Our History The need for a credible alternative to the divisive politics of the past, prompted Christians from diverse backgrounds to launch a new political party in December 1993 and so the African Christian Democratic Party was established exactly a hundred days prior to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. With the concept of multi party democracy in the air, Christians from all over the Republic recognised the need for a party that would not only represent Bible believing Christians, but also those who have a high regard for moral values.
The ACDP has taken as its platform the biblical standard of reconciliation, justice, compassion, tolerance, peace and the sanctity of life, the individual, the family and community. It proposes to direct the political debate towards these issues and to unite people around the common values, instead of focusing on ideological, historical and racial differences. During that first election in 1994, the ACDP surprised many people by securing two seats in National Government and three in Provincial Government. Being the smallest of the seven parties then in National Government, the ACDP was the ONLY party to vote against the adoption of the South African Constitution. The ACDP supported many of the precepts contained in the new constitution.
The ACDP however, felt that the constitution was in conflict with Christian Principles because: Replacing “In humble submission to almighty God” with “In God we trust”, thus not recognizing that a country should be in submission to God. Reproductive rights clauses led to abortion on demand with no possibility of changing that law without a constitutional review. The clause relating to sexual orientation gives special rights to LGBTI groups that are not afforded to other citizens. This led to legalization of same-sex marriage. A year later, the ACDP took part in the Local Government Elections in only a few of the municipalities winning three seats. In 1999 many critics believed that the ACDP would lose one of the two seats it had in National Parliament. To the contrary, the ACDP tripled it’s representation and became the 5th largest party in parliament with seven parliamentarians. For the first time the Party won a seat on the National Council of Provinces. Provincially the Party added another representative to now have members in four different legislatures. The ACDP had become the fastest growing political party.
The ACDP was the first political party to use billboards. The greatest growth that the ACDP has ever experienced was during the 2000 Local Government Elections. With an increase from seven councillors to more than 70 nationally, the ACDP proved that it is here to stay. In the 2004 General Election, the ACDP garnered more actual votes than in previous elections, but this did not result in more seats due to percentage calculations. In 2009, the ACDP approached the elections with a new campaigning method which did not work well. The polarization of politics and the notion that a vote for a smaller party is a wasted vote meant that many people were scared to vote for a party like the ACDP or other smaller parties. We are still working to change this perception and believe that we will receive more votes in the future. ACDP slogans: 1994 General Election: “Protect your family’s future” 1995 Local Government Election: “Protect your family’s future” 1999 General Election: “Bringing order to the Nation” 2000 Local Government Election: “Real Hope, Real Care” 2004 General Election: “Real Hope for the Nation” 2009 General Election: Many slogans 2011 Local Government Election: “Lets Fix This” Current Slogan: “Lets Fix This”