Do you know what you are voting for?
With local government elections fast approaching, political parties are pulling out all the stops to woo the electorate. Lungani Zungu zooms in on the party manifestos so you can make an informed decision when you vote.
Durban - Despite clashing on an array of issues on governance, political parties seem to agree on some. In their manifestos, parties appear to be on the same page on the issue of tertiary education as they concede it should be free, to open the gates of higher education institutions to poor students.
Another common belief is that woman and child abuse should be curbed, and decent housing, reliable electricity and clean running water provided to all.
It is important for you as South African citizens to practise your right to vote, but before you throw your weight behind a certain party, you need to know what it stands for.
African National Congress
The ANC manifesto focuses on its past achievements.
It will work with traditional leaders to make communal land available for development.
Municipalities will be guided by the National Development Plan to respond to slow economic growth and unemployment. At national level, the ANC is implementing a nine-point plan involving the ocean economy, agriculture, mining, energy, information technology, water and sanitation, and tourism.
Municipalities will strengthen local economic development structures, incorporating science and technology, while the party will continue to support the township and village economies by buying its goods and services. Action against illegal trading will be stepped up.
To promote food security, the ANC will give residents information on sustainable agriculture and assist smallholder farmers to access municipal land for food production and agriculture.
It will expand broadband access in municipalities as well as set up free wi-fi areas.
The ANC will “discourage” municipalities from outsourcing basic services they should render themselves, or else develop “sound regulatory and monitoring mechanisms” for the outsourced services.
The ANC will work to establish “flexible shifts” to give people better access to municipal services.
ANC municipalities will upgrade informal settlements and overhaul ageing infrastructure, while improving transport, roads and bridges.
The fight against crime, corruption and fraud will continue, and municipal officials and councillors and their families will be barred from doing business with municipalities. Corrupt officials and councillors will be liable for losses incurred due to their actions. Community safety forums will be strengthened and street committees formed to fight crime. In rural areas, traditional leaders will be involved.
The ANC will establish and develop municipal capacity to manage environmental disaster risks.
The Back to Basics programme will continue adding engineering, project planning and financial management skills to municipalities.
The DA is committed to creating opportunities, through jobs, so people can improve their lives and provide for their families.
* The party will manage government spending well, find innovative solutions to challenges, and ensure resources reach those who need them most.
* It is committed to transparent and accountable governance. DA local governments manage public money sensibly and strive to rid the cities and towns of fraud.
* It is committed to creating communities where our diversity is embraced and celebrated.
* Ensuring the safety and well-being of residents gives meaning to freedom.
* South Africans need to feel safe and be safe in the cities and towns they call home.
Inkatha Freedom Party
The IFP, led by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, says it will make job creation its number one priority in all IFP-led municipalities.
* All IFP candidates will sign a contract of good governance, which the party will ensure is adhered to.
* The party plans to deliver services to all in the spirit of ubuntu, not just to the few at the expense of the many. The IFP will help put food on the table, and provide health care for the family.
* It will speed up the construction of roads and bridges, to provide safe transport. It will change the current policing policy with high-visibility policing instead of entrapment.
The Minority Front calls for:
* Fair administrative justice, and equality for all.
* The scrapping of unfair race-based policies, such as affirmative action.
* The establishment of a minorities ministry and minorities commission.
* Municipal internships for the youth.
* Waterways planning to harvest rainwater.
* A coastal site for cultural practices by affected groups.
* Crime sentinel spots for vigilant policing.
* Job creation through a small, medium and micro-sized enterprises workshop in every suburb.
Economic Freedom Fighters
The EFF is armed with what it calls seven cardinal pillars.
1 The expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation.
2 The nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
3 Building state capacity, which will lead to the abolition of tenders.
4 Free quality education, health care, houses, and sanitation.
5 Protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages, to close the gap between rich and poor, and promote rapid career paths for all people in the workplace.
6 The development of the African economy, and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice on the continent.
7 Open, accountable, corruption-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
Freedom Front Plus
The FF Plus’s concrete eight-point plan for the improvement of municipal management and service delivery is as follows:
1 Appoint officials on merit regardless of skin colour, stop racial discrimination and focus on a better future for everyone.
2 Decentralise local government as close as possible to the community through sub-councils and smaller municipalities.
3 Cherish and respect diversity and stop the unnecessary changing of place and street names. Promote multilingualism in council meetings.
4 Levy fair taxes and tariffs, and stop unfair increases.
5 Create a favourable environment for the private sector to stimulate economic growth and create sustainable job opportunities - in particular by establishing free trade zones.
6 Promote good moral values.
7 Act as the balance of power within a multiparty government and fight for the rights of FF Plus voters within such governments.
8 Act as an effective watchdog with regard to maladministration, corruption and incompetence, and fulfil a dynamic, structured opposition role.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says:
* Respect property ownership and extend this to as many as possible.
* Amend laws and policies that undermine family values, such as access to contraceptives and abortion by children without parental consent, inappropriate sex education in schools, attempts to ban moderate parental chastisement and legalise prostitution, and the legislation of pornography and abortion-on-demand.