ANC ‘rehashing its old promises’

President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, dancing with KZN ANC chairperson Siboniso Duma during the ANC Mayihlome Rally manifesto launch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, dancing with KZN ANC chairperson Siboniso Duma during the ANC Mayihlome Rally manifesto launch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 26, 2024


Durban — The ANC’s six-point plan delivered during the party’s manifesto launch over the weekend was “a recycled failed promise 20 years ago”, says University of Zululand-based political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe.

Delivering the party’s election manifesto, President Cyril Ramaphosa told a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban that the party would create 2.5 million jobs.

The president told the cheering crowd that there was no shortage of work to be done to make South Africa a better place, adding that in every street, community and village, people were ready and willing to contribute to social and economic development.

He said most of the jobs would be created through public and social employment programmes, industrialisation and support for small enterprises and co-operatives, but Seepe said these were rehashed promises of the party 20 years ago which it never implemented.

Seepe said if Ramaphosa was capable of doing what he promised on Saturday he could have done so when he took over in 2018. He added that, as a businessperson, many people were hopeful that he would bring about economic changes in the country with a shrinking economy but things had become worse under him.

“None of the things he said on Saturday would be achieved. In fact, people were promised these 20 years ago, yet the president had a gut to repeat promises that the party never fulfilled. He was telling people what they wanted to hear, not what he would do,” said Seepe.

The political analyst said he was surprised that the president had not mentioned ending load shedding and crime among his six priorities.

He reminded the president that when he took over in 2018 the economic growth rate was 1.3%, but last year it was 0.9%, and that under his leadership the economy had retreated backwards, causing havoc for the people of South Africa.

He also reminded him that the unemployment rate was 24% when he took over but it was now sitting at 32% and youth unemployment had risen from 20% to 64%.

President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Mayihlome Rally manifesto launch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/ Independent Newspapers

Ramaphosa also said his government would build industries to achieve an inclusive economy, saying that to deepen economic transformation, the ANC would drive industrial growth, innovation and job creation.

He added that industrialisation would be supported by localisation, which included protecting strategic industries like steel and advanced industries of the future. The president also promised to increase the black industrialist programme to reach 2 000 beneficiaries over the next five years.

One of the party’s top six priorities was to tackle the high cost of living where the president said the party would take steps to make everyday life more affordable for workers, the unemployed, and the middle class by addressing key needs such as food, housing, healthcare, energy and wages.

“We will prioritise food security, including VAT exemption on essential items, support for community and home gardens, and act against price fixing in all sectors.

“We will maintain and expand subsidised basic services like water, houses for the poor, and indigent policies at a local level,” he said.

Another priority was investing in people by improving access to quality education and health, expanding the use of science and technology, and ensuring that all people had decent housing and basic services.

Further priorities were defending democracy and advancing freedom over the next five years as well as building a better Africa and world. Ramaphosa added that the ANC would continue to play an active role in promoting peace, development and justice globally.

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