African National Congress Foundation Day 2022: All you need to know

African National Congress Foundation Day 2022: On 8 January 1912, African National Congress was founded and its primary aim was to bring all Africans together as one people and also to defend their rights and freedoms. Read about the history or how was African National Congress formed in detail here.
African National Congress Foundation Day
African National Congress Foundation Day

African National Congress Foundation Day 2022: African National Congress (ANC) was formed on 8 January 1912. Its primary goal was to unite African people and to defend their rights and freedoms.

South Africa's governing party is African National Congress and has been in power since the transition to democracy in April 1994. 

How was African National Congress (ANC) formed?

It was a landmark in the history of Africa that marked the beginning of the end of centuries of exploitation and humiliation of the continent.

Initially, the organisation was founded as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein. Its aim was to fight for the rights of black South Africans, to bring all Africans together as one people, to defend their rights and freedoms. That is to give full voting rights to Black South Africans and mixed-race South Africans. Also, to end the apartheid system that was introduced by the National Party government after their election victory in 1948.

It is said that the ANC was formed when South Africa was changing very fast like diamonds were discovered in 1867 and gold in 1886. That time, bosses at Mines wanted large numbers of people to work for them in the mines. On the other hand laws and taxes were designed to force people to leave their land. And the most severe law was the 1913 Land Act. It prevented Africans from buying, renting, or using land, except in the reserves.

The SANNC was leading a campaign against passes which were an ID that black South Africans had to posses by 1919. It then became dominant in the mid-1920s.

In 1919, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) which was a general union also formed and was the most active and popular organisation in rural and urban areas at this time. Some major victories were won by this union through militant actions but it could not sustain itself and in the late 1920s collapsed.

In the 1920s, Socialist organisations also began to organise black workers. In 1921, the International Socialist League and other social organisations together formed the Communist Party.

The Communist Party became the first non-racial political organisation in South Africa. Government policies became harsher and more racist during the 1920s. As a result, a colour war was established to stop blacks from holding semi-skilled jobs in some industries. Also, black workers were paid low wages for unskilled work.

SANNC in 1923 became the African National Congress and supported a militant mineworker's strike in 1929. The early period of organisation was characterised by political inertia due to power struggles and lack of resources; increasing repression and the entrenchment of white minority rule galvanised the party.

Due to the establishment of Apartheid, its aversion to dissent by Black people, and brutal crackdown of political activists, the ANC together with the SACP established a military wing named uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation/ MK) in 1961.

With MK, ANC waged the armed struggle and obtained support from some African countries and the Soviet bloc for its activities.  Due to the increasing of internal dissent, international pressure, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the apartheid government was forced to enter into negotiations with the ANC.  As a result, apartheid collapsed and democratic rule was established in 1994.

Nelson Mandela was elected President in the National Conference of ANC held in 1991. Oliver Tambo was elected as National Chairperson. He served as President from 1969 to 1991. In April 1993, Tambo died after serving with the ANC his entire adult life.

ANC held its first historic elections that were based on one person one vote in April 1994. ANC won the first election with a vast majority. Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the President of South Africa on 10th May 1994. 

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