The United Democratic Movement (UDM) herewith announces the nine main features of its election manifesto for the 2021 Local Government Elections. It is the UDM’s primary goal and election premise to “put the people first” as part of our long-term strategy to transform South Africa into a Winning Nation – starting at local government.

These were the burning issues submitted by the party’s structures, for consideration during the drafting process, and were consolidated after it became clear that those matters are what South Africans felt needed local government’s immediate attention.

The United Democratic Movement therefore – where it will rule, lead or where we shall have elected councillors – endeavours to:

1. Stimulate local economies by removing red tape that hinders local economic growth thus promoting business opportunities and entrepreneurship; especially for women, youth and people living with disabilities. Also, rehabilitate closed-down industries in smaller towns, thus reducing the exodus of citizens to the cities.

2. Ensure interaction with communities and be accountable by consulting with communities about their needs ahead of project developments (especially regarding Integrated Development Planning) and to report on progress.

3. Continue the UDM’s fight for clean and ethical governance by clearly defining the separation of powers; officials will do their work without interference and councillors will focus on oversight. In addition, ensure that the Municipal Finance Management Act is strictly adhered to, especially where irregular and fruitless expenditure and supply chain management are concerned, and that rates and taxes are used for the benefit of the community that pays them.

4. Ensure access to essential services by providing equal access of all basic services to all people irrespective of their political affiliation and also create conducive environments that allow for local energy production to decrease reliance on Eskom and, through competition, drive prices down. The UDM will provide free basic services to the poorest of the poor and the elderly.

5. Keep the people safe and secure by agitating for local safety and security agencies to be properly capacitated and be brought closer to the people and cultivating healthy relationships between the police, community policing forums and communities to prevent vigilantism. We shall pressurise the police to place greater emphasis on combatting gender-based violence and femicide.

6. Repair, build and maintain infrastructure, such as government-owned buildings and other immovable and movable properties. In addition, repair and maintain existing municipal road networks, as part of providing economic stimulus, and also expand when and where required.

7. Work to keep people healthy and our environment clean by advocating for clinics to be supplied with adequate staff, medicine, equipment; and that clinics stay open for longer in areas with limited access to hospital emergency services. Providing clean, drinkable water and sanitation is a priority for the UDM. We commit to keeping communal spaces litter-free and enforcing bylaws.

8. Keep roofs over people’s heads by initiating housing projects with the national and provincial governments, identifying land for housing developments and ensuring that housing projects are of good quality and are able to stand the test of time. We will improve the standard of living of informal settlers by providing essential services with a view to finding long-term housing solutions.

9. Develop rural areas and meaningful relationships with traditional leaders by agitating for rural development so that sufficient budgetary allowances are made to cater for those areas’ unique needs. The UDM will promote agri-activities to mitigate food insecurity by supplying the necessary instruments, as well as establishing markets to sell produce. The UDM acknowledges the role of traditional leaders and will ensure their active involvement in community development projects.

Issued by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement