Durban - ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has vowed to boost South Africa’s struggling economy, tackle illegal businesses in townships, increase the number of police on the street, give prosecutors more bite and fight the scourge of drugs in communities across the country.
These were among the main promises to emerge from the ANC’s election manifesto and January 8 statement at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Here are the 7 key promises Ramaphosa made to the electorate:
The ANC plans to turn around the economy by raising R1.2 trillion in new investments over five years.
Ramaphosa said they will proceed with the establishment of an Infrastructure Fund, in which we will pool government’s infrastructure budget and use it to raise additional funds from other public and private sources to build roads, rail lines, broadband networks, hospitals, schools, dams and other infrastructure vital for a growing economy.
“We will open up markets for new, emerging companies by ending monopolies and behaviour that stifles competition,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the manifesto has a specific focus on the economies of townships and villages.
He said townships and villages remain dormitories for most people, who are far from economic opportunities and often without adequate social amenities and the plan is to
"The most pressing task for our country at this moment in our history is therefore to set the economy on a higher path of shared growth and to transform the structure of our economy to provide opportunities for all South Africans." - President @CyrilRamaphosa. #PeoplesManifestopic.twitter.com/2IjviLXNED
encourage the growth of enterprises in these areas through a dedicated fund that supports the development of industrial parks, business centres and incubation centres.
In addition, Ramaphosa they will step up enforcement of measures to prevent illegal trading and selling of counterfeit and unsafe products.
Ramaphosa said land reform will be accelerated and the government will make use of a range of complementary measures, “including, where appropriate, expropriation without compensation”.
From its formation, the African National Congress has fought to undo a grave historical injustice and give effect to the injunction in the Freedom Charter that the land shall be shared among those who work it. #ThumaMina#PeoplesManifesto
Fee-free education for students from poor and working-class backgrounds will be expanded this year to cover both first and second-year students, with plans to “progressively rolled out further over the next few years.
The available support extends to accommodation, transport and study materials for qualifying students at public TVET colleges and universities.
Fee-free education for students from poor and working class backgrounds will be expanded this year to cover both first and second year students, and will be progressively rolled out further over the next few years. #ThumaMina#PeoplesManifesto
The ANC plans to steam ahead with the introduction of the National Health Insurance
Ramaphosa said they will finalise the enabling legislation for the NHI and make sure that everyone has access to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.
“This is a revolutionary shift, which requires that we promote social solidarity and work towards the cross-subsidisation of services – where those who can afford to pay more assist those who cannot pay; where the young subsidise the old and where the healthy subsidise the sick,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the ANC wanted to see stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences for perpetrators of gender-based violence and sexual assault.
“More and better-skilled police and prosecution authorities are needed to improve the capacity to investigate and prosecute all crimes, especially gender-based violence and sexual assault”.
War Against Drugs:
Ramaphosa said the social and criminal justice system will be improved in responses to the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse.
Through the National Drug Master Plan, the ANC says it will expand recreational facilities and diversion programmes to prevent vulnerable people from becoming dependent on drugs and alcohol.
“We will also ensure greater cooperation in diagnosing and treating substance dependence,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said they will strengthen police visibility in communities by increasing the number of policemen and women.
In addition, Ramaphosa promised that the police will be better trained to investigate cases and improve success rates and there will be better co-operation between prosecutors and investigators.
“We are also going to improve the cooperation between the different elements of criminal justice – we are going to make sure that police, forensic services, prosecutors and others cooperate more and work together to improve success rates and secure more convictions,” he said.
Calling on ANC activists to go door to door and township to township with the ANC’s plan, Ramaphosa said the ANC was going achieve an overwhelming victory at this year’s general election.