11 JANUARY 2020

Our Honoured Guest, His Excellency Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia,
Deputy President David Mabuza,
National Officials of the African National Congress,
Members of the ANC National Executive Committee,
Leaders of the ANC Women’s League, Veterans’ League and Youth League,
Leaders of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association and the MK Council, and all former combatants,
Leaders of the SACP, COSATU and SANCO,
Representatives of fraternal parties,
People of the Northern Cape,
Comrades and Friends,
Fellow South Africans,

We gather here today, in the city of Kimberley in the province of the Northern Cape, to celebrate the 108th anniversary of the formation of the African National Congress.

Hier vergader ons vandag, in die Stad van Kimberley in die Provinsie van die Noord-Kaap, om die 108ste herdenking van die totstandkoming van die African National Congress te vier.

We have come together where the Khoe, San, Korana, Batlhaping, Batlhoro, Griqua and Batswana courageously fought against the colonial occupation of their land and the subjugation of their people.

We are gathered where great leaders of our people were born and lived and fought for freedom.
Ons het saam gekom waar die Khoe, San, Korana, Batlhapinginwoners, Batlhoro, Griekwas en Batswana moedig geveg teen die koloniale besetting van hul grond en die onderwerp van hul mense.

Ons word bymekaargemaak waar groot leiers van ons mense gebore en geleef en vir vryheid geveg het.

On this day and at this place, we pay tribute to the likes of Sol Plaatje, the first Secretary General of the African National Congress, and to leaders like Charlotte Maxeke, ZR Mahabane, ZK Matthews, Frances Baard, John Taolo Gaetsewe and Mittah Seperepere.

We are gathered in a special place where it is still possible to hear people converse in the oldest indigenous languages of our nation, languages like Njuu, Nama, !Xu and Khwe.

We are gathered in the province where South Africa’s mineral and industrial revolution began with the discovery of diamonds in Hopetown, Barkly West and Kimberley.

We are gathered in the province that hosts the SKA, the world’s largest radio telescope, and is home to the largest solar energy plant of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Over the past week, we, the leadership of the African National Congress, have walked the streets and visited the homes of our people in this province.

We have spoken with you – the people of the Northern Cape – about your lives, about the challenges you face, about your wishes and ambitions.

Kule veki iphelileyo, thina, iinkokheli ze-African National Congress, sihambe ezitratweni satyelela amakhaya abantu bethu kweli phondo.

Sithethile na-bantu baseMantla-Kapa ngobomi benu, malunga nobunzima enijongane nabo, neminqweno yenu namabhongo enu.

You have told us about the progress you have seen – the schools and clinics that have been built, the electricity and water that now comes to your homes, about local business opportunities and improved roads.

But you have also told us about the problems – about the lack of jobs, about the devastating drought, about streets that are not maintained and drains that don’t work, about alcohol abuse and crime.

You have also told us that you have confidence that the ANC will be able to address and resolve the problems you face.

Today, we are releasing the January 8th Statement of the African National Congress National Executive Committee, which sets out the priorities and tasks of our movement for 2020.

It speaks directly to the experiences and the aspirations of the people who we have met with and spoken with over the last week.

This is a decisive moment for our country as we begin a new decade of hope and expectation, of promise and opportunity.

Despite the hardships we face, our nation remains united in its resolve to overcome the challenges of the present and realise Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan.

We are encouraged and inspired by the many young South Africans who are forging a new path of progress and achievement.

We congratulate the matriculants of 2019 for having achieved an overall pass rate that for the first time in our history exceeds 80 percent.

We congratulate our Rugby World Champions, the Springboks.

We congratulate Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, the Ndlovu Youth Choir and many others who have shown the world what young South Africans are capable of.

We will work together to realise the enormous potential of our youth by tackling joblessness, poverty and inequality; ending hunger and homelessness; and developing the skills that our people and economy need.

We will act with urgency and purpose. We have heard you say that we must hurry up and implement our policies. You have said khauleza.

While we dare not ignore the challenges we face, our programme of transformation remains ambitious and our determination to succeed must is unwavering.

This is a pivotal period in the history of the African National Congress as we strive for social and economic freedom under challenging conditions.

Just over two years ago we emerged from the ANC’s 54th National Conference tasked with the responsibility to unify and renew our organisation.

Much progress has been made, but this task remains far from complete.

In the year ahead, we must make irreversible progress in building a united, ethical and strong ANC that is able to effectively serve the people of South Africa.

The fundamental goal of the ANC remains the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. It has a historic mission to unite all the people of South Africa for the complete liberation of our society, and of blacks in general and Africans in particular, from all forms of oppression and economic exclusion.

We must unite our society in order to transform it, and we must transform our society in order to unite it.

In die jaar vorentoe moet ons vordering maak om ‘n Verenigde, etiese en sterk ANC te bou wat die mense van Suid-Afrika effektief kan bedien.

Ons moet ons samelewing verenig om dit te transformeer, en ons moet ons samelewing transformeer om dit te verenig.

In identifying and executing the tasks necessary to confront these challenges we must know our past and understand our present and to be able to chart a better future for the people of South Africa.

We must honour and pay tribute to those whose struggles and sacrifices brought us freedom and democracy. We must draw guidance and inspiration from their examples.

This year, we celebrate the centenary years of several great leaders of our nation.

These include Raymond Mhlaba, Harry Gwala, Vuyisile Mini, Rusty Bernstein and Robert Resha.

Selemong sena, re keteka lilemo tse lekholo tsa baetapele ba bangata ba bohlokoa ba sechaba sa rona.

Tsena li kenyeletsa Raymond Mhlaba, Harry Gwala, Vuyisile Mini, Rusty Bernstein le Robert Resha.

This is also the centenary of the birth of Eduardo Mondlane, the founder and President of Frelimo, whose close relationship with ANC President Oliver Tambo laid the foundation for joint military operations between Umkhonto we Sizwe and Frelimo fighters in Portuguese-occupied Mozambique.

During the course of 2020, we will organise events to recall the achievements of these leaders and honour their contributions to our freedom.

We also mark several significant milestones in the history of the ANC, the broad liberation movement and our country.

It is 200 years since the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers in the Eastern Cape, an event that accelerated the process of colonial occupation and deepened the contest for land and resources.

It is 65 years since the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in Kliptown.

Representing the views and demands of the South African people, the Freedom Charter sets out the fundamental vision of our democratic nation.

This year will be 60 years since the Sharpeville Massacre, in which 69 peaceful protesters were killed by the apartheid police, ushering in a new period of repression and resistance.

It is also 60 years since the ANC and PAC were banned, driving opposition to apartheid underground and the leadership of the movements into exile.

In 2020, we will be celebrating 30 years since the unbanning of the ANC, PAC, SACP and other organisations and the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, which set the stage for negotiations and the transition to democracy in South Africa.

These are but some of the milestones in a history characterised by courage, commitment, sacrifice and selfless service.

The 108 years of the existence of the ANC have been marked by advances and setbacks, progress and detours, mistakes and corrections.

Our movement has shown its ability to unite and heal divisions, the ability to analyse changing conditions and adapt strategies and tactics, as well as the resilience to stay the course and keep the ANC alive under the most trying circumstances.

Through their votes in the election last year, the people of South Africa signaled their clear expectation that the ANC undergo a process of renewal.

We have heard and understood the message that the people’s continued support for the ANC is conditional on the revitalisation of the organisation as an effective instrument of fundamental change.

Deur hul stemme in die verkiesing verlede jaar het die mense van Suid-Afrika hul duidelike verwagting aangekondig dat die ANC ‘n proses van hernuwing ondergaan.

Ons het die boodskap gehoor en verstaan dat die mense se voortgesette ondersteuning vir die ANC voorwaardelik is op die herlewing van die organisasie as ‘n effektiewe instrument van fundamentele verandering.

As we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Freedom Charter we must give effect to the profound statement that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

Our priorities this year will be informed by the demands contained in that historic document, which continues to guide everything we do.

Our first priority is to build a capable state that serves all the people.

We will continue to restore our public institutions to a higher standard of accountability and service.

It is therefore vital that government at all levels works to advance the interests of our people. Local government – which is closest to where people live and work – must performs its functions efficiently and consistently. We have started the process of effective performance evaluation at the local government level.

We will focus on the capabilities, commitment and integrity of councillors and local government officials. Where there is poor or no performance there will be consequences.

Already steps have been taken to evaluate the performance of our deployees. We will ensure that we root out bad performance, dereliction of duty and corruption at local government level and stop the stealing of money from the poor.

As part of the measures the ANC has adopted to address weaknesses in local government, we are beginning to implement the District Development Model to integrate planning, coordination and budgeting across all three spheres of government to drive local development. This means that national, provincial and local government must develop one plan and one budget for each district across the country.

As we strengthen local government to serve the people we expect communities to also play their part by paying for the services they receive.

Our second priority is to build a united and cohesive society.

We must bridge the divides between South Africans, be they economic, social, political or cultural.

To build a united society, we must recognise the equal right of all South Africans to share in this country’s wealth and its land.

We must ensure that every South African appreciates their equal right to call this country home.

Ons moet toesien dat elke Suid-Afrikaner hul gelyke reg waardeer om hierdie land tuis te roep.

All South Africans must feel that they have a future here.

Maafrika Borwa ohle a tlameha ho ikutloa hore a na le bokamoso mona.

We need to build a non-sexist society in which all forms of gender discrimination, oppression, exploitation and violence are eradicated.

We need full gender equality in all areas of life, from the home to the workplace, from the economy to the sports field.

Swa boha kuri kuba na kuringana hinkwaku. Le makaya la hi tsamako kona. Emitirweni. Ka ekonomi na ka leswi swa mihlango swa sports.

We must end the exclusion and marginalisation of persons with disabilities.

We need to confront discrimination, prejudice and violence directed against members of the LGBTQI plus community, giving real effect to the right to equality contained in our Constitution.

Every one of us must act in solidarity when we see injustice, and we must individually and collectively hold accountable those who choose to discriminate and exclude.

Our third priority is to pursue investment, jobs and inclusive growth.

The Freedom Charter’s call that ‘The People Shall Share in the Country’s Wealth!’
‘There Shall Be Work and Security’ remains relevant.

The creation of jobs remains our central priority for 2020.

To achieve a far greater pace of economic growth, we will step up our investment drive, launch a massive infrastructure build programme, reduce the cost of doing business, and see to the creation of jobs and expand pathways for young people into the world of work.

We will unlock the potential of small business, cooperatives and the township economy. We will continue to revamp and re-open industrial parks to enhance job creation.

We will continue to promote sectors like manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and the oceans economy as major areas for employment growth. More Special Economic Zones will be opened for further employment creation.

For all these efforts to succeed, we must ensure the stability of electricity supply.

This means that we must accelerate the introduction of new electricity generation by private companies. We must also find new sources of energy such as gas and intermediate energy that can be brought on ships. We must complete the measures undertaken to ensure the financial and operational stability of Eskom.

We will accelerate the process of transforming Eskom into an effective and reliable electricity supplier that can operate in an open, competitive energy sector.

Given the effects of climate change, we must also take decisive measures to reduce our carbon footprint, in line with our international commitments.

This must be done in a manner that is sustainable and ensures a just transition for workers and communities that may be affected.

Water is a valuable commodity. We need to act decisively to protect our scarce water resources, ensure that all people have equitable access and respond to the devastating effects of successive droughts. The drought here in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and KZN has been severe. Here in the Northern Cape 80% of the Province is in the grip of a severe drought that has not been seen in decades.

We have decided that we should act immediately by providing relief of R300m to help with the drought.

Ons hoop dat dit sal baie help.

Ri tsepa hore hona hu tla thusa.

Such action is essential for the development of our economy and the realisation of the constitutional right of all South Africans to sufficient food and water.

Our fourth priority is an effective land reform programme.

The struggle to return the land of this country to all the people of South Africa remains a historical and economic imperative.

We recall the words of Sol Plaatje, the first Secretary General of the ANC, who said at the time that the Act: “creates conditions, if not amounting to extermination, yet designed to enslave the Natives of this country. That tyrannical mandate is scattering multitudes of Natives from their homes… They may enter either into perpetual bondage on the farm, or spend a sunless life in the unwholesome mine.”

It is to address this persistent injustice, that we are proceeding with the implementation of an accelerated land reform programme to provide land to those who work it and who need it, including young people and women.

We urge all ANC structures and all South Africans to have their say on the proposed amendments to section 25 of the Constitution on the issue of land expropriation without compensation.

All legislative efforts to accelerate the return of the land to the people will be done lawfully and in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

We will support those who have acquired agricultural land.

The return of the land will happen in a manner that promotes economic growth and sustains food security.

Our fifth priority is to eradicate poverty and improve people’s lives.

We will intensify both job creation and other measures to improve the lives of the poor.

This includes the provision of electricity, water, sanitation and other services to those South Africans who still do not have access to them.

We will work to reduce the cost of living for poor and working people generally, through better public transport and lower costs for electricity and other services.

We will work to improve access for all to quality health care, focusing in particular on the introduction of a National Health Insurance.

Our sixth priority is education and skills for a changing world

The matric results released this week demonstrate that South Africa has made great strides in improving educational outcomes over the last 25 years, particularly in township and rural schools.

However, we must do more to effectively prepare South African youth for the society and economy of the future.

We will continue to prioritise the upskilling of educators and school management.

We will continue to adapt the curriculum to prepare learners for the 4th Industrial Revolution and increase resources for TVET colleges.

The private sector and other partners must work with training authorities to develop the skills that our economy needs.

As we expand access to early childhood development, there needs to be an intensive focus on early reading, which determines a child’s educational progress through school, through higher education and into the workplace.

Our seventh priority is social cohesion and safe communities.

We will ensure that our law-enforcement agencies are supported so that they can investigate thoroughly and prosecute effectively without fear or favour.

We will intensify our efforts to end state capture in all its forms, ensure those responsible are held accountable and that all money stolen from the government or public bodies is recovered.

We will strengthen the ability of the ANC’s Integrity Commission to act decisively, without fear or favour, against those within our ranks who are implicated in corrupt activity.

We will work to make our streets, homes and communities safer through improved police visibility, more effective training of police and the greater involvement of community policing and safety forums in fighting crime.

Our final priority is to build a better Africa, better world

Africa is poised on the threshold of a new era of integration, growth, prosperity and development.

But to seize these opportunities requires a concerted effort to silence the guns

We commend our brother, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019, affirming the determination of the people of Ethiopia and of the continent to strive for lasting peace.

In advancing African unity and solidarity, we must work to resolve conflicts in Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, the Eastern DRC and other regions that are affected by terrorism and unrest.

The countries of Africa need to be united in support of multilateralism and in the reform of global institutions, such as the United Nations Security Council, to ensure that they represent the interests of Africa and the developing world.

In line with the decisions of our 54th National Conference, we will intensify actions of support and solidarity with the Palestinian, Saharawi and Kurdish people, and all people who suffer occupation, oppression and discrimination.

In the context of the pursuit of global peace, the ANC is deeply concerned by the provocative military actions of the United States in Iraq that resulted in the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

We urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

The international community is called upon to make every effort to ensure that the crisis in the region is resolved peacefully and justly, and to ensure that international laws and conventions are respected by all.

On the 30th anniversary of the ANC’s return from exile, preparations are in progress to bring back to South Africa the mortal remains of former ANC Secretary General Duma Nokwe and former ANC Women’s League President Florence Mophosho as well as to honour the bravery of the Luthuli Detachment during the Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns.

Comrades and friends,

Based on these priorities, the NEC has identified a number of tasks that should guide the work of all ANC leaders, members, public representatives and supporters for 2020.

During this year, we will and must renew the ANC as the most effective force for social change, by rebuilding branches as centres for community development and rolling out a mass political education campaign,

We will build a movement united in action, by healing the divisions with our organisation and Alliance and placing the interests of the people above all other interests.

We will prepare for a decisive local government mandate, by strengthening local government, reviewing the selection of local government candidates and meeting with communities on their needs and concerns.

We will mobilise all social partners to grow and transform the economy, by focusing all efforts on increasing investment, stimulating growth, deepening skills development and removing all impediments to greater economic activity.

We will strengthen governance and tackle corruption, by continuing to rebuild public institutions and ensuring that all appointees are fit for purpose and demonstrate the highest levels of integrity.

We will work to end gender-based violence and femicide, by mobilising communities, civil society, faith-based organisations and others to confront violence against women and children in all its forms.

We will work for peace, integration and development in Africa, by working with fraternal organisations across the continent for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, to advance peace and stability, and to promote sustainable growth and development.

Comrades and friends,

On this occasion, the ANC honours the courage, dedication and selfless service of those veterans, stalwarts and activists who passed away over the past year.

We dip our banner in honour of

Op hierdie geleentheid het die ANC die moed, toewyding en onbaatsugtige diens van daardie veterane, stalvratte en aktiviste wat die afgelope jaar verbygegaan het, vereer.

Ons Dip ons banier ter ere van

His Majesty King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, Ben Turok, Rhoda Joemat, Bavelile Hlongwa, Ebrahim Moola, Dumisani Kumalo, Mfengu Makhalima, Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe, Eddie Nair, General Isaac Lesiba Maphoto, Nomhle Nkonyeni, Johnny Clegg, Mam Agnes Dlamini, Magang Mmereki Phologane, Thandi Ndlovu, Thobile Mhlalo, Mam Joyce Jili-Mkhize, Duma Ndleleni, Sindisiwe Ndlovu, Andile Gumbi, Rose Nkondo, Sandile Dikeni, David Koloane, Dorothy Masuku, Hugh Lewin, Richard Maponya and Archie Lucas.

We also join the people of Zimbabwe and the continent in mourning the passing of President Robert Mugabe, an icon of African liberation.

May their lives and their contributions continue to inspire all of us as we continue with their work.

Fellow South Africans,

The fundamental transformation of South African society and the economy requires the efforts, ingenuity and energy of all South Africans working together in pursuit of a shared vision.

Phetoho ea mantlha ea sechaba sa Afrika Boroa le moruo li hloka boikitlaetso, bohlale le matla a maAforika Borwa ohle a sebetsang hammoho ho phehelleng pono e arolelanoang.

We therefore call on the workers of South Africa to unite and intensify the struggle for a living wage and decent working conditions, and to be partners in the urgent task of promoting investment, growing an inclusive economy and creating jobs.

Ri ri kha vhashumi vhothe vha Afrika Tshipembe kah vha tangane vha ise phanda nndwa ya living wage vah dovhe vha shumisane na rine uri ri hulise mabindu a shago la hashu u itela uri hu vhe na mishumo.

We call on young people and students to lead the skills revolution, and to be the champions of innovation and entrepreneurship.

We call on women to remain at the forefront of struggles for equality and justice, to challenge patriarchy in whatever form it takes,

Ri kgupela bo mme huri ba tswle pele le ntwa yo go dia gore hube le tikano hare ha banna le ba fumahadi ban aga ya rine. Hu fele not eri bitsang patriarchy.

We call on civil society formations to continue to champion the values of our democratic constitution and to fight for social justice and equality,

We call on faith-based organisations and leaders to continue to provide spiritual and moral guidance to society and to care for the poor, the marginalised and the mistreated.

Simema izinhlangano nabaholi abasekela ezenkolo ukuthi baqhubeke nokuhlinzeka ngemihlahlandlela engokomoya neyokuziphatha emphakathini futhi banakekele abampofu, ababekelwa phansi kanye nabaphathwa kubi.

We call on all farmers, farmworkers and traditional leaders to work together in support of meaningful land and agrarian reform and to build relations of trust and respect within rural communities.

We call on business leaders to support the national effort to grow an inclusive economy through greater investment in productive sectors of the economy and by promoting ethical business and progressive labour practices.

We call on public servants to diligently serve the people of South Africa, to ensure that public funds are not wasted, stolen or unused, and to build a state that is capable and developmental.

Ons doen ‘n beroep op staatsamptenare om die mense van Suid-Afrika ywerig te dien, om te verseker dat openbare fondse nie vermors, gesteel of ongebruik word nie, en om moet ‘n staat bou en ontwikkel wat in staat is om te ontwikkel.

We call on cultural workers, artists and intellectuals to actively contribute to social cohesion and nation building by giving expression to the great diversity of views, traditions, cultures and practices of the South African people.

Lastly, we call on the South African people to join us as we advance towards a better society founded on the principles of unity, democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism and equality.

In recognition of the tasks set by the 54th National Conference of the ANC and the ideals for which our movement was founded, and in recognising the challenges we face and the tasks we must undertake, the ANC National Executive Committee declares 2020 as:


Let freedom reign!
The ANC lives!
The ANC leads!

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