African National Congress Foundation Day 2022: On January 8, 1912, the African National Congress was created with the primary goal of uniting all Africans as one people and defending their rights and liberties. Learn more about the history of the African National Congress here.
African National Congress Foundation Day 2022: On January 8, 1912, the African National Congress (ANC) was founded. Its main purpose was to unify Africans and preserve their rights and liberties.
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has been in power since the country’s democratic transition in April 1994.
How did the African National Congress (ANC) come to be?
It was a watershed moment in African history, signaling the end of centuries of exploitation and humiliation of the continent.
The South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was established on January 8, 1912, in Bloemfontein. Its mission was to fight for the rights of black South Africans, to unite all Africans as one people, and to safeguard their rights and liberties. That is, to grant Black and mixed-race South Africans full voting rights. Also, to abolish the apartheid regime imposed by the National Party government following their election victory in 1948.
The ANC is supposed to have been created at a time when South Africa was rapidly changing, such as when diamonds were discovered in 1867 and gold in 1886. Mines bosses needed a huge number of people to work for them in the mines at the time. Laws and taxes, on the other hand, were created to force people to leave their land. The most severe law was the Land Act of 1913. Except in reserves, it prohibited Africans from purchasing, renting, or utilizing land.
The SANNC was leading a campaign against passes, which were required for black South Africans by 1919. It then rose to prominence in the mid-1920s.
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), a general union, was founded in 1919 and was the most active and popular organization in rural and urban areas at the time. This union gained several significant successes through militant operations, but it was unable to sustain itself and disbanded in the late 1920s.
Socialist organizations began to organize black workers in the 1920s. The Communist Party was founded in 1921 by the International Socialist League and other social organizations.
The Communist Party became South Africa’s first non-racial political organization. During the 1920s, government policies became harsher and more bigoted. As a result, a color war was launched to prevent blacks from having semi-skilled employment in some industries. Furthermore, black people were paid poor rates for unskilled labor.
The SANNC was renamed the African National Congress in 1923, and it supported a militant mineworker strike in 1929. The early years of the party were marked by political slowness due to power disputes and a lack of resources; escalating repression and the entrenchment of white minority rule galvanized the party.
Due to the foundation of Apartheid, its antipathy to Black dissent, and the harsh assault on political activists, the ANC and the SACP formed uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation/ MK) in 1961.
With MK, the ANC waged military resistance and received support for its activities from various African countries and the Soviet bloc. The apartheid administration was forced to negotiate with the ANC due to growing internal discontent, international pressure, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. As a result, apartheid ended in 1994, and democratic rule was created.
Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC during its National Conference in 1991. National Chairperson Oliver Tambo was elected. From 1969 to 1991, he was President. Tambo died in April 1993, having spent his whole adult life with the ANC.
In April 1994, the ANC held its first historic elections based on one person, one vote. The ANC won the first election by a large margin. On May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as President of South Africa.