For those South Africans abroad who are eager to vote, but who may not have heard about or read the ANC’s 2014 Manifesto, here’s a quick guide to the main points you may have missed when it was launched last week.
The Manifesto is dedicated to ANC co-founder and former President Nelson Mandela, Tata Madiba – “one of the greatest leaders ever produced by our people” and calls on South Africans to re-double our efforts to realise his vision” for a “better life for all, for a better Africa and a better world”.
President Jacob Zuma leads the Manifesto with a letter that reminds South Africans “it has been 20 years of freedom and democracy” and “the lives of our people have vastly improved and South Africa is a much better place than it was before 1994.”
The letter states that “over the last five years, the ANC has worked together with all South Africans to do more to fight poverty and unemployment and reduce inequality. Despite the negative global economic situation, we have built on the social gains achieved since 1994.”
The Manifesto acknowledges that the challenges facing SA are still immense, and that “bold and decisive steps” are required to place the economy on a different path. To this end the National Development Plan (NDP) aims to eradicate poverty, increase employment, create sustainable livelihoods and reduce inequality by 2030.
The Last Five Years (according to the Manifesto):
- The economy regained the one million jobs lost as a result of the 2008 global economic crisis. Employment is now higher than it has ever been.
- More than R1 trillion has been invested in national infrastructure projects, compared with R451 billion in the previous five years.
- The proportion of adults with access to banking services grew from 60% in 2009 to 75% in 2013.
- Nearly 500 informal settlements have been replaced with quality housing and basic services.
- The matric pass rate increased from 60.6% in 2009 to 78.2% in 2013.
- FET enrolments doubled from 345,566 in 2010 to 657,690 students in 2012.
- Loans and bursaries to poor students grew from 2.3 billion in 2008 to 8 billion in 2013.
- Over seven million learners are in no fee schools, up from five million in 2009.
- Teacher education has expanded – the number of new teacher graduates doubled from 6,000 in 2009 to 13,000 in 2012.
- Through the ‘prevention of mother to child transmission’ programme, the number of babies born HIV positive was reduced by 66% from 24,000 in 2008 to 8,200 in 2011.
- Average life expectancy increased by 4 more years to 60 years in 2012.
Over the Next Five Years, the ANC will (according to the Manifesto):
- Build an inclusive economy that creates jobs – including creating six million work opportunities by 2019 through consolidating the public works programme; and to “strengthen measures to speed up employment equity.”
- Transform rural areas
- Ensure decent living conditions and sustainable human settlements
- Improve and expand education and training
- Ensure quality health care for all – which includes a National Insurance Plan.
- Expand comprehensive social security
- Fight corruption and crime:
- Intensify the fight against corruption in both the public and private sectors through measures to restrict public servants from doing business and holding public officials individually liable for losses arising from corrupt actions. The ANC says it will pursue action against companies involved in bid rigging, price fixing and corruption in past and current infrastructure build programmes.
- Require any ANC member or ANC public representative found guilty before a court of law to step down from any leadership positions in the ANC, government and society.
- Build a united nation and promote social cohesion
The ANC’s Pledge
The ANC pledge to move South Africa forward, together with the people of South Africa who each have a role to play from the communities, to workers to the private sector.
Amongst the ANC’s listed pledges are the pledge to “remain true to our values of courage, service, self-sacrifice, human solidarity, integrity, humility, honesty, hard-work, self-discipline and mutual respect” and to “act against ANC members and ANC elected representatives found guilty in a court of law.”
To read more, please click below to read the PDF versions of the Manifesto (Adobe Reader required):