Name of Party: African Christian Democratic Party
Year Launched: 1994
Party Leader: Rev Kenneth Meshoe
What the party believes: The ACDP says it believes in freedom of religion, open markets with a social conscience, family values, biblical values, equality and democratic principles.
Profile on leader: Meshoe has been at the helm of the ACDP since its founding in 1994. He is a member of the portfolio committee on small business in Parliament. He has served as an MP for several years.
History in a nutshell:
Meshoe formed the Christian Democratic Movement in 1992 with an aim to influence politics from a Christian perspective. He partnered with Johan van der Westhuizen who formed the African Christian Party with a similar goal as the ACDP in 1993. The partnership led to the formation of the amalgamated formation of the African Christian Democratic Party.
ACDP’s position on hot button issues:
The ACDP does not support the position of expropriation of land without compensation. However, it says it does believe in the need for land restoration.
It says every person should have the right to own a home in an urban area or in the rural area. And if a person wants to be a farmer they should be given an opportunity to do so in their own land.
The ACDP says South African can only deal decisively with the issue of corruption if it has leaders who are trustworthy and serious about protecting state resources. The party says it will strengthen chapter nine institutions such as the special investigative unit, auditor general and the public protector. It also promises to protect whistle-blowers.
STATE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
The party believes dealing with local government involves prioritising good governance and prioritising municipalities providing sustainable and integrated communities that are safe and secure. The municipalities should also deliver housing for citizens. The party says it aims to build social cohesion, address poor governance and create an environment that’s conducive for job creation and poverty alleviation.
The ACDP says it will set up trained police service that will deal with sexual offences against women and children.
The ACDP says will set up more especially trained police services in sexual offences and crimes against
children. This includes; setting-up more special courts to hear rape and child abuse cases, expedite forensic evidence, equip forensic services with more funding and specialists and fast track proceedings where victims are children under 10 years.
The ACDP says it will introduce proper assessment to obtain information as to the potential cost of policies, plans and projects that impact on the environment before developments is undertaken. It believes badly run local governments are contributing to solid waste pollution as well as river pollution by sewage.
It says in order to balance the process of environmental conservation and
developmental needs of the country, the government should embark on a national strategic programme to combat pollution damage.
STATE OF THE SOEs:
The ACDP says the general regression of audit outcomes as well as the rapidly increasing irregular expenditure at some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is concerning.
FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:
The ACDP says it will support the use of advanced technology for online learning in schools. It says universities should be run as centres of research with information distributed to students online
The ACDP says it will implement a comprehensive anti-crime strategy to ensure that criminals are swiftly arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced;
It says it will implement the following strategy;
• Review political appointments, promotions and qualifications in police, the NPA, the Hawks and other law enforcement agencies, and expedite outstanding disciplinary and
• Reintroduce specialised police units and improve the training of police officers to ensure that investigations result in successful convictions;
• Increase the number of specialised courts, such as sexual offences courts, and services for victims of sexual offences, domestic violence and human trafficking, particularly those involving vulnerable women and children;
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT:
The party says it will ensure ease of starting a business by reducing unnecessary red tape and providing efficient methods of processing applications through dedicated one-stop business registration centres. It says it will also create an enabling environment through infrastructure development, good education and vocational training relevant to global trends and technological advances.
The ACDP says it promotes the development of affordable housing through the provision of community-owned self-help schemes.
The party believes the current system is in a very disrupted state. It says highly politicised delivery programmes have had a detrimental effect on the effective performance of the economy, the efficiency of cities, the welfare of the previously deprived communities, and as well as the performance within the housing sector itself.
* Compiled by Zintle Mahlati with the help of the ACDP