African National Congress

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

African National Congress

Parallel form(s) of name

  • ANC

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • South African Native National Congress

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1912 - present


The African National Congress (ANC) is South Africa's governing party and has been in power since the transition to democracy in April 1994. The organisation was initially founded as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein, with the aim of fighting for the rights of black South Africans.

The organization was renamed the ANC in 1923. While the organization’s early period was characterized by political inertia due to power struggles and lack of resources, increasing repression and the entrenchment of white minority rule galvanized the party. As a result of the establishment of apartheid, its aversion to dissent by Black people and brutal crackdown of political activists, the ANC together with the SACP formed a military wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation/ MK) in 1961.

Through MK, the ANC waged the armed struggle and obtained support from some African countries and the Soviet block for its activities. With the increasing internal dissent, international pressure and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the apartheid government was forced to enter into negotiations with the ANC. This saw the collapse of apartheid and the ushering in of democratic rule in 1994.


Republic of South Africa, Africa

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

GB 1847

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Julia Wylie, October 2016




South Africa History Online . 2016. African National Congress (ANC). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 October 2016].

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