For your vote in the upcoming general elections the ANC promises to create some 1.3 million jobs over the next five years.
Addressing thousands of supporters at the party’s election manifesto launch at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban yesterday afternoon, President Cyril Ramaphosa made the pledge to focus the party’s energies on creating much needed jobs whilst also raising more than a trillion rand in investments.
The 66-page manifesto offers a series of admissions of mistakes made over the past 25 years, with a commitment to do better.
“The ANC acknowledges that we made mistakes and veered off course,” the manifesto reads.
“As a nation we have learnt of the harsh impact of corruption on society and the economy. We have witnessed the loss of integrity in some of the institutions of state, business and political and other organisations.
“We have learned lessons about the vigilance needed to stop lawlessness, greed and selfishness from taking root.”
Informed by the party’s policy and elective conferences held in 2017, the manifesto goes big on issues of transforming the economy by breaking down monopolies which hinder the growth of SMMEs.
“Transforming the economy to serve all people, through interventions that promote a developmental growth path to create more jobs and decent jobs, will need sustainable and radical land reform and a plan to broaden ownership of the economy.”
The party promises to “address monopolies, excessive concentration and the growth-inhibiting structure of the economy and advance an industrial plan for localisation”.
The manifesto also flags transformation and diversity in the financial sector and the need to consolidate support for small businesses and cooperatives, as well as growing the township and village economy.
“These interventions will be accompanied by the development of an appropriate macroeconomic framework to support the transformation of the economy to serve all people.”
At its conference in 2017 the ANC wrestled with the term “white monopoly capital”, with some voting in favour of using the term while others argued that monopolies existed across racial lines.
At the time, one of the ANC’s policy gurus, Joel Netshitenzhe, announced that the party had collectively decided to do away with such racial classification.
“Institute measures to determine the level of ownership concentration and to take remedial action to de-concentrate the economy,” the manifesto instructs.
On the eve of the elective conference, former president Jacob Zuma blindsided his Cabinet and the ANC when he declared that higher education would be free. The manifesto calls for a continued push towards achieving that goal. “We will continue to strengthen measures that will improve access to higher education with the goal of achieving free higher education for the poor and ‘missing middle’.”
The manifesto reaffirms the party’s position on the land question, which is that of a “mixed ownership” approach.
Parliament has already begun the process, which will inform the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. In December last year the revised Expropriation Bill was released for public comment. It outlines the exact conditions under which expropriation can take place.
The ANC further supports “the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to clearly define the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can take place”. This should be done in a way that promotes economic development, agricultural production and food security, it says.
It also plans to submit the revised Expropriation Bill to Parliament to provide explicit circumstances under which land expropriation in the public interest may happen without compensation.
“The bill will ensure that laws regulating expropriation will include the principle of expropriation without compensation through just and equitable provisions set out in the Constitution.”
Ramaphosa promised that government would implement measures to promote urban agriculture and community food gardens in a bid to promote national food security and reduce hunger.