The ANC kept one of seven 2014 election promises tracked by fact-checking organisation Africa Check.
Africa Check chose the seven promises based on their potential impact on citizens’ lives and whether there was data available to track them. The findings are therefore a snapshot – not a complete assessment – of the party’s performance in making good on its promises.
Some of these promises were first tracked as part of a collaboration between Africa Check and City Press in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
The one promise the party has kept is to “open two new universities to students in the next five years”.
Here we summarise the six promises the party did not keep.
Note: The ANC’s 2014 manifesto was released on 11 January and the election held on 7 May. Government reporting keeps to financial years. We tracked the party’s five-year progress in keeping its promises from 1 April 2014, the start of the 2014/15 financial year, to 31 March 2019, the end of the 2018/19 financial year.
1. Promise: [Between 2014 and 2019] the ANC will massively expand public works programmes to create 6 million work opportunities.
A total of 4,522,288 EPWP opportunities were created in the five years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019, according to the department of public works and infrastructure.
But if the same person gets work on different projects, each period of employment is counted as a work opportunity. This could mean fewer than 4,522,288 people benefited from the programme.
The ANC missed its target by close to 1.5 million work opportunities (15%).
2. Promise: We will eliminate the backlog of title deeds.
In 2014, the backlog to transfer government-subsidised property to beneficiaries was estimated to be 900,000 to 1.5 million.
From April 2014 to March 2019, a total of 279,821 backlog title deeds were issued, according to the department of planning, monitoring and evaluation.
The number for April 2018 to March 2019 (61,557) is preliminary.
In its 2019 manifesto, the ANC again promised to “address” the remaining backlog.
3. Promise: An additional 1.6 million homes will be connected to the electricity grid [between 2014 and 2019].
A total of 1,285,178 households were connected to the electricity grid in the five years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019, according to the department of mineral resources and energy.
4. Promise: [Between 2014 and 2019] a further 1.3 million homes will be installed with solar water heaters, bringing the total to 1.75 million homes, covering more than 7 million South Africans.
Department of energy (now mineral resources and energy) annual reports record that only 36,190 solar water heaters were installed, and only in the first two of the five years.
5. Promise: [Between 2014 and 2019], the ANC will establish a National Health Insurance Fund.
6. Promise: The number of people on antiretrovirals will be doubled from the present 2.4 million to 4.6 million by 2016.
Some 3.8 million HIV-positive people were on antiretrovirals at the end of March 2017, according to the department of health’s 2016/2017 annual report.
We asked three ANC officials – by phone, WhatsApp, SMS and email – for comment on our findings, but had received no response at the time of publication.