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12 Jan 2019 13:52
The governing party launched its 2019 election manifesto in Durban on Saturday. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)
President Cyril Ramaphosa has launched the ANC’s manifesto for the May national and provincial elections with a promise to create a more inclusive economy, ending barriers to young people, women and rural communities.
Ramaphosa promised that the governing party would, once re-elected, focus on breaking up monopolies and focusing government procurement to ensure that new businesses entered the market and thrived.
Titled “Let’s Grow South Africa Together”, the 68-page manifesto focuses on the areas of advancing social transformation; building safer communities; fighting corruption and promoting integrity; strengthening governance and public institutions; building national unity and embracing diversity and South Africa’s role in Africa and the world.
Addressing an overflowing Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Ramaphosa said the manifesto outlined the governing party’s plan to accelerate land reform, using a “range of complementary measures” including the expropriation of land without compensation.
Ramaphosa also promised a shake-up of service delivery, saying, “We are building a developmental state that puts people first and has dedicated public servants who work diligently.”
Ramaphosa said while many public servants did their jobs properly, others were “indifferent to the needs and concerns of citizens”, leading to a deterioration in service delivery.
“This will change. We want civil servants who are committed to serving the people of South Africa and not themselves,” he added.
Ramaphosa further added that government would crack down on civil servants doing business with the state.
“Don’t mix doing business with serving the people of our country.
We are warning that there will be considerable consequences for those who do not comply,” he said.
Ramaphosa said government would ensure that those responsible for stealing public resources and, in the process, depriving South Africans of opportunities, were brought to book.
The manifesto undertakes to “put an end to state capture” and to strengthen state institutions to ensure that stolen money was repatriated from abroad and from tax havens.
It also undertakes to act against private companies involved in tax avoidance and illicit activities; to implement lifestyle audits for public servants; develop a more transparent tender system and build a social compact around anti-corruption with the public.
“After a period of doubt and uncertainty we have arrived at a moment of hope and renewal,’’ Ramaphosa said.
The party would ensure that “deviant practices” including factionalism, gatekeeping and patronage were halted and would, with civil society, act against corruption.
Ramaphosa promised an improvement in police training and numbers, saying government would focus on reducing both gangsterism and political killings in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere.
He also committed to ensuring the criminal justice system dealt more effectively with violence against women.
The ANC in government would improve border control and work with neighbouring countries to ensure better managed migration to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into South Africa.
Ramaphosa said the manifesto provided an “opportunity to restore our democratic institutions and to return our country to a path of transformation and development.”
Ramaphosa said the “centre” of the manifesto was a plan to create “many more” jobs.
An infrastructure roll out would take place in rural communities and other areas with a backlog in services and resources through a transformation fund, with both government and the private sector increasing their investment in infrastructure, he said.
Ramaphosa promised to open up markets for emerging companies and include more women, rural people and the youth in economic activity by ending monopolies.
“This is a manifesto for an inclusive economy,” he said.
Government would ensure that its plan to channel 30% of its procurement spending on emerging companies was implemented.
The start of the official programme at the launch was delayed for several hours by heavy winds which toppled a stage in the overflow area outside the stadium, prompting safety officials to hold back the commencement of events.
As a result, performers had to entertain the audience, who packed the stadium to capacity and spilled over onto the field and the external overflow area, from the field.
Ramaphosa received a rousing welcome, putting to an end concerns that he would be booed by disgruntled supporters of Zuma.
The former president, who greeted Ramaphosa with a grin and a hug on his arrival, was also cheered wildly by the audience when he walked onto the field a few minutes before Ramaphosa.
The governing party, whose leadership spent the week ahead of the manifesto rally mobilising supporters in the province to fill up the stadium, will be well please with today’s massive show of strength and unity.
They will also be reassured at the failure of anti-Ramaphosa elements in the province to make moves to embarrass him at the rally and at earlier event he addressed around KwaZulu-Natal.
Welcoming Ramaphosa, ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala said the campaign building up to the manifesto launch had assisted in building unity in the province, which was committed to an ANC victory in the May poll.
In his address, Ramaphosa greeted Zuma by name, sparking a roar of applause from the audience, some of whom also shouted the former president’s name. He also paid tribute to the ANC in the province, and Zikalala, for their efforts in organising so well-attended an event.
Read the ANC’s manifesto below:
ANC Manifesto 2019 by on Scribd
Read more from Paddy Harper
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