Equal opportunites for all, says new party

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SAPA

Mosotho Motau, leader of new political party, the Republican Democrats, is seen at a news conference in Pretoria. The change the country had seen had not been positive change, Motau said. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Pretoria - A new political party, the Republican Democrats, believes in equal opportunity for all and individual empowerment, its leader Mosotho Motau said on Friday.

 "We aspire to be the vehicle of change of politics in South Africa," he told reporters in Akasia, north of Pretoria.

"We believe that since we were liberated in 1994... much has been done and much has not been done."

The change the country had seen had not been positive, Motau said.

The party describes itself a libertarian socialist organisation and officially registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in November last year.

However, Motau said the RD started work in November 2011.

He said the meaning of the party's name derived from two factors.

"One is that we are citizens of the republic, and two is from us being beneficiaries of democracy."

Motau said the party had no links with politics in the United States.

The RD believed in individual empowerment and in compensating its volunteers. The joining fee was R15 and for every member a volunteer signed up they would get R5.

Motau could not give an exact figure of how many members the RD had but said a December audit showed the party had almost 10 000 members.

The RD would contest the 2014 elections with the goal of winning, he said.

The party held a policy conference in December last year where it identified seven key focus areas: education, health, the economy, land reform, housing, crime and the justice system, and agriculture.

"South Africa faces immense problems owing to our history," said Motau.

The RD believed the standard of education in the country had reached an all-time low. It wanted a single education system and would abolish private schooling. Basic education needed to be free.

It believed teachers' salaries should be increased by 100 percent.

The RD wanted a single healthcare system with every clinic in the country running 24 hours a day. Each clinic would have a health centre governing body which would act as a watchdog.

Motau said the RD believed economic freedom was in place, but there was still a need for equal economic opportunities.

There should be economic growth so that all citizens benefited. Mines and large corporations should pay 35 percent of their profits to the state.

The RD wanted government to be the custodian of all land, which it would expropriate with compensation.

The party wanted increased police visibility as it believed this would reduce crime, and wanted to promote participation in agriculture.

 

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