As amended by and adopted at the ANC National Conference, December 1994
Whereas the African National Congress was founded in 1912 to defend and advance the rights of the African people after the violent destruction of their independence and the creation of the white supremacist Union of South Africa; and
Whereas in the course of fulfilling this historic aim, the ANC has emerged to lead the struggle of all democratic and patriotic forces to destroy the apartheid state and replace it with a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa in which the people as a whole shall govern and all shall enjoy equal rights; and
Whereas through the struggles and sacrifices of its members over the generations, the ANC has come to be recognised as the central organiser and inspirer of a vast popular upsurge against apartheid, involving a great array of social, cultural, religious, trade union, professional and political organisations;
Whereas the fundamental goal of the ANC remains to construct a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic society in South Africa;
And whereas the historic April 1994 election has placed the ANC in the position of majority party in the Government of National Unity, with responsibility for leading a process of Reconstruction and Development aimed at eradicating the problems of poverty and inequality created by apartheid and creating a just and equitable economic and social order,
Now therefore, the forty-ninth Conference of the ANC, duly constituted and assembled, cognisant of the historic mission of the ANC and of the need to build a mass based democratic structure to enable it to fulfil its historic mission, hereby adopts this amended Constitution.
The name of the organisation shall be the African National Congress, hereinafter referred to as the ANC.
The aims and objectives of the ANC shall be:
2.1. To unite all the people of South Africa, Africans in particular, for the complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression.
2.2. To end apartheid in all its forms and transform South Africa as rapidly as possible into a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country based on the principles of the Freedom Charter.
2.3. To defend the democratic gains of the people and to advance towards a society in which the government is freely chosen by the people according to the principles of universal suffrage on a common voters role.
2.4. To fight for social justice and to eliminate the vast inequalities created by apartheid and the system of national oppression.
2.5. To build a South African nation with a common patriotism and loyalty in which the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the people is recognised.
2.6. To promote economic development for the benefit of all.
2.7. To support and advance the cause of national liberation, womens emancipation, development, world peace, disarmament and respect of the environment.
2.8. To support and promote the struggle for the rights of children.
3.1. The ANC is a non-racial and democratic liberation movement.
3.2. The ANC is a democratic organisation whose policies are determined by the membership and whose leadership shall be accountable to the membership in terms of the procedures laid down in the Constitution.
3.3. The ANC shall, in its composition and functioning, be non-racial, anti-racist and anti-sexist and against any form of tribalistic exclusivism or ethnic chauvinism.
3.4. While striving for the maximum unity of purpose and functioning, the ANC shall respect the linguistic, cultural and religious diversity of its members.
3.5. The ANC shall support the emancipation of women, combat sexism and ensure that the voice of women is fully heard in the organisation and that women are properly represented at all levels.
3.6. The principles of freedom of speech and free circulation of ideas and information shall operate within the ANC.
3.7. Membership of all bodies of the ANC will be open to all men and women in the organisation without regard to race, colour or creed.
3.8. The ANC co-operates closely with religious bodies in the country and provides, on an interfaith basis, for the recognition of the spiritual needs of its many members who are believers.
4.1. Membership of the ANC shall be open to all South Africans above the age of 18 years, irrespective of race, colour and creed, who accept its principles, policies and programmes and are prepared to abide by its Constitution and rules.
4.2. Spouses or children of South Africans who have manifested a clear identification with the South African people and its struggle, may apply for membership.
4.3. All other persons who have manifested a clear identification with the South African people and their struggle and are resident in South Africa may apply for membership.
4.4. The National Executive Committee may, acting on its own or on the recommendation of branch or provincial executive committees, grant honorary membership to those men and women who do not qualify for membership under Rules 4.1, 4.2 or 4.3, but who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the ANC and its policies.
4.5. Applications for membership shall be considered by the branch committee where such exists, and by the provincial executive committee, if no branch committee exists. The branch committee, the provincial executive committee, or such interim structures as the Provincial Executive Committee or the NEC may create from time to time to decide on applications, shall have the power to accept or refuse any application for membership provided such acceptance or refusal shall be subject to review by the next higher organ of the ANC.
4.6. Membership cards shall be issued to registered members of the ANC and to persons whose application for membership has been accepted, subject to review as aforesaid, and, in all cases, subject to payment of the prescribed subscription.
4.7. On being accepted in the ANC, a new member shall, in a language he or she knows well, make the following solemn declaration to the body or person who received the application:
I, ..........,solemnly declare that I will abide by the aims and objectives of the ANC as set out in the Constitution and the Freedom Charter, that I am joining the organisation voluntarily and without motives of personal gain or material advantage, and that I will participate in the life of the organisation as a loyal, active and disciplined member.
4.8. Members shall pay an annual subscription fee as determined by the National Executive Committee.
4.9. Non-earning members or those on reduced incomes will pay such fees as are determined by the NEC.
A member of the ANC shall have the right to:
A member of the ANC shall:
6.1. The ANC shall consist of the following organs:
6.2 Branches may be grouped together in zones and may be subdivided into small units such as street committees, and zones may be grouped into sub-regions.
6.3. The ANC Womens League shall be open to women who are members of the ANC and shall have the same basic structure, namely, national, provincial and branch. Its objectives will be to defend and advance the rights of women, both inside and outside the ANC, against all forms of national, social and gender oppression and to ensure that women play a full role in the life of the organisation, in the peoples struggle and in national life. The Womens League will function as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the ANC, of which it will be an integral part, with its own Constitution, rules and regulations, provided that these shall not be in conflict with the Constitution and policies of the ANC.
6.4 .The ANC Youth League shall be open to all persons between the ages of 14 and 35. It will operate on a national, provincial and branch basis. Its objectives will be to unite and lead young men and women in confronting and dealing with the problems that face the youth, and in ensuring that the youth make a full and rich contribution to the work of the ANC and the life of the nation. The Youth League will function as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the ANC, of which it will be an integral part, with its own Constitution, rules and regulations, provided that these shall not be in conflict with the Constitution and policies of the ANC.
6.5. Members of the Youth League over the age of 18 shall be expected to play a full part in the general political life of the ANC.
6.6. A member of the Youth League shall not be eligible for any position as office-bearer of the ANC or to attend ANC conferences, members or executive meetings of the ANC (unless specially invited), unless he or she is a full member of the ANC.
The National Headquarters of the ANC shall be in Johannesburg.
8.1. For purposes of ANC structures, the country shall be divided into the following provinces:
Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu/Natal, Free State, Gauteng, Northern Transvaal, Eastern Transvaal, North West.
8.2. The provincial headquarters will be determined by the Provincial Conference.
8.3. The National Executive Committee may from time to time alter the number, the boundaries or the names of the Provinces.
9.1. The National Conference shall be the supreme ruling and controlling body of the ANC
It shall be composed of:
9.2. Voting delegates:
9.3. Non-Voting Delegates:
The NEC may invite individuals, who have made a special contribution to the struggle or who have special skills or experience, to attend the conference.
9.4. The NEC shall appoint a conference organising committee which will circulate conference information in advance, determine the precise procedure for selection of delegates and indicate how the membership can then ensure their concerns are on the agenda.
9.5. The conference shall determine its own procedures in accordance with democratic principles.
9.6. Voting on key questions shall be by secret ballot if at least one third of the delegates at National Conference demand it.
The National Conference shall:
10.1. Decide and determine the policy, programme and Constitution of the ANC.
10.2. Receive and discuss the reports of the NEC which shall include the Presidential Address, the Secretary Generals Report which shall include a report on the work and activities of the Womens League and Youth League and the Treasurer Generals Report.
10.3 Have the right and power to review, ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent bodies, units or officials of the ANC.
10.4. Elect the President General, the Deputy President, National Chairperson, the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, the Treasurer General and the remaining 60 members of the NEC.
10.5. Have the power to elect or appoint any commission or committee and assign specific tasks and duties to such commission or committee.
The National Executive Committee is the highest organ of the ANC between Conferences and shall have the authority to lead the organisation, subject to the provisions of this Constitution.
11.2 Without prejudice to the generality of its powers, the NEC shall:
11.3. The National Executive Committee, except where otherwise stipulated, shall be elected by secret ballot by the National Conference and shall hold office for three years and shall be constituted as follows:
11.4 Nominations for the NEC members referred to in Rule 11.3(a) and 11.3(b) above shall be by the following procedure:
Deputy Secretary General
shall be made by any region and placed before the National Conference.
11.5 Voting shall take place by secret ballot. Each voting delegate shall vote once in each ballot.
11.6 If any Provincial Chairperson or Secretary is elected to the NEC in his or her own right or as a national officer, such person shall vacate the Provincial position, provided that the Province has the right to make representations to the NEC, in a special case, where extraordinary circumstances may warrant an exception to this rule. However, when such a provincial officer is allowed to retain his or her NEC position, the Province shall not be entitled to an additional member on the NEC.
11.7 Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, members of the NEC shall not necessarily be full-time functionaries of the ANC.
11.8 The NEC shall meet in plenary session at least once every three months and shall provide broad political and organisational perspectives to the National Working Committee.
12.1 As soon as possible after the conclusion of the National Conference, the NEC shall meet and elect a National Working Committee.
12.2. The National Working Committee shall be constituted as follows: The President General, Deputy President, National Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and the Treasurer General.
12.3 In addition, the NEC shall elect additional members to the NWC from among the directly-elected members of the NEC. These shall not exceed one-quarter of the composition of the directly-elected members.
12.4 The members of the National Working Committee shall not necessarily be full-time functionaries of the ANC. However, the NEC shall determine the extent to which the elected members shall be full-time functionaries who may be allocated specific responsibilities.
12.5 The ANC Womens League and the ANC Youth League shall appoint one representative each to serve on the NWC.
12.6 The National Working Committee shall:
13.1 The NEC shall appoint an Electoral Commission of not fewer than three members whose task it will be:
13.2. The names of the electoral commission whose work shall commence before Conference opens shall be submitted to the Conference for endorsement and they shall then be reinforced by a representative appointed by each Provincial delegation.
14.1. In an endeavour to ensure that women are adequately represented in all decision-making structures, the ANC shall implement a programme of affirmative action, including the provision of quotas.
14.2. The method of such implementation shall be addressed in all ANC structures immediately and on a continuing basis.
15.1. The NEC shall appoint the National Finance Committee.
15.2. The NEC shall determine the composition and powers of the National Finance Committee.
15.3. The National Finance Committee shall report to the NEC at least twice a year on the finances and budget of the ANC.
16.1 The National Chairperson shall:
16.2. In the absence or incapacity of the National Chairperson, the President shall assume his or her functions.
16.3. The President General
The President General is the head and chief directing officer of the ANC and the leader of the house at a National Conference. He or she shall:
16.4 Deputy President General
The Deputy President General shall assist the President General, deputise for him or her when necessary and carry out whatever functions are entrusted to him or her by the National Conference, the President General or the NEC.
16.5. In the event of death or permanent incapacity of the President General and the Deputy President General, the NEC shall as soon as possible appoint an Acting President until such time as the National Conference meets.
16.6. The Secretary General.
The Secretary General is the chief administrative officer of the ANC. He or she shall:
16.7 Deputy Secretary General
The Deputy Secretary General shall assist the Secretary General, deputise for him or her when necessary and carry out the functions entrusted to him or her by the National Conference or the NEC and shall be an ex officio member of the NWC.
16.8 Treasurer General
The Treasurer General is the chief custodian of the funds and property of the ANC. He or she shall:
16.9. The National Chaplain
The National Chaplain shall be appointed by the NEC on an interfaith ecumenical basis to provide such spiritual leadership as believers in the ANC might wish to have, including the conduct of prayers at the National Conference.
17.1. Subject to the overall guidance of the NEC, the Provincial Conference shall be the highest organ of the ANC in each Province.
17.2. The Provincial Conference shall:
18.1. The Provincial General Council shall be the highest decision-making body in the region between Provincial Conferences.
18.2 The Provincial General Council consists of all members of the PEC and delegates representing branches in proportion to membership with a minimum of one delegate per branch.
18.3 It shall meet at least twice a year.
18.4 It shall on good cause shown be convened by the PEC upon the request of one third of the branches in the Province.
18.5. Reports following meetings of the Provincial General Council shall be submitted to the PEC and the branches.
18.6 The Provincial General Council shall have the power to deal with any issue it deems necessary including the filling of vacancies on the PEC provided they do not exceed 50% of the Executive, subject always to policies and directives of National Conference.
19.1. The Provincial Executive Committee shall be the body responsible for carrying out the decisions of the Provincial Conference and Provincial General Council.
19.2. It shall consist of the Provincial Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Treasurer and not more than 13 other persons elected by the Provincial Conference.
19.3. The Womens League and the Youth League in the Province shall be represented by two representatives with full voting rights.
19.4. The PEC shall:
20.1. The Provincial Working Committee shall be a core group of the PEC and shall consist of not less than one quarter of its members, including the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Treasurer of the Province.
20.2. It shall perform the duties and functions of the PEC to which it shall report.
20.3. It shall meet at least once a week.
21.1. Provincial offices shall, with due allowance for differences of scale and level of work, perform the same functions as their national counterparts.
21.2. The PEC shall, wherever possible, set up provincial departments in line with national departments.
21.3. The PEC shall determine the boundaries of regions within the Provinces, in consultation with the NEC.
22.1. The PEC, under the supervision of the NEC, shall divide the Province into regions for the more efficient and democratic functioning of the ANC.
22.2. The maximum number of regions shall be determined by the PEC but shall not exceed 13 in number.
22.3. Each region shall hold an annual general meeting which shall elect the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Treasurer and an executive committee of not more than nine members.
22.4. Each branch within a region shall be entitled to send delegates to the annual regional conference in proportion to its members.
22.5. There shall be at least one regional council meeting in the course of each year with each branch being entitled to send at least one delegate. Additional regional council meetings may be convened by the regional executive committee or the PEC or on the request of at least one-third of the branches.
22.6. The regional executive committee shall be accountable to the PEC for its functioning.
Provincial Chaplains may be appointed by the PEC on the same basis as National Chaplains.
Every member of the ANC shall belong to a branch, which shall be the basic unit of the organisation.
24.1. The branch shall:
f) Meet at least once per month.
24.2. The branch committee shall:
25.1. Any three (3) or more branches within a Region for the purpose of co-ordination of activities and better organisational efficiency, may be formed into a Zone at the instance of the Regional Executive Committee after consultation with the relevant branches, or on application to the PEC, by at least two branches within an area of a proposed Zone.
25.2. Whenever a Zone has been established the Branch Executive of constituent Branches shall at a properly convened meeting, elect a Zonal Committee which shall consist of a Chairperson,Secretary, Treasurer and one (1) representative elected per Branch within the Zone
25.3. Where Zonal structures of the Womens League and Youth League exist, they shall be represented by one (1) member each, subject to the same provisions relating to the requirement for ANC membership.
25.4. The tasks of the Zonal Committee will include
26.1. Disciplinary proceedings shall be confined to violations of the basic principles and norms of the ANC, and not be used as a means of stifling debate or denying members their basic democratic rights.
26.2. Proceedings shall normally be conducted at the level where the alleged violation took place, namely, branch, province or national, and shall be heard by the relevant structure.
26.3. Any person faced with disciplinary proceedings shall receive due written notice of any hearing and of the basic allegations against him or her and be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make his or her defence.
26.4. Any person adversely affected by the outcome of any hearing shall have the right to have the matter reviewed by the next higher body of the ANC.
26.5. Penalties for proven violations of the Constitution, principles, norms and decisions of the ANC shall include reprimand, payment of compensation and/or the performance of useful tasks, suspension and expulsion.
26.6. Members shall be attended to expeditiously.
26.7. In addition to misconduct which directly violates the norms of the ANC, any abuse of office, corruption, sexual harassment or misappropriation of funds shall give rise to proceedings.
26.8. Proceedings may also be brought against members who behave in a disgraceful way that brings the organisation into disrepute or manifests a flagrant violation of the moral integrity expected of members.
26.9. Disciplinary proceedings shall not be brought as a means of solving private problems or as a means of interfering in the private lives of members where the norms of the organisation are not directly affected.
26.10. Members who fail to pay their subscriptions for six months and having been reminded of their lapse, having failed to bring same up to date, shall be regarded as members not in good standing until they bring their arrears up to date.
26.11 Should a person be expelled from the ANC, such expulsion shall be made public, provided that if an affected member has appealed against his or her expulsion, it shall only be made public if the appeal has failed.
27.1. The NEC shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations for the better carrying out of the activities of the ANC.
27.2. The PECs shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations for the better functioning of the ANC in their respective provinces.
27.3. All such rules and regulations shall be consistent with the constitutional norms of the ANC, and rules and regulations framed by the PEC shall only become operative when approved by the NEC, or, on a provisional basis pending approval by the NEC, by the NWC.
27.4. The NEC shall have the power to frame a code of conduct to cover all structures, officials, public representatives, office bearers and members.
The ANC shall have perpetual succession and power, apart from its individual members, to acquire, hold and alienate property, enter into agreements and do all things necessary to carry out its aims and objects and defend its members, its property and its reputation.
Any amendments to this Constitution shall be by a two-thirds majority of delegates present and voting at the National or Special Conference. Notice of intent to propose any amendments to the Constitution should be forwarded to the Office of the Secretary General at least three months before the National or Special Conference. The NEC shall provide at least one months notice for any Constitutional amendment.
30.1. A special conference of the ANC may be convened by the NEC at any time or at the request of a majority of the Provinces for a stated purpose or purposes.
30.2. Not less than one months notice of such conference shall be given.
30.3. Participation at the Conference shall be determined by the NEC, provided that branches shall be represented at such a conference in proportion to their membership.
Only the National Officers shall have the authority to bind the ANC or to create any legal relationship. Any other person purporting to bind the ANC must produce written authorisation from one of the National Officers which must indicate the extent of that persons authority.
The NEC is authorised to make consequential changes to the content and style of these rules following these amendments and to make such transitional arrangements as necessary.
The National Conference or any Special Conference may dissolve the organisation by a two-thirds majority of delegates present and voting and transfer the assets and liabilities of the movement in such a manner as determined by the Conference.