Hlomelang: Official Online Publication of the ANCYL
ANCYL Constitution: as amended and adopted by the 25th National Congress September 2015
Hlomelang: Vol. 13 No. 1: 25 July  07 August 2016
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Constitutional Amendments


The constitution of the ANC Youth League serves as a guide to its structures an serves as a guide to its structures and general membership.

The constitution is first and most not only a legal technical document but also a political document.

It should serves as a powerful tool to promote organisational and political coherence of the organisation.

It should further serves as tool for political education of its members educating them about the principles, aims and objective, organisational values and responsibilities of the ANC Youth League members.

The 21st National congress of the ANC Youth League will take place at a crucial juncture in our country history

It will have to reaffirm the ANC`s NGC resolutions, prepare the organisation for the 51st National Conference of the ANC in 2002 and prepare for the 3rd democratic elections in 2004.

Our approach on the constitutional amendment is not a ritual but should largely be dictated and informed by the analysis of objective and subjective factors that has impacted on the organisation over a period of time.

Key amongst the factors should be an assessment of the political and organisational strength of the organisation with a special reference to the analysis of how the constitution has impacted or affected the organisation.

The constitution should at all times be designed in a manner that articulates the direction vision and the outlook of the organisation at any organisation at any given epoch.

In view of the above this draft discussion document will set out to identify a number of areas that requires constitutional amendment.

The list of issues set out below should not be viewed as a closed list but rather a framework for discussions and comrades are at liberty to add more issues.


The preamble of the ANC Youth League does not captures or set out the origin of the ANC Youth League and its evolution over a period of time.

This is a serious shortcoming as it is opened to misconception about the origin and the history of the ANC Youth League.

Further the preamble is lacking in terms of contextualising the current phase of the NDR and how it shapes our strategic approaches in pursuing our mission since unbanning 1990

This weakness makes a thin line between the Youth League pre-banning era 1961 and the Youth section era of 1961-1990, and the post-unbanning era (1990-2001)

The preamble does not acknowledge the impact of the April 27 democratic breakthrough and the subsequent ascendance of the ANC to political office

Proposal: reformulation of the preamble to capture the above elements


Aims and objectives of any organisation seek to define in succinct terms what the organisation stands to achieve both in the medium and long term.

The vision and the overall strategic objective of the NDR inform these.

With the exception of clauses and D (6) D (10), in the current epoch the aims and objective as articulate are still relevant.

D (6) The ANC Youth League has since committed itself to the cause of campaigning and fighting for the interests of children.

This was a shift from the initial position of building the ANC Youth League`s pioneer movement, which was precipitated by amongst others, the ushering in of a new democratic dispensation.

The Youth League`s constitution currently (i.e D (6) includes the need for the promotion of the creation of a broad non-aligned pioneer movement.

Whilst this stand valid to date, there should be a separate discussions focussing on the nature and content of this broad non aligned movement and the specific role of the Youth League.

D (10) should be extended with the insertion of a clause namely, and to champion the cause of African renaissance.

This is grounded on that the African Renaissance has become both our defining perspective and programme.


Replace "association" with organisation. The general membership of the organisation is used to this terminology and it will be consistent with clause B.


One of the twintasks of the ANC Youth League is to reinforce the ANC.

The attainment of our strategic objective as a people depends principally on building the ANC as a movement for fundamental social transformation.

This understanding must be natured and shared within and amongst the Youth particularly cadres of the Youth the League as a preparatory school of young Cadres of the movement.

This therefore necessitates the explicit reformulation of clause F (4) by starting more strongly this view.

Proposal: To replace "shall be expected to play with - are obliged to play."


The issue of membership of the ANC Youth League as it relates to age has been an ongoing discussion within the organisation, which normally culminates into congress discussions.

More often this discussions has centered on, the political outlook of youth at a given epoch and generation.

Our fundamental premise i.e (14-35) since 1990 has been grounded on the understanding ounded on the understanding of the socio-economic impact of the legacy of apartheid on youth.

With the ravaging socio-economic legacy of colonialism, a substantial number of men and women within the category of 30-35 continue to suffer from unemployment under education, and training and lack of skills and, therefore, continue to be a burden on society.

This stark reality demystifies a notion that suggests a 30-year-old is not a youth and therefore justifies the correctness of the ANC Youth League.

However, the new reality calls for a change/review of the current definition of youth to tailor the profile and outlook of the organisation to the current generation of youth.

OPTION 1: 14 to 33 YEARS

This would be a response to the changing profile of the rank and file of the membership of the ANCYL and the yout and the youth broadly and make the organisation more relevant to its constituency. As a transitional measure the age might be lowered from 35 to 33.

The YL can take a decision at Congress to lobby for the lowering of the definition of youth at the 51st Conference of the ANC.

OPTION: 14 to 35 YEARS

This is the current political definition of youth by the ANC and the government. It allows various generations of youth to interact in a dynamic way to pass on the culture and traditions of the ANC.


6.1.Additional Clause: Obligations (9)

Every member of the ANC Youth League above the age of 18 shall be obliged to join the ANC. Consistent with clause 4.2


7.1 Clause I (4) (I) The National Working Committee

In view of the challenges we are facing and our experience in the past three years. Governance and Parliament particularly have assumed a central role as instruments of social transformation. In response to this new political environment, the NEC of the YL toovironment, the NEC of the YL took a decision to deploy both the President and the Treasurer to the Parliament.

This therefore, necessitates a review of the status quo. We need to adopt a more flexible position on the President and Treasurer-General.

7.2 Clause I (8) Regional Congress

A discussion needs to take place regarding the alignment of ANCYL structures with ANC structures in view of the Resolution by the 50th National Conference of the ANC that ANC branches be aligned to local government wards.

7.3 Clause I (10) Branches

A discussion needs to take place regarding the alignment of ANCYL structures with ANC structures in view of the Resolution by the 50th National Conference of the ANC that ANC branches be aligned to local government wards.


A number of issues relating to how disciplinary issues are handled arose since the 20th Congress. The absence of normal disciplinary procedures has led to a number of problems.

National Congress should consider whether a schedule should be added to the Constitution setting out disciplinary structures and procedures.

Congress should also discuss the relationship between ANC and ANCYL disciplinary processes as this question has led to some confusion.


This document has attempted to highlight very briefly some issues, which might require amendments to the Constitution of the ANCYL. As stated in the introductory paragraph this is not closed. Further amendments might need to be considered on the basis of a detailed organisational assessment and evaluation.