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National Elections Manifesto

Download the 2014 AZAPO MANIFESTO

Table of Contents

FOREWORD.

1.       INTRODUCTION (EXECUTIVE SUMMARY)

2.       EMPOWERING CITIZENS.

2.1          Building and Strengthening Meaningful And Participatory Democracy.

2.2          Electoral Campaign and Party Funding.

3.       REINVENTING GOVERNMENT..

4.       FIGHTING CRIME, CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM..

4.1          Fighting Crime.

4.2          Fighting  Nepotism..

4.3          Rooting Out Corruption.

4.4          Accessible Justice System And Correctional Services.

5.       ENSURING PROSPERITY AND DELIVERING SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE.

5.1          On Education.

5.2         On Science and Technology.

5.3          On Energy.

5.4          On Transport

5.5          On Housing.

5.6          On Clean Water And Sanitation.

5.7          On Rural Development And Agriculture.

5.8          On Land And Mineral Resources.

5.9          On the Economy: Jobs and Shared Prosperity.

5.10       On Foreign Policy.

6.       BUILDING A CARING SOCIETY.

6.1          On Health.

6.2          On Women In Society.

6.3          On Youth Development

6.4           On People Living With Disabilities

6.5         On Social Security

6.6          On Culture and Sports

7.       CONCLUSION

 

 

FOREWORD

Evident in every service delivery protest or subdued conversation, is the fact that South Africans want change. We have all seen and heard enough to know that the country is on a hazardous course.  In the past twenty years we have seen ruling party politicians abuse their positions of trust, public resources and state institutions to serve their personal interests. At the same time the ordinary South African has experienced poor service delivery, a crumbling public healthcare system and an education system that continues to fail children from poor and working class households

AZAPO seeks to change the dangerous path South Africa is on. We seek to fulfill the promise held by our liberation struggle. AZAPO wants to set South Africa on a course towards prosperity and well-being for all its citizens.

Just as in the 1970’s when the Black Consciousness Philosophy and the Black Consciousness Movement inspired a new generation to fight and eventually defeat the apartheid system and regime, nothing is beyond people who have regained their agency, people who have taken back their power. Today, South Africa needs all compatriots to stand up in revolt against the abuse of power, corruption, poor service delivery and the killing of protesters who are simply demanding what is their right.

Through your vote an AZAPO government will bring people together around AZAPO’s vision of One Azania, One Nation. AZAPO will empower communities by giving them the power to recall corrupt and inefficient elected officials, fight crime and corruption, deliver services to the people, reinvent government by abolishing provincial governments.

I invite you to join people who, like you, want what is best for themselves, their families, their communities and our country. People who want to live safe and secure lives, who want access to a good and efficient healthcare system, who want good education for their children. Join young people who want a prosperous future, who want to use their energy, creativity, and intellect to build our country and provide for themselves lives full of joy and meaning. These are the people who support AZAPO and its quest for a society founded on prosperity, liberty, equality and solidarity.

The opponents that AZAPO faces in these general elections are people who do not understand the true meaning of human solidarity. Some have abused the notion of community to gain power but once in office, corruption and self-interest reigned supreme. Others conceive of people as individual atoms motivated only by self-interest. They speak of equal opportunity, but fail to recognise that we lack equal ability to take advantage of those opportunities – not because we are lazy or  lack commitment to hard work or we are deficient  in intellect, but because of apartheid and the failure of the ruling elite to move the country towards eradicating the legacy of oppression and exploitation. Some profess love for the poor and marginalised, while in the recent past they were not averse to taking from the poor through corruption and abuse of their access to government officials. AZAPO holds to different values, we believe in human solidarity, in community, in people pitching in to help each other out. We believe in service and the power of an engaged and active citizenry.

The time has come for you to take back your power, to choose a path for South Africa that is different from the perilous one it is on. The time has come for you  to elect people who share your values, people who will be responsive to your needs and those of the country. It is time for you to vote for people who are ready to lead and to serve, it is time for change, it is time for you to vote AZAPO!

 

 

When you can, please share with your neighbours and colleagues AZAPO’s vision for South Africa, where you can please contribute to our campaign. South Africans like you have seen enough, we have heard enough, we have experienced betrayal and neglect. We now have the power to change our destiny. I urge you to read our manifesto and on 7 May 2014 I invite you to VOTE AZAPO

Jake Dikobo

AZAPO President

 

 

1.         INTRODUCTION (EXECUTIVE SUMMARY)

In the past five years this country has seen communities take to the streets, to protest against poor service delivery, corruption, jobs for friends and the shoddy manner in which they have been treated. Communities around the country have made their complaints known about how the Government of the day has failed them. In most cases communities were asking for basic necessities such as portable water. Despite the government’s unleashing of the police on communities, killing and maiming citizens of this country, many communities have refused to be intimidated. These protests are a clear indication of our communities’ unwillingness to continue experiencing the indignities of dealing with an uncaring and unresponsive government.

In keeping with our commitment to the mission of the liberation struggle and it’s vision of a prosperous egalitarian society, founded on the values of liberty, equality and human solidarity, and  informed by socialist principles, AZAPO seeks to change the dire conditions in which our people find themselves in. Through your vote AZAPO will bring about a clean administration; will expose and root out corruption; and encourage and facilitate participation of communities in decision-making and in this way, introduce and strengthen meaningful and participatory democratic practice in the conduct of public affairs.

Through your vote AZAPO will be able to implement its electoral platform that is based on the following pillars:

  • Empowering Citizens by: introducing a system whereby the President of the country and Mayors are elected directly by citizens so that they are directly accountable to them; introducing recall so that citizen are able to remove non-performing politicians from elected office; making Parliament the final appointing authority , after holding public confirmation hearings for people nominated by the President,  for offices such as National Director of Public Prosecutions, Auditor General and Public Protector; Regulating electoral campaign and party funding to ensure that no individual or group of individuals will have disproportionate influence on politics and policies of the country.
  • Re-inventing Government by abolishing Provincial governments and replacing them with administrators answerable to the national government. AZAPO will redirect resources and skills, currently at provincial level, to Local Government – where they matter most.
  • Fighting Corruption and nepotism – by introducing a restorative merit system in all civil service appointments so as to root out the system of patronage currently practised by the ruling party. AZAPO will also protect the integrity of the tender awarding process and open it up for public scrutiny.
  • Ensuring prosperity and delivering services to the people starts with getting the basics right. It starts with : fixing our education system so that our children are able to participate in the economy of the 21st century; skilling our labour force for modern jobs; encouraging innovation and supporting the development of novel ideas; supporting SMMEs and removing all bureaucratic hurdles; facilitating a social compact between labour and business to ensure living wages, safe working conditions and high productivity; involving communities in identifying their needs and developing local economies to meet those needs; encouraging co-operatives that facilitate community and co-operation through citizens working together and helping each other;  the state investing in infrastructure development aimed at the real needs of the people; adopting a fiscal and monetary policy geared at promoting growth and employment; and implementing a foreign policy that pursues shared prosperity for the region and continent.
  • Building a caring society by: setting up and managing a functioning healthcare system with universal coverage; providing social security that helps people meet their basic needs; making the development and support of people living with disability a Presidential issue; creating a youth ministry that will look after the needs of the largest segment of our population and bearers of our hopes and dreams; and advancing the cause to build an antisexist society. 

The 2014 general elections offer all of us an opportunity to take back our power! These elections offer all South Africans a chance to, in no uncertain terms, tell the ruling elite that “we have seen enough and we have had enough!!” the time for change has come, the time for you to go is now! The time has come for all South Africans to enjoy prosperity, safety and wellbeing.

Through this manifesto, AZAPO is putting forward its ideas on how we can Build a South Africa that works for all. To achieve what we set out to do, AZAPO needs your support. We need you to vote for AZAPO and to speak to your neighbours and friends about AZAPO’s vision for South Africa. Through this manifesto AZAPO invites you to join us in finding solutions to problems facing our country and communities.  We all have a stake in the future of this country, for ourselves – this present generation, and for those that follow.

 

TAKE BACK YOUR POWER, VOTE AZAPO!!

2.         EMPOWERING CITIZENS

2.1      Building and Strengthening Meaningful And Participatory Democracy

Nepotism, corruption, cronyism and unresponsiveness currently characterises governance in South Africa. The State and its institutions have been abused and manipulated to serve individual and party political interests at the expense of strengthening and building the legitimacy of state institutions.

AZAPO believes that building a just, inclusive, democratic and egalitarian society requires the establishment of a political culture and system that empowers people to meaningfully participate in decision making.

Meaningful democratic practice requires and encourages an engaged and empowered citizenry.  The absence of a vigilant and mobilized citizenry leads to lack of government accountability and entrenches unresponsiveness.

Therefore an AZAPO government will introduce:

  • a change making Parliament the final appointing authority , after holding public confirmation hearings for people nominated by the President,  for offices such as National Director of Public Prosecutions, Auditor General and Public Protector;
  •  A system whereby the President of the country and Mayors are elected directly by citizens so that they are directly accountable;
  • A hybrid electoral system that incorporates proportional representation with constituency representation;
  • Recall, which will allow citizens to remove non-performing elected officials; and
  • The right of citizens to call for referendums on issues they want to be addressed.

2.2      Electoral Campaign and Party Funding

In seeking to build an equal and truly democratic society, AZAPO wants to build a country of stakeholders: a country where each citizen has an equal stake in the country and equal influence in public affairs. Unless regulated, the role of money in the political process is likely to skew power and influence away from the majority to the rich and powerful. Indeed this is happening in South Africa with money from foreign entities, foreigners and the rich skewing the competitive electoral landscape. AZAPO recognizes the right of individuals to, in the exercise of their freedom of speech and association, donate money to political parties and electoral campaign, but such funding should not give those individuals oversized influence.

AZAPO therefore proposes, in building a nation of equal stakeholders, to:

  • Ban contributions or donations by foreign entities or individuals to political parties and electoral campaigns
  • Restrict juristic persons to only make donations to the represented political parties’ fund managed by the Independent Electoral Fund(IEC)
  • Six months before the end of term of the National Government, ban any advertising(paid for media placement) either by a juristic or natural person that seek to influence or shape public opinion on a policy, political or public affairs issue.
  • Change the formula used to allocate funds to political parties from the represented political parties’ fund as follows: 50% of the fund to be distributed on an equal basis to all the represented parties, the other 50% to be distributed on the basis of proportional representation in the National Assembly.
  • Require political parties to publicly declare, through the IEC, any donation or donations from an individual that amount to or exceed R50 000, adjusted for inflation each year.
  • Limit an individual’s contribution to a political party or an electoral campaign to R150 000 per calendar year, adjusted for inflation yearly.

3.         REINVENTING GOVERNMENT

AZAPO believes in government, as an institution! We believe in the absolute necessity of government and its ability to: redress the evils of apartheid, fight poverty, ensure the social security of the poor and marginalized, protect the vulnerable and the environment, provide education and healthcare to all, build the infrastructure of this country and provide safety and security, spur and support economic growth, among other things.

However, like any institution, government is as effective as the people who lead it. The ruling party has clearly shown how government and its institutions can be captured and used for individual and party political needs. In the past twenty years we have seen how the government has been used to dole out patronage in the form of jobs for friends, and corruptly awarded tenders. AZAPO believes government can work efficiently, without wastage of resources. However, it needs to be reinvented.

AZAPO believes Provincial Governments are simply a site of wastage, inefficiency and corruption. Provincial Governments are another avenue for dispensing patronage. Therefore an AZAPO government will:

  • abolish provincial governments and replace them with administrators answerable to the national government.
  • Ensure that these administrators work closely with the local sphere of government, allowing for faster and effective service delivery.
  • Strategically deploy public servants who were employed in provincial government to local government and thereby inject much needed skills in the local government sphere.

4.         FIGHTING CRIME, CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM

4.1      Fighting Crime

AZAPO believes that the exercise of democracy and freedom in any country is necessarily associated with the safety of person and property. The high level of crime in South Africa inhibits the free exercise of our freedoms. Driving one’s car without fear of it being hijacked,  leaving your home without being afraid that it will be broken into and walking down the road without concern of your personal safety,  these are normal expectations that have long been forgotten by most South Africans. Crime and fear thereof has become a major influencer and shaper of how we live our lives and which personal and public spaces we occupy.

An AZAPO government will implement multi-level interventions which will include:

  • Abolishing civilian gun ownership and only allow the police and army to be the only legal gun bearers in the country when on duty. Special allowance will be made for sports men and women whose sport codes require guns.
  • Involving communities in the fight against crime. Community formations and initiatives fighting crime will be given support and training.
  • Reducing the requirements for setting up municipality police services for small municipalities, particularly reduction of proof of financial sustainability to only 15 years and allowing a gradual phasing in of a 24 hour municipal police service.
  • Declaration of certain segments of municipality employees as peace officers.
  • Increasing the number and distribution of Community Courts. This will ensure a speedy conclusion of court cases and will help with the backlog and free other courts to deal with more serious offences.
  • Encouraging greater cooperation between the South African Police Service, Municipal Police Services and Communities in order to prevent crime.
  • Improving the training received by the police and ensuring that they receive better remuneration.
  • Involving communities in combating crime and providing a police service that is, amongst other things, focused on crime prevention.

4.2      Fighting  Nepotism

Favouritism and preferential treatment, particularly in employment, has robbed the civil service of much needed skilled personnel. Jobs for pals and comrades is a key contributor in the failure of government to deliver. 

In order to eliminate nepotism:

  • In an AZAPO administration, all employees shall be appointed on a restorative merit basis which looks at both the skills and the restorative effect of the appointment.
  • AZAPO will remove the veil that currently covers appointment of senior officials; AZAPO will put in place measures to enable unsuccessful shortlisted candidates to seek reasons for their non-appointment.
  • An AZAPO government will impose harsh punishment to those who practice nepotism.

4.3      Rooting Out Corruption

Corruption means the diversion of much needed resources for service delivery and development for unjust enrichment of individuals or organisations. Therefore corruption is far from being a victimless crime, its victims are the thousands of people who need the State to deliver much needed services.

To root out corruption, AZAPO will:

  • Ensure that all state institutions have strong internal and external supervision and control.
  • Affirm and protect the legitimacy of the Public Protector and the Auditor General
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action against those guilty of corruption.
  • Free tender Committees from party political influence
  • Open tender committees to public scrutiny.

4.4      Accessible Justice System And Correctional Services

For the effective and smooth-running of a Constitutional Democracy, you need strong checks and balances between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive.  The doctrine of the Separation of Powers makes functional sense when each of the three Branches of government can stand its ground in playing its Constructional role.  There is a whole constitutional and developmental sense behind the principle of the independence of the judiciary.  There are a lot of instances where this independence seems to have been compromised in our country.  Evidently, powerful politicians and connected individuals are always able to sidestep the wrath of the law and have their cases quashed before they could answer in a court of law. The fundamental right of Equality before the Law is violated in this manner.  Justice has become justice of the powerful and the rich who can buy justice and make it dance to their tune.

It goes without saying that the poor black people find it difficult to access justice because they do not have the means to hire the best legal minds and connections to bypass the law.  Courts are located far away and out of reach from the poor.  The language of practice is foreign to the majority of the people who visit the courts because they are allegedly on the wrong side of the law.  The Legal Aid Board and translation services are never adequate to ensure the accessibility of justice to the poor black majority.  They are the ones that are at the receiving end of the violence of the police as evidenced by the killing of Andries Tatane and the Marikana Massacre.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Guarantee the strict observance of the separation of powers by , among other things, making the principle of the independence of the judiciary sacrosanct and inviolable
  • Cause quashed cases of the powerful politicians and connected individuals to be reviewed and retried where the findings so direct
  • Build additional courts in the villages and township to ensure that law courts are within their reach
  • Substantially increase the Legal Aid Fund to actualise the accessibility and deepening of justice
  • Promote a legal professional culture where trials would be handled in the indigenous languages of the majority of black people
  • Demilitarise the police and retrain and re-orientate them to be the integral part of our communities to improve trust and cooperation between the communities and the police
  • Improve the cooperation between the police, the courts and prisons in order to fast track the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of criminals
  • Develop a strict protocol to ensure that individuals with the appropriate qualifications and general readiness are recruited into the police service
  • Prohibit use of live ammunition by the police in instances where there are community protests that require professional crowd control interventions
  • Ensure that parole is given on a fair and just basis rather than on the basis of being powerful and connected

5.         ENSURING PROSPERITY AND DELIVERING SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE

5.1      On Education

Lack of access to quality education and training does more than impoverish the intellectual life of an individual, it reduces an individual’s ability to make a decent and sustainable living.  It impacts negatively on the ability of a nation to achieve its developmental objectives and ensure its economic sustainability.  The nature and quality of the education received by a country’s citizens determine whether that country will develop an economy geared for the needs of the 21st century and whether the country’s workforce will be able to perform in high tech jobs.

Research conducted by a team from Stellenbosch University found that “the [South African] education system generally produces outcomes that reinforce current patterns of poverty and privilege instead of challenging them.” Critically, the research found, that amongst others, in terms of education outcomes “the legacy of apartheid appears to have endured”[i].

It is no wonder the legacy of apartheid endures when, both National and Provincial Departments of Education fail to deliver textbooks to children of Black people. What is tragic is that the Minister of Basic Education takes no responsibility for such blatant failures. Do we need to find reasons anywhere else but in the current government when South Africa is ranked third last out of 63 countries that participated in the 2012 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. The governing party continually takes decisions that further serve to disempower and disadvantage the very people it claims to be serving.

To safeguard a generation of children from poor and working class communities, from the ineptitude and blatant disregard of their future, and to secure a future deriving benefit from innovative technologies and ideas generated by products of our education system, AZAPO will:

  • Prioritise education as a tool for the full realization of our being and as an economic necessity that will ensure sustainable growth of our economy.
  • Provide free and compulsory education up to grade 12
  • Re-unite the ministries of basic education and higher education and training. Education is too important to be put into silos. We believe one Minister and ministry must own the entire education value chain beginning at early childhood education up to tertiary education.
    • Ensure development of Indigenous languages to the level where they can address important issues in commerce, science and technology. .
    • Guarantee that  every learner is taught in his or her mother tongue at foundation phases
    • Provide learners and students with necessary and relevant tools to facilitate their optimal learning.
    • Ensure all schools are provided, as a matter of course, with water, electricity, toilets, libraries, computer training facilities, laboratories, sporting facilities and other recreational facilities.
    • Work to improve the status of teachers and the teaching profession. More young people will be encouraged to take up teaching as a career that builds a nation. Emphasis will be placed on developing and recruiting people who can teach mathematics and sciences. While teaching of mathematics and science is import and will be prioritised, AZAPO holds the view that education is more than just developing cogs, it is about developing full human beings with a critical consciousness that arises out of studying subjects in the social stream.
    • Develop educational curricula designed to serve the cultural, social, intellectual and industrial needs of the country to support its growth imperatives.

In the past 20 years the non-university further education space has been neglected and this has led to the deterioration of the status of FET Colleges. This has been due to a faulty over privileging of university education. However, as much as we need scientists, engineers and technicians, the country desperately needs artisans and people who are ready for the world of work and are able to create work. AZAPO will:

  • Work to improve the status of FET colleges, and encourage more students to enroll
  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of FETs and invest in the improvement of their infrastructure
  • Expand the curriculum offering to range from agriculture, technology to commerce
  • Invest in developing the capacity of lecturers at FET colleges
  • Place special emphasis on vocational and technical education
  • immediately make education at Further Education and Training Colleges free

Universities (technology and traditional) serve an important function in training and developing high end skills necessary for running and managing an economy of the 21st century, creating knowledge and advancing humanities knowledge bank, developing solution for challenges facing our country and for developing innovative product, service and industrial processes. These institutions face a number of challenges which range from only  a third of permanent academic staff in public higher education institutions holding doctoral qualification (according to an ASSAf study) to poor infrastructure for accommodation of students. AZAPO will:

  • Strengthen Universities of Technology and clearly position them in the higher education value chain
  • Invest in the improvement and development of  infrastructure at universities
  • Restructure the tertiary institutional landscape in line with principles of equity and redress so as to improve access to higher education.
  • Provide greater funding support for needy students
  • Increase bursaries for post-graduates to encourage them to study up to PhD level
  • Encourage and support development of academic staff so as to increase the number of potential PhD supervisors.
  • Provide grants for overseas study for those candidates who can’t find supervisors in South Africa
  • Work towards making education at universities free

5.2      On Science and Technology

Technological innovation is key in building a competitive economy, which in turn leads to job creation and shared prosperity. AZAPO shares the assessment that South Africa’s  innovation system is failed by poor basic education outcomes; poor development of high end skills – as per Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) PhD study, poor funding to support and encourage post graduate studies and poor coordination.

While focus on big science is good for inspiring young people to take up careers in science and technology, a need exists for investment in research focused on finding solutions for real challenges facing South Africans – particularly poor and rural communities.

A key gap in the innovation value chain is in the translation of innovations at Research & Development stage to commercialized products, services and processes. The Technology Innovation Agency was meant to bridge the gap, but it has largely failed due to poor management and lack of oversight and clear policy direction from the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

In unlocking the positive prospects held by technological innovation and scientific ingenuity AZAPO will:

  • Engage the public, especially young people, in science and technology in order to build awareness and appreciation of science and technology and associated careers
  • Ensure better coordination and cooperation between Department of Science and Technology and  the Department of Education in order to achieve better outcomes
  • Invest in the exploration and exploitation of indigenous knowledge.
  • Put research aimed at  improving  the conditions and  lives of poor and rural communities through the application of science and technology front and centre of the country’s research agenda
  • Support and invest in basic research. While basic research might not lead to immediate improvements or new products, services and processes, it underpins future products, services and process which hold the prospects for future economic benefit.
  • Maintain and vigorously pursue the target of investing 1% of GDP into Research and Development
  • Give the Technology Innovation Agency a clear mandate which is to:
    •  support translation of applied research into prototypes of products, services and processes evaluated  to have protectable intellectual property or stand to benefit South Africa
    • Support protection of  South African Developed Intellectual Property (IP)
    • Finance and assist South African startups in the commercialization of IP bearing products and services
    • Manage equity accruing from State investment is start ups
    • Invest in the development of young black and female researchers so as to diversify South Africa’s  researcher cohort
    • Ensure coordination and cooperation of all the institutions that constitute the system of innovation to guarantee a seamless functioning of the system throughout the innovation value chain

5.3      On Energy

Energy is a necessary commodity in the livelihood of human beings and performance of the economy. South Africa as a developing economy, coming from years of deliberate constraints brought about by oppression of black people, has a backlog of over 2.5 million households without electricity and a need to cater for the demands of what should be a growing economy.

One of the serious failings of successive governments has been poor and improper forecasting and planning for increasing energy demand hence the threat of blackouts that continue to haunt South Africans. By leaving energy demand forecasting to the entities involved in energy production, the current and previous governments have allowed future energy needs of the country to be constrained by limitations of the entities involved and not by the future demands of the economy.

The current government and the ones preceding it have perennially underinvested in energy infrastructure with the result being sudden and unaffordable tariff increases in electricity and a constraint in our country’s industrial prosperity due to unreliable electricity supply. Even the once vaunted role of independent energy producers failed because government could not create amenable conditions for their success.

Currently, the most energy intense sectors of the country’s economy are transport and the manufacturing industry which share more than two thirds of the energy demand. The projection for the foreseeable future suggests that this is not going to change. This fact poses another challenge as transport is the biggest consumer of liquid fuels. While liquid fuel can be derived from the reserves of coal that South Africa has, processing these into liquid fuels is still a huge challenge, let alone its negative impact on the environment. This has led to the dependence on imports from oil producing countries. With no additional capacity to refine oil, South Africa now has to import a share of the country’s refined fuel needs.

In addition to the challenges highlighted above electricity generation is not without challenges.  Electricity generation in South Africa is largely dependent on coal power stations with high greenhouse gas emissions. These coal power stations are at midlife and a majority of them will have to be refurbished or new ones brought on line around 2025. This situation largely arises from a lack of decision making and wrong policy proposals taken in 1998, which today necessitates that South Africa catch up with the building of a new fleet of power stations that will alleviate the current energy constraints.

Believing that policy proposals on energy should consider the current economic conditions and the likely economic path that the country will be taking and that the policy should be responsive to the need to uplift  the conditions of the majority black people from high levels of inequality, poverty and deprivation, an AZAPO government will :

  • Ensure better coordination to guarantee that capacity for energy production is built up in line with the planned economic trajectory of the country
  • Set up a state agency that will
    • be responsible for forecasting energy demand of the country independent from the energy producers and retailers
    • look at the value chain of production and sale of energy from alternative energy sources
    • maintain and control  the transmission network independent of ESKOM for ease of access to the transmission network by various energy producers
  • Pursue the exploration of local and regional gas
  • Invest in building up strategic capacity of the country to refine and produce liquid fuels
  • Develop a transportation policy that encourages reduction of liquid fuel demand
  • Accelerate the electrification program for the remaining households that do not have access to electricity
  • Consider the deployment of mixed grid and off grid solutions for electrification of households and increasing energy efficiency
  • Increase free basic electricity for the poor to 100 kWh
  • Lower the cost of electricity for the indigent through an introduction of a common(nation) indigent tariff that will be applicable to all energy sellers
  • Invest in the development of a local industry producing green energy materials such as solar panels and wind turbines
  • Provide for state funded strategic trunk corridors of power linking the identified energy resource locations to the national transmission grid.

5.4      On Transport

Transportation plays a key role in the growth and development of the economy.  Transport contributes in giving value to goods.  The manufacturing sector needs an efficient transportation network to distribute goods from one point to another.  For that to happen, the state should invest in road and rail infrastructure development.  A byproduct of such investment is the growth of the economy and creation of jobs.

With the Rand continually weakening against the Dollar, the price of energy keeps rising.  This has a knock-on effect on the cost of public transport.  A significant percentage of the income of the poor and working people of this country is spent on transportation to and from work.  The continued failure of the State to provide a reliable and affordable public transport system has meant that poor people have had to rely on unsafe and costly transport providers.  All this aggravates poverty.

The forceful imposition by the current government of e-tolling has further increased transportation costs and caused a further decrease in disposable income available to the poor households.  To avoid the costs of e-tolling, the poor are forced to use, in most case, unsafe and longer alternate routes.

An AZAPO Government will:

  • Invest heavily in the building and improvement of road and rail infrastructure
  • Activate the unused railways and buy more trains to encourage usage of rail transport for long distances so as to take pressure away from the roads, and thereby remarkably reduce road accidents
  • Subsidies public transport and encourage its usage in order to reduce the number of private cars on the road, and also reduce energy consumption
  • Subsidies the taxi industry to ensure that fares  payable by commuters are affordable
  • Scrap e-tolling
  • Through legislation, ensure that both the road and passenger transport offer quality and affordable service to commuters.
  • Ensure that law enforcement agencies are empowered through legislation to provide safety and security on both road and rail stations countrywide.
  • Create enabling legislative instruments to facilitate the monitoring and regulation for all transport systems serving the public.
  • Make available resources to expand the transport network to reach all the communities 

5.5      On Housing

The inability to provide affordable and decent housing remains a major failure of previous and current Governments – local, provincial and national.   The failure of these spheres of government is evidenced by mekhukhu and the sub-standard brick versions built by the current government.

South Africa currently faces a minimum housing backlog of about 2.1-million houses and many of the brick mekhukhu – so called RDP houses- that have been built in previous years are already in need of work to rectify their many faults. The housing backlog means, at a minimum, about 12-million people (i.e. over 20% of the population) are currently without decent housing.

An AZAPO government will

  • Set up a state housing company to provide medium and low cost housing in the country for both purchase and renting. This will ensure that the highest standards are maintained in the building of houses.
  • Provide land for free to those who can afford to build houses for themselves
  • encourage the formation of housing co-operatives which will, in conjunction with a State Housing Company, build decent houses for rent by people living in the villages, townships, towns and cities. People will be able to change from renting to buying once they can afford it or acquire automatic ownership after renting for a stipulated period.
  • AZAPO will ensure that those who are unable to fend for themselves receive houses funded by a social development fund.
  • Build houses on sufficiently large plots of land so as to enable those who want to extend their houses to do so.

5.6      On Clean Water And Sanitation

Like oil, water is an economic resource of no less importance.  Industries require huge amounts of water supply on a daily basis to operate optimally.  Strict water management in the industrial front is needed to ensure that clean, hygienic and quality water is available for human consumption.

In the rural areas there are vast areas with no access to water.  Human beings have to fetch water from distant rivers, and share this with animals.  This exposes these communities to waterborne diseases and no prospect of treatment because clinics are out of reach.

It is still a common sight in the rural and some urban areas to find people having to be subjected to the indignity of relieving themselves in the bushes.  Schools have no running water and sanitation resulting in the educators and learners having to squat in the nearby bushes.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Invest in the building of basic infrastructure and deal with the deliberate neglect and backlog of decades in this regard
  • Ensure that every school has clean water and sanitation
  • Invest in technologies for the reuse of water
  • Ensure that water is provided for free to poor households
  • Reverse the privatization of water provision and do away with prepaid water meters
  • Increase levies for industrial usage to boost water management, while the levies could help inject funds into building of basic infrastructure in the rural areas

5.7      On Rural Development And Agriculture

Rural communities have very little to celebrate for the past twenty years. They have endured nothing but neglect and poor service delivery from successive governments. Non-existent or poor infrastructure, children learning under trees, learners who still have to walk long distances to school, no public transportation, no healthcare facilities and no recreational facilities are the hallmarks of rural living.

The legacy of apartheid derived land ownership patterns continue to have a negative impact on the capacity of black people to provide a sustainable livelihood through, among other things, agriculture.

To improve the situation and to bring prosperity and wellbeing to rural areas and ensure food security for the country, an AZAPO government will:

  • Work in an inclusive manner with traditional authorities
  • Pay special attention to rural municipalities and strengthen their effectiveness
  • Expand the footprint of the public healthcare system in rural areas by ensuring, at a minimum, existence of municipal healthcare facilities that provide primary healthcare and are able to, at least, provide emergency medical treatment in order to stabilize patients needing emergency care.
  • Ensure that within a radius of 100km of rural towns there is a public healthcare facility with appropriately skilled staff that is able to provide secondary healthcare.
    • Ensure that there are recreational facilities for rural communities.
    • Introduce municipal public transport in rural areas so as to reduce the impact of transportation costs on already meagre wages earned by people living in rural areas
    • Include Communal Property Association in the integrated development plan of municipalities.
    • Build and maintain roads linking rural municipalities with regional and national roads so as to ensure efficient connection of rural areas to economic hubs in the country.
    • In developing rural economies, provide support to small scale farmers in the form of tractors to plough their fields, seeds, veterinary services and low cost transportation of their goods to markets.
    • AZAPO will correct the apartheid land distribution patterns through its land policy
    • Provide emerging black farmers with the necessary agricultural training and modern technologies to enable them to be more productive and sustainable.
    • Encourage and support cooperatives aimed at developing economies of scale for small farmers.
      • Work to lower energy costs for rural communities and farmers.
    • Invest in water and irrigation infrastructure.
    • Through its science and technology policy encourage and support research into all aspect of agriculture.
    • Allocate land for large scale farming aimed at ensuring domestic food security first and then producing for the export market.
    • Through diplomatic and trade engagements work to ensure access for South African products in international markets
    • Implement an agricultural strategy whose target is the eradication of poverty through ensuring  food security

5.8      On Land And Mineral Resources

AZAPO believes that land reconquest constitutes the historical and material basis for total liberation of black people in Azania.  To attain total liberation, black people must liberate the land completely and effectively from the system of white racism, neo-colonialism and capitalism, which have historically stunted and had a deleterious effect on the productive capabilities of black people as the rightful owners of the land.

Historically, the basic and original function of the land is to serve as the material basis for dynamic development of social and human life. Essentially, a landless people are really deprived of the material basis for social and human life development. Hence conquest and dispossession of human beings of their land is not merely dispossession of the primary means of production but also the means of exploring and realising their creative potential.

Significantly, the principles of private ownership and distribution of the land on the basis of non-egalitarian principles have been extended to foreign capitalist and other foreign nationals.  This has resulted in the coexistence of foreign private ownership with local private ownership of land.  The primary effect of foreign ownership of land has been the outflow of national wealth to foreign countries.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Vest the ownership of the land, including everything below its surface, the air above it and the sea around it, in the hands of the State.
  • Convert all title deeds for land not earmarked for expropriation into 100 years up to 150 years lease – depending on the investment already made in the land or is required for the productive use of the land
  • Scrap the current land reform policy that is based on a willing buyer–willing seller model, and replace it with the expropriating of land without compensation, which shall primarily be applicable to the land owned and controlled by big landlords and their foreign counterparts.
  • Redistribute and re-organise land for residential, industrial, agricultural, research and development in science and technology, and recreational purposes
  • Redistribute land with the view to reducing the urban-rural economic divide and reverse the patterns of apartheid spatial planning.
  • Grant prospecting and mining rights on the basis of the capacity of the applicant, economic, social and environmental impact on the community, the restorative effect of the proposal
  • Set up an agency of government responsible for the management, prospecting and mining of natural resources

5.9      On the Economy: Jobs and Shared Prosperity

For most people, two decades of ‘freedom’ have meant very little.  Those who thrived under apartheid have continued to do so, joining them in the exclusive reserve has been a few black people who have, through sheer hard work  have achieved what is incomprehensible  for the majority and those who have used their political access to wheel and deal.  Many of our people are out of work, and those looking can’t find any. Eight million people are unemployed. About 17 percent have no prospect of finding a job ever. The future does not look bright for a significant number of South Africans – with most of the affected being black people particularly the youth and women.

Characterising South Africa are the following facts:

  • As a middle-income country, South Africa is the most unequal society in the world with a Gini Coefficient of 0.70. Income inequality has increased every year in the last 20 years. The legacy of apartheid exclusion continues unhindered.
  • Successive governments have failed to reduce poverty only reducing its impact. More than 30 percent of our people are hardest hit by poverty, getting by on R322 or less a month.  Food insecurity, particularly in rural areas, is rampant.
  • Whilst social grants provided temporary relief to 16 million people at a cost of R110 billion annually, they, however, are a potent indication of how successive governments have failed to provide sustainable livelihood for the people.

The above facts are clear evidence of how people’s lives have not changed for the better. Policies implemented by the government have not achieved much, due to their pre-occupation with satisfying the expectations of rating agencies and anonymous investors, vicariously living through several incarnations of pundits. In additions, poor policy coordination arising from intra-ruling party policy discord, stand in the way of addressing the pressing needs of the people. This policy paralysis is exemplified quite strongly by the poor coordination of IPAP, New Growth Path and recently the New Development Plan.

Monetary policy, has been primarily concerned with price stability at the expense of other considerations such as employment and growth. The sole objective of monetary policy is narrowly defined as the inflation target of 3-6 percent. AZAPO strongly believes that the implementation of monetary policy should be undertaken flexibly. Further, it is our view that the central bank is best suited for strengthening oversight on the financial markets.

It is the view of AZAPO that the Reserve Bank’s heavy and sole reliance on adjusting the repo rate is not appropriate considering the challenges facing the country. With high reliance on credit for basic survival and high levels of indebtedness, an increase of the interest rate has dire consequence for the lives of people, their ability to repay debt and the economy as a whole. As a result, AZAPO is of the view that monetary policy practice should support the reduction of debt amongst others and improve the wealth of individuals and their children. An AZAPO government would therefore strongly encourage commercial banks to provide debt relief and forgiveness to debt-laden households.

On the fiscal policy front, the current government is already disengaging from providing consistent support to the flagging economy, a policy bound to have negative effects on growth, expenditure to deliver services and build and maintain infrastructure.  There is ample fiscal space to engage in expansionary policy and lowering the tax burden on individuals who contribute more tax revenue than the 19.5 percent contributed by corporates. Rather than reduce spending, the need is to seriously improve spending and accountability. An estimated R30 billion, according to the Auditor General, is lost annually as wasteful and fruitless expenditure, money that could be spent on service delivery.

South Africa’s economy is highly responsive to growth in fixed investment, which supports the view that there is a strong role for government to support long-term economic growth through clear and targeted action. An AZAPO government would prioritize and target spending on infrastructure development, and promoting entrepreneurship, especially amongst the youth. An AZAPO government would largely engage in ‘deficit-spending’ to support productive activity.

Trade liberalization since the early 90s has not helped increase the country’s global trade. In fact, it has led to increased losses of vital sectors of the economy, and thus reduced employment in textile and clothing. In the past twenty years very little has changed, South Africa’s exports are primary products (metals and agriculture) and South Africa still imports high-value products. An AZAPO government would support trade with other countries but would not be shy to support industries that are vulnerable.

The biggest challenge faced by South Africa in terms of industrial policy is to revive the manufacturing sector.  The past successive governments have, not only failed to revive the manufacturing sector, they have even failed to arrest the decline. The sector contributes less than 16 percent to the economy, compared to more than 19 percent at the start of the new democratic dispensation. A weak productive base increases the vulnerability of the country as it becomes dependent on foreign products. The growing reliance on imports means that South Africans are paying the wages and salaries of foreign workers as opposed to our own.

The revival of the manufacturing sector, in particular labour-intensive manufacturing, will be a priority of an AZAPO administration, and will be promoted by state-led programmes that promote and support investment, training and measures to improve productivity.

The choice of which sector and industry to support seems arbitrary under the current government and lacking of any strategic focus. The focus on the role of SMMEs is weak and this sector has been declining in spite of government support. That is partly because the current government lacks clarity about integration of small business into the value chain of providing products. An AZAPO government will support industries based on their relevance in catering for: the real needs of the country and its people (e.g. food security, healthcare, energy security), beneficiation of South African exports , employment and the need of the region.

In short, an AZAPO government will:

  • Adopt policies that seek to improve the lives of the people in a real sense by stimulating the economy, increasing employment, working to eliminate poverty, promoting shared prosperity and black economic control
  • Redirect fiscal policy to promote self-development and to provide strong incentives for citizens to take advantage of opportunities that integrate them into the  mainstream economy.
  • Target the development and sustainability of SMMEs by amongst others reducing the red tape they face, improving access to finance and providing tax incentives.
  • Enforce tougher control and accountability measures to eliminate waste and inefficiency in the spending of public financial resources.
  • Strongly encourage banks to reduce the debt burden borne by many poor and working class household and promote the need for increased savings.
  • Set up a National Bank that will provide general banking services with a mandate to compete profitably and to have positive social impact
  • Review the scope and mandate of the South African Reserve Bank so that it is explicitly compatible with the long-term policies and plans aimed at addressing key pressing challenges of poverty, unemployment and growth.
  • Increase the importance of the oversight role (especially capital requirement management) of the Reserve bank on financial markets in order to manage inflation in the long run.
  • Target and customise policy solutions for underserved areas such as townships, informal settlements and rural areas.
  • Prioritize the integration of black people, youth and women, through tailor-made policies, into strategic areas of the economy.
  • clamp down on monopolies, collusion and monopolistic behaviour.
  • revive the manufacturing sector, in particular labour-intensive manufacturing
  • Implement an industrial policy that is supportive of industries that cater for :the real needs of South Africans, the beneficiation of South African exports , growth and the needs of the region.
  • Implement a trade policy that seek to diversify South Africa’s trading partners and places special emphasis on trade within the region and the continent
  • Ensure better and productive labour relations between trade unions and capital through win-win social compacts that improve productivity, improve working conditions and guarantee a living wage.
  • Incentivise the development or improvement of skills for the labour force.
    • Uphold progressive principles that guarantee the rights of working people to belong to trade unions of their choice and to engage in collective bargaining.

 

5.10     On Foreign Policy

A nation’s foreign policy must be guided by its domestic priorities and its values.  The conduct of the current government in international relations has lacked consistency and a sense of direction founded on both national interest and values. Straying from its professed adherence to principles such “African Solution for African Problems” and mediation over military intervention, South Africa supported resolution 1973 in 2011 which disguised regime change as protection of civilians. The current government supported resolution 1973 despite an African Union Road Map agreed to a week before passing of the resolution in the Security Council.  The recent deployment of South African troops to the Central African Republic is another example of South Africa’s foreign forays with dubious motives.

Inspired by Pan-Africanist values, international solidarity and fraternity of all man, an AZAPO government will:

  • build relations that translate into actual contributions to South Africa’s national priorities
  • make achievement of South Africa’s international trade priorities a key aspect of diplomatic efforts
  • Strengthen- political, social and economic- relations with all African countries for the advancement of freedom, peace, security and development.
  • Pursue greater economic integration within the African continent starting with the pursuit of a SADC wide customs union.
  • Uphold anti-imperialism, respect for sovereignty and multilaterally approved interventions as opposed to interference into other countries’ affairs
  • Consider and pursue trilateral co-operation projects in healthcare, education, nutrition, food security, and climate change that make a real impact on the people of Africa and the developing world.
  • Vigorously  pursue the democratisation of multilateral bodies so that they are reflective of the countries of the world as oppose to reflecting the economic and military might of countries
  •  In pursuit of the democratisation of multilateral bodies, advocate for:
    •  elimination of permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council, replacing it with biennial elections- on a regional basis- of members of the Security Council by the General Assembly.
    • Scraping of the veto in the Security Council

 

­6.         BUILDING A CARING SOCIETY

6.1      On Health

Despite being a basic human right, most of our people who are economically vulnerable and rely on the public health-care system, do not enjoy the right to quality health care. The South African health care system is crumbling and is characterised by weak health systems management, poor working conditions, low staff morale and insufficient human resources.  The public healthcare system yields poor health outcomes relative to total health expenditure, inefficiency and overall poor delivery of healthcare services.

The poor outcomes of the public healthcare system become evident when one looks at maternal and infant mortality. The Millennium Development Goals country report estimates maternal mortality ratio to be 625 per 100 000, with the global target being set at 100 or less per 100 000.  Infant mortality is presently estimated to be 104 per 1000 live births whereas the global target is 20 or less per 1000.  This means giving birth in public healthcare facilities is a risky proposition for both mother and child and this disproportionately affects women from poor and working class communities.

Added to the challenges facing public health-care is the fact that a Bachelors Degree has been made a basic qualification for a registered nurse. This means only universities would offer such a qualification and Nursing Education Institutions, which have been producing the majority of registered nurses, would not be able to offer a basic nursing qualification.    This is likely to exacerbate the shortage of skilled and qualified health-care professionals.

Due to poor management and outright incompetence, the public healthcare system is ill-equipped to handle our countries major health challenges: HIV and Aids and related diseases such as TB, Maternal and Child mortality, the increase in lifestyle related and non-communicable diseases among others

In building a healthy nation able to support the nation’s development, an AZAPO government will:

  • Begin by getting the basics rights!  This means an AZAPO led government will institute good leadership and good governance across all levels of the public healthcare system. AZAPO will start by appointing appropriately qualified personnel at all management levels and will provide them with the requisite resources to ensure quality services.  Officials will be held accountable for the performance of the areas and facilities for which they are responsible.
  • Guarantee access to healthcare by instituting universal healthcare coverage. AZAPO favours a single payer model which means government will pay for all medical services at the point of need. Such coverage will be financed through taxes.
  • Increase the geographical foot print of the public healthcare system by working with municipalities to establish municipal healthcare facilities that provide primary healthcare and are able to, at least, provide emergency medical treatment in order to stabilize a patient.
  • Ensure that within a radius of 100km of rural towns there is a public healthcare facility that is able to provide secondary healthcare.
  • Allow healthcare services to be rendered in both private and public institutions.  However, payment through public coverage at private institutions will be pegged at the same level as that of public healthcare institutions.
  • Place special emphasis on primary healthcare as a first line of defence against diseases and illness. A well-managed and professionally run municipal healthcare system that is able to investigate outbreaks of disease, monitor the environment and health promotion could have a major impact on the overall health of most South Africans.
  • Support and increase training in specialised nursing particularly advance midwifery, child care and primary healthcare, in order to lower child and maternal mortality and to improve primary healthcare,
  • Ensure that nursing colleges are able to offer the basic qualification needed to be a registered nurse. This will allow Nursing Colleges to continue training and providing the system with much needed nurses
  • Support and encourage young people to take up careers in the healthcare.
  • Provide for a special bursary scheme for the training of doctors, nurse and all healthcare professionals
  • Engage in bilateral  agreement with other country that will see doctors coming to work in South Africa
  • Improve the working conditions of health professionals by making them safe, providing the necessary equipment and supplies that will allow them to perform at their best and ensure health professionals are paid decent salaries that are reflective of their importance and role in society.
  • Increase public awareness of lifestyle related, non-communicable diseases
  • Combat and de-stigmatise HIV and AIDS by amongst others, expanding the roll-out of antiretrovirals while continuing public education on HIV and AIDS in order to limit its spread

6.2      On Women In Society

AZAPO believes that the oppression of women and the Women’s Liberation struggle is a human issue that should not be confined to the exclusive efforts of women.  Historically, the oppression and gender discrimination of black women have been located in the dispossession of the indigenous people, which resulted in the economic exploitation and race oppression of black people.  Today there is still a lot that needs to be done to remove the structural impediments and restore the dignity of women and accelerate their liberation.  Women have multiple roles and can at any one time be mothers, leaders, students, decision-makers, workers and much more.  20 years into ‘democracy’ women, particularly black women, still have a scanty presence in positions of leadership both in the public and private sectors.  South Africa’s Census 2011 has revealed that black women have the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest employment opportunities.  Official unemployment for black women stands at 41.2%.  However, the expanded definition of unemployment puts the rate for black women at almost 53%.

Women play a pivotal role in ensuring food security for their families.  With increasing effects of climatic changes, women must be supported in their efforts to feed their families.  Without title to land, women are often denied access to technologies and resources – such as water resources, irrigation services, credit, extension, and seed.  The United Nations has determined a direct correlation between education and human rights.  In fact, educated girls tend to become women with greater economic independence, with an increased ability to negotiate and bargain in home, community and economic life.  Educated girls and women tend to participate more in public life, and can manage natural resources in a more sustainable manner and experience greater ease in finding formal sector employment, and earn higher incomes.  Research has found that a one-year increase in schooling of all adult females in a country is associated with an increase in gross domestic product per capita of around US$700.  In addition, a country failing to meet gender education targets is expected to suffer a deficit in per capita income of 0.1 to 0.3 percentage points.

Gender based violence in the form of rape and domestic abuse is on the rise.  In all areas of economic pursuits , it is common knowledge that sex is demanded from women in return for a tender, promotion or some deal.  The suffering is worse for rural and uneducated women.  The concepts of women empowerment and quotas are not always helpful where the structure and fibre of the South African society is fundamentally patriarchal and sexist.

An AZAPO government will:

  • establish a stand-alone Ministry to be in charge of women’s affairs and the targeted implementation of a radical transformation programme, and report progress in Parliament
  • Introduce legal reforms and policy reformation in favour of women to ensure equitable property and resource ownership rights for women with the objective of securing greater food security and reduced poverty
  • Enact laws and introduce programmes that remove the patriarchal structural impediments that halt the free development of women
  • Actively champion and support programmes that are geared at the eradication of patriarchal attitudes, prejudices and practices
  • Place onus for bail on the rape accused; impose a heavy prison sentence and offer no parole to convicted rapists.
  • Set up a gender equity panel with a mandate to investigate and enforce gender parity progress in the public, private and other relevant institutions
  • Ensure that women’s health issues receive attention in research, in the provision of health services and in building public awareness
  • Ensure that value of the equality of sexes, the principle of anti-sexism and the Women’s Liberation programme are interwoven into the school curriculum
  • Provide sanitary material for girls at school
  • Incorporate in the school curriculum a life skills programme to alert teenagers about development setbacks caused by sex at an early age and the resultant unplanned pregnancies that tend to aggravate poverty in many cases

6.3       On Youth Development

AZAPO recognises the role that young people played through their militancy, sacrifices and revolutionary activism to at least defeat apartheid and prepare society for more radical changes.  This is the social group that has from time to time engaged in fierce battles with the authorities fighting either for admissions or against financial exclusions at the various institutions of learning.  This is the social group that is hard hit by unemployment, and therefore finding settling in society a challenge.  The future of a society is dependent upon the manner in which it takes care of the young population.  A young nation like ours must pay attention to the formulation and development of policies that promote young people’s development to the extent they become healthy, productive adults able to contribute meaningfully to society.

However current socio-economic indicators show that the government is failing to ensure the development and well-being of the country’s young people, particularly in terms of education and employment.  This is evidenced by the results of Census 2011 that show that “the proportion [of the population which had some primary level education has slightly decreased from 16.0% in 2001 to 12.3% in 2011”.  Further evidence is provided by the African Economic Outlook 2012 that has observed that “among the young, the unemployment rate is double the national average, having risen from 45% in 2008 to 50.5% in 2010”.  A survey by Statistics South Africa in 2010 offered the following profile of youth unemployment in South Africa:

  • About 42% of young people under the age of 30 are unemployed compared with fewer than 17% of adults over 30
  • Only 1 in 8 (13%) of working age adults under 25 years has a job, compared to 40% in most emerging economies
  • Unemployed young people tend to be less skilled and more inexperienced: almost 86% do not have formal further or tertiary education, while two-thirds have never worked.

Compared to nations at similar stages of economic development, South Africa has an unusually high unemployment problem – in general and among the young.  Only 40% of those of working age have jobs, compared to 65% in Brazil, 71% in China and 55% in India.  The emerging market average is 56%.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Establish a stand-alone Youth Ministry to pay  particular attention to the development and general affairs of the youth
  • Formulate a holistic youth policy that will deal with developmental issues and youth service
  • Create a permanent non-partisan youth forum to thrash out issues relating to the youth
  • Create multipurpose youth development centres to, among other things, equip the youth with entrepreneurial skills
  • Ensure that all youth undergo compulsory community service as a means to inculcate patriotism, discipline, responsibility and a culture of respect for human life.

6.4       On People Living With Disabilities

 

Building a caring society means ensuring that, amongst others, the most vulnerable and marginalised in society are ensured the right to opportunities that will give them the means to live meaningful, productive, fulfilled and safe lives.  There are systemic and structural barriers which prevent integration of the disabled into society while impacting negatively on their ability to access opportunities. These structural as well as systematic barriers include: attitudes, education, environments, transport, housing, employment, unavailability of equipment and specialised medical care etc.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Ensure that people living with disabilities are included and consulted on any issue dealing with disability in keeping with the principle “nothing about us without us”
  • Make the development and support of people living with disability a Presidential issue
  • Work to ensure that people living with disability are able to live independent lives.
  • Ensure that people living with disabilities have access to work opportunities and that their employment is not seen as mere matter of  compliance with quotas
  • Make the healthcare needs of those with disabilities a primary healthcare issue
  • Provide assistance  and guidance to people living with disabilities and their families primarily during early rehabilitation
  • Provided those living with a disability with opportunities to access education and skills development programmes.
  • Enforce the right of people with disabilities to free movement on public transportation and in built environments
  • Ensure that means of communication for those leaving with disabilities are mainstreamed e.g. braille, sign language, and auditory support
  • Build assisted living centres that will ensure those with disabilities can have a level of autonomy in their lives

6.5      On Social Security

Currently, there are about five major social assistance grants in the social security system.  The system currently has more than 16 million people receiving grants.  Given the socio-economic backlogs and poverty facing the majority of black people as a result of apartheid disparities, the current social security system is understandable and needed. While it is good that 16 million South Africa are saved from extreme poverty, such a number is itself indicative of the failure of the current government.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Strengthen management and efficacy of the social security system
  • Root out corruption that is plaguing the payout of social grants
  • Eliminate the hardships associated with the payout of old age pension and disability grants
  • Provide for all social grants, based on a minimum living wage
  • Provide a social wage for the unemployed
  • Tie some of the social grants for the able-bodied to community service which will allow them to gain skills and experience while contributing to community wellbeing

 

6.6      On Culture and Sports

No nation has ever prospered on the back of the erosion of human traits such as culture, morality and respect. These are the values that bind us together and provide agreed and understood modes of behaviour. Development is not only physical, but also psychological and cultural. Education, economic activity, health care, politics and others are simply not possible in an environment devoid of respect.

It is on the sporting fields that our culture, values and respect come to the fore and are reinforced. AZAPO shares the view that sports and general active living have ample benefits that include among others better health, formation and strengthening of a sense of community and shared pride and economic benefit.

However, both sports and culture have suffered from over commercialization. Pursuit of cultural activities and sports purely for the love of it, has been subjugated by the pervasive profit motive. Indeed the word “amateur” has taken on a negative connotation far different form its roots of ‘love for’ or ‘taste for’ a specific activity.

Working with various sectors of society, an AZAPO government will:

  • Provide for the cultural and linguistic expression of the various cultural and linguistic communities found in our country
  • Invest in the protection of our country’s physical  and cultural heritage
  • Support the pursuit of cultural activities both as means of making a living and for self-expression
  • Encourage sports participation by all South Africans – those who want to make a living from it and those who participate for the love of it
  • Work with sporting bodies to build and strengthen their organisational capacity and effectiveness
  • Encourage and support the development of world class South African athletes who will excel in whatever sport they pursue
  • Ensure that sports are played at all school levels

 

 

7.         CONCLUSION

Considering that it is now 20 years into ‘democracy’, our people definitely deserve better.  It is on this basis that AZAPO insists that ordinary citizens should assert themselves and take back their power. Indeed we have seen enough and heard enough to know that our best hope for the fulfillment of the promise of our liberation struggle lies in a change in government.  In particular, the answer lies in the installation of an AZAPO government.

AZAPO makes the above proposals fully conscious of the limits imposed by the system of global capitalism. Despite these limitations, AZAPO believes that its proposals set out above are achievable and will dramatically improve the lives of all South Africans, particularly the poor and marginalized. AZAPO believes that a global system organized on socialist values is what will liberate humanity and allow for the achievement of a system where the free development of all in a necessary condition for the free development of one.

AZAPO calls on all our people to join hands, to take back their power and be masters of their own destiny. AZAPO once more repeats its clarion call to all our people:

“Your vote is your weapon to change the lives of all South Africans for the better. Use it wisely and vote AZAPO For the Sake of our Country!”

ONE AZANIA, ONE NATION