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9 SA political parties' manifestos under 15 minutes

2014-03-18 11:23
NOTE: The summaries were compiled by Prof Cheryl Hendricks and Prof Yolanda Sadie: Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg. Click on their names for their profiles.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) – Your hope for a great future
The ACDP stands for Christian principles, ‘a free market economy with a social conscience, family values, community empowerment and human rights in a federal system’. In its manifesto the party gives eight reasons why one should vote for it.

The first is that the party will boost job creation  by, for example, providing an enabling environment for business to grow the economy (7% per annum) in order to create more jobs; encourage domestic and foreign investment and increase public sector investment in infrastructure necessary for economic development; support small businesses, ensure that economic empowerment results in socio-economic upliftment, and extend the youth wage subsidy. 

Under welfare the party underlines the importance of social grants (in the short term) to address poverty and inequality. Job-creation through ‘sound economic policies’ is, however, the medium- to long-term solution. 

In terms of safety the party will implement a ‘zero-tolerance anti-crime strategy’ by, for example, strengthening all police units, ensure heavier sentences, encourage community participation in crime prevention; and deny bail for certain categories of crime such as murder, rape, armed robbery and car hijacking. 

The issue of corruption is discussed under the heading integrity, which the party sees as the ‘internal compass we must all carry’. To address corruption the anti-corruption bodies (Auditor General, Public Protector etc.) would be strengthened and corrupt public officials would, for example, be prosecuted and held liable to refund the state. 

Since education is one of the routes to prosperity, the ACDP will among other things review the school pass rate, prioritise reading, writing and numeracy skills, re-open training colleges, attract and retain skilled teachers through better remuneration. 

In terms of health the party emphasises preventative healthcare and good nutrition. It will, for example, focus on eliminating TB, improving public hospital services, make HIV/Aids a notifiable disease, provide additional incentives for doctors in the private sector to render services in the public sector and promote abstinence from pre-marital sex. 

Under the heading housing and land  the party will upgrade informal settlements, promote the development of affordable housing, protect property rights, prioritise the finalisation of existing land restitution claims and address land reform ‘within constitutional parameters’. 

The manifesto concludes by emphasising the importance of the family. It will amend laws and policies that undermine family values such as legalising prostitution, pornography and abortion-on-demand.

Agang SA – Restoring the promise of freedom

Agang SA acknowledges that the ANC has brought a ‘better life’ for all, although this life is not ‘good enough and is characterised by a lack of basic necessities (e.g. water, healthcare, economic growth and jobs), corruption and violence and abuse against women’. 

The party’s ‘turnabout strategy’ is based on five E’s – Empowerment, Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment, and Effective governance.

On the subject of empowerment the party is critical of black economic empowerment and is committed to the empowerment of all citizens through, for example, education and skills development, accessible health care, and the transfer of state land to both urban and rural populations. The party emphasises high quality education that is accessible to all. It will for example, provide allowances for teachers working in rural areas (teaching maths and science), introduce a 50% minimum pass rate, link bonuses of teachers to competency, and develop accountability within the education system.

Entrepreneurship and economic growth will be stimulated by, for example, relaxing regulations, changing the tax system to better support entrepreneurs and ending the harassment of micro-business and informal traders. 

Unemployment will be addressed by skills development and training programmes, although the party emphasises the government’s responsibility to develop a business environment that encourages job creation. 

Effective government is required for developing and maintaining a national infrastructure. Local government in particular needs to be empowered to provide for basic needs such as water, sanitation and electricity. 

Particular emphasis is also placed on addressing corruption by, for example: a minimum sentence of 15 years and life ban from working in the civil service for any public servant found guilty of corruption; the creation of a whistle-blower law that protects the honest, preventing government officials and their families from conducting business with the state. The party emphasises that it will have a ‘zero tolerance policy’ for corrupt officials. 

In concluding its manifesto Agang emphasises the importance of a growing economy and the government’s role in creating an enabling environment for the private sector to create wealth and jobs.

Democratic Alliance (DA) – Together for change – together for jobs

The DA’s detailed manifesto (67 pages) covers nine broad topics. Under each of these a number of issues are highlighted and how the DA will be addressing these. The manifesto starts with the issue of Government, highlighting the problem of corruption for which they will have ‘zero tolerance’ The party promises to fight corruption in a number of ways such as strengthening the mandate and capacity of existing anti-corruption bodies, allowing the public to attend meeting where tenders are decided on and stopping ministers and other politicians from abusing public money (fire corrupt officials etc.). By addressing corruption it anticipates saving R30 million per annum. 

The topic of jobs and business growth is next on the list. The party endeavours to create jobs through economic development and growth. Specific measures to be taken in this regard include the provision of direct incentives for job creation (such as through a wage subsidy programme to encourage the appointment of young work-seekers), support small businesses, attract international investment and boost trade. By increasing the economic growth rate to 8 percent in the next ten years 6 million new jobs can be created in this period. This is in addition to scaling up the Expanded Public Works Programme to create 7 million additional work opportunities in the next 5 years. The party makes it very clear that it will support back economic empowerment that creates jobs (i.e. for disadvantaged people) and ‘not millionaires’. The DA’s stand on BEE is thus very clear – the party rejects racial quotas in favour of programmes that promote black advancement through making opportunities available. However, the party will support incentives to those firms who implement programmes of black advancement. Redress programmes are nevertheless regarded as transitional measures that should be regularly reviewed. In line with its emphasis on economic growth the DA will provide more recognition for ‘businesses that create opportunities for new owners in the economy’, which is essential for economic growth and new jobs instead of the mere transfer of shares in existing businesses to the already wealthy. The DA’s strong emphasis on economic growth, job creation and the creation of an enabling environment for business growth also extends to labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, mining and tourism. With regard to mining, local communities where mining takes place will benefit from royalty taxes, while the party will also streamline requirements on matters such as ownership involvement by mining employees. 

Land reform is a further issue on which the DA focuses. The party acknowledges the need for land reform given the country’s history of dispossession and emphasises that such reform should be ‘fair’ and ‘sustainable’ – however, not by continuing with the current policy, which it regards as a failure. It emphasises the ‘willing buyer willing seller’ principle and favours ‘collaborative reform models’, which include joint ventures, contract farming and farm equity schemes. It also proposes that unused state-owned land should be released for reform purposes (including state-owned land in communal areas where citizens in these areas should receive legal title), and emphasises training and support for new land owners. 

Education and particularly the quality of education is emphasised by the DA. This can be achieved by a number of measures including: more and better teachers; better management of the education system, particularly at provincial level, and better resources. Skills development for the workplace is also highlighted, and measures for such development include increasing the NSFAS budget; skills levy funding for short- and long-term courses at universities and FET colleges; provision of funding for dedicated skills such as teachers and social workers; providing state sureties for students who do not qualify for NSFAS bursaries but are seeking student loans; and working with business to deliver 1 million internship opportunities. 

Under the heading Wellbeing the DA addresses: public healthcare, the provision of a social security net to vulnerable citizens, the provision of basic services, fighting drug and alcohol abuse, and sport and recreation. In terms of public healthcare it stresses the importance of high quality and a well-managed public healthcare system (which includes public hospitals and emergency medical services) and effective partnerships between public and private health carers. In terms of the provision of a social net for the very poor and hungry the DA will, among other things: provide child grants, expand school nutrition schemes for learners up to grade 12, ‘encourage young people to finish school by paying a reward to social grant beneficiaries who have completed Grade 12 or have performed above a set standard’; and provide disability grants. The DA also commits itself to ensuring access to basic services to all South Africans, which include clean water and a house. It will make public transport cheaper and will avoid tolling of commuter roads in urban areas. To fight drug and alcohol abuse the party will, on the one hand, among other things devote more funds to rehabilitation, but on the other, also introduce drug testing in schools and clamp down on illegal liquor sales. 

The DA emphasises the importance of sport and recreation. Besides promoting a healthy lifestyle the party emphasises the importance of sport as a source of national pride. It maintains that sporting excellence must be promoted from grassroots level rather than ‘manipulating’ the composition of sport teams. 

Protecting the environment is regarded as one of the biggest challenges of the century. The DA will reward households and businesses for behavioural changes that protect natural resources. It recognises the importance of communities and civil society in environmental decision-making, and will equip these with knowledge and skills to effectively contribute to the public participation processes. The party also refers to the poor energy planning in the country and will, among other things, reduce the country’s reliance on coal. 

On the issue of safety the DA highlights the fact that South Africans do not feel safe. In order to prevent crime the country requires an effective police service. A range of measures to be implemented are listed, including recruiting members that are properly qualified and trained and increasing the number of detectives. Under this ‘safety’ heading the DA also deals with both the justice and the correctional service systems and their need of improvement, as well as the role of the national defence force, whose primary priority is the defence of the country. The party supports participation in foreign peacekeeping, provided it that it focuses on the safety of the region. 

The DA concludes its manifesto with the importance of preserving and promoting the country’s cultural diversity through various means. 

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)

he IFP identifies eight problems, and with each of these provides its solution and the actions to be taken in addressing these problems. Service delivery tops the list, with the lack of water or clean water regarded as the most important. Inefficient and unqualified management is largely to blame. Experienced people should be appointed, training programmes should be introduced and action should be taken against those who do not deliver. Partnering with the community, particularly women, to assist in delivering essential services is also an option.

The second issue to be addressed is education, which is characterised by, among other things: low standards, the lack of resources, underqualified teachers and inadequate accountability for failure. The IFP is ‘determined’ to focus on, for example, teaching children to read, write and understand arithmetic, assist teachers in skills development, and allocating more money for tertiary education. 

Unemployment is regarded as a third problem. This issue will be addressed by, for example, supporting small and medium-sized businesses, establishing Special Economic Zones in rural areas and building the country’s processing and manufacturing industries. 

A further problem facing the country is corruption in both the public and private sector. According to the IFP this issue can be addressed by measures such as guaranteeing resources to the current anti-corruption bodies and establishing a specifically mandated Corruption Court for offenders to be trailed. 

The poor state of healthcare is a fifth problem highlighted by the IFP. This includes bad management or closure of state-run hospitals, a lack of preventative treatment and corruption and mismanagement. The training of more medical staff, better compensation and better management are some of the steps the party will take in improving the system. 

Landownership is also regarded as one of the most contentious issues in the country. In this regard the willing seller – willing buyer’ policy is, for example, regarded as ‘too expensive to pursue’, while the high incidence of farm murders and ‘hostile policies’ discourage farmers from farming or encourage them instead to farm in neighbouring countries. Steps to be taken to solve the land problem include: the redistribution of state land, and preventing new owners from evicting existing farmworkers and tenants. Other actions to be taken focus on making the land more productive.

Law and Order – i.e. the lack of safety and security is a seventh problem highlighted by the IFP. An overhaul of the judiciary, police and prisons system is needed to ensure efficient judgement, making legal action affordable to all South Africans, and making legal action affordable to all South Africans. 

The final problem identified by the party is the erosion of the authority of traditional leadership in, for example, the administration of communal land and their limited role in municipal councils. It emphasises the importance of culture and the role of traditional leadership and will ‘protect and sustain’ this institution. 

African National Congress (ANC) - Together we move South Africa forward
The ANC’s manifesto is dedicated to Mandela and his vision of a “Better life for all, for a better Africa and a better world.” It outlines the achievements of the ANC led government over the past 20 years, which it sees as the first phase of the democratic transition. Its plan for the second phase is focused on the “radical socio-economic transformation to meaningfully address poverty, unemployment and inequality.” The Manifesto draws on the National Development Plan, New Growth Path, National Infrastructure Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan. It makes commitments in 9 key areas, namely:

Economy and Jobs:

- Consolidate the industrialization and infrastructure expansion programme through, amongst other things, local procurement, transforming the mining sector, cleaner energy, better freight and passenger transport, and expanding broadband;

- Empower, educate and employ youth through job placements, internships, and education and training;

- Create 6 million jobs;

- Promote investment and access to credit; 

- Introduce a national minimum wage;

- Provide support to small business and cooperatives;

- Strengthen broad-based black economic empowerment

- Eliminate abusive work practices 

- Invest in science and technology

Rural Development, Land and Agrarian Reform and Food Security
- Invest in agricultural infrastructure

- Improve tenure security with an emphasis on women’s tenure

- Expand the Food for all Programme

- Accelerate settlement of land claims

Human Settlements and Basic Services
- Build 1 million houses

- Housing allowances for teachers, nurses, police officers, etc

- Integrated public transport system, electricity for 1.6 million, roll out of basic sanitation infrastructure

Improve and Expand Education and Training
- Prioritize Early Childhood Development

- Improve the quality of teaching and learning

- Open 2 new universities, 12 FET colleges and a 1000 schools

Health and Social Security
- Establish a National Health Insurance Fund and reduce costs of private health care

- Build 213 health centres, 43 hospitals and train 2000 doctors a year

- Reduce maternal and child mortality and promote women’s health

- Finalize a Comprehensive Social Protection Policy

Fight Crime and Corruption

Find African solutions for African problems through strengthening of the AU

Promote social cohesion and nation building

Build a Developmental State

Economic Freedom Front (EFF) - Now is the time for economic freedom

The EFF sees itself as an “economic emancipation movement,” a “Marxist-Leninist, Fanonian organization,” with a socialist agenda. It has presented a populist manifesto targeting the economically marginalized and the youth. Economic freedom will be attained through the implementation of 7 pillars:

• Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution

• Nationalisation of the mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy

• Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolition of tenders

• Free quality education, healthcare, houses and sanitation

• Protected industrial development to create jobs and ensure a minimum wage.

• Development of the African economy

• Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society

Their transformation programme calls for: 
Economic emancipation for rapid economic and industrial development

- State led industrialization and the protection of industries 

Minimum wage of R4500

- Invest in green energy and reduce electricity costs by 50%

- Review BEE and Affirmative Action

Provision of quality social transformation, development and welfare service
- Impose education tax on all companies

- Double intake at universities, cancel student debts and provide tablets and laptops for learners

- Universal Early Childhood Development

- Train more teachers and nurses

- Expedite National Health Insurance

- Free sanitary towels for poor women

- Incorporate traditional healers into the health care system

- Spacious houses to all the people, subsidize housing for middle income earners, reduce mortgages to 10 years and abolish bucket system

- Invest in research and development, science and technology

- Safety and security through increased police visibility, transformation of the criminal justice and correctional services systems

- Youth development - 40% of youth employed in the public sector, 35% for private sector and 40% allocation of all government budgets

- Gender equality and women’s emancipation – education against patriarchy and sexism, 50/50 representation, end GBV

- Support sports, arts and culture

Abolish e-tolls, subsidize taxi industry and expand railways

- Increase social grants

- Social cohesion and unity of all South Africans

- Focus on rural development, land and agrarian reform

- Harsh sentences for corruption by public servants

Radical transformation of state into a people’s driven state and governance
- Start a number of state owned companies  

- Political parties to disclose party finance

- Closer connection between party representatives and their constituencies

- Adequate stipends for traditional leaders

- Reduce perks for public representatives

- Increase salaries of government workers (nurses, teachers, etc)

- One capital city – Tshwane

Congress of the People (COPE) - South Africa deserves a better government

COPE’s manifesto is focused on improving leadership and service delivery. They identify 6 key areas which are listed below along with some of the proposed interventions:

A government of the people, by the people, for the people

Direct election of presidents, premiers and mayors

- Protect and preserve public resources and assets

- Eradicate corruption and downsize government

- Install strong and stable state institutions to provide services

- Create a climate of tolerance

- Prioritize maintenance

- Restructure national budget towards funding local government

A government that is reliable, accountable and incorruptible
- Protect the independence of Chapter 9 Institutions

A government that empowers citizens

A growing economy and sustainable development
- Support the implementation of the NDP

- Support SMME’s, green economy and rural areas

- Expand African trade

- Prioritize the empowerment of rural women

- Strengthen youth service programmes

- Conduct a comprehensive audit of land ownership and discuss land reform

A world class education system
- Empower educators and learners for e-learning

- Eliminate teenage pregnancies

- Provide for artisan programmes

- Increase minimum pass rates

- Limit role of teachers unions

- Reopen teacher training colleges and lower learner to teacher ratios

Quality and Universal Health Care

You can read the following manifestos by clicking on the names: FF+, UDM

Read more on: cope  |  agang sa  |  da  |  anc  |  acdp  |  agang  |  eff  |  ifp  |  election 2014  |  politics  |  manifesto

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