Better Future Plan
UDM Manifesto 2004
MESSAGE FROM BANTU HOLOMISA – FREEDOM FOR ALL
Dear Fellow South African
This year we celebrate ten years of freedom. We understand freedom as the ability of individuals and groups to make choices and pursue their aspirations freely. This includes choices such as where to live, what work to choose and where to engage in it, where and what to learn, where and what business to pursue, and many others.
This means that the level of freedom depends on the socio-economic conditions. The better the socioeconomic conditions, the greater the freedom of citizens to pursue their aspirations and address their concerns.
Our democratic Constitution seeks to guarantee our freedom, but this can only be achieved if the socioeconomic environment allows the Bill of Rights to become a reality for all South Africans. Freedom is not just a political condition; freedom is also a social and economic condition. Political freedom, without social and economic freedom is a hollow concept. Has the political freedom gained in 1994 translated into social and economic freedom?
Freedom of choice will be the key symbol of our celebration of ten years of liberation. South Africans will exercise their freedom of choice to determine who must govern, both and national and provincial levels.
This political choice will not only determine who governs, but also which political party is best suited to keep an eye on the ruling party. This party will use Parliament to ensure that the ruling party sticks to the mandate it received and that it serves the entire nation, not just those that voted for it. After all, the entire nation, irrespective of party political support, contribute to the funding of Government through taxes and are equal under the Constitution.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is ready, willing and able to fulfill either of these roles: to govern and deliver, or to hold the ruling party accountable to the citizens of this country.
The UDM is seven years old, but already has established itself as a significant player on the political landscape. In less than two years since our launch the UDM participated in the 1999 elections and gained 16 seats in Parliament, and representation in six provincial legislatures. In the process the UDM became the official opposition in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo legislatures.
The UDM has given value to all South Africans who voted for us in the 1999 elections, and to those who did not vote for us but who are committed to the democratic principles of good governance.
Three examples of this are:
The floor-crossing legislation
When the ruling party, with the support of the DA and NNP introduced the floor-crossing legislation, it was the UDM that took the fight for the rights of voters to the highest court. Voters need to ask these parties why they supported this law, and thereby gave the right to a single individual politician to nullify the votes of tens of thousands of people.
The Arms Deal
The UDM is amongst those who took the lead in challenging the Arms Deal that appears to be a hotbed of corruption and fraud. Eventually certain Government officials were found to have been guilty of improper behaviour. Even now, the matter is not resolved, with powerful people linked to the ANC facing court trials, and a cloud of suspicions hanging over Deputy President, Jacob Zuma.
The Hefer Commission came about as a direct result of these unresolved matters relating to the Arms Deal. The UDM will continue to pursue this matter because corruption cannot be tolerated. We disagree with the wastage of billions of Rands of weapons of war when the real enemies of our country are unemployment, poverty, crime and HIV/AIDS. This is part of the UDM’s commitment to accountable and responsible government. We have the resolve and commitment to fight corruption, and take on any party, no matter its history or power, to ensure that South Africans have the ethical governance that they deserve.
When Government announced its Taxi Recapitalisation programme most South Africans were justifiably relieved that the existing taxi fleet would be upgraded and the industry would be democratically run.
However it quickly became evident that Government was bungling the process, not sticking to its own deadlines and blaming taxi owners for Government’s mistakes. Government was unable to answer commuters’ questions about affordability and availability of services, whilst owners’ questions about equity remained unanswered.
Government refused to apply relevant safety regulations to existing makes of vehicles, and offered owners a small scrapping fee regardless of the roadworthiness of their current vehicle, thus making it virtually impossible for owners to afford the new vehicles. It became apparent that this process was in danger of becoming a self-enrichment scam for the elite, at the expense of commuters and black business people in the industry. It would be wrong for an industry that supplies millions of people with transport and tens of thousands of people with jobs to be undermined in this fashion.
The UDM together with most of the taxi associations actively campaigned for Government to address these concerns, since Government itself had unreasonably delayed the process and was making it impossible for the industry to transform. As a result Government recently agreed to postpone the deadlines to ensure that the Taxi Recapitalisation is properly implemented and that commuters are not deprived of services whilst thousands of entrepreneurs in the industry are bankrupted.
These are but some examples of the UDM’s active role in national politics and the further consolidation of South Africa’s democracy. Being a viable, trustworthy and reliable opposition party is a demonstration that we are equally up to the task of governing.
The UDM and its leadership understand the fundamental values that South Africans apply when choosing their government.
We understand that:
– South Africans want a sense of ownership of their government.
– South Africans want direct control of their government.
– South Africans want an accountable, ethical and incorruptible government.
– South Africans want mutual trust between them and their government.
– South Africans want to be in charge of their own destiny.
– South Africans want a say in the management of the country’s resources.
A vote, at national or provincial level, for the UDM is a vote for these values.
Ten years after the achievement of political freedom we need to ask how free are South Africans. How much has freedom grown for South Africans of all races and creeds since 1994?
Reviewing ten years of freedom
We must deliberately measure our progress since 1994, because true freedom is not a once-off event but an ongoing process. The UDM understands that the growth of freedom depends on certain basic conditions that affect citizens’ physical ability but are also directly linked to their dignity, including the following:
Jobs. Without productive employment and a decent living wage people will not be able to experience the fruits of freedom. In the long term, food security can only be achieved and hunger beaten if people have jobs
Education. Without knowledge and skills people cannot make informed decisions and achieve their goals, and so enhance their livelihoods.
Health. People need to be healthy and have adequate health care in order to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of a democratic society.
Security. People who feel under siege from criminals in their homes, neighbourhoods and places of work cannot fully concentrate on pursuing their aspirations.
Property ownership. Without ownership of land and property people are unable to participate actively in the economic and social life of the country.
The UDM understands that if these conditions are lacking or inadequate, freedom for all has not yet been achieved.
Unemployment and poverty is a direct contradiction of freedom. Real freedom – political, social and economic – provides dignity to a nation. On the other hand, unemployment and poverty undermines it. Similarly, crime, rampant HIV/AIDS and inadequate education are all factors that undermine freedom.
Whilst Apartheid undermined the majority’s dignity and freedom, the current levels of unemployment, poverty, crime and HIV/AIDS are taking many South Africans back to that same state of hardship and suffering experienced under Apartheid.
Therefore, when we assess South Africa since 1994 we need to ask: Are South Africans more free now that ten years ago? The answers are well-documented and visible all over our country. Despite major strides that have been taken: unemployment is rife; poverty and homelessness are evident everywhere, HIV/AIDS affects millions, crime is holding people hostage in their own homes, education fails to provide adequate skills for employment and the majority are still without property and landless. This is a clear indication that in ten years we have not seen the advancement of our freedom that we deserve.
Whilst real freedom still eludes the majority a new black elite connected to the ANC are reaping the rewards of freedom. The ANC’s Black Economic Empowerment amounts to real freedom only for their political comrades. Real freedom is about equal opportunities for all, not immoral wealth for the few.
Women, youth and people with disabilities
The UDM is particularly aware that these challenges of unemployment, poverty, crime, HIV/AIDS and Education have a greater impact on some sectors of our society. It is especially women, youth and people with disabilities that are more prone to suffering under these conditions. A society that claims to be democratic and free but allows its women, youth and people with disabilities to be left behind is immoral and unjust. Especially the youth are faced with huge obstacles and whilst many of them are trapped in unemployment, it is impossible for them to prepare for their role as future leaders of our society. It is
It is our task to lay a foundation for them, a better future, in order that they may deliver for their children not merely a better, but a greater future. Women, Youth and people with disabilities will be specifically included in the UDM’s government programmes/policies to deal with unemployment, crime, HIV/AIDS and Education. The current Umsombovu Fund must be scrapped and replaced with a mechanism that is not used solely for ANC aligned youth groups and people. Stringent measures to stop crime and abuse perpetrated against women and children must be implemented.
Real freedom for all is the UDM’s mission. The achievement of real freedom for all can only be gained through massive socio-economic delivery. In this manifesto we outline the UDM’s proposals for achieving this massive socio-economic delivery. Our point of departure is that this massive socio-economic delivery can only be achieved by a Government that is willing to invest in its own economy and people. This is a philosophy that says Government must do more. It stands in stark contrast with the thinking of other parties that hold the view that Government must do less and everyone else must do more.
This manifesto is the UDM’s pledge of commitment. We offer no “contract”, no fine print, no loopholes and no excuses.
Whilst policy issues on jobs, poverty, crime and HIV/AIDS will be central to the debates during this election campaign, I wish to place the issue of responsibility and integrity on the agenda alongside these policy discussions. I believe that it is time for all political leaders to be held accountable for the promises they make. I believe it is time for responsibility and integrity among all political leaders to become the rule rather than the exception. I believe that the voters should judge all political parties, not just on their policies, but on their leaders’ integrity and willingness to accept responsibility.
The UDM is an established and growing organisation with the vision as well as capable women and men from all races who are bound together in their quest to achieve real freedom for all. As South Africa embarks on the second decade of political freedom, the UDM undertakes to translate that into social and economic freedom for all.
We need a government that puts South Africa and its people first. You deserve a Government that does more!
President, United Democratic Movement
THE ECONOMY, JOBS AND POVERTY
Fundamentally the UDM is convinced that the Economy, Jobs and Poverty are inter-linked issues. We believe that Jobs are the ultimate weapon against Poverty and that the Economy must be managed to ensure the achievement of this goal. Government has a responsibility to intervene and protect the South African economy and South African jobs when necessary. Whilst Free Market Capitalism is the best economic system developed by humanity, it is still fraught with weaknesses and failures that must be actively managed.
South Africans are suspicious and mistrust Government because of perceptions that Government is not equitably distributing the resources of the country. A new privileged political elite exclusively enjoys the resources. There is no consensus on a macro-economic policy that can transform the economy in a manner that could create and spread wealth wider and improve the lot of disadvantaged majority. There are in particular concerns about the inadequacies and contradictions of the fiscal and industrial policies.
The harsh reality is that we are suffering from:
– a 42% rate of unemployment.
– the economy is unable to create jobs.
– more than a million jobs have been destroyed.
– economic growth is too slow to absorb new entrants into the labour market.
The prospects of reversing this dismal trend appear far-fetched under the present economic policies and performance of the ruling party. Consequently the gains of liberation in 1994 have not translated into real economic freedom for all.
Our economy suffers from jobless growth due to the confusion created by an ambivalent Tripartite Alliance (ANC, Cosatu & SACP). This ruling clique preaches elimination of unemployment in the streets and legislate retrenchments and greater unemployment in parliament.
The governments of the USA, Europe, China, India and most others recognise the responsibility that they have towards their citizens and intervene to protect their domestic jobs and businesses. A Government that proposes anything less does not care about its people, and is not willing to accept responsibility for their welfare and prosperity.
During the UDM National Congress of 2001, the UDM adopted the policy of responsible government intervention in the economy through infrastructure development to create jobs.
A UDM Government will focus on job creation and stimulating economic growth, investor confidence and efficient service delivery, but will be equally aware, and willing, to responsibly intervene in the economy to open up business and employment opportunities for all South Africans.
Because South Africans deserve to have an input in how the economy is run and how job creation is pursued, the UDM proposes the establishment of a Presidential Council on Planned Sustainable Development representing all stakeholders in society, not just Government, Business and Labour only. This forum will afford broader society the opportunity to advise a UDM Government on issues related to the economy, infrastructure development and job creation.
THE BROKEN PROMISES OF THE PAST TEN YEARS
– In 1994 under RDP hundreds of thousands of jobs and massive development was promised.
– In 1996 GEAR promised hundreds of thousands of jobs with its inception.
– In 1998 The Presidential Jobs Summit promised hundreds of thousands of jobs.
– In 1999 under the Arms Deal 65 000 jobs were promised.
– The 2003 Growth and Development Summit promised jobs.
BUT IN 10 YEARS MORE THAN A MILLION JOBS WERE DESTROYED!
UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY UNDERMINES THE PEOPLE’S FREEDOM!
To create jobs, strengthen the economy and alleviate poverty, a UDM Government will:
- Create jobs through Small Business Development. A UDM Government will assist South Africans to create their own wealth whilst creating jobs for others.
- Launch Planned Sustainable Development programmes (like building roads, schools and clinics as well as providing water, electricity and creating irrigation schemes) to create jobs on a large scale and make communities economically and socially viable.
- Implement a Manageable Budget Deficit so that government can responsibly intervene in the economy by investing in Planned Sustainable Development programmes. In other words a UDM Government will lend money, if necessary, to finance these job creation programmes.
- Involve all stakeholders in society in growing the economy, creating jobs and developing infrastructure. A new body, the Presidential Council on Planned Sustainable Development, representing all stakeholders, will monitor infrastructure development and job creation and advise a UDM Government.
- Pursue an economic growth rate of 8% within five years, which is necessary and achievable.
- Support progressive taxes – taxing those who can afford it more – so that the poor can take their rightful economic and social place in society and help contribute to tax revenue and the success of South Africa. We propose that 1% of income tax you already pay (R1 billion per year) should be equally divided as additional funding that will be spent directly on Skills Creation and Crime Prevention in order to address these urgent concerns.
- Implement new supportive measures for South African industries and businesses to excel in domestic and international trade. All international trade deals will, in the first instance, serve the interests of South African workers and businesses.
- Recognise that education and skills development is pivotal to the long-term success of any economic strategy. A UDM Government will improve Sectoral Education and Training Agencies, make schools more skills-orientated and focus on literacy and numeracy.
- Embark on an intensive skills training programme in the civil service to enhance the quality, speed and efficiency of all Government services, because the success of all Government programmes is dependent upon qualified and motivated civil servants.
- Target tourism and agriculture as industries that have massive economic growth and job creating potential.
- Initiate immediate poverty alleviation. We support a Basic Service Subsidy to assist poor people to afford basic rates. Furthermore, a comprehensive food parcel system operated with smart-cards will be implemented, so that poor households can use the smart-card to receive a minimum of food and basic household goods every month. In addition, a UDM Government will address the current discrimination against rural areas in the provision of social grants and housing subsidies.
- Ensure that credit bureaus are strictly licensed and controlled, and current blacklisting practices will be abolished. A proper system will be legislated, based on ratings, and bureaus will be allowed only to report a person’s rating and no other private or personal details. Every person will have the right to contest their credit rating and the information it is based on.
- Implement Equal Economic Empowerment in an effort to genuinely help all South Africans, especially those who are economically marginalised. This must replace the current government’s Black Economic Empowerment policy that has become a buzzword for self-enrichment by a new elite. The emphasis of Equal Economic Empowerment will be focused on industries that create jobs, as opposed to the current Black Economic Empowerment policy that consists of merely handing over shares and stock options to a small elite that does not grow the economy or create jobs. Equal Economic Empowerment will be about growing the economic cake, instead of just giving a bigger slice of the current cake to a select few.
Under fiscal policy a UDM Government will:
- Maintain real interest rates at internationally competitive levels, while constantly guarding against an unsustainably high Rand exchange rate. Whilst we recognise that interest rate volatility can be caused by international trends such as the strength of other currencies, there are also domestic factors. Interest rate volatility is often the result of domestic factors such as crime, corruption, rampant HIV/AIDS and the slide to a one-party state. These factors undermine the image of South Africa in the eyes of investors and currency traders. Monetary policy does not exist in a vacuum, but is directly affected by the perceived stability of the country. Therefore a UDM Government will actively address these issues to ensure monetary stability.
- Constantly review South Africa’s international trade tariffs and duties to protect developing local industries, encourage exports, increase international trade and support inbound tourism.
- Adapt fiscal policies to suit the particular circumstances in South Africa as a developing nation. Blindly imitating neo-liberal policies – that the developed world themselves do not follow strictly – is damaging our economy. Policies that directly stabilize the cost of strategic commodities such as oil will be preferred.
To create jobs and build infrastructure, a UDM Government will:
- Establish a new body called the Presidential Council on Planned Sustainable Development to guide planning and coordination of these Sustainable Development programmes aimed at building infrastructure and creating jobs. Business, labour, civil society groups and affected communities will be represented at national and provincial level on the Council. This will ensure that proper consultation takes place in the development of infrastructure. The Department of Public Works will play a central role.
- Implement this strategy, whilst creating jobs, with the aim to turn all communities into productive and safe environments that will improve the quality of life of all South Africans, especially those who are economically deprived and marginalised.
- Ensure that security of tenure for homeowners will underpin all housing intervention strategies. This will reduce the risk of evictions and make it easier to provide communities with essential services.
- Ensure that Planned Sustainable Development programmes recognise that South Africa can be divided into two economic parts, urban and rural, with different needs.
- Follow an aggressive national recruiting campaign to reach out to all the unemployed and informal sector workers, in order to accommodate them in Planned Sustainable Development programmes.
- Ensure that every Planned Sustainable Development programme seeks to create as many jobs as possible in all its activities. The focus of these job creation efforts will be Small Business Development. A UDM Government will engage in infrastructure delivery by sub-contracting and training skilled and unskilled people to handle aspects of infrastructure construction and maintenance. It will mean that these emerging small businesses will have contracts for the period of a specific infrastructure development programme, and thereafter will have the necessary skills and experience to continue unaided as viable, privately-owned businesses.
To promote Small Business Development, a UDM Government will:
- Place Small Business Development at the core of the UDM economic plan. A UDM Government will vigorously pursue policies that encourage and generate opportunities for those who wish to start up and grow their own businesses.
- Improve the coordination between national, provincial and local departments dealing with small business support.
- Dissolve the current financing agencies, Khula and Ntsika, and replace them with a new small business-financing agency, operating according to corporate principles.
- Ensure that the Department of Trade and Industry becomes visible nationally, also in rural and disadvantaged areas, by establishing Small Business advice and support centres.
- Ensure that the Department of Trade and Industry actively promotes small business to domestic and international consumers.
- Give small businesses preferential access to government tenders and will help them to secure further contracts and financing.
- Review all regulatory and licensing obstacles that stand in the way of Small Business Development. Small businesses will be heavily promoted in urban and rural areas, in labour intensive (manufacturing and production), knowledge-based and service orientated, industries and sectors.
- Ensure that the Department of Trade and Industry establishes a partnership with the South African Postal Service and Telkom, so that small businesses can harness and take advantage of modern technology at preferential rates.
- Ensure that we retain our developed technology and highly trained citizens, and that we take the lead in technological breakthroughs.
To promote Agriculture and Land, a UDM Government will:
- Recognise that agriculture receives government aid in all first world countries, and will introduce subsidies and grants for farmers and emerging farmers.
- Provide all subsidies and grants with the overall aim of allowing farmers a fair and sustainable return on the capital invested.
- Aim subsidies and grants at start-up funding for commercial farmers.
- Encourage sound agricultural practices, because government aid will only go towards farmers that avoid wasteful and unsustainable practices.
- Encourage the employment of farm workers – in sectors where long-term growth is possible – by short-term subsidization of their wages, to ensure that the minimum wage is paid.
- Encourage beneficiaries of land redistribution to engage in commercial farming.
- Recognise the role and value of Traditional Leaders. Issues of land and administrative duties involving local government will include Traditional Leaders. All laws affecting Traditional Leaders and the millions of people who recognise them will be reviewed in consultation with those affected.
- Reverse the neglect of rural areas. It is essential to recognise the inequity of subsidizing homes in urban areas whilst, rural communities who also pay taxes receive no such subsidy. A UDM Government will ensure that rural areas receive an equitable share of subsidization aimed at agricultural activity, so that where an urban beneficiary is supported to build a home, a rural beneficiary is supported to begin farming (with for instance seed, fertilizer and implements, such as tractors). In this way people will be able to feed themselves and their families, and in the long run are placed on the path towards becoming commercial farmers.
HIV/AIDS AND HEALTH ISSUES
The UDM is committed to protecting and promoting the constitutional right of all South Africans to basic health care, and providing proper and immediate responses to the major health risks facing the country. Too many people in our country still cannot access proper health care. Too many clinics and hospitals have fallen into squalor. Too many people and babies have died unnecessarily of HIV/AIDS.
ANC GOVERNMENT’S HIV/AIDS FAILURES HAVE LED TO:
– 7 million people being infected.
– Cemeteries filling up.
– A growing population of AIDS orphans.
– More and more households losing breadwinners and sinking into poverty.
– The productive sector of the population dying at an increasing rate.
– The plight of South African women worsening because they are the majority of people living with HIV/AIDS.
This state of affairs means that many South Africans are condemned to a life lacking in dignity. This is a reversal of the gains of liberation, and simply undermines our hard-earned freedom.
DON’T YOU DESERVE BETTER HEALTH CARE?
HIV/AIDS AND POOR HEALTH CARE UNDERMINE THE PEOPLE’S FREEDOM!
To improve health care, a UDM Government will:
- Improve health facilities, including the maintenance of hospitals and clinics.
- Ensure that all hospitals and clinics are properly stocked with medicines and other medical supplies.
- Increase the number of hospitals and clinics, and upgrade facilities to deal with the massive increase in demand due to HIV/AIDS.
- Ensure that all staff at primary health care facilities are properly qualified and trained.
- Streamline referral procedures to ensure that all patients requiring specialised care receive speedy and appropriate treatment at the relevant medical facility.
- Strive towards ensuring that no medical practitioner, ambulance service, hospital or clinic should be allowed to refuse treatment, aid or admission to any person based solely on his/her ability to pay.
- Maintain the current spending on the health budget, excluding HIV/AIDS programmes, because this would be sufficient if spent appropriately and effectively. “Savings” or budget rollovers will not be tolerated.
- Ensure that all persons without a private medical aid and lacking sufficient resources to pay for medical treatment are considered Government Aided Patients. In consultation with the organized medical profession, a UDM Government will negotiate fair treatment for such people and provide reasonable payment to doctors and nurses handling such cases. Such patients will receive medicine subsidized by Government.
- Ensure that the Primary Health care system is tailored to respond effectively to the major diseases, aside from HIV/AIDS, threatening the South African population, such as TB, Cholera and Malaria. All are preventable and can be treated.
- Ensure that nutritional issues and family planning forms a basic part of Primary Health care, recognising that appropriate education and training in these areas will have a major impact on the well-being of communities.
- Ensure that the Department of Health is part of an integrated response to alcohol and drug abuse, recognising that substance abuse contribute to high levels of violence, death and the social breakdown of South African society.
To deal with HIV/AIDS, a UDM Government will:
- Implement and take the lead in a National Plan of Action to fight HIV/AIDS, including the implementation of a comprehensive education and awareness programme.
- Ensure that the National Plan of Action to deal with HIV/AIDS sets aside adequate funding for credible research into treatments and vaccines for HIV/AIDS.
- Make HIV/AIDS a notifiable disease, with due regard to confidentiality, to ensure that accurate and continuous information on the exact incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS is available to guide the fight against the pandemic.
- In partnership with business and organised labour, will prepare for the anticipated impact of HIV/AIDS, both economically and socially.
- Ensure that the primary health care system provides the necessary medical and counseling support to all people living with HIV/AIDS to extend and enhance their quality of life. Urgent attention will be given to the fair, equitable and universal provision of anti-Aids drugs and treatment.
Integrity and honesty in politics will remain under threat as long as the floor-crossing law continues to exist in its current form.
Voters must remember that aside from the ANC’s openly opportunistic attitude in passing this law, that they were supported by the DA and NNP. Though these parties all pretend an immense concern for the voters’ wishes, they vigorously pursued floor-crossing for their own short-term interests. Though the DA and NNP expressed shock and cried foul when the opportunistic defection circus commenced, in truth they had been soliciting defectors for more than a year. Though the DA and NNP claimed surprise that floor-crossers did not defect on principles and that the whole exercise turned into a cynical abuse of the voters, the UDM had warned from the outset that opportunism would be the hallmark of such a law.
DON’T YOU DESERVE ACCOUNTABLE PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVES?
UNACCOUNTABLE PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVES UNDERMINE
THE PEOPLE’S FREEDOM!
Voters need to ask these parties why they supported this law, and thereby gave the right to a single politician to nullify the votes of tens of thousands of people. These parties must explain to voters why they supported this law when there was and is no mechanism to test the opinion of voters about each and every defection. The ANC, DA and NNP must explain to voters why anything they promise during the election should be trusted when they openly and enthusiastically support cheating the voters.
The floor-crossing law must be scrapped until the electoral laws are amended so that public representatives are elected in constituencies and any floor-crossing triggers an immediate by-election. Then any floorcrosser will be voted out if he or she cannot convince the voters that abandoning their original agenda and election promises is correct.
We cannot allow the situation to continue where tens of thousands of voters supporting a specific set of policies as expressed by a specific party can be ignored and their choices unmade on the whim of a single politician. Throughout the world, especially in younger democracies, it has been clearly demonstrated that floor-crossing leads to a one-party state.
A vote for the UDM is your guarantee that we will be in Parliament actively pursuing this objective to increase your democratic right to determine how the country is run and by whom it is run.
The UDM supports free public education from primary school until Grade 12, as well as more Government assistance for students studying in select subjects, such as Engineering, that will contribute to the overall economic and social development of the country.
The high levels of functional illiteracy and innumeracy, and the uncoordinated attempts at skills development, together constitute a great obstacle to the development of South Africa into a flourishing, world-class nation. Foreign investors shy away from South Africa largely because of the low levels of education and skills of its workforce as a whole.
Because of these challenges, the UDM supports an increased Education Budget, as well as greater resources being dedicated towards the development and maintenance of educational infrastructure.
Government must dedicate a percent of income tax you already pay (half a billion Rand per year) as additional funding to assist in the vital task of Skills Creation.
DON’T YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE PROPER EDUCATION?
LACK OF EDUCATION UNDERMINES THE PEOPLE’S FREEDOM!
To enhance Education, a UDM Government will:
- Develop and maintain an Education system that produces school-leavers and graduates that are equipped with balanced job-related and life-skills to enter the job-market, economy and greater society and be productive and responsible citizens.
- Improve Educational Infrastructure, including human resources, physical infrastructure, as well as teaching materials.
2.1. Human Resources – Teacher training. Teachers will be properly equipped to implement the new syllabus through intensified in-service training and workshops. A UDM Government will recognise the central role of teachers in improving the quality of education in the country and pay them accordingly.
2.2. Managing Human Resources. Governing bodies and stakeholders will be empowered to monitor and measure the performance of teachers, lecturers, principals and senior management in the Department. This monitoring system will take into account indicators of access, equity, efficiency, and management delivery.
2.3. Physical infrastructure: The spending on the development and maintenance of school buildings, water, sanitation and electricity will be increased. It is immoral that the lack of potable water and adequate sanitation at schools remain reprehensibly common while about one-third of the capital budget for investment in school infrastructure goes unspent. This clearly points to a lack of capacity or commitment at Senior Management level in the present system, which a UDM Government will not tolerate. In line with UDM policy on infrastructure, education physical infrastructure will be prioritized.
2.4. Teaching materials and resources: Additional funding will be made available to ensure that every school has the required learning materials and resources. This will not be limited merely to textbooks, but will also include the provision of libraries, laboratories, computers and other relevant technologies.
- Increase the number of education institutions. A UDM Government will bring education institutions closer to communities, instead of the current trend of reducing the number of education institutions at high cost to the communities involved.
- Ensure that all education institutions promote a culture of continuous learning. Adult Basic Education and Training will be enhanced with emphasis on employable skills.
- Ensure that the curriculum starts from the values and rights enshrined in the Constitution, and will aim to foster respect for these rights and values, such as equality, dignity, as well as religious, racial, language and gender tolerance.
5.1. In line with international standards, learners will understand their individual duties and responsibilities in a democratic society. Every learner will understand the principles of sustainable development, including knowledge of the country’s resources and how they should be managed for this and future generations’ prosperity.
5.2. Curriculum development will be an inclusive process involving all stakeholders. It will also be a continuous process to adapt to changing needs in the job-market and society.
5.3. Career-orientated advice and education will be enhanced to ensure that children can determine their future careers timeously and can attain the various goals on the way towards their employment.
5.4. In line with the UDM’s proposed National Plan of Action to deal with HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS education and awareness will be a compulsory aspect of all curricula.
- Establish a Spirit of Excellence in education. It is vital that schools are places of discipline, order, neatness and productivity. The lack of commitment reflected in the neglect of the dress code by teachers and pupils, vandalism and truancy will be addressed. A UDM Government, the community, teachers and school children will unite in a spirit of excellence, determined to make every school part of the foundation of a world-class nation.
6.1. As professionals, teachers will be equipped and committed to contribute actively towards creating an atmosphere conducive to learning inside and outside the classroom.
6.2. Learners, similarly, will adopt a culture of learning and be taught to appreciate the value of time. Emphasis will be placed on discipline in order to promote learning and each school authority must develop effective and constitutionally acceptable ways to discipline pupils.
6.3. Children will be actively engaged at school during school hours. Specially trained people will deal with erratic attendance by pupils, with the involvement of their families.
6.4. Ensure that crime, especially sexual harassment and abuse, at schools receives zero-tolerance. Offenders will be removed from the institution and punished with the full might of the law.