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MK party manifesto and Zuma 2.0 — nationalise it all and scrap the Constitution

MK party manifesto and Zuma 2.0 — nationalise it all and scrap the Constitution
Former president Jacob Zuma addresses supporters of the uMkhonto Wesizwe party on 7 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie)

If Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto Wesizwe party won the election, traditional leaders and ‘kings and queens’ would have extensive powers, and so would the state, which would own almost everything. The power of ‘private monopoly capital’ would be broken, though it would come in handy to fund MK’s plans.

All about…

  • The manifesto is a mix of radical socialist as well as conservative policies in the power it would distribute to traditional leaders in control of land, local government and in the health sphere;
  • It includes a commitment to fossil fuel-based energy and state control of key sectors of the economy;
  • It proposes reversing reforms undertaken by the ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Basic income 

  • Introduce a basic income grant above the poverty datum line of R1,558 for those unable to work;
  • A minimum wage above R4,500;
  • Increase the child support grant to R760 a month;
  • Increase the old age pension to R4,500 a month for those older than 75 years, and R2,180 for those aged 60 to 75.

Crime fighting and defence

  • Hire more cops;
  • Hold a referendum on the death penalty;
  • Resource forensics laboratories.;
  • Accelerate prosecution of apartheid’s outstanding Truth and Reconciliation Commission cases. (But not of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture cases – Ed);
  • Give lots of moola to military veterans.


  • Nationalise the SA Reserve Bank;
  • Establish a network of state-owned banks, and nationalise all large banks and insurance companies;
  • Reorient away from traditional industry and mining;
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund;
  • Eliminate the need for foreign direct investment in the resources sector;
  • Reverse the privatisation of the Durban container terminal; bring Richards Bay coal terminal under 100% Transnet state ownership.


  • Fee-free education, from preschool to postgrad;
  • School feeding schemes at all schools and early learning centres with three meals a day.


  • Permanent jobs for all capable and willing workers at a minimum wage of R4,500 a month, with the state offering employment to anybody able to work, plus skills and training.


  • Reintroduce the cap on privately produced energy. (The one that was removed and led to fewer blackouts – Ed);
  • Repeal the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme and the unbundling of Eskom;
  • Reverse and rescind the transition from coal to benefit Eskom initiatives instead.

Global policy

  • Withdraw from the International Criminal Court;
  • Support an Africa-first global policy;
  • Work more with BRICS countries; review South Africa’s “inequitable finance relationships with the West”;
  • Love Russia; support Cuba and Palestine.


  • Scrap the “colonial” and “liberal” Constitution, replace with parliamentary sovereignty;
  • Establish a “lower house of elected representatives, and an upper house of indigenous kings and queens as well as other traditional leaders”;
  • Other plans: reduce provinces from nine to four; introduce a new administrative arm of local government to give greater power to traditional leaders.


  • Implement the National Health Insurance scheme;
  • Support medical pluralism so that people can access alternative and traditional healthcare in public and private facilities.

Jacob Zuma special clause

  • Ensure that the Prudential Authority oversees banks to ensure they do not arbitrarily close accounts of citizens critical of the state. (Zuma had his bank accounts shut, and he fought a stand-up battle for the Guptas when banks closed their accounts – Ed).


  • Expropriate all land without compensation and transfer ownership to the people, under state and traditional leadership custodianship.


  • Indigenous languages to be made lingua franca of schools, higher education, legal proceedings and all official state communication.


  • Strengthen border control;
  • Revamp the Department of Home Affairs.

Nationalisation, forced listings, prescribed assets

  • Nationalise all water, spectrum and renewable energy resources; nationalise Sasol;
  • Nationalise strategic mining companies;
  • Re-nationalise Arcelor-Mittal;
  • Force relisting of major South African companies on the JSE;
  • Review Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act so that savings are used to finance national development.

Public transport

  • Subsidise taxis; integrate public transport. (A hardy annual of the Zuma administration. Never achieved – Ed);
  • Start a state-owned taxi and bus manufacturing company;
  • Recapitalise the Bus Rapid Transit system for cities and townships;
  • Recapitalise public rail agency Prasa. (The one decimated during the State Capture years by allies of Zuma – Ed).

Race relations

  • “South African society is dominated culturally, artistically, spiritually and economically by a minority group with an alien culture”;
  • “We see continued subservience to white South Africans, with the state failing to develop the human capital and R&D capability of its population.” (Note that its definition of “population” excludes whites and possibly all minority groups – Ed).


  • Explore reparations payment for the victims of colonialism and apartheid including Khoisan people.

Reality check

  • (We’re f***ed if this gets implemented. There’s no polite way to say this – Ed).

What’s good?

  • We always try to find the positives in all manifestos. This one, however, must be viewed through the lens of the almost two terms served by Zuma as president. They were a disaster often referred to as South Africa’s lost decade;
  • Also, the Zondo Commission found that Zuma was the lynchpin of State Capture. DM


Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R35.


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