National General Council
Adopted Strategy and Tactics of the ANC
20 December 2007
Building A National Democratic Society
Chapter I: Introduction
- South Africa has entered its Second Decade of Freedom with the strengthening of democracy and acceleration of the programme to improve the quality of life of all the people. Steadily, the dark night of white minority political domination is receding into a distant memory.
- Yet we are only at the beginning of a long journey to a truly united, democratic and prosperous South Africa in which the value of all citizens is measured by their humanity, without regard to race, gender and social status.
- The achievement of democracy in 1994 marked the birth of our country as an African nation on the southern tip of the continent. It provided South Africans with the opportunity to:
- set up a government based on the will of the people and on people-centred and people-driven principles as part of the process to de-racialise the economy and society at large;
- pursue economic growth, development and redistribution so as to achieve a better life for all;
- strengthen the ANC as a leader in the implementation of a practical programme of social change and a movement rooted among the people;
- build democracy, a culture of human rights and a value system based on human solidarity; and
- work with African and global progressive forces to advance human development in our country, our continent and across the globe.
- These tasks, which are at the core of the National Democratic Revolution, have to be undertaken in a global environment of contradictory tendencies.
- The dominance of a capitalist system with minimal regulation presents enormous challenges for social development and for global governance and security.
- At the same time, programmes of progressive social change are finding pride of place on the agenda of many developing nations and some global institutions. Most African countries have successfully set out to resolve conflict, entrench democracy and reconstruct economies in a manner that benefits the people.
- This environment provides a basis for the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) in our country.
- However, this cannot be assumed. It depends on the ability of progressive forces to promote the positive elements in both the global and domestic settings and to assert a progressive vision of the world we want to live in.
For the ANC, this also means forging a corps of cadres unwaveringly committed to the cause of change, and the mobilisation of the majority of South Africans to act as one in pursuit of a better life for all.
Chapter 2: Where We Come From: Streams Of An Emergent Nation
- The South African nation is a product of many streams of history and culture, representing the origins, dispersal and re-integration of humanity over hundreds of thousands of years. Archaeological findings in various parts of the country and the rest of Africa have located South Africa and the continent at large as the cradle of humankind and early forms of human civilisation.
- From the earliest manifestations of intellectual activity; the settlements of pastoral communities characterised by foundries, artisanship and trade across oceans; colonisation by Europeans; the slave trade and indentured labour – South Africa has emerged as one of the most diverse nations across the globe. This is our collective national heritage which we should continue to research and engage, the better to appreciate who we are as a nation.
- Besides African inter-communal co-operation and wars of nation-formation, the greatest impact on the evolution of the South African nation-state was made by European colonial settlement. On the one hand, colonialism interrupted internally-driven advancement of indigenous South African communities along the ladder of human development. It resulted in the subjugation of the African population, including the Khoi and the San who were subjected to genocidal campaigns, as well as Indian communities and slaves from Southeast Asia and other areas. On the other hand, the advanced industrial base of the colonial powers which made such subjugation possible, introduced into the South African geographic entity the application of advanced forms of economic production and trade.
- The South African nation-state is a product of these interactions, characterised between 1652 and 1994 by ongoing and mostly violent conflict between the oppressors and the oppressed. Despite their heroic resistance, the African people were defeated in a series of wars that took place over two-and-half centuries of colonial expansion. Part of this resistance took the form of slave revolts in the Cape Colony and elsewhere. Besides the advanced productive forces at the disposal of the colonial powers, one of the central reasons for the defeat of indigenous communities was division and conflict among these communities themselves.
- It speaks to South Africa’s strategic geographic location that this territory experienced colonial intrusion earlier than most African societies. The discovery of gold and diamonds in the latter half of the 19th century laid the basis for industrialisation, the emergence of more complex links of economic dependence with Europe and North America, and the subjection of the Black population to the needs of an emergent colonial capitalism. As a consequence of these and other factors, the colonial designs of the imperial powers were applied more systematically; the European settlers fought intensely among themselves over the territory; and most of these settlers came to characterise South Africa as their home.
- As such, what emerged in our country was Colonialism of a Special Type, with both the coloniser and the colonised located in a common territory and with a large European settler population. The deal between the descendants of Dutch settlers and the British imperial power at the end of the so-called Anglo-Boer War formalised, in 1910, South Africa’s statehood, premised on the political oppression and social subordination and exclusion of the majority of the people.
- The African National Congress (ANC) was formed in 1912 in part as a response to this deal among the colonisers, as well as the defeat of the Bhambatha Rebellion of 1906 which marked the end of armed resistance against colonial occupation. It was also a product of new forms of African resistance across various parts of the country and the globe.
- Starting off with petitions to the colonial powers, the ANC over the years developed ever more militant forms of struggle, and finally adopted armed struggle and formed Umkhonto weSizwe in 1961, a year after its banning. Combined with armed actions, the ANC and other resistance movements used international mobilisation, underground organisation and mass mobilisation to challenge colonialism and its apartheid derivative. In these various terrains of struggle, workers, the rural masses, women, youth, students, the religious community, the intelligentsia, professionals and other sections of society played a critical role. As during the wars of resistance and the anti-slave revolts, they displayed selflessness and heroism that will remain an inspiration to future generations.
- As a result of generalised mass revolt, a situation was reached in the late 1980s in which the system of white minority domination could no longer be sustained. Yet at the same time, the liberation struggle at the head of which was the ANC had not as yet amassed sufficient strength to overthrow the apartheid regime.
- Elements within the South African ruling class and its international allies started to weigh the implications of continuing popular revolt -and its culmination in the overthrow of the apartheid regime – on their interests within the country and the region. While it had always accepted the human and material cost of protracted struggle, the ANC had, as a matter of abiding principle, sought a more humane resolution of the conflict without compromising the basic objectives of struggle.
- Conditions were thus created for a negotiations process which resulted in a settlement underpinned by non-racial democracy, with the first ever democratic elections held in April 1994.
- South Africa’s colonial experience was based on the intersection of relations of power based on class, race and gender. These social and/or biological features have been used in human history to exclude, to repress and to stymie the progress of individuals and communities.
- Across the globe, these practices represented and in the main still represent the exercise of raw power as opposed to human compassion; relations based on subjugation as opposed to human solidarity; greed and self-aggrandisement as opposed to shared prosperity; religion and other belief systems used as justification for hatred and war as opposed to spiritual and cultural advancement; and treatment of the world as a theatre for narrow self-interest as opposed to the collective well-being of humanity.
- Because the struggle against colonialism sought to eliminate most of the manifestations of these iniquitous social relations, it evolved to embrace the best in human civilisation and value systems.
- While the anti-colonial struggle could easily have been conducted as one against a racial group, it rose above these categories to embrace the principle of non-racialism: to see humanity as one and diversity as a source of strength. While all communities, including the oppressors and the oppressed, evinced patriarchal relations of power, the struggle evolved to appreciate the real and potential role of women, and that their liberation from patriarchy was and should be an integral part of the new democracy.
- While in the early years, the liberation movement reflected some characteristics of elitism, it developed over the decades to appreciate the place and role of the working class and the poor both as a critical social force in production and trade and as a militant contingent against apartheid colonialism.
- As such, the liberation struggle by oppressed communities, even in the midst of bitter confrontation, developed moral values of human compassion and solidarity far beyond the narrow confines of its opposition to the apartheid social system. It represented something good, not just something better than apartheid. It asserted the humanness of the human spirit – the search for societies at peace within and among themselves. It developed to advocate the use of human intelligence to advance collective social comfort and to preserve the endowments of our planet and outer space for the sustenance of current and future generations.
- In this sense therefore, it is both an honour and a challenge for the ANC to claim the legacy of the liberation struggle, to occupy the high ground of its moral suasion and wield its compass.
Chapter 3: Vision Of Our Collective Effort: Character Of The National Democratic Revolution
- If the progress we have made since 1994 constitutes only the beginning of a protracted process of change, what is it that we aim for! What kind of society do we seek to create? What is the character of the NDR?
- Colonialism of a Special Type contained within itself contradictions that could not be resolved through reform. It had to be destroyed. As such, the system we seek to create will stand or fall on the basis of whether it is able to eliminate the main antagonisms of this system.
- A national democratic society constitutes the ideal state we aspire to as the ANC and the broad democratic movement. It should thus not be confused with tactical positions that the liberation movement may adopt from time to time, taking into account the balance of forces within our country and abroad. Circumstances in which we conduct social transformation will change all the time. And in the process of effecting such transformation, there will be successes and setbacks.
- The liberation movement should avoid the temptation to crow over such successes in these early years as if we had already achieved our ultimate objective. Nor should we seek to justify mistakes and setbacks as unavoidable, pleading a fixed set of circumstances and thus leading us into the danger of redefining the ultimate objective.
- This is where the line should be drawn between strategy – the ultimate goal; and tactics – the methods and actions that respond to changing immediate circumstances. Clearly, at all times we should develop tactics that are suitable for the specific conditions under which we operate. But such tactics should be informed by our commitment to the strategic goal.
- What does this mean in actual practice?
- Our definition of Colonialism of a Special Type identifies three interrelated antagonistic contradictions: class, race and patriarchal relations of power. These antagonisms found expression in national oppression based on race; class super-exploitation directed against Black workers on the basis of race; and triple oppression of the mass of women based on their race, their class and their gender.
- The National Democratic Revolution is defined as such precisely because it seeks to abolish this combination of sources of social conflict. It has national and democratic tasks, and it should strive to realise:
- a united state based on the will of all the people, without regard race, sex, belief, language, ethnicity or geographic location;
- a dignified and improving quality of life among all the people by providing equal rights and opportunities to all citizens; and
- the restoration of the birthright of all South Africans regarding access to land and other resources.
- The NDR seeks to build a society based on the best in human civilisation in terms of political and human freedoms, socio-economic rights, value systems and identity.
- Such human civilisation should be reflected, firstly, in the constant improvement of the means to take advantage of our natural environment, turn it to collective human advantage and ensure its regeneration for future use. Secondly, it should find expression in the management of human relations based on political equality and social inclusivity. If there were to be any single measure of the civilising mission of the NDR, it would be how it treats the most vulnerable in our society.
- One of the most critical acts of the NDR is the creation of a legitimate state which derives its authority from the people, through regular elections and continuing popular participation in the processes of governance. Mobilised around a clear vision of the kind of society we wish to become, the nation should act in partnership – each sector contributing to the realisation of the common good. The means should be put in place for citizens to exercise their human rights, and for the checks and balances necessary in a law-governed society. The democratic state should also have the organisational and technical capacity to realise its objectives.
- As with any nation, South Africans will continue to have multiple identities based on class, gender, age, language, geographic location, religion and so on. In a national democratic society, such diversity should feed into an overarching national identity. In its own unique way, South Africa should emerge as a united African nation, adding to the diversity and identity of the continent and humanity at large.
- The main content of the NDR is the liberation of Africans in particular and Blacks in general from political and socio-economic bondage. It means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. At the same time it has the effect of liberating the white community from the false ideology of racial superiority and the insecurity attached to oppressing others. The hierarchy of disadvantage suffered under apartheid will naturally inform the magnitude of impact of the programmes of change and the attention paid particularly to those who occupied the lowest rungs on the apartheid social ladder.
- Precisely because patriarchal oppression was embedded in the economic, social, religious, cultural, family and other relations in all communities, its eradication cannot be an assumed consequence of democracy. All manifestations and consequences of patriarchy – from the feminisation of poverty, physical and psychological abuse, undermining of self-confidence, to open and hidden forms of exclusion from positions of authority and power – need to be eliminated. Critical in this regard is the creation of the material and cultural conditions that would allow the abilities of women to flourish and enrich the life of the nation.
- A nation’s success depends also on its ability to encourage, harness and incorporate into its endeavours the creativity, daring and energy of youth. This relates to such issues as access to social and economic opportunities, engendering activism around issues of development and values of community solidarity and creating the space for youth creativity to flourish.
- Among the most vulnerable in society are children and the elderly: and a national democratic society should ensure their protection and continuous advancement. Such is the challenge also in relation to people with disability – not merely as a matter of social welfare; but based on the recognition of the right of each individual to dignity and development and of the contribution that each can make to the collective good. In many respects, there is a critical link between the objective condition of children, the elderly and people with disability and poverty.
- Implementing these corrective measures requires more than just references to general political rights. A continuing element of democratic transformation should be a systematic programme to correct the historical injustice and affirm those deliberately excluded under apartheid – on the basis of race, class and gender. The need for such affirmative action will decline in the same measure as all centres of power and influence and other critical spheres of social endeavour become broadly representative of the country’s demographics. In the process, all inequalities that may persist or arise will need to be addressed.
- Apartheid colonialism visited such devastating consequences on Black communities because it ordered the ownership and control of wealth in such a manner that these communities were deliberately excluded and neglected.
- Therefore, fundamental to the destruction of apartheid is the eradication of apartheid production relations. This is more than just an issue of social justice. It is also about the fact that these relations had become a brake on the advancement of technology and competitiveness of the economy.
- A national democratic society should be founded on a thriving economy the structure of which should reflect the natural endowments of the country and the creativity that a skilled population can offer. It should be an economy in which cutting edge technology, labour-absorbing industrial development, a thriving small business and co-operative sector, utilisation of information and communication technologies and efficient forms of production and management all combine to ensure national prosperity. This is conditional on ensuring that the brain and brawn of all of society are brought to bear on all economic activity. It requires de-racialisation of ownership and control of wealth, management and the professions.
- In this regard, such a society will place a high premium on redistribution of land in both urban and rural areas for the benefit of those who were denied access under colonialism. Such access must be provided for a variety of purposes including agriculture, housing, environmental preservation, mining and other economic activity, public utilities and spaces, entertainment and other uses. In order to ensure effective and sustainable land and agrarian reform, effective measures will be put in place to assist ’emergent’ and small-scale farmers and co-operatives.
- A thriving economy in a national democratic society requires as efficient a market as possible, shorn of the racial and gender exclusions that characterised apartheid colonialism, and freed from the barriers to entry and competition that the economy endured under colonial capitalism. It will also require a state able to use its capacities to direct national development through fiscal redistribution, utilisation of State-owned Enterprises and effective regulation.
- A national democratic society will have a mixed economy, with state, co-operative and other forms of social ownership, and private capital. The balance between social and private ownership of investment resources will be determined on the balance of evidence in relation to national development needs and the concrete tasks of the NDR at any point in time.
- In this regard, the state will relate to private owners of investment resources in the context of the national objective to build a better life for all. Through its various capacities the state will encourage socially-beneficial conduct on the part of private business. Similarly, through such capacities, it will ensure that these investors are able to make reasonable returns on their investments.
- Social cohesion in a national democratic society will also depend on the extent to which the rights of those in the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder are protected. Such a society should proceed from the obvious premise that workers’ rights are human rights; and these rights should find expression in law-governed measures to ensure decent jobs, job security and a living wage. Through legislation and other means, the state should manage the environment for fair and balanced relations between employers and employees.
- Particular attention in such a society should be paid to conditions of the poor in rural areas. This also applies the life circumstances of such groups as citizens in informal settlements as well as female-headed and single households.
- A national democratic society should use the redistributive mechanism of the fiscus to provide a safety net for the poor. As such, built into its social policy should be a comprehensive social security system which includes various elements of the social wage such as social grants, free basic services, free education, free health care, subsidised public transport and basic accommodation.
- A national democratic state should continually implement integrated anti-poverty programmes, ensuring that these programmes address not only social assistance, but also the sustainable integration of all communities into economic activity. This is critical in dealing with poverty in general, but also in addressing the condition of the majority of women.
- All these measures are important for social cohesion. They should be supported by joint efforts among all sectors of society to strengthen community organisation and mobilisation around issues pertaining to sport, women’s rights, youth interests, the battle against crime and so on. There also should be deliberate collective action to promote a positive role by the institution of the family. The public media also have a critical role to play in promoting social cohesion.
- Critical elements of a value system based on human solidarity should include pride in social activism and respect for an honest day’s work. They should include social dissuasion against conspicuous consumption, ostentatiousness and corruption. This is part of the ideological engagement that should be a permanent feature of the process of change, involving both the state and civil society.
- Whether such common social decency is achievable under a market-based system with its tendency to reproduce underdevelopment and inequality, in a globalised world, is an issue on which society should continually engage its mind. Concrete practice, rather than mere theory, will help answer this question. What is clear though is that such was the symbiosis between political oppression and the apartheid capitalist system that, if decisive action is not taken to deal with economic subjugation and exclusion, the essence of apartheid will remain, with a few black men and women incorporated into the courtyard of privilege. The old fault-lines will persist, and social stability will be threatened.
- A national democratic society is, by definition, made up of various classes and strata. The NDR seeks to eradicate the specific relations of production that underpinned the national and gender oppression and super-exploitation of the majority of South Africans. It does not eradicate capitalist relations of production in general. It should therefore be expected that in a national democratic society class contradictions and class struggle, particularly between the working class and the bourgeoisie, will play themselves out. As such, a national democratic state will be called upon to regulate the environment in which such contradictions manifest themselves, in the interest of national development including fundamental socio-economic transformation.
- In broad terms, the NDR seeks to ensure that every South African, especially the poor, experiences an improving quality of life. It seeks to build a developmental state shaped by the history and socio-economic dynamics of South African society. Such a state will guide national economic development and mobilise domestic and foreign capital and other social partners to achieve this goal. It will have attributes that include:
- capacity to intervene in the economy in the interest of higher rates of growth and sustainable development;
- effecting sustainable programmes that address challenges of unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment with requisite emphasis on vulnerable groups; and
- mobilising the people as a whole, especially the poor, to act as their own liberators through participatory and representative democracy.
- The ANC therefore seeks to build democracy with social content. Informed by our own concrete conditions and experiences, this will, in some respects, reflect elements of the best traditions of social democracy, which include: a system which places the needs of the poor and social issues such as health care, education and a social safety net at the top of the national agenda; intense role of the state in economic life; pursuit of full employment; quest for equality; strong partnership with the trade union movement; and promotion of international solidarity.
Chapter 4: Progress In Changing Society: Shifting Domestic Balance Of Forces
- How far then have we moved up the road towards a national democratic society? In what ways has the balance of forces changed since the advent of democracy?
- Our starting point in this regard is that revolutionary democrats shall not find social relations of the new order ripe and ready for harvesting at the point of transfer of power. A national democratic society is a conscious construct, dependent on conscious action by politically advanced sections of society.
- A mere decade-and-a-few years after the democratic transition in 1994, the liberation movement can claim great progress towards a democratic and prosperous society.
- But we are not satisfied with the current order of things. Over the years of democratic rule, we have become even more keenly aware that we should not be blinded by form: the fact that blacks are, for the first time, occupying the highest political offices in the land; as distinct from content: the reality that colonial relations in some centres of power, especially the economy, remain largely unchanged.
- It is possible in national liberation processes to mark time, tinkering with social relations under the veneer of formal political democracy. Yet as with all historical phenomena, to mark time is to move in reverse. The consequence is either gradual regression, with a self-satisfied elite unsighted; or a rapid collapse of social cohesion under the weight of poverty and lawlessness.
- The political transition of the early 1990s was premised on a few basic principles: firstly, that the outcome of the negotiations process would not be a compromise between apartheid and democracy but would as rapidly as possible result in democratic majority rule. Secondly, the Interim Constitution prescribed the need for a multi-party government at national and provincial levels. Thirdly, it was considered prudent to ensure orderly management of the exit of senior functionaries of the apartheid state and gradual law-based transformation of state institutions such as the army, the police, intelligence agencies and the judiciary. Fourthly, changes in local government were introduced in stages, with fully-fledged democracy being achieved only in the year 2000.
- During negotiations, representatives of the previous order sought an outcome that would leave many elements of the apartheid system intact. On the other hand, the liberation movement sued for democratic majority rule as understood throughout the world. The transitional measures were seen by the liberation movement as necessary compromises to ensure the broadest possible legitimacy of the new order and to use the advances made as a beach-head to a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
- At the point of change of government in 1994, the state was manned at all senior levels by apartheid functionaries; the economy was almost totally in the hands of whites; many of the parties sought constitutional outcomes that would guarantee white privilege; and networks of apartheid and extreme right-wing destabilisation remained burrowed, or had multiple links, within the state. These and other realities impacted on the manner in which the programmes of change were introduced.
- How has the situation changed since then?
- South Africa enjoys a system of vibrant multi-party democracy, with a progressive Bill of Rights which recognises political, socio-economic and environmental rights and obligations, and with separation of powers among the executive, the judiciary and the legislatures. Beyond the formal processes of regular elections and legislatures, various forms of legislated and other forums ensure popular participation.
- The Constitution enjoys the respect of the overwhelming majority of the population, and it is seen as the canvass upon which South Africans’ freedom of spirit can find expression. While some within the ranks of those who were privileged under apartheid may harbour ill-feelings towards the process of change and evince racist attitudes, virtually all of them accept that their aims and views should be pursued within the constitutional and legal framework. While pockets of ethnic chauvinism and regionalism still manifest themselves and may take new forms under the new conditions, our society has made massive progress in ensuring a common national identity.
- We have started to transform state institutions through policy frameworks and practices that guide them as well as improvements in their racial and gender profiles. A state entity has emerged that enjoys such allegiance that only the most fanatical can dare frontally to challenge it. Yet, much more needs to be done further to transform state institutions, and consolidate their legitimacy in the eyes of society.
- The ANC must continue to exercise maximum vigilance against forces which seek to subvert social transformation. Indeed, there are continuing attempts by forces connected to the old apartheid order and international reaction to undermine the state and to disorganise, weaken and destroy the liberation movement through clandestine means, including all kinds of manipulation within and outside its ranks. In addition, marginalisation and destitution inherited from apartheid and the kind of greed represented by organised crime do create fertile ground for lumpen elements whose actions can have counter-revolutionary implications.
- The same applies to weaknesses on the part of government across all spheres progressively to fulfil its responsibilities to communities, including service provision and consultations, which can generate upheavals that may be taken advantage of by forces opposed to fundamental change. Further, weaknesses of organisation and political coherence within the ANC and its broad allies can open up space which can be exploited by counter-revolutionary forces.
- Many short-comings remain in ensuring that all citizens are able in actual practice to exercise their rights; in the efficiency of the state; and in changing mindsets within various state institutions. However, as a broad canvass, the Constitution and the state system provide the requisite wherewithal to implement objectives of the NDR.
- Since the advent of democracy, a new polity has emerged, with the liberation movement led by the ANC at its head. This movement has gradually mastered the science and art of electoral politics and grown in experience as the leading force in government. This has, however, been accompanied by a declining presence in the mass terrain.
- The achievement of democracy has opened up critical space for organisations of civil society to flourish. This finds expression in the growth and activism particularly of the labour movement and some community-based and other non-governmental organisations dealing with generic or single-issue campaigns. However, this ‘social movement’ has manifested contradictory features under democracy. This is partly due to the haemorrhaging of experienced cadreship, and tendencies towards mechanical oppositionism in relation to government or towards an exclusive focus on narrow self-interest. The question of the role of progressive trade unionism within the state, in relation to broader issues of providing services to citizens, the fight against corruption and revolutionary transformation of the state itself has not been adequately addressed.
- While a battery of legislation and programmes has been put in place to transform the socio-economic dynamics of South African society, the changes in this sphere illustrate the distance that still has to be traversed to achieve national democracy.
- The removal of the glass ceiling of apartheid has created space for many Blacks to rise into the middle and upper strata of society. It is in these middle sectors where the greatest dynamism in income mobility is to be found. However, the improvement in Black and female ownership and control of wealth and access to management and many professions is still limited, with overall proportions which are inversely related to the country’s demographics. This is more starkly reflected in terms of land ownership. As such, while progressive forces have attained political power, economic power remains largely in the hands of the white minority.
- Even more critically, trends do indicate a persistence of the poverty trap – a form of marginalized Second Economy community excluded form the advanced First Economy mainstream – afflicting mainly Black people, especially women.
- Major improvements have been registered at the turn of the Second Decade of Freedom in terms of the economy’s rate of labour-absorption and generation of self-employment. But these have not matched the needs of society. At the same time, while the achievement of macroeconomic balances has released huge resources for social and economic expenditure by government, this has not translated into rates and quality of investment needed to deal with the legacy of apartheid.
- Combined with this is the restructuring of the economy, which has resulted in higher levels of competitiveness and better access to world markets; but also in the ascendancy of the services sector which requires fewer, skilled jobs. A tendency has also developed in the period since 1994 for the informalisation of jobs, contracting out and utilisation of labour brokers affecting particular sectors of the economy. While the achievement of democracy has resulted in a better regime of workers’ rights, this tendency has undermined the quality of jobs, job security and union activism in the affected sectors.
- The period since 1994 has also seen other macrosocial trends that include:
- rapid rates of migration to areas with better economic potential, with resultant sprawls of informal settlements in the major cities and towns;
- greater self-assertion by the youth in taking advantage of professions now opened up and opportunities in the arts and other areas; but also marginalisation of millions of young people who do not have the skills required by the economy;
- better gender representation in the legislatures and other organs of state; but also slow progress in the private sector and serious manifestations of poverty and women abuse;
- better advocacy and access in relation to the rights of people with disability, but a huge legacy of marginalisation; and
- greater focus on the rights of children, but still unacceptable levels of child poverty and abuse.
- The state has massively expanded access to welfare grants; and the social wage includes such elements for the poor as free and compulsory education, free health care, free basic services, and asset provision through the housing and land reform programmes. Steady progress has been made in the battle against crime. However, the reach of such programmes is still constrained by access to information, availability of resources and capacity of the state.
- The gradual reduction in life expectancy at the turn of the 21st Century is a matter of great concern; and it is influenced mainly by the impact of HIV and AIDS. At the same time, we need to address the challenge of crime, particularly unique features such as random violence, disrespect for human life, as well as women and child abuse. These are in part a consequence of social conditions, gender stereotypes and negative value systems such as greed.
- The legitimacy of the state system is reflected partly in the growing number of South Africans of all colours who view their national identity as the primary form of self-identification. In the middle rungs of the socio-economic ladder, there is much inter-racial acculturation especially among the youth. But the majority of South Africans still remain separated by a wide chasm of income, skills, assets, spatial settlement patterns and access to opportunities. The majority of the poor are disproportionately Black and female.
- Combined with this chasm and high levels of inequality is a value system within society that encourages greed, crass materialism and conspicuous consumption. These are tendencies that go beyond the necessary spirit of entrepreneurship, ambition, daring, competition and material reward that are inherent to a market-based system and perhaps to human development in general. Related to this is the fact that the means of ideological discourse are dominated by forces with an outlook that is either ambivalent or hostile to principles of human solidarity. Among the consequences of all this are vacuous media discourse, corruption in state institutions and corporate greed reflected in outrageous executive packages, short-termism in the conduct of business and private sector corruption.
- Overall, since 1994, the balance of forces has shifted in favour of the forces of change. It provides the basis for speedier implementation of programmes to build a truly democratic and prosperous society. The legal and policy scaffolding for this is essentially in place. Most of society wants this to happen. At least in public discourse, except for a tiny minority, those apprehensive about change express their concerns more in terms of pace and scale rather than substance.
- The critical questions therefore are: is society mobilised for faster progress! Does the liberation movement have the cadreship able not only to withstand the pull of negative values but also to lead society along the road towards a caring nation that a national democratic society should be!
Chapter 5: Drivers Of Change: Motive Forces Of The National Democratic Revolution
- Who then are the drivers of change?
- The ANC seeks to mobilise all South Africans to contribute to the ongoing transformation of our country. In doing this, we strive to appeal to and foster a common sense of South Africanness and a shared responsibility for our common destiny among all citizens of South Africa, black and white.
- Yet, any major historical process of social transformation has to be driven by a core of classes and strata that objectively stand to benefit from and have the capacity together to drive such change.
- It should be emphasised, though, that the mere prospect of objective benefit does not necessarily translate into revolutionary consciousness and resolve to act in the collective interest. Nor does the fact of belonging to either side of the divide remove the possibility of individuals from these classes and strata aligning themselves with the antagonists.
- It also stands to reason that the extent of receptiveness to ideas of change and commitment to take part in struggle would in broad terms depend on the role in the production process and the depth of subordination and exclusion. In other words, among the classes and strata suing for change, there will be concentric circles or a hierarchy of involvement.
- Historically, the liberation movement characterised Africans in particular and Blacks in general as the motive forces of the NDR. These communities were, by law, defined outside of the political system except as servants of white minority domination. In class terms, they were made up of workers and the rural poor, the middle strata including small business operators, and real or aspirant capitalists.
- The liberation movement defined the enemy, on the other hand, as the system of white minority domination with the white community being the beneficiaries and defenders of this system. These in turn were made up of workers, middle strata and capitalists. Monopoly capital was identified as the chief enemy of the NDR. It was also emphasised that apartheid was not in the long-term interest of the white community.
- More than ten years into democracy, does this still apply? To answer this question we need to examine the strategic objectives of the NDR and changing socio-political dynamics under the new system.
- As indicated earlier, the character of the NDR – in terms of the social contradictions that it seeks to resolve – remains the same. The progress made since the attainment of democracy is such that we are still some way from the ideal society of national democracy. The ownership and control of wealth and income, the poverty trap, access to opportunity and so on – are all in the main defined, as under apartheid, on the basis of race and gender.
- As such, the central task in the current period is the eradication of the socio-economic legacy of apartheid; and this will remain so for many years to come. However, the establishment of a government based on the will of the people, progress in the transformation of the state, the codification of rights and implementation of progressive socio-economic programmes represent a major change in the socio-political environment.
- Given all these factors, how then do we define the drivers of change today: which are the forces that the ANC relies on to achieve its objectives?
- To the extent that the socio-economic legacy of apartheid continues to manifest in national terms, to that extent are Africans in particular and Blacks in general the motive forces of the NDR. Profound self-interest impels them to act in the collective interest to realise the strategic objectives of the NDR. They are the drivers of reconstruction and development. As in the past when they rose above the politics of race hatred, these communities do carry the responsibility of leading the process of nation-building and reconciliation too. Critical for them to play this role is the defence and consolidation of unity across ethnic and racial divides, to fight racism and tribalism whenever and wherever they rear their ugly head.
- In class terms, these forces are made up of black workers: employed and unemployed, rural and urban. The early and extensive development of capitalism in South Africa led to the emergence of black workers as the majority in our society. They are located strategically at the heart of modern production and services. Because of and in addition to this, their sense of organisation and mobilisation locates them as the main motive force and the leader of the process of change.
- Their tasks in this phase of the NDR include: advancing the struggle for quality jobs and job security; building class and national solidarity among all sectors of workers including causalised, informalised and unemployed workers; ensuring a strategic contribution by public sector workers to the transformation of the state and efficient provision of services to the population; directing the employment of institutional capital in which workers have a large stake towards developmental goals; and leading in the definition of a common vision and in implementing a common programme of action among all the motive forces and the nation as a whole. In addition to leading in mass struggles, the working class will continue to enjoy the confidence of the rest of the motive forces and advance its own interests if it is also able to wield the opportunities and instruments provided by democracy – both economic and political – to advance social transformation.
- A significant part of the working class in our country are the rural poor, mostly unemployed, landless, engaged in self-employment through survivalist micro-entrepreneurial activity or farm-workers in insecure low-paying jobs. Land dispossession and marginalisation destroyed any semblance of an African peasantry in our country, reducing these rural areas into reserves for cheap labour. In addition to the strategic challenges that face workers in general, these rural masses face tasks that include: taking active part in defining and implementing strategies for rural development; enhancing the struggle for rural workers’ rights; advancing the land reform programme; and mobilising for the optimal utilisation of agricultural land and other activities in the agricultural value chain.
- As part of the motive forces, the black middle strata constitute a critical resource of the NDR. They include the intelligentsia, small business operators and professionals. Besides their varied identification with either of the main classes, these strata – especially the intelligentsia – not only provide professional skills, but also are critical in the determination of culture and value systems. They are called upon to play an active role in the provision of a variety of services to the population; in fostering a culture of searching for new and better ways of doing things; and in promoting progressive intellectual discourse through the media, the arts and other platforms.
- The achievement of democracy in 1994 has seen the dramatic, if still exceedingly limited, emergence of the black capitalist group. This group is in most respects a product of democratic change, a direct creation of the NDR. The continued advancement of the revolution, particularly the necessary de-racialisation of ownership and control of wealth and income, is in their objective interest. In this sense they are part of the motive forces, with great potential to play a critical role in changing the structure of the South African economy: developing national forces of production in line with the character of the national democratic society including an extensive manufacturing base, research and development, local economic development, job-creation, skills development as well as national and continental economic integration.
- However, because their rise is dependent in part on co-operation with elements of established white capital, they are susceptible to co-option into serving its narrow interests – and thus developing into a comprador bourgeoisie. Because their advancement is dependent on a variety of interventions and, as with all private capital, on opportunities provided by the state, they are constantly tempted to use corrupt means to advance their personal interests – and thus developing into a parasitic bureaucratic bourgeoisie. The liberation movement must guard against and combat these tendencies.
- What about the various classes and strata within the white community?
- Virtually all South Africans pay allegiance to the Constitution. Increasing numbers, including among the whites, entertain a sense of collective belonging to South Africa. It can be argued that most in the white community have come to realise that, indeed, non-racial democracy is in their immediate and long-term interest. This, combined with the social dynamics within the middle strata and acculturation referred to earlier, brings to the fore the question whether merely by dint of being white, this community still can be defined as antagonists of NDR!
- In terms of practical experiences especially in the private sector, public discourse and voting patterns, it seems that many in the white community still have to realise that the poverty and inequality spawned by apartheid are not in their long-term interest, and that black people are as capable as anyone else to lead and exercise authority in all spheres of life. This derives in part from historical socialisation based on the false ideology of racism, which needs continually to be combated.
- But, unlike before, when antagonists across the apartheid divide were locked in mortal combat, engagement around issues of transformation in a democracy forms part of legitimate discourse and electoral politics. Those who continue to resist change within the constitutional framework are opponents in a democratic order. Their political and other organisations are legitimate expressions of a school of thought that should be challenged, but at the same time accepted as part of democratic engagement.
- It behoves the liberation movement to persist in clarifying the long-term self-interest that the white community shares in ridding our society of the legacy of apartheid. Indeed, formal political democracy including the new human rights regime would be imperilled if conditions of abject poverty and massive inequality persist.
- In this regard, the liberation movement must lead each of the classes and strata within the Black community in narrowing the racial chasm. This applies moreso to the working class which, by reaching out across the racial divide within this class, should be the lightning rod to the emergence of inclusive nationhood. But it also does apply in large measure to the middle strata especially the intelligentsia, and the capitalist class.
- What about the place and role of monopoly capital? There are fundamental areas of divergence between the objectives and value systems of the ANC and those of monopoly capital. In particular, there is much in the nature and behaviour of private monopolies that has the effect of constraining higher rates of growth and skewing development. These include monopoly pricing and other forms of rent-seeking, selfish import parity pricing, barriers to entry in some industries and a value system based on greed and crass materialism.
- The approach of the liberation movement to private capital, including monopoly capital, is informed by our understanding of the national democratic society as a system that encourages competition, promotes sustainable labour-absorbing activity, discourages rent-seeking in the form of super-profits arising from monopoly control and other selfish advantages and so on.
- The relationship between the national democratic state and private capital in general is one of ‘unity and struggle’, co-operation and contestation. On the one hand, the democratic state has to create an environment conducive for private investments from which the investors can make reasonable returns, and through which employment and technological progress can be derived. On the other hand, through state-owned enterprises, effective regulation, taxation and other means, the state seeks to ensure redistribution of income, to direct investments into areas which will help national development, to play a central role in providing public goods and broadly to ensure social responsibility. The balance between ‘unity’ and ‘struggle’ will be dictated to by the strategic imperatives of the NDR.
- As such, the democratic state should have the strategic capacity and the instruments to deal with these negative tendencies, while at the same time mobilising private capital in general to partner it in increasing rates of investment and sustainable job-creation.
- Across all these class and national permutations are to be found women in their various capacities. As workers they bear the greatest burden of super-exploitation and poverty. As survivalist micro-entrepreneurs, they are called upon to provide use-values to working class communities under unbearable conditions. As middle strata and business-persons, they are compelled to hew their way through the jungle of male-dominated professions and environments. In the home, they carry the burden of nurturing families and are forced to reproduce relations of patriarchy. In challenging these anomalies along with progressive men, women form, in gender terms, the bedrock of the construction of a caring nation.
- These then are the core, the real and the potential drivers of change in the National Democratic Revolution. Much clearer than before, the concentric circles of united action are taking shape, with Black workers at the core and Black communities broadly as the motive forces.
- Unlike before, when white support for non-racial democracy and social transformation was an exception to the rule, large sections within this community accept at least the imperatives of the National Constitution. As such, tapering off towards the outer edges of the concentric circles of drivers of change is the balance of the nation’s majority – made up of all races – steadily forging a social compact of common interest.
- Across these circles the intertwining of Black and white interests is taking shape, with the definitions of the past starting to fade. As these circles intertwine and the currents across them flow into one another, so will the objectives of the NDR be reaching maturity. Common interests will increasingly be forged across the racial divide within the various social classes and strata. And so, other defining issues in pursuit of other strategic objectives may become the paramount driving forces for continuing change.
Chapter 6: Organisational Leader Of Change: Character Of The African National Congress
- Given the vision of a national democratic society and the motive forces of change, what should be the character of the movement to lead social transformation?
- To carry out the NDR in the current phase requires a progressive national liberation movement which:
- understands the interconnection between political and socio-economic challenges in our society;
- leads the motive forces of the NDR in pursuing their common aspirations and ensuring that their sectoral interests are linked to the strategic objective;
- masters the terrain of electoral contest, utilises political power to advance the objectives of the NDR and wields instruments of state in line with these ideals as reflected in the National Constitution;
- organises and mobilises the motive forces and builds broader partnerships to drive the process of reconstruction and development, nation-building and reconciliation; and
- conducts itself, both in its internal practices and in relation to society at large, in line with the ideals represented by the NDR and acts as a microcosm of the future.
- The African National Congress is such a movement. Over the years, it led the struggle of the people of South Africa for the achievement of democracy. In turn, during successive elections since 1994, it has resoundingly been returned to office.
- The primary task of the ANC remains the mobilisation of all the classes and strata that objectively stand to benefit from the cause of social change. The dictum that the people are their own liberators remains as relevant today as it was during the days of anti-apartheid struggle.
- The dynamics within South African society, resulting in the concentric circles described earlier, impose on the ANC the responsibility more intensely to work among all sectors of the population and to ensure that they join the people’s contract to change South Africa for the better. This includes all the class forces from within the white community, each of which can and should make a contribution to the construction of a better society.
- The vision that the ANC pursues is informed by the morality of caring and human solidarity. The kind of democracy it pursues leans towards the poor; and it recognises the leading role of the working class in the project of social transformation. Recognising the reality of unequal gender relations, and the fact that the majority of the poor are African women, the ANC pursues gender equality in all practical respects.
- In this context, the ANC is a disciplined force of the left, organised to conduct consistent struggle in pursuit of a caring society in which the well-being of the poor receives focussed and consistent attention. In terms of current political discourse, what it seeks to put in place approximates, in many respects, a combination of the best elements of a developmental state and social democracy. In this regard, the ANC contrasts its own positions with those of:
- national liberation struggles which stalled at the stage of formal political independence and achieved little in terms of changing colonial production relations and social conditions of the poor;
- neo-liberalism which worships the market above all else and advocates rampant unregulated capitalism and a minimalist approach to the role of the state and the public sphere in general; and
- ultra-leftism which advocates voluntaristic adventures including dangerous leaps towards a classless society ignoring the objective tasks in a national democratic revolution.
- In order for it to exercise its vanguard role, the ANC puts a high premium on the involvement of its cadres in all centres of power. This includes the presence of ANC members and supporters in state institutions. It includes activism in the mass terrain of which structures of civil society are part. It includes the involvement of cadres in the intellectual and ideological terrain to help shape the value systems of society. This requires a cadre policy that encourages creativity in thought and in practice and eschews rigid dogma. In this regard, the ANC has a responsibility to promote progressive traditions within the intellectual community, including institutions such as universities and the media. Playing a vanguard role also means the presence of members and supporters of the ANC in business, the better to reshape production relations in line with the outlook of a national democratic society.
- The activism of the ANC among the motive forces should be a responsibility of members and leaders alike, informed by a coherent cadre policy that takes into account career-pathing among its activists. And wherever they are to be found, ANC cadres should act as the custodians of the principles of fundamental social change; winning respect among their peers and society at large through their exemplary conduct. They must be informed by values of honesty, hard work, humility, service to the people and respect for the laws of the land.
- As a multi-class mass movement, the ANC is required to master the science and art of crafting long- and short-term common platforms to ensure that all the motive forces pull in the same direction. We do acknowledge that, at times, the narrow self-interest of a particular class or stratum or group may not necessarily coincide with that of other motive forces. In some instances, as with the working class and the bourgeoisie, these interests may even be contradictory.
- However, guided by the ideals of the NDR, the ANC has to ensure that these forces appreciate the common strategic interest. It should strive to manage ‘contradictions among the people’ in such a manner that they do not undermine the long-term goal of national democratic transformation. In attending to these issues, the ANC should remain steadfast to principle, and guard against attempts by any force to turn it into a hostage of narrow sectoral interest.
- Our approach to all these responsibilities derives from the understanding that a national democratic society has to be systematically constructed. It is not found ready-made at the point of transfer of political power. Nor can it emerge spontaneously through the agency of the ‘hidden hand’ of the market. What this means is that members of the ANC should continually improve their capacity – both political and technical -to act as the most advanced elements of society.
- As such, the ANC cannot conduct itself as an ordinary electoral party. It cannot behave like a shapeless jelly-fish with a political form that is fashioned hither and thither by the multiple contradictory forces of sea-waves. There should be clear value systems that attach to being a member and a leader of the ANC, informed by the strategic objectives that we pursue.
- In essence, the ANC is faced with two options: either to act as a party of the present, an electoral machine blinded by short-term interest, satisfied with current social reality and merely giving stewardship to its sustenance. Or it can become a party of the future, using political power and harnessing the organisational and intellectual resources of society to attain the vision of a national democratic society.
- This arises in even bolder relief given the new terrain in which we operate. In actual fact, the world of the ANC changed drastically at the point of the 1994 democratic breakthrough. On the one hand, a new critical instrument of struggle, state power, one of the prime prizes of resistance, was attained. On the other, this instrument of power and status can impact in negative ways on a revolutionary movement.
- Many leaders and cadres of the movement are found in positions of massive influence in the executive, the legislatures and state institutions. By breaking the glass ceiling of apartheid, the liberation movement opened up enticing opportunities for its cadres in business and the professions. Even within the trade union movement and students’, youth, women’s and other mass democratic organisations, unprecedented opportunities for individual material gain have opened up. All this creates a problem of ‘social distance’ between these cadres of the movement and ordinary members and supporters, the majority of whom are working class and poor.
- Political incumbency also presents a myriad of problems in the management of relations within the organisation. Patronage, arrogance of power, bureaucratic indifference, corruption and other ills arise, undermining the lofty core values of the organisation: to serve the people!
- How the ANC negotiates this minefield will determine its future survival as a principled leader of the process of fundamental change, an organisation respected and cherished by the mass of the people for what it represents and how it conducts itself in actual practice. A number of principles need to be observed in dealing with this challenge.
- Firstly, the critical importance of political power as an instrument to address the ills of colonialism needs to be fully appreciated. In this regard, politics and public service need to be treated as a calling with requisite moral status, in which any of the motive forces can take part, either as a profession or as time-bound service.
- Secondly, the ANC should give strategic leadership to those of its cadres in institutions of government, through Conferences, Councils and Branch General Meetings. In this respect, it needs to act as the ultimate strategic ‘centre of power’ for its members.
- Thirdly, in order to ensure that its strategic mandate is carried out, the ANC needs massively to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation capacity. This will ensure that cadres deployed in various capacities are able to improve their work in meeting set objectives. At the same time, these cadres should have sufficient space to exercise initiative within the strategic mandate rather than being subjected to micro-management.
- Fourthly, systems of information-sharing within leadership structures and across the organisation should afford those outside of government sufficient data to make strategic interventions. In the same measure, all cadres should apply themselves seriously to governance issues, practically to add strategic value to the work of government.
- Lastly, in its conduct in relation to the state, the ANC should be guided by its own principles, and act within the framework of the National Constitution and relevant legislation. In this regard, it should manage the state as an organ of the people as a whole rather than a party political instrument.
- Within the ANC, the Women’s League (ANCWL) is tasked with the responsibility of helping the ANC to broaden its mass base, as it champions the aspirations of a section of our society which over the decades, has been oppressed and exploited as “a nation”, as a class and as women. It should continue to be the voice of ANC women members, but it should also be at the cutting edge of the Broad Women’s Movement, spearheading gender transformation and the advancement of a women’s agenda in all areas of social endeavour.
- In a similar vein, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is a critical tool of South Africa’s youth in pursuit of a better life for all. It should continue to function as an organisational and political preparatory school of young activists of our movement, informed by our strategic and tactical positions. The organisational autonomy of the ANCYL always provides organisational vibrancy and the youthful political debate imperative to a revolutionary organisation. It should continually broaden its base and deepen its political and organisational strength. It must strive to galvanise, and place itself at the centre of, the broadest spectrum of youth organisations for reconstruction and development.
- As part of the process of preserving its values and culture, while adapting them to concrete conditions in which it operates, the ANC places a high premium on the contribution that veterans of the struggle can make. In this regard, the Veterans’ League has a central role to play both by force of example and in practical organisational and ideological work within and without the ranks of the broad democratic movement.
- Historically, the three streams of the national liberation struggle in our country – the revolutionary democratic, the socialist and the trade union movements – have found common cause in pursuit of the objectives of the NDR as commonly understood. This Tripartite Alliance, currently made up of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, is therefore not a matter of sentiment, but an organisational expression of the common purpose and unity in action that these forces share, and continue jointly to define and redefine in the course of social transformation. It is a strategic alliance aimed at eliminating the legacy of colonialism in its various manifestations, and not a coalition based on tactical considerations or the subjective mood of the moment. As a leader of the NDR, the ANC will continue to work for strategic unity among all components of this Alliance, in pursuit of a national democratic society.
- In line with its responsibility to lead the motive forces of change, the ANC will continue to encourage the formation of, and to work within, progressive civil society: organisations of communities, students, youth, women, people with disability, traditional leaders, business and other non-governmental and community-based organisations. It will also continue to reach out to religious and other institutions to ensure common approaches to challenges of transformation. The ANC will conduct such mass work taking into account the dynamic changes taking place in the social structure and varied lifestyles of South African society.
- The character and strength of the ANC must continue to reside in and derive from its mass base. As the leading force in government, the ANC should continually improve its capacity and skill to wield and transform the instruments of power.
Chapter 7: The Global Balance: Character Of The International Situation
- The ANC was formed and it evolved as part of progressive forces across the globe in the fight against colonialism, racism, poverty, underdevelopment and gender oppression. It drank and continues to drink from the well of these progressive global experiences. The strategic objectives of our National Democratic Revolution reflect some of the best values in human civilisation.
- In its conduct of struggle, the ANC takes into account the global balance of forces, the better to help create and take advantage of opportunities for decisive advance and to avoid pitfalls of adventurism. In this regard, we proceed from the understanding that it is the task of revolutionary democrats and humanists everywhere to recognise dangers; but more critically, to identify opportunities in the search of a just, humane and equitable world order – a world with greater security, peace, dialogue and better equilibrium among all nations of the world, rich and poor, big and small.
- What then is our assessment of the major trends in the world in which we live?
- Today, the system of capitalism holds sway across the world; and it is underpinned by the unique dominance of one ‘hyper-power’. This situation of unipolarity also has secondary multi-polar features reflected in geopolitical blocs among developed and developing countries, and the historical resurgence of China, India, Brazil and Russia as centres of growth and development. These multi-polar features require continuing research and engagement.
- The world-wide system of capitalism is characterised by globalisation, which has seen impressive advances in the development and utilisation of technology, integration of production and management processes across oceans, massive trade in financial instruments and expansion of trade in goods and services.
- But beyond this its technical expression, globalisation has also been shaped by the agenda of dominant global forces. These include transnational corporations controlling trillions of Rand of humanity’s wealth, alliances around one ‘hyper-power’ whose dominance is reminiscent of empires of a bygone era, and cultural domination reflected in trends towards homogenisation of media content and the arts. A critical consequence of all this is the undermining of the system of global governance.
- At the political level, the dominant imperialist powers have historically used various means to assert their geo-political and economic interests. This finds contemporary expression in unilateralism and militarism which have reared their ugly head on a scale hardly witnessed in recent history. In intellectual and policy discourse, notions of empire and benevolent colonialism find respectable articulation. In many respects, the current global balance is evocative of the situation in previous eras of dominant empires and colonialism when brute force was the currency of geo-political intercourse.
- In a situation in which an exploitative socio-economic system rules the waves, the danger should not be underestimated of widening wars of conquest and other more sophisticated means of subversion in search of resources, markets and geo-political advantage. Indeed, notions of ‘pre-emptive wars’ and ‘regime change’ are becoming the political stock-in-trade. This imperils sovereignty of smaller and weaker nations.
- Attached to this phenomenon is the assertion of shallow and populist ideologies such as the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’ premised on varied expressions of religious fundamentalism, which seek to justify political crusades of blood and gore. By-products of this mindset include racial profiling, the undermining of rule of law both in domestic and global conduct and systematic violation of human rights.
- The growing threat of terrorism on a global scale, conducted by state and non-state agencies alike, forms an indistinguishable part of this phenomenon. Masked as resistance against imperialism or a fight against so-called “forces of evil”, terrorism – which is the deliberate targeting of civilians in violent conflict – is both inhuman and repugnant. Militarism and terrorism feed one another. They are two sides of the same coin.
- However, these dangers manifest themselves in a period in which humanity is keenly aware of the disastrous consequences of war and the dehumanisation that can result from warped ideologies of race hatred and religious intolerance. Ordinary citizens across the globe are finding various ways of resisting the encroachment of the rapacious licence of empire. Through mass mobilisation and progressive political parties, and through the power of the vote, continuous processes of self-correction do assert themselves.
- At the socio-economic level, the wonder of technology including computing, genetics and nano-technology continues to broaden the horizons of human civilisation and create possibilities that only a few decades ago existed only in the wildest of human imagination. It is the irony of our age that such possibilities for the resolution of problems of health, environmental degradation as well as poverty and under-development are appropriated for the benefit of a few, and are seen to impress mainly in the shock and awe of war.
- Technological advancement has created a global economic system that increasingly works as ‘a unit in real time on a planetary scale’. The advantages of this are limitless.
- On the other hand, these opportunities can be abused through financial systems in which paper money begets paper money: with new ingenious ways found to extract so-called shareholder value that has little bearing on actual production. This also creates an environment for a pervasive short-termism that can hold back the development of productive forces. Related to this is the growing tendency to sustain and justify staggering packages and astonishing lifestyles of corporate executives and so-called celebrities, with levels of inequality that are reminiscent of the eras of slavery and feudalism.
- Globalisation also impels the search for the lowest in human deprivation to locate production and extract maximum returns, with developing countries encouraged to bid one another lower on a catwalk of mutual beggaring. Combined with this is the utilisation of economic power to rip open frontiers of protectionism among the weak, while doing the opposite in developed countries. All these developments and others such as rapid and unregulated capital flows that include complex derivatives and private equity takeovers negatively impact the sovereignty of developing countries.
- These are some of the fundamental shortcomings of a rampant and poorly regulated market-based system. This system perpetuates under-development and deepens inequality within and among nations, creating what are in fact two global villages. It fuels corruption on a massive scale. It also precipitates migration from poor to rich countries, resulting in a debilitating brain drain and illegal escapades that heighten inter-state tensions. In addition, this system entrenches patriarchy, including the vicious exploitation of female labour, trafficking in women and children and poor representation of women in global positions of authority.
- Globalised capitalism has also generated careless exploitation of natural resources, endangering the long-term survival of the human species. The wanton destruction of the environment, the threat to biodiversity and the danger of global warming are all a grave challenge that should receive priority attention. These developments take place in an era in which oil reserves as a non-renewable source of energy are declining at a rapid pace, and sources of potable water are diminishing relative to social and economic needs. At the same time, food production is not keeping pace with the needs of humanity and food stocks such as fish are being senselessly plundered.
- Parallel to these short-comings has been the widening access to modern technology and foreign markets across the globe. Nations which organise and position themselves to take advantage of this are advancing at a rapid pace. New economic growth centres are emerging – in Asia – and Africa is poised to join the trend.
- It is a measure of the changing global economic balance that the fastest growing regions of the world are located in developing countries. Their share of global production has increased dramatically, with profound implications for global economics and politics. In various parts of the ‘developing world’, including Latin America, there is a growing assertion of national and collective sovereignty and a progressive developmental agenda. As a consequence, the voice of the South is growing stronger by the day. Both from the point of view of their common historical experiences and common current interests, countries of the South need to strengthen co-operation among themselves. They need to build people-centred and people-driven systems and pool their sovereignty through strategic partnerships.
- Globalisation also means growing inter-dependence among nations, reflected among others in production and trade, financial flows, environmental challenges, health issues and migration. Further, improved platforms of mass communication help lay bare the advances in human comfort and thus the unfairness of massive global inequality.
- The global mass movements around these and other issues attest to the impact of these factors on global human consciousness and conscience. Public opinion is steadily turning. Progressive parties, workers’ and women’s organisations, popular campaigns around local development and environmental issues, associations of professionals and movements of people with disability, indigenous communities, the homeless, the landless and so on -all have resolved to challenge the negative effects of globalisation.
- It is in part a result of these trends that the United Nations Organisation (UN) has put high on its agenda the notion of human security as encompassing issues of poverty and underdevelopment. Whatever their limitations, initiatives such as the UN Millennium Development Goals, the programme for sustainable development, and the development round in global trade negotiations do reflect the positive impact of a progressive global paradigm. At the same time, the voices calling for democratisation of the UN and other multilateral institutions and the restructuring of the global exercise of power are growing.
- South Africa’s interests in a complex and unpredictable global environment necessitate the building of capacity for strategic as well as rapid responses to changes in our region, Africa and the world. Within this context, our global strategy for the coming years will remain firmly anchored on the African continent and the developing countries.
- Africa has the best possibility in this milieu to emerge from an era of political and social decline into a renaissance of hope and social progress. It can on a massive scale turn adversity into opportunity. A new spirit is abroad on the continent, and the people of Africa are determined to use their newly-harnessed energy, pride and self-assertiveness to chart their own course of development and extricate themselves from the lowest rungs of human development.
- Most of the conflicts on the continent have been resolved. Democracy is spreading. Economic growth is accelerating. And there is a collective determination to turn Africa into one of the centres of rapid industrialisation and social development.
- While historical experiences of subjugation have much to do with Africa’s current position, it is Africans themselves partnered by others, who can bring about the renaissance of their nations and their continent.
- The most immediate challenges in this regard consist in the development of infrastructure for economic activity and social services, the deepening of democracy and mass participation and improved public service. Also crucial are regional integration and assertion of national and collective continental sovereignty in pursuit of a higher trajectory of development and in relation to global partners.
- The ANC forms part of the global forces – including governments, political parties and civil society organisations in developing and developed countries – campaigning for a humane and equitable world order. In its history it has gained from and contributed to a culture of human solidarity across the globe. It is informed in its international work by values of internationalism, promotion of human rights against all abuses and violations, and support for national liberation. In this regard, the ANC supports the right of all peoples to fight against oppression and tyranny.
- The ANC will continue to work with other countries and progressive forces to promote the transformation of the global order away from unilateralism and conflict. It will continue to seek a path of hope and human solidarity, to pursue resolution of conflict through dialogue and peaceful means and to promote mutual friendship among peoples of the world. This we shall do, proceeding from the premise that all nations have a shared responsibility collectively to improve the human condition.
- Our standpoint on these matters is both a matter of profound self-interest and an issue about the humanity of our own outlook. We will continue to build and strengthen progressive alliances and networks across the globe, including inter-state, party-to-party and people-to-people relations in Africa and further afield in pursuit of an equitable and humane world order.
Chapter 8: Steps Towards The Vision: Programme Of National Democratic Transformation
- What then are the main steps that we need to take, in the programme of the democratic state in the current phase, to bring us closer to the ideal of a national democratic society?
- The answer to this question is informed by the character of the NDR, actual practical experience since 1994 and our reading of the current balance of forces. In broad terms, our approach is informed by the ideals contained in the Freedom Charter, adopted at the Congress of the People in 1955. The practical measures towards a national democratic society are contained in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) adopted by the ANC, the Tripartite Alliance and the broad mass democratic movement in the run-up to the first democratic elections. This was further updated and elaborated in Election Manifestos during subsequent elections.
- What we outline hereunder are the main emphases in the work of the ANC government in the coming decade.
Constitution and governance
- The National Constitution sets out the framework within which to manage social relations. Some of the basic principles include: multi-party democracy; the doctrine and practice of separation of powers in a constitutional democracy; equal human rights and access to opportunity; freedom of speech and of the media; equality of all before the law; respect for the rights of linguistic, religious and cultural communities; social equity and practical corrective action against racial, gender and other forms of discrimination.
- In order to ensure popular involvement in the processes of change, the ANC will continue to build partnerships across society. Practically, the ANC will strengthen institutions and practices of popular participation and encourage efforts to build an enduring people’s contract – for each sector to contribute to the common objective.
- There will be continuing work to improve the legitimacy of the democratic state, encourage national identity and the role of the state as an instrument of social cohesion. Informed by this legitimacy, the state will also ensure that its collective national authority as regulator of social relations is respected, in the context of rule of law.
- The ANC will consistently improve the role played by legislative organs of government as tribunes of the people, and as platforms to monitor and advance the programme of change. It will continue to promote the transformation of the judiciary and to consolidate the legitimacy of this important arm of the state in a constitutional democracy. Informed by the doctrine of separation of powers, the ANC will encourage mutual respect among the three arms of the state – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary – in dealing with matters of common interest.
Building a developmental state
- The first attribute of a developmental state in our conditions should be its strategic orientation: an approach premised on people-centred and people-driven change, and sustained development based on high growth rates, restructuring of the economy and socio-economic inclusion.
- The second attribute of our developmental state should be its capacity to lead in the definition of a common national agenda and in mobilising all of society to take part in its implementation. Therefore, such a state should have effective systems of interaction with all social partners, and exercise leadership informed by its popular mandate.
- The third attribute should be the state’s organisational capacity: ensuring that its structures and systems facilitate realisation of a set agenda. Thus, issues of macro-organisation of the state will continue to receive attention. These include permutations among policy and implementation organs within each sphere, allocation of responsibilities across the spheres, effective inter-governmental relations and stability of the management system.
- The fourth attribute should be its technical capacity: the ability to translate broad objectives into programmes and projects and to ensure their implementation. This depends among others on the proper training, orientation and leadership of the public service, and on acquiring and retaining skilled personnel.
- The ongoing transformation of the state is meant to ensure that these capacities are attained; and the process of identifying weaknesses and correcting them will be intensified. This includes engendering new doctrines, culture and practices as well as ensuring that state institutions reflect the demographics of the country, including appropriate representation of women and people with disability.
- This applies to the public service in its totality as well as specialised institutions such as the judiciary, the police, intelligence agencies and the defence force. All these organs should serve the people in an efficient and impartial manner.
Accelerated and shared growth
- Central to the country’s economic challenges in the current phase is to build an integrated and growing economy from which all South Africans can benefit.
- The ANC will continue to strive for macro-economic balances that support sustainable growth and development. This applies to such indicators as the budget deficit, inflation and interest rates. In other words these balances shall not be treated as things-in-themselves, but as requirements that ensure higher rates of growth, labour-absorption and poverty-reduction.
- Government action will be guided by an industrial strategy and a corresponding programme which continually identifies and addresses constraints to investment. This will help build an economy that is characterised by high levels of manufacturing activity, modern services, expanding trade, cutting edge technology and a vibrant small business and co-operative sector. State and private capital as well as resources and capacities in the hands of communities will be mobilised for this purpose. During various periods, specific industries will be identified for concerted joint action by all economic partners. A critical element of this strategy will be a comprehensive programme of land and agrarian reform.
- To ensure that benefits of growth are shared by all, there will be focus on creating decent jobs and ensuring an improving quality of life for workers. Government will implement programmes to eliminate economic dualism and exclusion. These include skills development, specific attention to industries that lend themselves to involvement by marginalized communities, access to micro-credit and small business assistance, land reform, public works projects and promotion of sustainable livelihoods at community and household levels.
- The government will intensify broad-based programmes to empower those previously excluded from mainstream economic activity, including women. To ensure balanced and sustainable spatial development, systematic analysis will be conducted of economic potential and incidence of poverty in various geographic areas, and the three spheres of government will integrate their development plans to address these issues.
Macrosocial tasks – meeting social needs
- The central objective of social policy should be to preserve and develop human resources and ensure social cohesion.
- To achieve this objective, the ANC government will continuously improve service to society, through enhanced public infrastructure, efficient systems and requisite personnel. We approach these issues proceeding from the premise that the state has a critical role to play in providing public goods such as health, education, housing, public transport, education and social security.
- The ANC will implement a comprehensive social security system which brings together initiatives such as free basic services for the poor, passenger transport subsidy, social grants, expansion of the asset base of the poor through housing, small business and land reform programmes as well as private retirement savings, unemployment and accident insurance and medical aids.
- Government will align and integrate the various programmes – economic and social – directed at eradicating poverty with the aim of ensuring effectiveness and better monitoring and evaluation. Given the reality of feminisation of poverty, central focus in this regard will be paid to the conditions of women, especially in rural, ‘township’ and informal settlements.
- Central to the preservation of human resources is the issue of the nation’s health profile and causes of death. The ANC government will strive massively to reduce cases of TB, diabetes, malnutrition, maternal deaths and malaria, as well as violent crime and road accidents. Over and above this, the impact of the pandemic of HIV and AIDS requires a massive joint effort of the state and all sectors of society so as to reverse and finally eradicate it. Government will intensify its implementation of the comprehensive strategy against this pandemic and mobilise all sectors and all citizens to play their role.
- The ANC government will implement a comprehensive human development strategy which includes: improvement of the general education system; intensification of education in mathematics and natural sciences; promotion of social sciences that help build social cohesion; expansion of the nation’s artisanship base; improving throughput and research in the universities; and an effective adult basic education programme.
- Specific programmes of redress such as land restitution and follow up to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will continue.
Building social cohesion – promoting values of a caring society
- The government led by the ANC will consolidate partnerships across society to strengthen social cohesion and ensure that our nation achieves the values of a caring society, inspired by the traits of human compassion which informed our struggle against colonialism. Indeed, the need to build co-operation among all South Africans applies more so to matters of spiritual sustenance such as beliefs and moral values, which are as communal as they are profoundly personal.
- This we shall do, proceeding from the understanding that comprehensive social transformation entails changing the material conditions of all South Africans for the better; but also ensuring that we forge a nation inspired by values of human solidarity. It is the combination of these factors that describe the civilisation of national democracy that we seek to build.
- Liberation also means engendering freedom of the human spirit to search for better ways of doing things, to express oneself freely and to enjoy the creative endeavours of humanity. But, informed by the precepts of the country’s Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, we do recognise that attached to individual freedom is individual responsibility; attached to collective freedom is collective responsibility.
- We will work with all sectors of society to promote an overarching South African identity, recognising the diversity of the country’s people. We will promote pride in our heritage including geographic and place names, our African identity and our common humanity as global citizens.
- In this regard, we shall ensure that the content of the education system encourages the inculcation of these values while at the same time promoting critical thought.
- In promoting intellectual discourse, media freedom and diversity of views, the ANC will encourage appreciation by the media fraternity and the intelligentsia as a whole of the role that they can play in promoting human solidarity and a caring society. The same applies to the arts including music, the oral and written word, crafts, theatre and film.
- The ANC government will encourage development and promotion of languages used by South Africans. Traditions, religious expressions and other belief systems which are consistent with the values of the country’s Constitution form a critical part of the nation’s collective resource in the promotion of humane values. In this regard, we will seek to emphasise that which is common and good.
- By encouraging a positive role for the institution of the family and community, youth involvement in a variety of social endeavours, patriotism and civic responsibility, community activism, sporting and other social activities, we will seek to promote healthy lifestyles, moral integrity and role models informed by human compassion, generosity, incorruptibility and accountability.
- While encouraging individual initiative, drive and entrepreneurship, we shall also promote appreciation of the responsibility on the part of those who command political, social, material and other forms of power towards poor and vulnerable sectors of society. In this regard, we will fight against all manifestations of racism, super-exploitation, patriarchy, ethnic chauvinism, religious and political intolerance, and abuse of women and children; discourage greed and the arrogant display of wealth; and campaign against the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
- Central in this endeavour will be the mobilisation of all South Africans to strengthen the nation’s moral fibre informed by the ideals of human compassion and solidarity.
Safety and Security
- The national struggle for freedom was the critical over-arching vehicle to bring about peace, security and stability to our society. In dealing with issues of crime, the ANC proceeds from the premise that a rising quality of life also means improvement in the safety and security of citizens in their homes and environs where they live, work and engage in extramural activity.
- Three principles are critical in addressing the challenge of crime, especially its uniquely random and violent nature in our country.
- The first of these is that the battle against crime cannot be separated from the war on want. In the main, incidents of contact crime such as murder, grievous bodily harm and rape occur among acquaintances in poor communities where living and entertainment environments do not allow for decent family and social life.
- Secondly, specific mindsets and historical conditions drive elements of the crime problem. These are the proliferation of firearms in the hands of civilians, greed and conspicuous consumption, the psychology of patriarchal power relations and attitudes towards weaker members of society especially children.
- Thirdly, the networks of crime have grown in their reach and sophistication across national boundaries. These include syndicates that deal with money laundering, human smuggling as well as drug trafficking and abuse.
- The overall programme of national democratic transformation will gradually eliminate some of the conditions that breed social crime. So shall our contribution to creating an environment of peace, stability, economic growth and social development in Southern Africa and the rest of the continent.
- Critically, focus must be placed on mobilising society to make life difficult for criminals in our midst. This should include an overhaul of gender and family relations and intolerance of abuse within communities. The transformation of institutions dealing with crime, including integrated efficiency is also critical. This applies to management, expansion of personnel, utilisation of latest technology, enhanced intelligence capacity, commitment to work with the people and eradication of corruption within the ‘criminal justice system’. It also applies to the efficient regulation of the private security industry to ensure that its various capacities, integrity of its recruitment practices and employees’ conditions of service are in line with the requirements of what is otherwise an important part of our nation’s security establishment.
- Government will continue to expand and deepen co-operation among law-enforcement agencies in the region and further afield. At the same time we will enhance our systems of border control and improve the capacity of our defence force and intelligence agencies to secure the integrity of our nation-state. We will continue to pay attention to any remaining networks from apartheid’s ‘dirty war’ some of which are an integral part of the criminal networks.
Chapter 9: Conclusion
- Contained in this outline of our Strategy and Tactics is the ANC’s assessment of the environment in which we live and the immediate and long-term tasks that we face. It is our collective view of the theory of the South African revolution.
- During the First Decade of Freedom, we were able to consolidate and deepen our democratic system and introduce critical programmes for social transformation. The progress we have made is commendable; and the decisive actions in the early years of the Second Decade of Freedom hold out the promise of faster progress towards our ideals. But we are only at the beginning of a protracted process of change.
- The ANC celebrates the end of the first century of its existence wielding political power – a critical platform to improve the quality of life of South Africans and contribute to building a better world. The strategic task remains the same. But the environment in which it has to be pursued has changed significantly for the better.
- In this phase of national democratic transformation, the ANC commits itself to intensifying its work around the five pillars of social transformation:
- the state,
- the economy,
- organisational work,
- ideological struggle, and
- international work.
- We will undertake these tasks conscious of our responsibility as one of the battalions of the global army for progressive social change, a disciplined force of the left.
- The ANC is confident that South Africans will persist in building an enduring national partnership further to change our country for the better. Working together with them, we shall spare neither strength nor courage, until the strategic objective has been attained.
- The struggle continues!
African People: The indigenous inhabitants of the country principally composed of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Venda, Ndebele, Khoi and San.
African Renaissance: A programme to renew and rebuild the African continent, from underdevelopment, poverty and Afro-pessimism.
Anglo-Boer War: A war fought between the Afrikaners and the British between 1899 and 1902.
Apartheid Colonialism: A variant of colonialism that existed in South Africa where the coloniser and the colonised shared one country Apartheid: An oppressive system based on white minority-rule over all other population groups – Blacks in general and Africans in particular – that started long ago, but was given this name and consolidated into a vicious state policy of the Nationalist Party Government since 1948.
Archeological findings: The study of ancient civilizations by scientific analysis of physical remains found in the ground as in Mapungubwe, Cradle of Humankind and Taung.
Autonomous Leagues: The principle that the ANCYL and the ANCWL operate independently, next to and in addition to ANC structures but within the framework of the constitution and policies of the ANC.
Balance of Forces: A power balance between contending forces in a conflict: the strengths and weaknesses of each contender at each moment.
Battalion: A section of the army
Bedrock: Foundation stone. Cornerstone.
Black People: These are the people in our country who suffered from apartheid generally composed of Africans, Coloureds and Indians.
Bureaucracy: A civil service of the state.
Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie: A capitalist class that depends for its existence and survival on the state through tenders, corruption and so on Bygone era: Past period
Capitalism: A system that makes profit by exploiting people who work for a wage.
Chasm: A big gap.
Classes: Large groups of people involved in social production, who differ from each other by the place
Codification: Made into law
Cold War: A situation of uneasiness in some instances involving arms race, contest for spheres of influence and propaganda warfare, that never involved direct physical confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States and their allies since the end of the Second World War.
Colonialism of a Special Type: A variant of colonialism where both the coloniser and the colonised share the same boundaries, within same territory of one state.
Colonialism: When countries establish their rule in other parts of the world outside their national borders.
Colony: A country or territory forcibly deprived of political and economic independence by a foreign state and exploited for the benefit of that other country.
Communication and technological revolution: Significant advancements in the computer field, that resulted in the development of robotics, cellular telephones, digital networks and the Internet.
Comprador bourgeoisie: A pseudo-capitalist that is a front, a public face or a representative of the real bourgeoisie, local or transnational.
Concentric Circles: An arrangement where the centre is the core and the less connected to the centre, the more to the outer periphery, the less significant Consensus: Agreement of almost everyone involved.
Corruption: Dishonesty especially offering and/or accepting bribes for performance of some function
Cradle of Humankind: A place where because of archeological and palaeontological findings indicates that human evolution from its early stages flourished.
Currency speculation: Plotting and foreseeing how currencies are likely to perform in the stock market and taking advantage of this by playing the market.
Developmental State: An activist state that intervenes decisively in the economy with a generally progressive agenda
Eliminate: Bring to an end
Emancipation: Liberation from bondage, and the obtaining of the right to determine a community or nation’s destiny.
Endogenous factors: Factors that influence the balance of forces from within.
Epoch: An important stage in the development of society with historical implications both domestically and at an international level.
Evolution: Gradual development that leads to change overtime Exogenous factors: Factors that influence the balance of forces from outside.
Feminisation of poverty: When women personify poverty. When women carry the burden of poverty in a patriarchal society
Feudalism: Landlordism. A class divided society of big landowners and serves who worked on the farms
Fratricidal ethnic groups: Ethnic groups that wage intra-communal warfare.
Freedom Charter: A document containing the essential policy of the ANC, adopted by the Congress of the People in 1955 and adopted by the ANC in 1956.
Galvanise: Conscientise and mobilise
Gender relations: Relations that of economic, political and other forms of social power between males and females, and in recent centuries it has been reflected in the domination of men and the subordination of women.
Genocide: Deliberate extermination of people on a large scale
Globalisation: The internationalisation of production, exchange and distribution of wealth, as well as culture and communication, which is currently reflected in the expansion of capitalism and its rules and methods across the world.
Harare Declaration: A Charter of the OAU Sub- Committee on Southern Africa, meeting at Harare in August 1989 which outlined the steps to be taken to find a negotiated settlement in South Africa.
Hemorrhaging: Bleed to death
Historical injustice: Unjust relations in Society that have accumulated over a period of time.
Human civilisation: The existence of a human race on earth and its advancement in all areas of social activity.
Hyper-power: An ultra super-power like the US after the Cold War
Ideological Struggle: A battle of ideas Imperialism: A stage of capitalism characterised by the high degree of concentration and centralisation of production, emergence of giant monopolies and efforts to dominate the world by the capitalist powers.
Insurrection: An intense mass uprising that can lead to take-over of state power.
Intelligentsia: The intellectuals. The educated crop of society
Legacy: An inheritance of those who came before to those who came after Macro-social trends: Those major movements that are taking place within society like migration, urbanisation, etc.
Marginalisation: A feeling of being an outsider, not engaged or disregarded, both real and imagined
Metropolis: The colonial power. A state that extends its power to other parts of the world outside its national border.
Millennium: A period of a thousand years.
Motive forces: These forces that benefit when a revolution is victorious, and often push for its success.
Multilateral institutions: Those institutions that govern international inter-state relations, involving a large number of states, such as the United Nations and its agencies.
Multilateralism: The use of international organisations and agencies like the UN, WTO, etc.
Multi-polar: More than one centre of power
Myriad: Large number
Nation: A historical community of people established on the basis of a common economic life, live a common territory and share a common identity about that territory.
National Democratic Revolution: A process of struggle that seeks to transfer power to the people and transform society into a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic one, and changes the manner in which wealth is shared, in order to benefit all the people.
National Liberation Movement: An array of forces organised to achieve political freedom: in South Africa it took the form of the Tripartite Alliance, the Mass Democratic Movement and other sectoral forces, led by the ANC.
National Oppression: The system which suppressed and discriminated against the African people in particular and Blacks in general. Neo-liberalism: See globalisation.
Oppression: A situation where a category of people are held in a subservient position of total inequality by another.
Ostentatiousness: Negative display of wealth and possessions intended to impress people or make them envious; like flashy cars, expensive houses, labeled clothes, hot furniture, dated alcohol and jewelry.
Parasitic bourgeoisie: A capitalist class that depends for its existence and survival on the State through tenders, corruption and so on.
Pastoral Communities: Those communities in the rural areas dependent on livestock and subsistence farming for their livelihoods.
Patriarchal: A system of male domination.
Patriotic bourgeoisie: Those people who own businesses and industries in the Country and remain loyal to the objectives of society as a whole.
Peaceful forms of resistance: Forms of struggle such as petitions, demonstrations, strikes and boycotts such as pursued by the ANC from 1912 to 1961. This policy changed with the adoption of armed struggle in 1961.
Peasantry: Those people who depend on land for their livelihood
Perception: A concrete and sensual image of objects of reality resulting from their direct impact on sense organs. Socially, it means an interpretation of events on the basis of concrete experience or of the influence of others.
Political incumbency: Being in state system
Political liberation: To get freedom to elect your own government, be represented in all bodies that make laws, to have a new flag and a new anthem.
Protracted: Taking a long time
Pseudo: A false or unreal.
Racial superiority: A backward mentality of imagining that some races are superior and better than others
Rapacious: Greedy with desire to rob and plunder
Revolution: Fundamental change in society.
Ruling bloc: Those forces that hold decisive elements of state control directly and indirectly by various means.
Slave revolts: Uprising by slaves against the system of slavery
Slavery: A class divided society of slave owners and slaves who lived and worked under inhuman conditions
Social Cohesion: A feeling of being together as one
Social Distance: A real and imagined distance in lifestyle, interaction and even geography between deployed cadres or leadership and the masses of our people.
Socialism: A social system midway between capitalism and communism
Sovereignty: State independence and official status for its decisions, borders and existence.
Statist: Putting too much focus on the State both in theory and practice
Stoicism: Extraordinary bravery, courage and steadfastness.
Strategic objective: The final aim to be achieved by the freedom struggle, to establish a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic society.
Strategy: The long-term objective and how to arrive there.
Stratification: Division into layers each with a different status.
Subjugation: To be put in an inferior or oppressed position
Survivalist micro-entrepreneurial activity: Those methods of living from hand to mouth, from day to day
Symbiosis: A mutual relationship of benefiting from each other
Tactics: The immediate things that are done depending on objective situation to arrive at the strategic goal.
Terrorism: Deliberate targeting of civilians in conflict they occupy in that system of social production.
Tripartite Alliance: An Alliance of the national liberation forces as led by the ANC, composed of working class organisations in the form of the Communist Party and a progressive trade union movement.
Triple Oppression: The oppression of women in South Africa that usually take the form of class, race and gender
Ultra-leftism: Excessive subjectivism that confuses what is desirable with what is objectively possible here and now.
Unilateralism: When one superpower by-passes and undermines the UN and other multilateral bodies and takes action on its own in the world, almost as a global policeman.
Unipolar World: The collapse of the Cold War two bloc world system and the ascendance of the U.S as the only surviving superpower.