Declaration of Waaihoek Wesleyan Mission Church

 National Heritage Site declaration: 02 February 2018

The Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein is the birth place of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was formed in 1912. Later, in 1923 the SANNC became the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC became the largest liberation organizations in the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa. The exclusion of Africans from the meaningful political participation in the negotiations leading up to and in the envisaged Union of South Africa in 1910 galvanised different African political formations, to forge a unified political movement that would challenge the exclusion of Black people.

On 8th January 1912, a group of Black delegates from the four provinces met in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein to propose a means to object to the draft South Africa Act, and Union Constitution. This meeting was the most significant in the history of Black protest politics as it was the first joint meeting of Black representatives from all four self-governing British colonies and marked the birth of the ANC. Amongst the delegates were the celebrated black leaders Saul Msane, Josiah Gumede, John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatje along with chiefs, people’s representatives, and church organizations, and other prominent individuals to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms The convention took place at the Wesleyan School Church in Waaihoek, which is now a tangible representation of that pivotal meeting.

To access the gazette notice, records of issued permits and decisions, and other technical information please visit the site record in the inventory of the national estate, accessible via SAHRIS