act.

Mineral resources

The challenges facing the mining industry and the need to have policy certainty require action from the governing party. Conference should give direction on the matter in a manner that does not destabilise the industry further because of its strategic role in the economy as a whole.

We also need to protect jobs in a difficult economic environment in the mining sector.

Our cadres in parliament should also ensure the finalisation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act soon in the New Year to ensure policy finality in this sector.

Competitiveness and collusion

Among the key obstacles to transformation are the high levels of concentration in the economy and the collusion or corporate corruption and cartels. The Competition Commission has uncovered cartels in sectors as diverse as construction, steel, banking, automobile components, food markets, telecommunications and transport. Market inquiries are currently taking place into the private healthcare industry and corporate practices in the grocery sector, including in shopping malls and townships, in the public transport sector and in the data-services sector.

Theft and corruption in the private sector is as bad as that in government and must be dealt with decisively by law enforcement agencies. Corporate collusion is now a criminal offence, punishable with 10 years in prison, in terms of a new provision signed last year.

Black economic empowerment

Meaningful progress has been made through the ANC’s affirmative action and broad based black economic empowerment programmes and policies. The ANC must attend to the issues affecting the black middle class such as racism in the workplace or business. Concern has been raised by many black professionals and businesspeople that stereotyping is being entrenched. Being black and successful is being made to be synonymous with being corrupt.

The ANC must promote black advancement and success and fight attempts aimed at frustrating and undermining black economic empowerment and affirmative action. Access to finance for black entrepreneurs also continues to be a challenge. We need to reflect on this as we discuss the transformation of our development finance institutions.




Staff Reporter

The ANC is at a crossroads

The 54th National Conference is taking place at a time when our movement is at a crossroads, President Jacob Zuma said in addressing organisational issues in his Political Report.

“While we identify corporate greed as posing a serious threat to the ANC, we also need to look at internal dynamics within our organisation.The negative tendencies that have been creeping in since the dawn of our democracy in April 1994 in the ANC have intensified over the years. They have now come to a head and are threatening the survival of the ANC,” he said.

He said the outcome of the 2016 local government elections indicated a serious decline in support for the ANC and were “a stark reminder that our people are not happy with the state of the ANC”. The movement was afflicted by factionalism, gatekeeping, ill-discipline, membership buying and infighting.

However, despite the challenges of the day, the ANC still represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the millions of our people who are marginalised and who are concentrated in the periphery of our mainstream economy.

“A heavy responsibility rests upon the shoulders of delegates here and on the membership as a whole, to renew our movement and restore its timeless values – unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collective leadership, humility, honesty, discipline, hard work, internal debates and mutual respect,” he said.

To exercise this responsibility, the President said, we should:

  • Focus on the needs of our people. The ANC should once again be the first to know if there are problems in any community, and it is the ANC that must lead the process of finding solutions, working with government.
  • Eradicate gatekeeping. We should enable people join their movement and participate in its activities. The ANC is the home of all our people, regardless of race, gender and class.
  • Reaffirm the authority of the organisation over its individual members. There should be consequences for any member who acts and speaks contrary to the values, principles and political programme of the ANC.
  • Continuously guard against the use of parliament to entrench colonial and apartheid privilege and the exclusion of the majority from the enjoyment of the benefits of citizenship. Conference must thus reflect on the kind of parliamentary culture the ANC espouses and the kind of strategies and tactics to be used so that we do not permit counter-revolutionary tendencies in parliament.
  • Frown upon the subjection of our internal organisational matters to court processes. Members should use internal dispute resolution processes. Judges should not be asked to dictate ANC organisational processes and the direction of the movement.
  • Improve our engagement with civil society and regain our role as the leader of society, and not allow the space to be utilised by those whose interests clash with those of the poor and the working class that the ANC leads.

“All of us must contribute to making this conference a resounding success. As members of the ANC, we must give people reason to have faith and confidence in the movement, by the manner in which we seriously deal with the challenges facing our movement,” he said

In his last address as ANC President, he concluded by thanking the ANC membership and all our branches, the provinces, regions and indeed all structures of the movement, the Leagues and our Alliance partners.

“It has been a real honour and privilege to lead this glorious movement. I thank you all sincerely for the opportunity,” he said.