A reflection of the ANC January 8 statement

2018-01-09 18:35

The ANC is expected to present its “January 8 statement” on Saturday.

January 8 marks the day the ANC was formed. This year the party celebrates its 106 anniversary. The first January 8 statement was issued in 1972 while the ANC was in exile. The objective of the statement is to outline the party’s programme for the year.

The ANC itself was founded in January 8 1912 as the South African Native National Congress. In 1923 the party was renamed the African National Congress.

The founding members of the party include John Dube, who was the party’s first president; poet and author Sol Plaatje; and Pixley ka Seme, who was an advocate.

ANC founding members.

The January 8 statement in 1990 came after five years of negotiations between the National Party and the ANC. These were known as the secret talks. The statement also preceded Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in February 11.

Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, walking hand in hand, raise clenched fists upon Mandela's release from Victor Verster Prison, in Paarl, South Africa February 11 1990. Mandela put 27 years as a political prisoner behind him and negotiated with the apartheid oppressors to launch the first democratic elections in 1994. Picture: Greg English/AP

In September 2008, former president Thabo Mbeki submitted his resignation in Parliament after being recalled by the ANC national executive committee. The January 8 statement that preceded these events was centred on a call for unity, gender equality, tackling poverty and underdevelopment, transformation and land expropriation.

In its annual statement last year the party outlined its achievements over the years. The ANC celebrated the 2016 matric results and attributed this achievement to the interventions of government made in basic education.

This 2017 statement also noted that 4.3 million houses and subsidies were granted to people in South Africa over the past 20 years.

One of our government’s most successful programmes has ensured that more than 22 million people have been provided with housing over the last two decades. We are proud of the fact that more than half of these beneficiaries have been women.

Adding to their moments of success the party noted that the improvement of the life expectancy of South Africans and the improved economic and social status of women, attributing it to successful government programmes.

In this year’s January 8 statement the ANC is expected to cover the following issues:

  • Poverty, unemployment, sexism and racism;
  • Improving the economy;
  • State capture and corruption;
  • Unity of the ANC and the country as a whole and;
  • Regaining the nation’s confidence ahead of the 2019 elections.

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