About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Reconstruction And Development Programme (RDP)

The ANC*'s 1994 election manifesto was based on a policy document called the Reconstruction and Development Programme* (RDP) which promised socio-economic upliftment of previously disadvantaged black people. Among other things it undertook to provide opportunities for earning decent wages, a national security system and redistribution of land. After the election the programme was approved across the board and adopted by the Government of National Unity. A special ministry was established under Jay Naidoo to put the initiatives in place and within a year free medical care was being provided to infants and their mothers and free meals given to poverty-stricken primary school children. The provision of electricity and water to the people, particularly those in rural areas proved problematic and despite some success, there was criticism about unnecessary red tape and low levels of efficiency. Naidoo's ministry was subsequently disbanded and responsibility for implementation of the RDP was given to the current Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki. The ruling ANC* was well aware that the success of the RDP depended heavily upon South Africa's economic growth and although the programme was by no means abandoned, a firm commitment was made to exercise fiscal discipline in order to encourage foreign investment as the first step in realizing its goals.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.