Defend Truth

Elections 2024

Manifesto Watch

ANC promises solar panels for all, jobs and an NHI soon

The governing party commits to creating 2.5 million work opportunities, implementing the National Health Insurance system, helping the unemployed by extending grant coverage and installing solar panels in poor areas. It is very sorry about all the corruption and will definitely fix the many potholes. 

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Whichever way the 29 May 2024 elections go, the ANC will emerge as the largest party. Its manifesto is, therefore, influential.
  • It promises prescribed assets, universal access to early childhood education, and 2.5 million state work opportunities. 
  • Increase the social relief of distress grant so it becomes a basic income grant over time.
  • Strengthen the quality of services for older citizens. 
  • More subsidised housing for vulnerable people. 
  • More police. 
  • Adequate resourcing of community policing forums.
  • Priority area policing through data analysis. 
  • Strengthen economic infrastructure task teams.
  • Strengthen the National Prosecuting Authority, review the Criminal Procedure Act and support the Legal Aid Board.
  • Strengthen whistle-blower protection.
  • Ensure South Africa’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force watchlist. 
  • A social compact against corruption; make the Investigating Directorate a permanent body.
  • Protect the steel industry.
  • Industrialisation as a driver of growth. 
  • Implement export taxes on critical minerals. 
  • Expand the black industrialist programme to support 2,000 companies.
  • Introduce measures relating to prescribed retirement assets and investment funds to support national economic goals. “Engage and direct financial institutions to invest a portion of their funds in industrialisation, infrastructure development and the economy, through prescribed assets.” 
  • Align fiscal and monetary policy with national goals – the Reserve Bank sets monetary policy. 
  • Develop an ecosystem of state banks in national, provincial and economic sectors, including a Human Settlement Bank. 
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund. 
  • Universal early childhood education by 2030.
  • Expand skills development in emerging fields such as data analytics and artificial intelligence. 
  • Expand vocational and technical training. 
  • Build student residences using National Student Financial Aid Scheme funds.
  • VAT exemption on more foodstuffs and essentials. 
  • Support community gardens through land reform.
  • Ensure the minimum wage increases with inflation. 
  • Africa-focused – to strengthen the African Continental Free Trade Area.
  • Solidarity and internationalism with the people of Palestine, Western Sahara, Cuba and others.
  • Try to balance support for regional integration and free movement of people protocols with tighter migration laws. 
  • Insource services that have been outsourced.
  • Greater coordination and planning of service provision, with involvement of citizens.
  • Strengthen central planning.
  • Ensure municipalities fulfil their obligations to fix potholes, remove refuse, keep communities clean and green, provide clean water and sanitation.
  • Create 2.5 million state-funded work opportunities in delivering public goods and services.
  • Target one million work opportunities for township and village small enterprises, entrepreneurs and co-ops. 

More effectively use provisions in constitutional and expropriation legislation to accelerate land reform. 

  • Tighten migration control while promising visa reform.
  • Measures to stop “irregular and illegal migration”, and to move refugee centres closer to border posts.
  • Give preference to South African jobseekers, and act against employment and exploitation of undocumented persons. 
  • Implement NHI over five years.
  • Expand the “ideal clinic” plan. 
  • Strengthen financial and supply chain management.
  • Support cheaper and subsidised solar power. 
  • Prioritise green technologies, energy efficiency, waste management, climate-smart agriculture and infrastructure, and “eco-friendly” production.
  • Become a world player in green hydrogen, battery and electric vehicle production.
  • Prioritise investment in the transmission grid.
  • Develop gas, nuclear and hydropower projects.
  • Establish a national oil company for refineries.
  • “South Africa requires honest, capable and dedicated leaders.” 
  • “The hardship and suffering of many have led them to believe that ANC leaders care only about themselves, that we are soft on corruption, and that we do not care about the suffering of ordinary people.   
  • “We admit we made mistakes as the ANC, with some members and leaders undermining institutions of the democratic state and advancing selfish personal interests.” 
  • “We are now raising the intellectual capacity and enhancing the moral and ethical orientation of our membership.” 
  • Because the ANC is the governing party, it’s easy to assess the likelihood of its promises being successful. The prognosis could be better. 
  • Some reforms in energy, logistics and the National Prosecuting Authority are in early harvest. Still, more are needed to make a national dent in our load shedding and economic crises. 
  • The party – on the skids, according to all national polls – resisted the urge of populism in its manifesto promises.
  • It is a good thing that this is a continuity manifesto of existing policies and ideas. 
  • A focus on water gives responsibilities (rights) to provincial and national governments to ensure better water supply – water shedding is outstripping load shedding as a national point of pain. 
  • A promise of universal access to early childhood education is essential. 
  • The science underpinning the 2.5 million youth employment plan is well documented (but at a budgeted R7.5-billion over three years, it is costly). DM
  • Whichever way the 29 May 2024 elections go, the ANC will emerge as the largest party. Its manifesto is, therefore, influential.
  • It promises prescribed assets, universal access to early childhood education, and 2.5 million state work opportunities. 
  • Increase the social relief of distress grant so it becomes a basic income grant over time.
  • Strengthen the quality of services for older citizens. 
  • More subsidised housing for vulnerable people. 
  • More police. 
  • Adequate resourcing of community policing forums.
  • Priority area policing through data analysis. 
  • Strengthen economic infrastructure task teams.
  • Strengthen the National Prosecuting Authority, review the Criminal Procedure Act and support the Legal Aid Board.
  • Strengthen whistle-blower protection.
  • Ensure South Africa’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force watchlist. 
  • A social compact against corruption; make the Investigating Directorate a permanent body.
  • Protect the steel industry.
  • Industrialisation as a driver of growth. 
  • Implement export taxes on critical minerals. 
  • Expand the black industrialist programme to support 2,000 companies.
  • Introduce measures relating to prescribed retirement assets and investment funds to support national economic goals. “Engage and direct financial institutions to invest a portion of their funds in industrialisation, infrastructure development and the economy, through prescribed assets.” 
  • Align fiscal and monetary policy with national goals – the Reserve Bank sets monetary policy. 
  • Develop an ecosystem of state banks in national, provincial and economic sectors, including a Human Settlement Bank. 
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund. 
  • Universal early childhood education by 2030.
  • Expand skills development in emerging fields such as data analytics and artificial intelligence. 
  • Expand vocational and technical training. 
  • Build student residences using National Student Financial Aid Scheme funds.
  • VAT exemption on more foodstuffs and essentials. 
  • Support community gardens through land reform.
  • Ensure the minimum wage increases with inflation. 
  • Africa-focused – to strengthen the African Continental Free Trade Area.
  • Solidarity and internationalism with the people of Palestine, Western Sahara, Cuba and others.
  • Try to balance support for regional integration and free movement of people protocols with tighter migration laws. 
  • Insource services that have been outsourced.
  • Greater coordination and planning of service provision, with involvement of citizens.
  • Strengthen central planning.
  • Ensure municipalities fulfil their obligations to fix potholes, remove refuse, keep communities clean and green, provide clean water and sanitation.
  • Create 2.5 million state-funded work opportunities in delivering public goods and services.
  • Target one million work opportunities for township and village small enterprises, entrepreneurs and co-ops. 

More effectively use provisions in constitutional and expropriation legislation to accelerate land reform. 

  • Tighten migration control while promising visa reform.
  • Measures to stop “irregular and illegal migration”, and to move refugee centres closer to border posts.
  • Give preference to South African jobseekers, and act against employment and exploitation of undocumented persons. 
  • Implement NHI over five years.
  • Expand the “ideal clinic” plan. 
  • Strengthen financial and supply chain management.
  • Support cheaper and subsidised solar power. 
  • Prioritise green technologies, energy efficiency, waste management, climate-smart agriculture and infrastructure, and “eco-friendly” production.
  • Become a world player in green hydrogen, battery and electric vehicle production.
  • Prioritise investment in the transmission grid.
  • Develop gas, nuclear and hydropower projects.
  • Establish a national oil company for refineries.
  • “South Africa requires honest, capable and dedicated leaders.” 
  • “The hardship and suffering of many have led them to believe that ANC leaders care only about themselves, that we are soft on corruption, and that we do not care about the suffering of ordinary people.   
  • “We admit we made mistakes as the ANC, with some members and leaders undermining institutions of the democratic state and advancing selfish personal interests.” 
  • “We are now raising the intellectual capacity and enhancing the moral and ethical orientation of our membership.” 
  • Because the ANC is the governing party, it’s easy to assess the likelihood of its promises being successful. The prognosis could be better. 
  • Some reforms in energy, logistics and the National Prosecuting Authority are in early harvest. Still, more are needed to make a national dent in our load shedding and economic crises. 
  • The party – on the skids, according to all national polls – resisted the urge of populism in its manifesto promises.
  • It is a good thing that this is a continuity manifesto of existing policies and ideas. 
  • A focus on water gives responsibilities (rights) to provincial and national governments to ensure better water supply – water shedding is outstripping load shedding as a national point of pain. 
  • A promise of universal access to early childhood education is essential. 
  • The science underpinning the 2.5 million youth employment plan is well documented (but at a budgeted R7.5-billion over three years, it is costly). DM

Daily Maverick’s Election 2024 coverage is supported, in part, with funding from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and vehicles supplied by Ford.

DA would like to swap BEE for UN sustainable goals

The party says the country is in a state of collapse, and bills its manifesto as a rescue plan, emphasising streamlining and professionalism. But it raises eyebrows by stripping out any form of black empowerment, replacing it with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a target. 

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Basic income, grants and social policy. 
  • Increase the social relief of distress grant so it becomes a basic income grant over time.
  • Strengthen the quality of services for older citizens. 
  • More subsidised housing for vulnerable people. 
  • A sturdy focus on renewable energy – manufacturing, easing high tariffs for imports (solar panels etc). 
  • Commit to net zero carbon emissions.
  • Decentralise policing to “capable” provincial and metro governments.
  • Reduce bloated SAPS senior management; lifestyle audits for cops; partnerships with private security.
  • Protect whistle-blowers.
  • Appoint new police watchdog.    
  • Implement public order policing recommendations of the inquiry into July 2021 violence.
  • Crack down on illegal guns while firmly supporting responsible gun ownership. 
  • Introduce a “watching brief” for poorly prosecuted crimes such as gang violence, rape, farm murders and drunk driving.
  • Take a victim-centred approach.
  • Dissolve Hawks; start an anti-corruption Chapter 9 institution.
  • Disband State Security Agency and start an intelligence agency afresh.
  • Focus on health corruption and create an independent watchdog.
  • Remove race as employment criterion; replace with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • No new taxes.
  • Stabilise debt, control spending and fix state-owned enterprises. 
  • One-stop shops for small businesses.
  • Ensure that each child gets 210 teaching days a year.
  • Devote first two hours to reading and writing.
  • Introduce literacy and numeracy tests at the end of foundation phase – to triple the number of Grade 4s who can read for meaning.
  • Promote science, tech, engineering and maths education, and strengthen the district model.
  • Establish school evaluation authorities in every province (based on the Western Cape model).
  • Tiered system of NSFAS bursaries – household income up to R180,000: full cost of study; income R180,000-R350,000: 66% bursary; income R350,000-R600,000: 33% bursary.
  • Expand zero-rated food to include bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee and soup powder.
  • Governance
  • Reduce the number of ministers, deputy ministers and ministerial offices.
  • Focus on infrastructure.
  • End water-shedding; get private companies involved in water infrastructure projects.
  • Encourage water-sensitive cities and citizens – based on Cape Town’s experience and planning.
  • Create a grant for water infrastructure maintenance. 
  • Abolish and outlaw cadre deployment.
  • Remove BBBEE from all state procurement.
  • Increase competition and lower private health costs.
  • Introduce social reinsurance for medical schemes.
  • Risk equalisation strategy for medical schemes – treat all plans as if they are one large fund.
  • Subsidise post-retirement medical aid.
  • Oppose the NHI Bill, seen as the death knell for the current private medical system.
  • Establish a private-public partnership model.
  • Deregulate the labour market to create jobs.
  • Make artisanship a category of skills development.
  • Exempt small and medium businesses from bargaining councils.
  • Protect property rights as enshrined in the Constitution, and expand land ownership.
  • Prioritise government-owned land for distribution to housing, farming and land access.
  • Post-settlement support for beneficiary farmers.
  • Break up Eskom’s monopoly, and move the utility away from energy generation.
  • Promote self-generation and devolve energy decisions to municipalities.
  • Allow homes and businesses to sell to the grid.
  • Rebuild the Public Service Commission to make it independent.
  • Replace the Public Service Act and make public service functions separate from the state.
  • Make all appointments merit-based by removing politicians from each level of recruitment.
  • Regular lifestyle audits for politicians and officials.
  • Introduce mandatory entrance exams.
  • Provide high-quality training for public servants.
  • Except for the racial blindness on BEE, it is an excellent manifesto. With South Africa’s history of colonialism and apartheid, and its racial inequality, the party risks its future if it removes black empowerment completely.
  • I found the manifesto’s proposals on lifting people out of poverty, on education, on professionalisation of the public service, and especially on crime and corruption, to be very good.
  • Helen Zille’s education expertise is clear in the manifesto, as is Glynnis Breytenbach’s steady hand on crime and corruption policymaking.
  • The list of foodstuffs to be zero-rated for VAT is excellent, as is the DA’s promise to revisit the list regularly. DM
  • Increase the social relief of distress grant so it becomes a basic income grant over time.
  • Strengthen the quality of services for older citizens. 
  • More subsidised housing for vulnerable people. 
  • A sturdy focus on renewable energy – manufacturing, easing high tariffs for imports (solar panels etc). 
  • Commit to net zero carbon emissions.
  • Decentralise policing to “capable” provincial and metro governments.
  • Reduce bloated SAPS senior management; lifestyle audits for cops; partnerships with private security.
  • Protect whistle-blowers.
  • Appoint new police watchdog.    
  • Implement public order policing recommendations of the inquiry into July 2021 violence.
  • Crack down on illegal guns while firmly supporting responsible gun ownership. 
  • Introduce a “watching brief” for poorly prosecuted crimes such as gang violence, rape, farm murders and drunk driving.
  • Take a victim-centred approach.
  • Dissolve Hawks; start an anti-corruption Chapter 9 institution.
  • Disband State Security Agency and start an intelligence agency afresh.
  • Focus on health corruption and create an independent watchdog.
  • Remove race as employment criterion; replace with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • No new taxes.
  • Stabilise debt, control spending and fix state-owned enterprises. 
  • One-stop shops for small businesses.
  • Ensure that each child gets 210 teaching days a year.
  • Devote first two hours to reading and writing.
  • Introduce literacy and numeracy tests at the end of foundation phase – to triple the number of Grade 4s who can read for meaning.
  • Promote science, tech, engineering and maths education, and strengthen the district model.
  • Establish school evaluation authorities in every province (based on the Western Cape model).
  • Tiered system of NSFAS bursaries – household income up to R180,000: full cost of study; income R180,000-R350,000: 66% bursary; income R350,000-R600,000: 33% bursary.
  • Expand zero-rated food to include bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee and soup powder.
  • Governance
  • Reduce the number of ministers, deputy ministers and ministerial offices.
  • Focus on infrastructure.
  • End water-shedding; get private companies involved in water infrastructure projects.
  • Encourage water-sensitive cities and citizens – based on Cape Town’s experience and planning.
  • Create a grant for water infrastructure maintenance. 
  • Abolish and outlaw cadre deployment.
  • Remove BBBEE from all state procurement.
  • Increase competition and lower private health costs.
  • Introduce social reinsurance for medical schemes.
  • Risk equalisation strategy for medical schemes – treat all plans as if they are one large fund.
  • Subsidise post-retirement medical aid.
  • Oppose the NHI Bill, seen as the death knell for the current private medical system.
  • Establish a private-public partnership model.
  • Deregulate the labour market to create jobs.
  • Make artisanship a category of skills development.
  • Exempt small and medium businesses from bargaining councils.
  • Protect property rights as enshrined in the Constitution, and expand land ownership.
  • Prioritise government-owned land for distribution to housing, farming and land access.
  • Post-settlement support for beneficiary farmers.
  • Break up Eskom’s monopoly, and move the utility away from energy generation.
  • Promote self-generation and devolve energy decisions to municipalities.
  • Allow homes and businesses to sell to the grid.
  • Rebuild the Public Service Commission to make it independent.
  • Replace the Public Service Act and make public service functions separate from the state.
  • Make all appointments merit-based by removing politicians from each level of recruitment.
  • Regular lifestyle audits for politicians and officials.
  • Introduce mandatory entrance exams.
  • Provide high-quality training for public servants.
  • Except for the racial blindness on BEE, it is an excellent manifesto. With South Africa’s history of colonialism and apartheid, and its racial inequality, the party risks its future if it removes black empowerment completely.
  • I found the manifesto’s proposals on lifting people out of poverty, on education, on professionalisation of the public service, and especially on crime and corruption, to be very good.
  • Helen Zille’s education expertise is clear in the manifesto, as is Glynnis Breytenbach’s steady hand on crime and corruption policymaking.
  • The list of foodstuffs to be zero-rated for VAT is excellent, as is the DA’s promise to revisit the list regularly. DM

Land, jobs and electricity: the EFF’s radical appeal

The party is polling at about 20%, with some manifesto is radical populist, aimed at workers, unemployed people and young people. 

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Double all social grants
  • Old age pensions R4,180 a month; war veterans R4,220; disability R4,180; care dependency R4,180; foster child R2,260; child support R1,020; grant-in-aid R1,020
  • Manifesto does not specify a basic income but it introduces a stipend of R5,000 a month for unemployed graduates
  • The EFF does not support decommissioning  coal-fired power stations or the principles of a just transition
  • It supports local recycling, has a good ­landfill policy and will progressively introduce carbon taxes
  • Retrain police by 2027 and employ 100,000 more cops
  • Minimum sentence of 25 years for police found guilty of serious crime
  • Protect whistle-blowers
  • Economic justice courts for those unlawfully ­mistreated and exploited by corporations
  • Pardon all Fees Must Fall and political activists
  • A ‘corruption-free government’
  • The narrative arc of the EFF manifesto is captured by this sentence: “The economy in South Africa continues today to be under the ownership and control of white minority settlers.”  
  • The centrepiece is the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation
  • No taxes for companies that create 2,000 full-time jobs across 30 special economic zones and the whole of the Northern Cape 
  • Regulate lower and standardised data costs
  • Start state-owned companies in key sectors
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund, to be capitalised by foreign investors
  • Free, decolonised education
  • Prioritise indigenous ways of learning and teaching
  • Focus on edu-tech 
  • Scrap the IEB exams
  • 10,000 annual scholarships to top global universities
  • All universities to offer Swahili by 2027
  • R1-million grant for every black PhD student
  • Nationalise the Reserve Bank
  • Start state-owned banks, including a national state bank into which all grants and pensions must be paid
  • Jail CEOs of banks named by the Competition Commission as colluding to fix the value of the rand
  • Start a state-owned insurance company that government employees must use
  • 80% of all private retirement funds to be administered and run by black-owned companies
  • Ensure all food is locally produced, not imported
  • Scrap provinces and strengthen local government
  • Reduce presidential power to strengthen Parliament
  • Resurface roads and bridges, and eradicate potholes, by 2028
  • Two new water treatment plants in each province
  • Eliminate pit latrines and upgrade education infrastructure
  • Focus on Africa with a R187-billion annual investment to grow the African economy
  • Turn gaze towards the socialist-populist world, including Venezuela and Cuba
  • Free universal healthcare
  • Each district to have a specialist hospital
  • Provide spacious, quality houses for all people
  • Regulate rents
  • Stop banks repossessing houses once 50% of the mortgage is paid
  • National minimum wage of R6,000 a month with higher minimums in specified sectors 
  • 24-hour economy with a three-shift system
  • Expropriate land without compensation
  • Make all land state-owned
  • Restrict foreign land ownership
  • Transfer 50% of land to black people within five years
  • Repair existing power station fleet
  • Stop decommissioning coal-fired power plants
  • Focus on carbon capture, clean coal and nuclear energy, with a starring role for Russia 
  • Encourage shale gas exploration
  • Direct Eskom to develop a substantial renewable energy division
  • 200kWh/month free electricity to poor households
  • All migrants to be registered with Home Affairs
  • Beyond that, free movement of people across Africa
  • Focus on insourcing of all services the state buys
  • Effective use of conditional grants for municipalities
  • This is an extremely long and expensive manifesto. The EFF would run an economy similar to Venezuela or Cuba’s, but with a mixed economy in some sectors 
  • It would double (or even triple) the grants budget and the civil service wage bill. The minimum wage proposals would cause most businesses to pack up
  • The economy would collapse because of the proposals in the financial sector
  • The focus on young people, students and the ­LGBTQI+ community is well considered if, expensive
  • Double all social grants
  • Old age pensions R4,180 a month; war veterans R4,220; disability R4,180; care dependency R4,180; foster child R2,260; child support R1,020; grant-in-aid R1,020
  • Manifesto does not specify a basic income but it introduces a stipend of R5,000 a month for unemployed graduates
  • The EFF does not support decommissioning  coal-fired power stations or the principles of a just transition
  • It supports local recycling, has a good ­landfill policy and will progressively introduce carbon taxes
  • Retrain police by 2027 and employ 100,000 more cops
  • Minimum sentence of 25 years for police found guilty of serious crime
  • Protect whistle-blowers
  • Economic justice courts for those unlawfully ­mistreated and exploited by corporations
  • Pardon all Fees Must Fall and political activists
  • A ‘corruption-free government’
  • The narrative arc of the EFF manifesto is captured by this sentence: “The economy in South Africa continues today to be under the ownership and control of white minority settlers.”  
  • The centrepiece is the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation
  • No taxes for companies that create 2,000 full-time jobs across 30 special economic zones and the whole of the Northern Cape 
  • Regulate lower and standardised data costs
  • Start state-owned companies in key sectors
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund, to be capitalised by foreign investors
  • Free, decolonised education
  • Prioritise indigenous ways of learning and teaching
  • Focus on edu-tech 
  • Scrap the IEB exams
  • 10,000 annual scholarships to top global universities
  • All universities to offer Swahili by 2027
  • R1-million grant for every black PhD student
  • Nationalise the Reserve Bank
  • Start state-owned banks, including a national state bank into which all grants and pensions must be paid
  • Jail CEOs of banks named by the Competition Commission as colluding to fix the value of the rand
  • Start a state-owned insurance company that government employees must use
  • 80% of all private retirement funds to be administered and run by black-owned companies
  • Ensure all food is locally produced, not imported
  • Scrap provinces and strengthen local government
  • Reduce presidential power to strengthen Parliament
  • Resurface roads and bridges, and eradicate potholes, by 2028
  • Two new water treatment plants in each province
  • Eliminate pit latrines and upgrade education infrastructure
  • Focus on Africa with a R187-billion annual investment to grow the African economy
  • Turn gaze towards the socialist-populist world, including Venezuela and Cuba
  • Free universal healthcare
  • Each district to have a specialist hospital
  • Provide spacious, quality houses for all people
  • Regulate rents
  • Stop banks repossessing houses once 50% of the mortgage is paid
  • National minimum wage of R6,000 a month with higher minimums in specified sectors 
  • 24-hour economy with a three-shift system
  • Expropriate land without compensation
  • Make all land state-owned
  • Restrict foreign land ownership
  • Transfer 50% of land to black people within five years
  • Repair existing power station fleet
  • Stop decommissioning coal-fired power plants
  • Focus on carbon capture, clean coal and nuclear energy, with a starring role for Russia 
  • Encourage shale gas exploration
  • Direct Eskom to develop a substantial renewable energy division
  • 200kWh/month free electricity to poor households
  • All migrants to be registered with Home Affairs
  • Beyond that, free movement of people across Africa
  • Focus on insourcing of all services the state buys
  • Effective use of conditional grants for municipalities
  • This is an extremely long and expensive manifesto. The EFF would run an economy similar to Venezuela or Cuba’s, but with a mixed economy in some sectors 
  • It would double (or even triple) the grants budget and the civil service wage bill. The minimum wage proposals would cause most businesses to pack up
  • The economy would collapse because of the proposals in the financial sector
  • The focus on young people, students and the ­LGBTQI+ community is well considered if, expensive

Blue light brigades cruise into Rise Mzansi crosshairs

Rise Mzansi, started by Songezo Zibi together with concerned professionals, is first out of the blocks. We have summarised the manifesto into areas our readers have expressed interest in.

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Substance abuse policy is a focus
  • Mental health is an imperative
  • Sanitation infrastructure; low-cost internet in every community
  • A combination of government income grants and food discount vouchers
  • Leave no one behind policy in which coal use decreases steadily
  • A balanced, green energy mix
  • Tax deductions for rooftop solar
  • Fully electrify the transport system
  • Full audit of senior leadership of SA Police Service
  • Intelligence-based policing
  • Community involvement in crime intelligence gathering
  • Reduce how long it takes to prosecute corruption cases
  • Double the size of the economy every 12 years – target 6% GDP growth per annum
  • Stakeholder capitalism model of business, trade unions and civic groups
  • Private investment in public assets
  • Support black people and women in business
  • Ease skilled migration and business travel to support green industries, tourism, the creative economy, cannabis and hemp, and advanced manufacturing
  • Develop a road map: bilingual education with at least one African language
  • Scale National Youth Service
  • Improve the quality of teaching, especially in science, tech, engineering and maths
  • The family is the social unit of care, and food is the fulcrum policy for Rise 
  • Create a capable state of professionals
  • Cut the size of the Cabinet
  • Appoint heads of SAPS, NPA, SARS and others on merit through public interviews.
  • Simplify and make transparent public procurement processes
  • Ban blue light brigades
  • Place dysfunctional municipalities under administration
  • Make it human rights-centred as a moral example – a South African source of soft power
  • Support global governance reforms
  • Focus on economic diplomacy, advance Africa’s development
  • Establish a primary health and wellness facility within a 15-minute ride of every home
  • Expand public healthcare with new facilities and healthcare workers – funded through savings from ending procurement corruption
  • Reform the existing health system
  • Support anchor industries to grow jobs – mining, agriculture, financial services, tourism, manufacturing and services
  • Set up skills training for one million people without matric within five years

 

  • Focus on urban land ownership and distribution because most people live in cities
  • Change the Eskom board, review all contracts, fire corrupt officials and reform procurement
  • Develop local solar production and installation by tapping international climate change transition finance
  • (See climate change)
  • Dramatically reduce irregular immigration
  • Stop illegal migration at the source country
  • Reduce the pull factor of irregular immigration by enforcement of employers
  • Fix asylum  – a de facto permit for economic migrants
  • Ease skilled migration
  • Private healthcare facilities, which generally benefit those with medical aid, are insufficient in number and capacity to provide effective healthcare for everyone, even with an instrument like the NHI
  • Allow only professionals to serve at senior management levels
  • This is a cornerstone Rise policy, and it is detailed
  • Rise will get about 7% of the vote, according to its own polling
  • This is a manifesto for the 2029 election
  • If Zibi takes a score of MPs into the next Parliament, it will shake things up substantially
  • Having a strong, considered focus on people with disabilities
  • Reshaping the idea of non-racialism to focus on spatial and economic injustices
  • We love the ban on blue light brigades for all politicians except the President, Deputy President and visiting heads of state. That everyone from ministers to mayors and even MECs get blue light convoys is a practice of Orwellian awfulness  
  • Substance abuse policy is a focus
  • Mental health is an imperative
  • Sanitation infrastructure; low-cost internet in every community
  • A combination of government income grants and food discount vouchers
  • Leave no one behind policy in which coal use decreases steadily
  • A balanced, green energy mix
  • Tax deductions for rooftop solar
  • Fully electrify the transport system
  • Full audit of senior leadership of SA Police Service
  • Intelligence-based policing
  • Community involvement in crime intelligence gathering
  • Reduce how long it takes to prosecute corruption cases
  • Double the size of the economy every 12 years – target 6% GDP growth per annum
  • Stakeholder capitalism model of business, trade unions and civic groups
  • Private investment in public assets
  • Support black people and women in business
  • Ease skilled migration and business travel to support green industries, tourism, the creative economy, cannabis and hemp, and advanced manufacturing
  • Develop a road map: bilingual education with at least one African language
  • Scale National Youth Service
  • Improve the quality of teaching, especially in science, tech, engineering and maths
  • The family is the social unit of care, and food is the fulcrum policy for Rise 
  • Create a capable state of professionals
  • Cut the size of the Cabinet
  • Appoint heads of SAPS, NPA, SARS and others on merit through public interviews.
  • Simplify and make transparent public procurement processes
  • Ban blue light brigades
  • Place dysfunctional municipalities under administration
  • Make it human rights-centred as a moral example – a South African source of soft power
  • Support global governance reforms
  • Focus on economic diplomacy, advance Africa’s development
  • Establish a primary health and wellness facility within a 15-minute ride of every home
  • Expand public healthcare with new facilities and healthcare workers – funded through savings from ending procurement corruption
  • Reform the existing health system
  • Support anchor industries to grow jobs – mining, agriculture, financial services, tourism, manufacturing and services
  • Set up skills training for one million people without matric within five years

 

  • Focus on urban land ownership and distribution because most people live in cities
  • Change the Eskom board, review all contracts, fire corrupt officials and reform procurement
  • Develop local solar production and installation by tapping international climate change transition finance
  • (See climate change)
  • Dramatically reduce irregular immigration
  • Stop illegal migration at the source country
  • Reduce the pull factor of irregular immigration by enforcement of employers
  • Fix asylum  – a de facto permit for economic migrants
  • Ease skilled migration
  • Private healthcare facilities, which generally benefit those with medical aid, are insufficient in number and capacity to provide effective healthcare for everyone, even with an instrument like the NHI
  • Allow only professionals to serve at senior management levels
  • This is a cornerstone Rise policy, and it is detailed
  • Rise will get about 7% of the vote, according to its own polling
  • This is a manifesto for the 2029 election
  • If Zibi takes a score of MPs into the next Parliament, it will shake things up substantially
  • Having a strong, considered focus on people with disabilities
  • Reshaping the idea of non-racialism to focus on spatial and economic injustices
  • We love the ban on blue light brigades for all politicians except the President, Deputy President and visiting heads of state. That everyone from ministers to mayors and even MECs get blue light convoys is a practice of Orwellian awfulness  

FF+ wants Cape Exit, guns and community councils

Predictably, because it has a largely white Afrikaans-speaking following, the Freedom Front Plus is deeply concerned about farm attacks and wants to abolish black economic empowerment and affirmative action. It also wants less government and more private sector involvement in running our lives.

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Freedom Front Plus wants a Cape Exit, autonomous community councils and guns.
  • The FF Plus manifesto’s theme is “Stand up and Build” like the “pioneers” or early Afrikaans colonialists.
  • The party supports a more muscular federal system, and autonomy for community councils.
  • Basic income (Blank).
  • Social aid grants are “justified” but FF Plus wants to “reduce dependence” on grants through “favourable economic conditions that promote financial independence”.
  • Empower Green Scorpions.
  • Retire coal-fired power stations.
  • Upgrade sewage treatment plants and dumping sites.
  • Drainage nets on stormwater drainage pipes.
  • Ban canned lion hunts and cosmetic product testing on animals.
  • Focus on rural safety plan, to stop farm attacks and livestock theft.
  • Focus on drug trafficking and gangs.
  • Prosecutor-driven investigations.
  • Protect the rights of gun owners.
  • Make private spending on safety and security tax-deductible.
  • Free market.
  • Enable a fourth industrial revolution.
  • Privatise all state-owned enterprises.
  • End affirmative action (“the root cause of poor service delivery and black economic empowerment”).
  • Skin colour is not an indicator of disadvantage.
  • Increase VAT.
  • Visa regulations should be relaxed, to make travelling to South Africa (SA) easier.
  • Tax rebates for doing government work, such as repairing potholes or paying for security.
  • Higher pay for teachers at poor schools.
  • Community-run schools and home schooling are encouraged.
  • Schools to be allowed to choose whether to be run by the government or by a community council.
  • Mother-tongue teaching – the party “condemns the creeping language imperialism of Anglophiles”.
  • Return fishing quotas to communities; fix the Department of Fisheries.
  • Tariff protection for the agricultural sector; protect food security.
  • Property owners must make arable, fertile land.
  • Smaller, more agile government limited to defence, policing and justice – one minister per portfolio, no deputy ministers.
  • The rest of government should be run by autonomous community councils and the private sector – “authority should be exercised on the lowest, possible level”.
  • These councils should manage schools, old age and children’s homes, community institutions (for example museums and heritage sites).
  • Expand the definitions of community property associations.
  • Reduce the size of municipalities.
  • Public service should be a service provider rather than a job creator.
  • Supports a CapeXit (Cape exit) as “…registered voters in the Western Cape are afforded the opportunity to express a view on the path of self-determination” to take “to greater independence and decision-making about their future”.
  • Self-interest and mutual respect are guiding principles.
  • Reinforce SA’s central role in Africa.
  • Support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
  • Encourage and enshrine public-private healthcare delivery systems.
  • Focus on preventive primary healthcare.
  • Stop over-regulation of medical aids.
  • A deregulated labour market.
  • Abolish transformation targets, and focus on development.

 

  • Amend the Expropriation Amendment bill, which sets out how to expropriate land without compensation; place the right to confiscate with the High Courts.
  • Immediately redistribute state-owned land and implement a “willing seller, willing buyer” policy after that.
  • Protect private property rights.
  • Rapid transition to renewable energy – tax incentives and zero-rated solar panels.
  • Unbundle Eskom over the medium to long term, and privatise.
  • Incentives for solar installations.
  • Restore border control.
  • Abolish plans for NHI.
  • The Freedom Front Plus is going to be an outlier in the 29 May election because its policies and clear-eyed focus on a specific constituency are tried and tested.
  • But the jury is out on whether its manifesto, with its philosophy of own affairs, a “Cape exit”, and rights (Read for white and some coloured people. Ed), is in keeping with the Constitutional imperatives of a unitary state built on the principles of social justice.
  • The environmental section, and proposals about living multilingualism are promising.
  • We particularly like the tax rebates for us doing the government’s work, such as fixing potholes. DM
  • Freedom Front Plus wants a Cape Exit, autonomous community councils and guns.
  • The FF Plus manifesto’s theme is “Stand up and Build” like the “pioneers” or early Afrikaans colonialists.
  • The party supports a more muscular federal system, and autonomy for community councils.
  • Basic income (Blank).
  • Social aid grants are “justified” but FF Plus wants to “reduce dependence” on grants through “favourable economic conditions that promote financial independence”.
  • Empower Green Scorpions.
  • Retire coal-fired power stations.
  • Upgrade sewage treatment plants and dumping sites.
  • Drainage nets on stormwater drainage pipes.
  • Ban canned lion hunts and cosmetic product testing on animals.
  • Focus on rural safety plan, to stop farm attacks and livestock theft.
  • Focus on drug trafficking and gangs.
  • Prosecutor-driven investigations.
  • Protect the rights of gun owners.
  • Make private spending on safety and security tax-deductible.
  • Free market.
  • Enable a fourth industrial revolution.
  • Privatise all state-owned enterprises.
  • End affirmative action (“the root cause of poor service delivery and black economic empowerment”).
  • Skin colour is not an indicator of disadvantage.
  • Increase VAT.
  • Visa regulations should be relaxed, to make travelling to South Africa (SA) easier.
  • Tax rebates for doing government work, such as repairing potholes or paying for security.
  • Higher pay for teachers at poor schools.
  • Community-run schools and home schooling are encouraged.
  • Schools to be allowed to choose whether to be run by the government or by a community council.
  • Mother-tongue teaching – the party “condemns the creeping language imperialism of Anglophiles”.
  • Return fishing quotas to communities; fix the Department of Fisheries.
  • Tariff protection for the agricultural sector; protect food security.
  • Property owners must make arable, fertile land.
  • Smaller, more agile government limited to defence, policing and justice – one minister per portfolio, no deputy ministers.
  • The rest of government should be run by autonomous community councils and the private sector – “authority should be exercised on the lowest, possible level”.
  • These councils should manage schools, old age and children’s homes, community institutions (for example museums and heritage sites).
  • Expand the definitions of community property associations.
  • Reduce the size of municipalities.
  • Public service should be a service provider rather than a job creator.
  • Supports a CapeXit (Cape exit) as “…registered voters in the Western Cape are afforded the opportunity to express a view on the path of self-determination” to take “to greater independence and decision-making about their future”.
  • Self-interest and mutual respect are guiding principles.
  • Reinforce SA’s central role in Africa.
  • Support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
  • Encourage and enshrine public-private healthcare delivery systems.
  • Focus on preventive primary healthcare.
  • Stop over-regulation of medical aids.
  • A deregulated labour market.
  • Abolish transformation targets, and focus on development.

 

  • Amend the Expropriation Amendment bill, which sets out how to expropriate land without compensation; place the right to confiscate with the High Courts.
  • Immediately redistribute state-owned land and implement a “willing seller, willing buyer” policy after that.
  • Protect private property rights.
  • Rapid transition to renewable energy – tax incentives and zero-rated solar panels.
  • Unbundle Eskom over the medium to long term, and privatise.
  • Incentives for solar installations.
  • Restore border control.
  • Abolish plans for NHI.
  • The Freedom Front Plus is going to be an outlier in the 29 May election because its policies and clear-eyed focus on a specific constituency are tried and tested.
  • But the jury is out on whether its manifesto, with its philosophy of own affairs, a “Cape exit”, and rights (Read for white and some coloured people. Ed), is in keeping with the Constitutional imperatives of a unitary state built on the principles of social justice.
  • The environmental section, and proposals about living multilingualism are promising.
  • We particularly like the tax rebates for us doing the government’s work, such as fixing potholes. DM

IFP: free primary education and a debate on the noose

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s manifesto promises more power for traditional leaders, free education for primary school learners and a national debate on reinstating the death penalty.

By Ferial Haffajee

  • The IFP manifesto is well crafted for its target support base. It is the most rural-focused of the manifestos we have seen so far; the party would give more power to traditional leaders if it were to come to power. It uses the late leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s popularity as its leitmotif, with the hashtag #DoItForShenge.
  • An unemployed graduate grant of R3,000.
  • Review grants and increase if necessary – link all grants to opportunities and training.
  • One community, one social worker.
  • Legalise baby savers (baby boxes at NGOs for abandoned babies).
  • More powers to traditional courts.
  • Open a national debate on reinstating the death penalty.
  • Prompt dismissal and prosecution of corrupt officials, irrespective of rank or political affiliation.
  • Use the force of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in areas where gangsterism is rife.
  • Support and implement the principles of restorative justice.
  • Curb data costs by 50% through state intervention.
  • Grow the cannabis and hemp sectors.
  • Revitalise Ithala Bank (Perennially corrupt. – Editor)
  • Raise the pass mark to 50%.
  • Redirect Seta billions to give internships to unemployed graduates in municipal, provincial and national government departments.
  • Free primary education and a focus on fixing NSFAS, the financial aid scheme for disadvantaged students.
  • Focus on early childhood education as a priority.
  • Teacher accommodation for rural-based teachers.
  • A South African Social Security Agency food relief voucher system.
  • Elevate the role of traditional leaders in governance.
  • It’s a nationally focused manifesto. 
  • Devolve autonomy from national to provincial and local levels.
  • One regional hospital in each of 52 health districts; expand clinic network.
  • Reduce the high cost of medicine.
  • A strict 80:20 South Africans to foreigners rule across all businesses.
  • Job reservation for entry-level and low-skill sectors.

  •  Increase the qualifying income for fully subsidised housing from R3,500 to R5,500 monthly.
  • Introduce a housing benefit scheme for those who earn above the subsidy threshold.
  • Subsidise first-time homeowners.
  • Integrate hostels into communities.
  • A full-scale land audit (This has been done many times. – Editor)
  • State support for new farmers and viable 
  • cooperatives.
  • Make sure communal land stays in the hands of
  • traditional leaders.
  • Provincial governments must support this land to the standard of commercial farms.
  • Supports land expropriation with reasonable 
  • compensation.
  • Reactivate local agricultural support centres – 
  • promote public-private partnerships in agricultural development.
  • Manage Eskom as a public-private partnership.
  • Cut unnecessary fuel levies.
  • Maintain coal as a primary energy source while promoting renewables.
  • Support the green hydrogen economy.
  • Deploy the SANDF to ports of entry and borders to fortify them.
  • Invest in a National Immigration Inspectorate.
  • An all-of-government plan to deport illegal migrants.
  • A six-month-long permit review process for all foreign nationals.
  • Ensure critical skills visas are issued in four weeks.
  • Invoice countries whose citizens are in South Africa illegally and who use healthcare services.
  • Supports universal health coverage.
  • Redress the funding model of the NHI Bill, while defining the roles of public and private healthcare services more clearly.
  • Protect and sustain traditional leadership through respect, compensation and capacitation.
  • Amend Chapters 7 and 12 of the Constitution to improve traditional leaders’ roles, powers and functions.
  • Extend the Ingonyama Trust land model to other provinces. Before 1994, the apartheid government transferred traditional leadership land in KwaZulu-Natal to the Ingonyama Trust. (It’s not the most democratic system, is open to abuse and places women landholders at a disadvantage. – Editor)
  • It’s an expensive manifesto that would substantially increase the social wage with hikes in grants and housing subsidies, yet it doesn’t grapple with the necessary trade-offs. 
  • The powers it envisages investing in traditional leaders raise questions of how much South Africa can afford to spend here. 
  • The migration policy is Trumpian. 
  • In Johannesburg, a portfolio run by the IFP in an administration where it was part of a governing coalition was notoriously corrupt. 
  • The IFP manifesto is well written and based on the principle of trust. For example, each section starts with a line like “Trust us to get you working” or “Trust us for safe and dignified homes”. DM
  • The IFP manifesto is well crafted for its target support base. It is the most rural-focused of the manifestos we have seen so far; the party would give more power to traditional leaders if it were to come to power. It uses the late leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s popularity as its leitmotif, with the hashtag #DoItForShenge.
  • An unemployed graduate grant of R3,000.
  • Review grants and increase if necessary – link all grants to opportunities and training.
  • One community, one social worker.
  • Legalise baby savers (baby boxes at NGOs for abandoned babies).
  • More powers to traditional courts.
  • Open a national debate on reinstating the death penalty.
  • Prompt dismissal and prosecution of corrupt officials, irrespective of rank or political affiliation.
  • Use the force of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in areas where gangsterism is rife.
  • Support and implement the principles of restorative justice.
  • Curb data costs by 50% through state intervention.
  • Grow the cannabis and hemp sectors.
  • Revitalise Ithala Bank (Perennially corrupt. – Editor)
  • Raise the pass mark to 50%.
  • Redirect Seta billions to give internships to unemployed graduates in municipal, provincial and national government departments.
  • Free primary education and a focus on fixing NSFAS, the financial aid scheme for disadvantaged students.
  • Focus on early childhood education as a priority.
  • Teacher accommodation for rural-based teachers.
  • A South African Social Security Agency food relief voucher system.
  • Elevate the role of traditional leaders in governance.
  • It’s a nationally focused manifesto. 
  • Devolve autonomy from national to provincial and local levels.
  • One regional hospital in each of 52 health districts; expand clinic network.
  • Reduce the high cost of medicine.
  • A strict 80:20 South Africans to foreigners rule across all businesses.
  • Job reservation for entry-level and low-skill sectors.

 

  • Increase the qualifying income for fully subsidised housing from R3,500 to R5,500 monthly.
  • Introduce a housing benefit scheme for those who earn above the subsidy threshold.
  • Subsidise first-time homeowners.
  • Integrate hostels into communities.
  • A full-scale land audit (This has been done many times. – Editor)
  • State support for new farmers and viable 
  • cooperatives.
  • Make sure communal land stays in the hands of
  • traditional leaders.
  • Provincial governments must support this land to the standard of commercial farms.
  • Supports land expropriation with reasonable 
  • compensation.
  • Reactivate local agricultural support centres – 
  • promote public-private partnerships in agricultural development.
  • Manage Eskom as a public-private partnership.
  • Cut unnecessary fuel levies.
  • Maintain coal as a primary energy source while promoting renewables.
  • Support the green hydrogen economy.
  • Deploy the SANDF to ports of entry and borders to fortify them.
  • Invest in a National Immigration Inspectorate.
  • An all-of-government plan to deport illegal migrants.
  • A six-month-long permit review process for all foreign nationals.
  • Ensure critical skills visas are issued in four weeks.
  • Invoice countries whose citizens are in South Africa illegally and who use healthcare services.
  • Supports universal health coverage.
  • Redress the funding model of the NHI Bill, while defining the roles of public and private healthcare services more clearly.
  • Protect and sustain traditional leadership through respect, compensation and capacitation.
  • Amend Chapters 7 and 12 of the Constitution to improve traditional leaders’ roles, powers and functions.
  • Extend the Ingonyama Trust land model to other provinces. Before 1994, the apartheid government transferred traditional leadership land in KwaZulu-Natal to the Ingonyama Trust. (It’s not the most democratic system, is open to abuse and places women landholders at a disadvantage. – Editor)
  • It’s an expensive manifesto that would substantially increase the social wage with hikes in grants and housing subsidies, yet it doesn’t grapple with the necessary trade-offs. 
  • The powers it envisages investing in traditional leaders raise questions of how much South Africa can afford to spend here. 
  • The migration policy is Trumpian. 
  • In Johannesburg, a portfolio run by the IFP in an administration where it was part of a governing coalition was notoriously corrupt. 
  • The IFP manifesto is well written and based on the principle of trust. For example, each section starts with a line like “Trust us to get you working” or “Trust us for safe and dignified homes”. DM

ActionSA manifesto — party tones down populist stance on migrants and vows to slash Cabinet

ActionSA promises to slash the Cabinet, provide a universal basic income and says it is anti-xenophobia in its election manifesto launch. Can it live up to the promises after all the rabble-rousing?

By Ferial Haffajee

  • For readers concerned about parties making unfunded promises, there’s an outlier. 
  • Action SA’s manifesto has done the maths, and proposes an innovative and possibly unifying Opportunity Fund. 
  • Herman Mashaba has dropped the language of xenophobia, but still punts secure borders and South Africans first. 
  • It’s one of the better manifestos we’ve seen. 
  • A basic monthly income will be provided to registered adult South Africans and permanent residents. The Government will pay R790 (year 1), R1,101 (year 2), and R1,622 (year 3), with the numbers set by 2023 low, median, and high food poverty data lines, and to increase at inflation. 
  • This is expected to yield GDP growth of 2 percentage points a year.
  • The party wants to eliminate “broad reliance” on grants.
  • Increase water supply by investing in research, including affordable desalination of seawater, better infrastructure and water supply monitoring.
  • More bulk water supply storage, better water allocation, more demand reduction measures. 
  • Support wildlife conservation programmes; encourage recycling and increase environmental protection. 
  • More police and more police on the ground; more paid reservists who are better treated.
  • Make it easier to own guns legally, and more challenging to possess guns illegally. 
  • Life imprisonment means for life; better reskilling and social integration training for prisoners who do not get life sentences.
  • Expanded court capacity; enhanced powers for magistrates’ courts; specialised criminal courts. 
  • Grand corruption to be made a crime against humanity; redefine corruption; start a Chapter 9 anti-corruption institution. 
  • Vastly expand funds for the National Prosecuting Authority. 
  • Substantial attention given to drug abuse. 
  • An opportunity fund of R55,7-billion, annually capitalised by a 5% corporate tax increase (they call it a levy) over 30 years. 
  • Businesses can recoup the tax by scrapping B-BBEE legislation, which the party calculates has a compliance cost of 4-6% of turnover annually. 
  • This will be invested in an Opportunity Fund to support black, coloured, Indian and Asian South Africans who remain disadvantaged (which means it will be means-tested). 
  • A board will independently govern the fund and hold funds for entities such as the National Youth Development Agency, the NEF and SETA.
  • Allocations will be 10% to tertiary education, 30% to entrepreneurial funding, 35% to infrastructure, and 25% toward further investment. 
  • Expanded support for access to early childhood development education. 
  • No child must spend more than an hour travelling to school. 
  • A single Department of Education (there are three currently). 
  • A focus on numeracy. 
  • By 2035, 90% of learners should be able to read for meaning at ten years old.
  • Additionally, introduce a skills-based vocational stream of education after Grade 10, alongside the traditional academic stream. 
  • Food security is a vital purpose of the universal basic income proposal, calculated based on the food poverty line after the supply policy. 
  • Reduce the size of the Cabinet to about 20 ministries, remove all deputy ministers, reduce perks. Maintain the public service wage bill at 10% of GDP. The current Cabinet has 32 members and there are 38 deputy ministers. 
  • Ban cadre deployment.
  • Modernise government through the use of technology – e-government.
  • Decentralise service delivery. 
  • Action SA says foreign direct investment is necessary for growing the economy. Its international policy is guided by the need to attract investment. 
  • Fix the public healthcare system by eliminating corruption and improving management to reduce administrative costs to 10% of the total budget.
  • Invest in primary healthcare. 
  • Make medical aid more accessible, expand minimum benefits and improve oversight of price gouging.
  • Appoint more doctors, registrars, fellows and specialists. 
  • Reclaim hijacked and abandoned city buildings to be developed by the private sector as mixed-use residential and small business spaces.  
  • A focus on public housing in cities, close to job opportunities.
  • Zero-rate educational websites and job application sites for young people. 
  • Voluntary national service for young South Africans from age 18. 
  • Relax labour laws to make it easier to fire non-performing workers.
  • Reduce minimum wage laws, especially for new entrants – link this to the upper-bound poverty line. 
  • Economic reforms are calculated to have an employment stimulus impact of 4,8 million jobs by 2029.

 

  • Transfer unused arable land to emerging farmers under long-term leases, with an opportunity to buy after five years if operations are successful
  • Expand private energy production and run a liberalised energy market. 
  • Introduce microgrids – small, localised energy grids. 
  • Solar panel installation subsidies, and universal access to rooftop solar panels and solar-powered geysers. 
  • A gradual transition from a coal-fired energy system to a renewables-based infrastructure.
  • Action SA’s manifesto has a far more sensible approach to migration than its previous rabble-rousing version.
  • It condemns xenophobia, wants to make it easier to enter South Africa (SA) legally, and more difficult to do so illegally. 
  • It intends to improve easy access for critically skilled people that SA’s economy needs – social workers, teachers and healthcare workers. 
  • The manifesto says: “We want the people of the world to come to South Africa, but they must do so by following our laws.”
  • To support and enhance the existing Border Management Authority, and weed out the Home Affairs Department.
  • Simplify work visas. 
  • Improve the deportation of foreign nationals found guilty of committing crimes in SA, or of people living in SA illegally.
  • Action SA opposes the implementation of the NHI Bill in its current form. 
  • It’s a good manifesto. We like the promise to cut the Cabinet to about 20 ministries, and to scrap deputy ministers. (Can you name a single South African deputy minister? Neither can we. Ed.) 
  • Mashaba’s challenge will be to stay non-populist about migration, when he has previously made anti-foreigner jibes a leitmotif of his political journey. 
  • As the ANC’s practice in terms of its own leadership and who it appoints to govern has eschewed the principle of non-racialism, Action SA wants to fill the gap. 
  • It takes a principled position on the clear correlation between race and socio-economic standing, but stands for non-racialism as a core principle.  
  • For readers concerned about parties making unfunded promises, there’s an outlier. 
  • Action SA’s manifesto has done the maths, and proposes an innovative and possibly unifying Opportunity Fund. 
  • Herman Mashaba has dropped the language of xenophobia, but still punts secure borders and South Africans first. 
  • It’s one of the better manifestos we’ve seen. 
  • A basic monthly income will be provided to registered adult South Africans and permanent residents. The Government will pay R790 (year 1), R1,101 (year 2), and R1,622 (year 3), with the numbers set by 2023 low, median, and high food poverty data lines, and to increase at inflation. 
  • This is expected to yield GDP growth of 2 percentage points a year.
  • The party wants to eliminate “broad reliance” on grants.
  • Increase water supply by investing in research, including affordable desalination of seawater, better infrastructure and water supply monitoring.
  • More bulk water supply storage, better water allocation, more demand reduction measures. 
  • Support wildlife conservation programmes; encourage recycling and increase environmental protection. 
  • More police and more police on the ground; more paid reservists who are better treated.
  • Make it easier to own guns legally, and more challenging to possess guns illegally. 
  • Life imprisonment means for life; better reskilling and social integration training for prisoners who do not get life sentences.
  • Expanded court capacity; enhanced powers for magistrates’ courts; specialised criminal courts. 
  • Grand corruption to be made a crime against humanity; redefine corruption; start a Chapter 9 anti-corruption institution. 
  • Vastly expand funds for the National Prosecuting Authority. 
  • Substantial attention given to drug abuse. 
  • An opportunity fund of R55,7-billion, annually capitalised by a 5% corporate tax increase (they call it a levy) over 30 years. 
  • Businesses can recoup the tax by scrapping B-BBEE legislation, which the party calculates has a compliance cost of 4-6% of turnover annually. 
  • This will be invested in an Opportunity Fund to support black, coloured, Indian and Asian South Africans who remain disadvantaged (which means it will be means-tested). 
  • A board will independently govern the fund and hold funds for entities such as the National Youth Development Agency, the NEF and SETA.
  • Allocations will be 10% to tertiary education, 30% to entrepreneurial funding, 35% to infrastructure, and 25% toward further investment. 
  • Expanded support for access to early childhood development education. 
  • No child must spend more than an hour travelling to school. 
  • A single Department of Education (there are three currently). 
  • A focus on numeracy. 
  • By 2035, 90% of learners should be able to read for meaning at ten years old.
  • Additionally, introduce a skills-based vocational stream of education after Grade 10, alongside the traditional academic stream. 
  • Food security is a vital purpose of the universal basic income proposal, calculated based on the food poverty line after the supply policy. 
  • Reduce the size of the Cabinet to about 20 ministries, remove all deputy ministers, reduce perks. Maintain the public service wage bill at 10% of GDP. The current Cabinet has 32 members and there are 38 deputy ministers. 
  • Ban cadre deployment.
  • Modernise government through the use of technology – e-government.
  • Decentralise service delivery. 
  • Action SA says foreign direct investment is necessary for growing the economy. Its international policy is guided by the need to attract investment. 
  • Fix the public healthcare system by eliminating corruption and improving management to reduce administrative costs to 10% of the total budget.
  • Invest in primary healthcare. 
  • Make medical aid more accessible, expand minimum benefits and improve oversight of price gouging.
  • Appoint more doctors, registrars, fellows and specialists. 
  • Reclaim hijacked and abandoned city buildings to be developed by the private sector as mixed-use residential and small business spaces.  
  • A focus on public housing in cities, close to job opportunities.
  • Zero-rate educational websites and job application sites for young people. 
  • Voluntary national service for young South Africans from age 18. 
  • Relax labour laws to make it easier to fire non-performing workers.
  • Reduce minimum wage laws, especially for new entrants – link this to the upper-bound poverty line. 
  • Economic reforms are calculated to have an employment stimulus impact of 4,8 million jobs by 2029.

 

  • Transfer unused arable land to emerging farmers under long-term leases, with an opportunity to buy after five years if operations are successful
  • Expand private energy production and run a liberalised energy market. 
  • Introduce microgrids – small, localised energy grids. 
  • Solar panel installation subsidies, and universal access to rooftop solar panels and solar-powered geysers. 
  • A gradual transition from a coal-fired energy system to a renewables-based infrastructure.
  • Action SA’s manifesto has a far more sensible approach to migration than its previous rabble-rousing version.
  • It condemns xenophobia, wants to make it easier to enter South Africa (SA) legally, and more difficult to do so illegally. 
  • It intends to improve easy access for critically skilled people that SA’s economy needs – social workers, teachers and healthcare workers. 
  • The manifesto says: “We want the people of the world to come to South Africa, but they must do so by following our laws.”
  • To support and enhance the existing Border Management Authority, and weed out the Home Affairs Department.
  • Simplify work visas. 
  • Improve the deportation of foreign nationals found guilty of committing crimes in SA, or of people living in SA illegally.
  • Action SA opposes the implementation of the NHI Bill in its current form. 
  • It’s a good manifesto. We like the promise to cut the Cabinet to about 20 ministries, and to scrap deputy ministers. (Can you name a single South African deputy minister? Neither can we. Ed.) 
  • Mashaba’s challenge will be to stay non-populist about migration, when he has previously made anti-foreigner jibes a leitmotif of his political journey. 
  • As the ANC’s practice in terms of its own leadership and who it appoints to govern has eschewed the principle of non-racialism, Action SA wants to fill the gap. 
  • It takes a principled position on the clear correlation between race and socio-economic standing, but stands for non-racialism as a core principle.  

Good Party: social justice, the homeless, LGBTQIA+

By Ferial Haffajee

  • A simple and well-targeted manifesto. 
  • It’s good. 
  • It’s the most overtly committed to the constitutional principle of social justice. 
  • A basic income grant of R999 per month, for people living below the poverty line.
  • It can be funded through efficiencies, restructuring government, professionalising the public service, and some tax reforms. (That probably means tax increases. Ed.) 
  • The old-age pension grant should work more like a pension fund, with funds invested in a universal pension fund.
  • The party sees climate change action as a “moral obligation”.
  • The primary way to mitigate climate change is through green energy production.
  • A focus on crime prevention.
  • Psycho-social support rather than policing for substance abuse, mental health and economic stress.
  • A “Don’t shut up, speak up” campaign for gender-based violence, to encourage and support reporting.
  • Eliminating corruption is an ethical leadership requirement. Focused on detecting and preventing corruption, because too often, it is discovered after it has been committed. 
  • Proposes multi-agency anti-corruption task teams.
  • Supports a fully transparent digital procurement task team.
  • Incentivise whistle-blowers, and better fund the National Prosecuting Authority and the Special Investigating Unit. 
  • Inclusive economic growth policies to form pathways out of poverty. 
  • Reduce income inequality between the CEO and the worker.
  • Eradicate the gender pay gap, where women earn 23%–35% less than men for the same work, according to the World Economic Forum. 
  • Cut red tape. 
  • Invest in green energy, tourism, manufacturing, ICT and infrastructure.
  • Public works programmes: cleaning river banks, parks, beaches and other recreational areas. Cleaning roads, pavements, storm water drains and culverts. Upgrade and maintain sidewalks.
  • Invest in early childhood education.
  • Complete eradication of pit toilets at schools.
  • More social services in schools for learners and educators. 
  • More vocational and artisan skills training. 
  • Food security is a vital purpose of the universal basic income proposal, calculated based on the food poverty line after the supply policy. 
  • Rethink the role and size of national and provincial government. 
  • Political leaders should not be involved in the recruitment of a professional public service. 
  • Increased public service set-asides for people living with disabilities. 
  • Support reform of the global UN Security Council, IMF and World Bank.
  • Aligned with the Global South.
  • Forthright on support for Palestine and a two-state solution.
  • Safe, happier lives for LGBTQIA+ people.
  • Anti-bullying campaign in schools. 
  • A culture of love for the community. 
  • Increase the supply of social and community housing connected to critical infrastructure with better free supplies (electricity, water, sanitation, etc.). 
  • Access to title deeds: transfer rental stock to long-term tenants; regularise the informal market in title transfers in the RDP housing market. 
  • Make urban informal settlements formal. 
  • Temporary housing for homeless people. 
  • Investing in public infrastructure (electricity, transport, water, housing, digital communication) is the basis for real economic growth… resulting in more jobs. 
  • Jobs also by providing financial support for small businesses, and investing more in public employment programmes.

 

  • A focus on spatial justice in cities. 
  • More land close to subsidised and affordable housing close to job opportunities in cities, or to bring jobs closer to people. 
  • Release public land for land reform, black empowerment, poverty alleviation and job creation.
  • Proper restitution for victims of apartheid through land or monetary compensation.
  • Actively supports renewable energy as the way to end load shedding as ”green energy is the cheapest and most effective form of energy production”. 
  • A rapid transition to renewable energy within the private sector.
  • Supports a just transition for coal industry workers and nearby communities in coal belts.
  • Integrated and affordable transport through a single local government transport authority. 
  • Integrate land use and development with public transport.
  • There is no specific section on Health or NHI. Ed.  
  • It’s a small and focused manifesto with a clear view of the world and of what the party would do. 
  • Good is unlikely to win the election, so it gives a sense of what kind of partner it would be in coalition governments. 
  • The focus on the LGBTQIA+ community is essential, and the proposal for a basic income grant is clear. 
  • A simple and well-targeted manifesto. 
  • It’s good. 
  • It’s the most overtly committed to the constitutional principle of social justice. 
  • A basic income grant of R999 per month, for people living below the poverty line.
  • It can be funded through efficiencies, restructuring government, professionalising the public service, and some tax reforms. (That probably means tax increases. Ed.) 
  • The old-age pension grant should work more like a pension fund, with funds invested in a universal pension fund.
  • The party sees climate change action as a “moral obligation”.
  • The primary way to mitigate climate change is through green energy production.
  • A focus on crime prevention.
  • Psycho-social support rather than policing for substance abuse, mental health and economic stress.
  • A “Don’t shut up, speak up” campaign for gender-based violence, to encourage and support reporting.
  • Eliminating corruption is an ethical leadership requirement. Focused on detecting and preventing corruption, because too often, it is discovered after it has been committed. 
  • Proposes multi-agency anti-corruption task teams.
  • Supports a fully transparent digital procurement task team.
  • Incentivise whistle-blowers, and better fund the National Prosecuting Authority and the Special Investigating Unit. 
  • Inclusive economic growth policies to form pathways out of poverty. 
  • Reduce income inequality between the CEO and the worker.
  • Eradicate the gender pay gap, where women earn 23%–35% less than men for the same work, according to the World Economic Forum. 
  • Cut red tape. 
  • Invest in green energy, tourism, manufacturing, ICT and infrastructure.
  • Public works programmes: cleaning river banks, parks, beaches and other recreational areas. Cleaning roads, pavements, storm water drains and culverts. Upgrade and maintain sidewalks.
  • Invest in early childhood education.
  • Complete eradication of pit toilets at schools.
  • More social services in schools for learners and educators. 
  • More vocational and artisan skills training. 
  • Food security is a vital purpose of the universal basic income proposal, calculated based on the food poverty line after the supply policy. 
  • Rethink the role and size of national and provincial government. 
  • Political leaders should not be involved in the recruitment of a professional public service. 
  • Increased public service set-asides for people living with disabilities. 
  • Support reform of the global UN Security Council, IMF and World Bank.
  • Aligned with the Global South.
  • Forthright on support for Palestine and a two-state solution.
  • Safe, happier lives for LGBTQIA+ people.
  • Anti-bullying campaign in schools. 
  • A culture of love for the community. 
  • Increase the supply of social and community housing connected to critical infrastructure with better free supplies (electricity, water, sanitation, etc.). 
  • Access to title deeds: transfer rental stock to long-term tenants; regularise the informal market in title transfers in the RDP housing market. 
  • Make urban informal settlements formal. 
  • Temporary housing for homeless people. 
  • Investing in public infrastructure (electricity, transport, water, housing, digital communication) is the basis for real economic growth… resulting in more jobs. 
  • Jobs also by providing financial support for small businesses, and investing more in public employment programmes.

  • A focus on spatial justice in cities. 
  • More land close to subsidised and affordable housing close to job opportunities in cities, or to bring jobs closer to people. 
  • Release public land for land reform, black empowerment, poverty alleviation and job creation.
  • Proper restitution for victims of apartheid through land or monetary compensation.
  • Actively supports renewable energy as the way to end load shedding as ”green energy is the cheapest and most effective form of energy production”. 
  • A rapid transition to renewable energy within the private sector.
  • Supports a just transition for coal industry workers and nearby communities in coal belts.
  • Integrated and affordable transport through a single local government transport authority. 
  • Integrate land use and development with public transport.
  • There is no specific section on Health or NHI. Ed.  
  • It’s a small and focused manifesto with a clear view of the world and of what the party would do. 
  • Good is unlikely to win the election, so it gives a sense of what kind of partner it would be in coalition governments. 
  • The focus on the LGBTQIA+ community is essential, and the proposal for a basic income grant is clear. 

Patriotic Alliance: (our) God 1st, others stay out

By Ferial Haffajee

  • PA places God first.
  • It wants a reintroduction of religious education at schools at scale, to teach the Ten Commandments.
  • This would mean an end to South Africa’s secular and multi-religious identity.
  • The PA advocates more powers (especially mining royalties) for “royal leaders” – traditional leaders.
  • It wants more state support for churches, community-based NGOs.
  • It would upgrade community halls and sports fields.
  • Its manifesto title is #AbaHambe.
  • It proposes mass deportation of people living in SA without documents; audits on all foreigners’ “papers”; SA as a destination for illegal migration should be “vastly diminished”.
  • In January 2024, the PA called for a wall on the border to keep migrants out.
  • A PA government would reintroduce conscription.
  • A PA government would reintroduce the death penalty for murder, muti killings, rape of children, and acts of corruption that can be categorised as “high treason” (based on an El Salvador model).
  • A mixed model of generation with Eskom at the centre.
  • A just transition to new forms of energy generation.
  • The PA supports fracking (mining) for natural gas and the beneficiation of commodities.
  • End use of consultants.
  • “It is now difficult to achieve even basic repairs and maintenance of government facilities without private sector contractors being paid to do the work, often for far too much money and not quickly enough.”
  • End closed shops for unions; introduce performance-based increase systems; unions should not be able to protect weak police officers and teachers, for example.
  • Cops will face random integrity tests; clamping down on confiscated firearms lost by the police service.
  • Promises of a corruption-free government.
  • Break the monopolies.
  • Support for small, medium and micro-enterprises.
  • Support agricultural value chains to attain land reform.
  • Re-think FICA legislation (anti money-laundering laws administered by the Financial Intelligence Centre, according to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act).
  • Criminalise anti-competitive conduct; blacklist companies for five years.
  • The rich must bear the brunt of taxation, but it should not be made so high that they disinvest. 
  • A manifesto that is completely counter to the key tenets of the South African Constitution. 
  • It is populist and not terribly well-considered. 
  • (Nothing. Ed.)
  • Except perhaps the focus on upgrading community halls and sports fields. These are often the only places where poor people can get Wifi, recreation and sometimes a hot meal.
  • PA places God first.
  • It wants a reintroduction of religious education at schools at scale, to teach the Ten Commandments.
  • This would mean an end to South Africa’s secular and multi-religious identity.
  • The PA advocates more powers (especially mining royalties) for “royal leaders” – traditional leaders.
  • It wants more state support for churches, community-based NGOs.
  • It would upgrade community halls and sports fields.
  • Its manifesto title is #AbaHambe.
  • It proposes mass deportation of people living in SA without documents; audits on all foreigners’ “papers”; SA as a destination for illegal migration should be “vastly diminished”.
  • In January 2024, the PA called for a wall on the border to keep migrants out.
  • A PA government would reintroduce conscription.
  • A PA government would reintroduce the death penalty for murder, muti killings, rape of children, and acts of corruption that can be categorised as “high treason” (based on an El Salvador model).
  • A mixed model of generation with Eskom at the centre.
  • A just transition to new forms of energy generation.
  • The PA supports fracking (mining) for natural gas and the beneficiation of commodities.
  • End use of consultants.
  • “It is now difficult to achieve even basic repairs and maintenance of government facilities without private sector contractors being paid to do the work, often for far too much money and not quickly enough.”
  • End closed shops for unions; introduce performance-based increase systems; unions should not be able to protect weak police officers and teachers, for example.
  • Cops will face random integrity tests; clamping down on confiscated firearms lost by the police service.
  • Promises of a corruption-free government.
  • Break the monopolies.
  • Support for small, medium and micro-enterprises.
  • Support agricultural value chains to attain land reform.
  • Re-think FICA legislation (anti money-laundering laws administered by the Financial Intelligence Centre, according to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act).
  • Criminalise anti-competitive conduct; blacklist companies for five years.
  • The rich must bear the brunt of taxation, but it should not be made so high that they disinvest. 
  • A manifesto that is completely counter to the key tenets of the South African Constitution. 
  • It is populist and not terribly well-considered. 
  • (Nothing. Ed.)
  • Except perhaps the focus on upgrading community halls and sports fields. These are often the only places where poor people can get Wifi, recreation and sometimes a hot meal.

UDM manifesto — end the coalition free-for-all and ban forced marriages

The UDM also singles out traditional leaders as deserving of special treatment and respect.

By Ferial Haffajee

  • General Bantu Holomisa is always an interesting politician, and the UDM manifesto is the work of a seasoned one;
  • Holomisa says the imperative of economic policy is stability. (Quite right – Ed.);
  • Because of his rural base there is a focus on the rights of traditional leaders, and his ideas for a land indaba are important given the stasis in South Africa’s thinking on land.
  • South Africa’s priority is to address backlogs and imbalances of the past; migration to green energy must be balanced against development goals;
  • Wants to untangle Cabinet confusion – why have a minister of electricity and also a minister of mineral resources and energy?;
  • Address sustainable harvesting and trade in hides, ivory and rhino horn.
  • Special corruption courts;
  • Name, shame and blacklist perpetrators of corruption in private and public sectors;
  • Create a civil order system;
  • Enhance communication across justice ministries, police, correctional services, defence and national intelligence;
  • Focus on “destroying” crime syndicates by breaking up their power bases;
  • Give adequate resources to neighbourhood watches;
  • Get the military involved in disaster relief; become better equipped for counterinsurgency work and peacekeeping;
  • Ban the practice of ukuthwala, or forced marriages.
  • Don’t fund government operations through debt;
  • Stop chopping and changing economic policy – it has “muddled” South Africa’s economic prospects. The UDM says shifts from the Reconstruction and Development Programme to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution framework, then the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (An accelerated growth path plan – Ed) and the National Development Plan 2030 have been confusing. (Phew, we agree – Ed.);
  • Maintain stability and predictability;
  • Use the Public Investment Corporation and Industrial Development Corporation to drive growth, not elite wealth creation and corruption;
  • Enterprise- or entrepreneurship-led growth support by the state through local stock exchanges, community development banks and localised venture capital markets;
  • Infrastructure-led growth model;
  • Local government support for small traders and hawkers;
  • Encourage partnerships between locals and migrants for skills transfer in salons and barber shops.
  • Reintroduce school inspectors; reopen vocational training colleges; reopen teachers’ and nursing training colleges;
  • Support fee-free tertiary education.
  • Must be subservient to the national interest of South Africa;
  • Be independent; retain the moral high ground in international conflict resolution;
  • Advance African initiatives.
  • Restore the powers of accounting officers so politicians do not usurp it;
  • Reduce reliance on consultants;
  • Review civil servants’ promotion and salary packages;
  • Measure each department by services delivered and the differences made to somebody’s quality of life (rather than by strategy documents);
  • Demand neatness and etiquette in civil service;
  • Start a national campaign to support people living with albinism to end stigma and victimisation;
  • Support and commit to a hybrid electoral system of proportional representation (PR) and a constituency-based system; PR system should include geographically defined areas.
  •  
  • Focus on healthcare infrastructure and the subpar state of clinics;
  • Regulate traditional healing and healers;
  • Focus on substance abuse.
  •  
  • A massive Marshall Plan for the economy through public employment and public works, focused on textiles and steel manufacturing.
  •  
  • A proposed economic indaba (focused on land) does not favour “free-for-all land grabs and evictions”;
  • This indaba should determine who will be affected and how; what will impact food security and economic stability; options for rapid urbanisation; the implications of urban land sales to foreigners; how to speed up title deed transfers.
  •  
  • Legal migrants advance enterprise development and growth; illegal migration does not;
  • Reserve certain jobs and occupations for locals only – in markets and spaza shops, petty trading and hawking; taxi and car hire services with fleets of 25 vehicles or fewer; basic stationery production; pharmaceutical retail.
  • A slow transition to renewable energy forms balanced against the needs of workers and South Africa’s development;
  • End Eskom’s monopoly by selling 49% of its equity to private sector expertise in a public-private partnership model.
  •  
  • Consider how to imbue tremendous respect and authority for traditional leaders;
  • They have been belittled and undermined;
  • Revisiting that “for millions of South Africans, traditional leaders are authority figures, undisputed leaders and decision-makers, and custodians of culture, traditions and values. They are the closest form of government that many of our people know.”
  •  
  • Explore the feasibility of an intercity high-speed rail system.
  • It’s a clear and reasonable manifesto from a seasoned political leader;
  • Holomisa acknowledges that the UDM is likely to be a coalition partner and sets out the basis for what makes good coalitions;
  • He says coalition compacts should be public documents, and this form of government should be regulated and have measurable standards, rather than the “free-for-all” it is now.
  •  
  • The manifesto says: “Coalition government should be regulated so that the principle of serving the people is not suppressed by wanton political intimidation and playing the numbers game that typifies the present local government dispensation;
  • For the first time, a political leader promises to ban ukuthwala;
  • The focus on the rights of and support for people living with albinism is important. DM
  • General Bantu Holomisa is always an interesting politician, and the UDM manifesto is the work of a seasoned one;
  • Holomisa says the imperative of economic policy is stability. (Quite right – Ed.);
  • Because of his rural base there is a focus on the rights of traditional leaders, and his ideas for a land indaba are important given the stasis in South Africa’s thinking on land.
  • South Africa’s priority is to address backlogs and imbalances of the past; migration to green energy must be balanced against development goals;
  • Wants to untangle Cabinet confusion – why have a minister of electricity and also a minister of mineral resources and energy?;
  • Address sustainable harvesting and trade in hides, ivory and rhino horn.
  • Special corruption courts;
  • Name, shame and blacklist perpetrators of corruption in private and public sectors;
  • Create a civil order system;
  • Enhance communication across justice ministries, police, correctional services, defence and national intelligence;
  • Focus on “destroying” crime syndicates by breaking up their power bases;
  • Give adequate resources to neighbourhood watches;
  • Get the military involved in disaster relief; become better equipped for counterinsurgency work and peacekeeping;
  • Ban the practice of ukuthwala, or forced marriages.
  • Don’t fund government operations through debt;
  • Stop chopping and changing economic policy – it has “muddled” South Africa’s economic prospects. The UDM says shifts from the Reconstruction and Development Programme to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution framework, then the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (An accelerated growth path plan – Ed) and the National Development Plan 2030 have been confusing. (Phew, we agree – Ed.);
  • Maintain stability and predictability;
  • Use the Public Investment Corporation and Industrial Development Corporation to drive growth, not elite wealth creation and corruption;
  • Enterprise- or entrepreneurship-led growth support by the state through local stock exchanges, community development banks and localised venture capital markets;
  • Infrastructure-led growth model;
  • Local government support for small traders and hawkers;
  • Encourage partnerships between locals and migrants for skills transfer in salons and barber shops.
  • Reintroduce school inspectors; reopen vocational training colleges; reopen teachers’ and nursing training colleges;
  • Support fee-free tertiary education.
  • Must be subservient to the national interest of South Africa;
  • Be independent; retain the moral high ground in international conflict resolution;
  • Advance African initiatives.
  • Restore the powers of accounting officers so politicians do not usurp it;
  • Reduce reliance on consultants;
  • Review civil servants’ promotion and salary packages;
  • Measure each department by services delivered and the differences made to somebody’s quality of life (rather than by strategy documents);
  • Demand neatness and etiquette in civil service;
  • Start a national campaign to support people living with albinism to end stigma and victimisation;
  • Support and commit to a hybrid electoral system of proportional representation (PR) and a constituency-based system; PR system should include geographically defined areas.
  •  
  • Focus on healthcare infrastructure and the subpar state of clinics;
  • Regulate traditional healing and healers;
  • Focus on substance abuse.
  •  
  • A massive Marshall Plan for the economy through public employment and public works, focused on textiles and steel manufacturing.
  •  
  • A proposed economic indaba (focused on land) does not favour “free-for-all land grabs and evictions”;
  • This indaba should determine who will be affected and how; what will impact food security and economic stability; options for rapid urbanisation; the implications of urban land sales to foreigners; how to speed up title deed transfers.
  •  
  • Legal migrants advance enterprise development and growth; illegal migration does not;
  • Reserve certain jobs and occupations for locals only – in markets and spaza shops, petty trading and hawking; taxi and car hire services with fleets of 25 vehicles or fewer; basic stationery production; pharmaceutical retail.
  • A slow transition to renewable energy forms balanced against the needs of workers and South Africa’s development;
  • End Eskom’s monopoly by selling 49% of its equity to private sector expertise in a public-private partnership model.
  •  
  • Consider how to imbue tremendous respect and authority for traditional leaders;
  • They have been belittled and undermined;
  • Revisiting that “for millions of South Africans, traditional leaders are authority figures, undisputed leaders and decision-makers, and custodians of culture, traditions and values. They are the closest form of government that many of our people know.”
  •  
  • Explore the feasibility of an intercity high-speed rail system.
  • It’s a clear and reasonable manifesto from a seasoned political leader;
  • Holomisa acknowledges that the UDM is likely to be a coalition partner and sets out the basis for what makes good coalitions;
  • He says coalition compacts should be public documents, and this form of government should be regulated and have measurable standards, rather than the “free-for-all” it is now.
  •  
  • The manifesto says: “Coalition government should be regulated so that the principle of serving the people is not suppressed by wanton political intimidation and playing the numbers game that typifies the present local government dispensation;
  • For the first time, a political leader promises to ban ukuthwala;
  • The focus on the rights of and support for people living with albinism is important. DM
  •  

MK manifesto – nationalise everything, blame whites, scrap the Constitution

By Ferial Haffajee

  • MK party is South Africa’s fastest growing start-up party, and is led by former President Jacob Zuma. 
  • Its manifesto is a mix of radical socialist policies and conservative ones, in the power it would distribute to traditional leaders in control of land, local government and in the health sphere. 
  • It revisits many of the ideas surfaced during the height of State Capture, including a commitment to fossil fuel-based energy, to state control of key sectors of the economy. 
  • The MK party proposes reversing reforms of the ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa, including reintroducing the cap on privately produced energy (this has eased the intensity of load shedding in 2024) and Transnet reforms (which has eased port congestion, and therefore exports).  
  • It proposes scrapping the “liberal” 1996 Constitution by holding a referendum, and replacing it with a system of parliamentary sovereignty.
  • Hire more cops. 
  • Hold a referendum on the death penalty. (Quite a few manifestos offer this. Ed.)
  • Resource forensics laboratories. (Another hardy annual of the former Zuma administration. Ed.
  • 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 😉
  • Review the integration process that led to the establishment of the SANDF.
  • Give lots of moola to military veterans.
  •  
  • Nationalise the SA Reserve Bank; separate the Prudential Authority from the SARB to minimise conflicts of interest.  
  • Establish a network of state-owned banks. (Another hardy annual. Ed.) And nationalise all large banks and insurance companies.
  • More support for small, medium and micro enterprises – reorient away from traditional industry and mining. 
  • Rewrite prudential, fiscal and monetary policies. 
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund. (Another hardy annual that failed because the Zuma administration wiped out the surplus it inherited. Ed.
  • Revamp social security to implement a compulsory pension and housing fund, modelled on Singapore’s Central Provident Fund Board, for all employed workers – to increase investment to 30% of GDP. 
  • Eliminate the need for Foreign Direct Investment in the resources sector.
  • Remove all negative Credit Bureau records resulting from unsecured/parasitic lending. 
  • Reverse the privatisation of the Durban container terminal; bring Richards Bay coal terminal under 100% Transnet state ownership. 
  • Scrap and replace the National Rail Policy, which favours private capital at the expense of the state.
  • Fee-free education, from pre-school to post-grad.
  • School feeding schemes at all schools and early learning centres, serving breakfast, lunch and an after-school meal.
  • Review the critical skills list, the role of sectoral training authorities (SETAs), and develop a human resource development strategy.
  • Permanent jobs for all capable and willing workers at a minimum wage of R4,500/month, with the state offering employment to anybody able to work, plus skills and training. (Presumably those are also funded by the state? Ed.
  • Reintroduce the cap on privately produced energy. (The one that has resulted in less intense load shedding. Ed.)
  • Review and repeal the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme. 
  • Review and repeal the unbundling of Eskom (into its constituent transmission, generation and distribution parts).
  • Reverse and rescind the Un-Just Transition from coal, to instead benefit Eskom initiatives. 
  • Rebuild oil refining capacity, and design local refineries to fit specs of oil from African countries.
  • Withdraw from the International Criminal Court. 
  • Support an Africa-first global policy; support regional development.
  • Work more with BRICS countries; review SA’s “inequitable finance relationships with the West”.
  • Love 🥰 Russia.
  • Support Cuba and Palestine.
  •  
  • MK says the “Constitution of SA is colonial, founded on Roman-Dutch law, with very little influence of African jurisprudence”.
    The party plans to “hold a referendum to scrap the 1996 Constitution, and to replace with a parliamentary system with or without a codified Constitution”.
    It would establish a “lower house of elected representatives, and an upper house of indigenous kings and queens as well as other traditional leaders”.
    Other plans: to overhaul the system of constitutional supremacy with parliamentary sovereignty; 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.
  • Establish a state-owned pharma company. (A hardy annual of the Zuma presidency – never achieved. Ed.
  • Support medical pluralism so people can access alternative and traditional healthcare in public/private facilities. 
  • Ensure that healthcare facilities are open 24/7, with adequate ambulances.
  •  
  • Establish a state construction company to build massive housing schemes, where private capital is involved. 
  •  
  • Ensure that the Prudential Authority oversees banks to ensure they do not arbitrarily close bank accounts of citizens critical of the state. (The former President had his own banks 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.
  • Use successful land reform models of China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam for land distribution.
  • 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 through eliminating corruption and updating infrastructure. (Another hardy annual of the Zuma era. Home Affairs allowed the Gupta family to gain citizenship, and to slip in and out of the country. Ed. #justsaying)
  • Nationalise all water, spectrum and renewal energy resources.
  • Nationalise strategic mining companies into an African Exploration Mining Finance Corporation.
  • Nationalise all large banks and insurance companies to “break the power of private monopoly finance”.
  • Nationalise Sasol.
    Re-nationalise Arcelor-Mittal.
  • Force relisting of major South African companies on the JSE.
  • Review Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act so that South African savings are used to finance national development.
  • Set targets for lending to black people, women, military veterans and youth-owned companies in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • Subsidise taxis; integrate public transport. (Another 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 former President Zuma. Ed.)
  • Develop a high-speed rail network with Johannesburg-Durban, Johannesburg-Musina, Durban-Eastern Cape and the Moloto rail corridor as first links.
  • Here are three quotes from the MK manifesto. 
  • (MK’s manifesto is really mean to white people; it is a million miles from the Constitution, which declares South Africa to be a land belonging to all who live in it. Ed.

  •  “Compounding these issues is a liberal Constitution that constrains the political influence of the majority.”

  • “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.
  • (We’re f***ed if this gets implemented. There’s no polite way to say this. Ed.)
  • 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 former President Jacob Zuma. They were a disaster, often referred to as South Africa’s lost decade.
  • Also, a Commission of Inquiry headed by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo found that Zuma was the lynchpin of State Capture.
  • MK party is South Africa’s fastest growing start-up party, and is led by former President Jacob Zuma. 
  • Its manifesto is a mix of radical socialist policies and conservative ones, in the power it would distribute to traditional leaders in control of land, local government and in the health sphere. 
  • It revisits many of the ideas surfaced during the height of State Capture, including a commitment to fossil fuel-based energy, to state control of key sectors of the economy. 
  • The MK party proposes reversing reforms of the ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa, including reintroducing the cap on privately produced energy (this has eased the intensity of load shedding in 2024) and Transnet reforms (which has eased port congestion, and therefore exports).  
  • It proposes scrapping the “liberal” 1996 Constitution by holding a referendum, and replacing it with a system of parliamentary sovereignty.
  • Hire more cops. 
  • Hold a referendum on the death penalty. (Quite a few manifestos offer this. Ed.)
  • Resource forensics laboratories. (Another hardy annual of the former Zuma administration. Ed.
  • 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 😉
  • Review the integration process that led to the establishment of the SANDF.
  • Give lots of moola to military veterans.
  •  
  • Nationalise the SA Reserve Bank; separate the Prudential Authority from the SARB to minimise conflicts of interest.  
  • Establish a network of state-owned banks. (Another hardy annual. Ed.) And nationalise all large banks and insurance companies.
  • More support for small, medium and micro enterprises – reorient away from traditional industry and mining. 
  • Rewrite prudential, fiscal and monetary policies. 
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund. (Another hardy annual that failed because the Zuma administration wiped out the surplus it inherited. Ed.
  • Revamp social security to implement a compulsory pension and housing fund, modelled on Singapore’s Central Provident Fund Board, for all employed workers – to increase investment to 30% of GDP. 
  • Eliminate the need for Foreign Direct Investment in the resources sector.
  • Remove all negative Credit Bureau records resulting from unsecured/parasitic lending. 
  • Reverse the privatisation of the Durban container terminal; bring Richards Bay coal terminal under 100% Transnet state ownership. 
  • Scrap and replace the National Rail Policy, which favours private capital at the expense of the state.
  •  
  • Fee-free education, from pre-school to post-grad.
  • School feeding schemes at all schools and early learning centres, serving breakfast, lunch and an after-school meal.
  • Review the critical skills list, the role of sectoral training authorities (SETAs), and develop a human resource development strategy.
  •  
  • Permanent jobs for all capable and willing workers at a minimum wage of R4,500/month, with the state offering employment to anybody able to work, plus skills and training. (Presumably those are also funded by the state? Ed.
  • Reintroduce the cap on privately produced energy. (The one that has resulted in less intense load shedding. Ed.)
  • Review and repeal the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme. 
  • Review and repeal the unbundling of Eskom (into its constituent transmission, generation and distribution parts).
  • Reverse and rescind the Un-Just Transition from coal, to instead benefit Eskom initiatives. 
  • Rebuild oil refining capacity, and design local refineries to fit specs of oil from African countries.
  •  
  • Withdraw from the International Criminal Court. 
  • Support an Africa-first global policy; support regional development.
  • Work more with BRICS countries; review SA’s “inequitable finance relationships with the West”.
  • Love 🥰 Russia.
  • Support Cuba and Palestine.
  •  
  • MK says the “Constitution of SA is colonial, founded on Roman-Dutch law, with very little influence of African jurisprudence”.
    The party plans to “hold a referendum to scrap the 1996 Constitution, and to replace with a parliamentary system with or without a codified Constitution”.
    It would establish a “lower house of elected representatives, and an upper house of indigenous kings and queens as well as other traditional leaders”.
    Other plans: to overhaul the system of constitutional supremacy with parliamentary sovereignty; 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.
  • Establish a state-owned pharma company. (A hardy annual of the Zuma presidency – never achieved. Ed.
  • Support medical pluralism so people can access alternative and traditional healthcare in public/private facilities. 
  • Ensure that healthcare facilities are open 24/7, with adequate ambulances.
  •  
  • Establish a state construction company to build massive housing schemes, where private capital is involved. 
  •  
  • Ensure that the Prudential Authority oversees banks to ensure they do not arbitrarily close bank accounts of citizens critical of the state. (The former President had his own banks 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.
  • Use successful land reform models of China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam for land distribution.
  • 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 through eliminating corruption and updating infrastructure. (Another hardy annual of the Zuma era. Home Affairs allowed the Gupta family to gain citizenship, and to slip in and out of the country. Ed. #justsaying)
  • Nationalise all water, spectrum and renewal energy resources.
  • Nationalise strategic mining companies into an African Exploration Mining Finance Corporation.
  • Nationalise all large banks and insurance companies to “break the power of private monopoly finance”.
  • Nationalise Sasol.
  • Re-nationalise Arcelor-Mittal.
  • Force relisting of major South African companies on the JSE.
  • Review Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act so that South African savings are used to finance national development.
  • Set targets for lending to black people, women, military veterans and youth-owned companies in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • Subsidise taxis; integrate public transport. (Another 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 former President Zuma. Ed.)
  • Develop a high-speed rail network with Johannesburg-Durban, Johannesburg-Musina, Durban-Eastern Cape and the Moloto rail corridor as first links.
  • Here are three quotes from the MK manifesto. 
  • (MK’s manifesto is really mean to white people; it is a million miles from the Constitution, which declares South Africa to be a land belonging to all who live in it. Ed.

  •  “Compounding these issues is a liberal Constitution that constrains the political influence of the majority.”

  • “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.
  • (We’re f***ed if this gets implemented. There’s no polite way to say this. Ed.)
  • 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 former President Jacob Zuma. They were a disaster, often referred to as South Africa’s lost decade.
  • Also, a Commission of Inquiry headed by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo found that Zuma was the lynchpin of State Capture.

Mmusi Maimane’s Bosa: a job in every home

By Ferial Haffajee

  • Build One South Africa Movement (Bosa) is co-founded by Mmusi Maimane and Nobuntu Hlazo-Webster. 
  • Its manifesto is built around employment (It’s called “The Jobs Plan”. Ed.) and nearly every aspect turns to how it will support jobs and people’s ability to get them. In that, it’s really clever. 
  • Its manifesto says: “We cannot be a government-in-waiting. We aim to be a government-in-working.”
  1. Quality infrastructure for competitiveness:
    Ensuring that essential infrastructure, such as rail and ports used for international trade, meet high standards and function reliably. 
    It’s crucial for maintaining and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of these sectors.
  2. R&D for innovation:
    Investing in research and development to foster innovation within these sectors.
    This can lead to the creation of new products, services and processes that drive economic growth and job creation.
  3. Skilled labour and streamlined immigration:
    Streamlining immigration laws to facilitate easier access to skilled labour from abroad when local talent is insufficient.
  4. Regulatory support:
    Addressing regulatory and institutional deficiencies that may hinder economic growth, especially in what it calls advanced sectors such as digital infrastructure.
  5. Collaboration with education institutions
    Collaborating with private and NGO sectors to fund education and training for students, ensuring that they are equipped to join these sectors and to contribute effectively.
  1. Grow an inclusive economy: Bosa emphasises the importance of growing the South African economy by stimulating various sectors, addressing the structural challenges that have led to high unemployment rates, and creating an inclusive economy that offers
  2. Education and skills: By reforming the education system and aligning it with the needs of the modern job market, Bosa aims to ensure that citizens are well equipped with the necessary skills.
    This includes vocational training and tertiary education that is relevant to emerging industries.
    Bosa would drop the 30% pass mark.
  3. Create safe environments: Recognising that economic activities thrive in safe environments, Bosa plans to reduce crime and improve public safety.
    This will make communities more attractive for business investments and job creation.
    Bosa advocates recruiting and training 120,000 more police officers.
  4. Support entrepreneurs and SMMEs: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises are often significant job creators.
    Bosa plans to support these enterprises through better access to financing and mentorship programs, and by integrating them into larger supply chains.
  5. Incentivise industries: The plan includes creating special economic zones in townships and elsewhere, providing tax incentives, and offering support for industries that have high job creation potential.
    This could attract more businesses to set up operations in South Africa (SA), thereby creating more jobs.
  6. Modernise Public Services: By making the state more capable and services more efficient, Bosa aims to create a conducive environment for economic growth and job creation.
  7. Legislative and regulatory reforms: Bosa intends to tackle red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that often hinder business and job growth, aiming to make SA a more business-friendly environment.
    It supports the direct election of public representatives, the reduction of the Cabinet size and removing of all deputy ministers.
  8. National and local economic strategies: Tailored strategies to stimulate local economies, especially in underdeveloped and rural areas, to ensure that job creation is spread evenly across SA.
    Bosa is firmly focused on growing township economies. opportunities for all citizens.
  • It’s a solid and well-crafted manifesto, cleverly pivoting on employment.
    Bosa has a very impressive leadership team, but it’s unlikely to get enough votes to form a government.
  • If Bosa goes into a coalition, its top leaders such as Maimane, Hlazo-Webster, Mkhuseli Jack, Ayanda Allie and Kathy Berman would enrich a national or provincial cabinet with style.
    (If they all get into Parliament, their voices and stance on employment would be a welcome focus. Ed.)

ACDP manifesto: religion, sex ed and more

By Ferial Haffajee