Membership in the African National Congress (ANC) is open to all South Africans over the age of 18, regardless of race, color, or creed, provided they agree with the party's principles, policies, and programs and are willing to adhere to its Constitution and rules. Additionally, non-South African individuals who identify with the struggles of the South African people and reside in the country can apply for membership.
The ANC's National Executive Committee, either independently or upon recommendation from Branch or Provincial Executive Committees, can grant honorary membership to those who do not meet the standard criteria but show a strong commitment to the ANC and its policies. Membership applications are reviewed by the Branch Executive Committee, in consultation with the Branch General Meeting, or by the Regional Executive Committee if no Branch Executive Committee is available. These committees have the authority to accept or reject applications, subject to review by higher levels of the ANC.
Registered ANC members receive membership cards. Upon acceptance, individuals are provided with a temporary membership card and an acknowledgment of provisional membership, including information about their local branch and area. The issuance of these cards is contingent upon payment of the prescribed subscription fee.
Provisional membership is for those joining the ANC for the first time or rejoining after a significant lapse, starting from the acknowledgment date following the application and payment of the membership fee. Provisional members can attend branch meetings but cannot vote. Any objections to membership applications can be raised by ANC members to the Branch, Regional, or Provincial Secretary within six months of notification.
Full Membership periods
The Secretary General has the authority to reject applications or memberships if they are found to be invalidly obtained. In the absence of objections or rulings by the Secretary General, applicants become full members six months after notification of provisional membership and are added to the national membership list as soon as practicable.
Reasons for rejecting membership applications must be communicated in writing to the applicant. Members must pay an annual subscription fee set by the National Executive Committee, with adjusted rates for non-earning members or those with reduced incomes. New members are required to make a solemn declaration, in a language they understand well, committing to the ANC's aims, objectives, and principles, and pledging to work loyally and uphold the organization's unity and integrity.
Members Rights and Expectations
Members have the right to actively participate in discussions, policy formulation, and implementation, receive and share information about ANC policies and activities, offer constructive criticism within the party, participate in elections, and submit proposals to ANC structures.
They are also expected to be actively involved in their branches, understand and execute the ANC's aims and policies, educate others about these, deepen their understanding of national issues, combat detrimental propaganda, fight against discrimination, observe discipline, report any change of residence to their new branch, and challenge any unjust decisions within the branch. Members must also ensure they are registered voters in their constituency and, if holding elective office, be part of the relevant caucus and abide by its decisions and the broader ANC Constitution.