UDM’s manifesto focuses on corruption, load shedding and crime

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa launched his party’s manifesto on Saturday, saying the ANC could not be trusted to create jobs, fight crime, fight corruption or deliver quality education.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa launched his party’s manifesto on Saturday, saying the ANC could not be trusted to create jobs, fight crime, fight corruption or deliver quality education.

Published Mar 4, 2024


United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says South Africa is in crisis and there is a clear disconnect between the people and their government.

Holomisa launched the party’s manifesto in Midrand, on Saturday, saying the main causes behind the disconnect were unacceptable levels of corruption; a poor economy; staggering joblessness; increasing crime and dangerous lawlessness; crumbling infrastructure and unacceptable load shedding, as well as the illegal influx of people seeking refuge and resources from the state.

“As a result, our people take to the streets, and most of the time, government does not even have the courtesy to listen to them. In the rare instances where they do, they are lied to with a barrage of promises that never become a reality,” he said.

“These are just some of the prime issues of the moment and there are many more burning issues, international relations, traditional leaders and rural revitalisation, education, healthcare, women, youth and more.”

Here is an overview of his main points:


Holomisa said the ANC rewarded loyalty with protection against investigation and prosecution as the culprits who loot state resources hide behind struggle credentials.

He added: “There is no political will to take the guilty to a court of law and it is for this reason that the Zondo Commission’s report is gathering dust in Parliament.

“The reason is simple and unsurprising: The ANC is fingered in the Report. How can those that the report identified as involved in corruption be trusted to find solutions to their own immoral and illegal activities?”

He mentioned NSFAS and the SETAs as other examples of government projects, managed by the ANC, that had been hijacked

Poor economy

Holomisa acknowledged that globally economies were confronted with geopolitical challenges and conflicts, and government had to deal with the effects of high energy and fuel prices, high inflation and disruptions in trade.

“These have caused a cost-of-living crisis globally as well as in South Africa, with devastating effects on the poor.

“Yet this does not discount, or excuse thirty years of economic policy uncertainty. It does not explain the gross mismanagement of the South African economy perpetrated by ANC governments.”

He said under a succession of ANC governments, South Africa’s economic growth was less than 1% per annum and the unemployment rate had reached crises levels, northwards of 30%.

“In the last thirty years, ANC governments have failed to invest in the majority of our citizens in order to generate more industrialists and wealth creators.”

He said a UDM government would, amongst others, follow a model of manageable public debt and budget deficit, with fiscal discipline as a basic tenet to ensure that government borrowing stays within reason, allowing for some flexibility to invest in infrastructure development to address imbalances and inequality whilst creating jobs.


Holomisa said South Africa was one of the most unequal societies in the world, and one of the highest unemployment rates.

“The primary objective of government must be to stem the tide of rising unemployment with its attending adverse consequences for social and economic stability.”

The UDM’s response to the challenge of unemployment includes: identifying markets for small firms through promoting domestic and foreign connections to adequately address both the supply and demand side of the economy: developing capacity in the areas of improved business and entrepreneurial skills; identifying loan and capital sources, as well as facilitating loans and investments in community businesses.

Load shedding

Holomisa said the ANC’s failure to maintain the infrastructure that was given to them was highlighted in the state of our energy infrastructure.

“For almost fifteen years now, South Africa has been experiencing debilitating power failures due to the ANC government’s refusal or inability to invest in new power stations because of corruption. The corrupt relationship between Chancellor House and Hitachi is well documented, where the money was supposed to build Medupi and Kusile.

“This has led to the point where load shedding is accepted as a daily part of our lives. Compared to every other developing country in the world, this is a disgrace.”

He said the UDM proposed a public/private partnership model for the privatisation of Eskom where the government holds a 51% stake in the entity for the people of South Africa.

Crime and lawlessness

“The ugly phenomenon of murder, violent crime, political assassinations and drugs sold in broad daylight is cause for concern.

“South Africa today is the murder capital of the world and gender-based violence is a scourge eating at the fabric of our society,” Holomisa said.

A UDM government, he said, would enhance coordination between the ministries of justice, police, correctional services, defence and national intelligence, and dedicate more resources (staff, training and equipment) to the law enforcement agencies to combat crime and the implementation of the existing and new GBVF (Gender based violence, femicide) legislation.

The Mercury