Unveiling the party’s election manifesto, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has outlined its vision for what South Africa would look like under its government.
The party, which launched its manifesto at Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, has placed jobs, basic services and the fight against corruption at the top of its agenda.
The manifesto, which had the look and feel of a corporation’s annual report, set out how the DA would bring change to the lives of South Africans, focusing attention on a bid to create jobs, to eradicate the “sex for jobs and bribes for jobs” phenomenons, as well as to reposition the party’s view on economic empowerment.
The issue, which has made headlines in 2018 after party members differed publicly on triple-BEE, was ironed out, with the DA saying it wants a “simplified” version that will measure “real” empowerment.
‘Bottom-up’ approach to BEE
The DA proposed a more bottom-up approach, which would focus on education and skills, while rapidly increasing employment and equity schemes.
“Our approach would see the current B-BBEE scorecard vastly simplified with the inclusion of timeframes for initiatives in the scorecards,” said the party in its manifesto.
The DA’s new scorecard would channel efforts of the private sector into investing in its bottom-up approach by focusing on; awarding significant weight to Employee Share Ownership Schemes, recognising all spending on growing the education, skills and expertise of workforces, rewarding companies for growing their workforce and to reward companies that develop new black entrepreneurs.
Party leader Mmusi Maimane described their manifesto as one of “change”.
“I have spoken to more and more people who tell me the same story. They’ve been forced to accept the hard truth that things will not change in our country under this government, because the ANC will not change.”
One year national civilian service
The DA also announced plans to introduce a voluntary national civilian service year should it come into power. This is as part of the party’s economic growth and jobs programme, where it wants young South Africans who cannot gain access to tertiary education to provide a service to the country or their communities.
“These will be in an area of the public sector where there is a clearly defined need (such as the police force, education and healthcare),” said the party in its manifesto.
The party said the opportunity would provide a springboard for further opportunities in the beneficiary’s chosen sector.
The DA has often criticised the ANC government on failing to secure South Africa’s borders, where it claims there is a complete lack of security and lawful migration.
The party argues that the state of the Home Affairs Department is appalling and riddled with corruption and disorganization, and has caused an immigration system failure, followed by violence and tragedy.
“This state of affairs is not what we were promised, and it is not what our residents, South Africans and foreign alike deserve,” cites the party in its election offering.
Land reform, retraining of police officers
It also suggests the need for a complete overhaul of the South Africa Police Service and says there is a “strong need” to retraining existing police officers.
“We will ensure that high crime areas are prioritised in terms of police resourcing and equipment and that police have the right firearms, vehicles and other equipment or tools needed to prevent and combat crime,” continues to read the promise paper.
The DA has been steadfast when it comes to the issue of land, criticising those calling for the expropriation of land without compensation.
Maimane said that his government will ensure a “successful programme of land reform by prioritising it in the budget and cutting back on unnecessary spending”.
“We will work with all stakeholders, including traditional leaders and communities, to give title deeds to those who currently live on communal land,” he said.
The DA leader promised state-owned land that isn’t used in his government, will be released and divided for land reform and housing needs.
“We have prioritised urban land reform by creating titled homeowners out of nearly 100 000 housing beneficiaries”.
The party’s manifesto launch was attended by nearly 20 000 supporters, all draped in blue around Rand Stadium. — News24