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ANC manifesto promises to transform cities, towns and villages

2016-04-18 05:37

Port Elizabeth - President Jacob Zuma launched the ANC's municipal election manifesto in Nelson Mandela Bay at the weekend, officially kicking off the party's local government elections campaign.

The election, slated for August 3, will see the country's metros such as Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay hotly contested as opposition parties have vowed to unseat the ANC in the cities.

The ANC's theme for the municipal elections is 'Advancing people's power - local government is in your hands'.

Zuma told supporters at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday that the manifesto was the party's plan for transforming towns, cities and villages.

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"Only the ANC, the governing party, is better placed, experienced and determined to bring about more meaningful change to the lives of our people," he said.

Here are some of the main points from the ANC's manifesto

- Water, sanitation and electricity

By 2014 about 86% of households in South Africa had electricity which amounted to more than five million, said Zuma.

Two million extremely poor households were exempt from paying for electricity by 2014 through programmes for the indigent.

"In the next five years, we will expand the electrification programme to the remaining areas and will roll-out solar energy in certain areas," he said.

On water, Zuma said by 2014 90% of households had access to piped water and in 2013, 11 million received free basic water services.

"To further expand access to water in the next five years, we will increase the capacity of existing dams, build new dams and improve water treatment infrastructure."

The ANC promised to intensify cleaning campaigns in towns and cities and increase the number of houeholds with access to refuse removal in the next five years.

It would also roll-out sanitation facilities in informal settlements and rural municipalities in the next five years.

- Jobs

"It is of concern to the ANC that many of our people, especially the youth, are sitting at home doing nothing because the economy is not growing fast enough to create much-needed jobs," said Zuma.

"Our country, our continent and the world are experiencing slow economic growth."

He said the ANC had a "concrete plan" in place to respond to the slow growth and create jobs. This included municipalities placing job creation and sustainable livelihoods at the centre of their local economic programmes.

At a national level the ANC government's nine-point plan was being implemented to boost economic growth and job creation in various sectors.

Zuma said the ANC was also helping those struggling because they were unemployed and poor through measures such as grants, the expanded public works programme and the indigent policy.

The ANC would encourage municipalities to support township and village economies by buying goods and service from local businesses.

- Health and education

The ANC would "continue to improve learning and teaching", by working with parents, teachers, students and relevant stakeholders to take its quality learning and teaching campaign to communities.

On higher education, Zuma said the ANC was making sure children from poor families were given an opportunity to attend tertiary institutions.

"Student loans are now being converted into bursaries for qualifying final year-students. Students in further education and training colleges who qualify for financial aid are now exempted from paying fees," he said.

Health care improvements would be taken forward in the next five years, said Zuma.

The ANC would work with provincial and national departments to deliver "ideal clinics" through Operation Phakisa.

"We will also ensure that clinics are built and prepared for the implementation of the National Health Insurance," he said.

- Infrastructure

In the next five years, ANC municipalities would invest in upgrading and the integration of informal settlements.

"We will mobilise funding for the rehabilitation, refurbishment and replacement of the aging infrastructure, and also improve transport, roads and bridges across municipalities," said Zuma.

"We will also prioritise sports and recreational facilities as part of the municipal infrastructure programmes."

- Crime and corruption

The party would ensure that all its councillors abided by the party's code of conduct.

"The ANC will prevent municipal officials and councillors and their immediate family members from doing business with municipalities. The ANC will ensure the implementation of recommendations emanating from forensic investigations conducted in municipalities," Zuma said.

He said the party would also hold corrupt municipal officials and councillors liable for the losses incurred by the municipality as a result of the corruption.

On crime, the ANC would work with communities to fight crime by strengthening community safety forums and forming street committees.

Read more on: anc  |  jacob zuma  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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