|PDF version of the UDM’s 2014 Manifesto (3,54 MB)|
UDM’s Candidates’ lists – UDM 10th List
|Message from UDM President|
Bantu HolomisaMy fellow South Africans2014 is an auspicious year, as South Africans mark 20 years of freedom.The Bill of Rights ensures that all the citizens of our beautiful country have the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Our dignity has been restored and we enjoy freedom and security of our person. We can live where we want to. No one is denied access to establishments based on colour. We all have the right to basic education; to speak our own languages, freedom of religion and celebrate our diverse cultures.These liberties, as enshrined in the country’s constitution, which were hard won are being destroyed by corruption. To compound matters the socio-economic circumstances of our people make it very difficult to safeguard the gains of our freedom.The United Democratic Movement (UDM) seeks to address these basic deficiencies and also empower our people and transform South Africa into a Winning Nation. If one looks at our economy one cannot deny that, amongst others, job creation and poverty are interlinked.
The UDM believes that job creation is the ultimate weapon to combat poverty, but this goal will not be realised if our economy is not managed properly. Government has a must intervene to protect our economy and South African jobs when necessary.
Meaningful government intervention is needed to ensure economic growth. This necessarily means, for instance, that our roads should be passable; an efficient rail network should be in place; the electrification, water, irrigation and reticulation of communities and business should be high on government’s agenda.
Regarding our macro-economic policy, there is still no consensus on how South Africa can transform its economy in a manner that creates wealth and improves the fortunes of the disadvantaged majority.
South Africa already finds itself on the same path as our sister nations on the African continent that have failed their citizens.
Disrespect of the rule of law, as exhibited by our executive, as well institutionalised corruption, has a direct bearing on South Africa’s downgrading on international ratings, which in turn negatively impact on investor confidence. The symbiotic relationships between political parties and their so-called “investment arms” (such as the ANC and Chancellor House Holdings) erodes private sector confidence.
It is an unfortunate fact that South Africa is steadily sinking deeper in the quagmire of corruption. What makes matters worse is that these acts of corruption keep reaching new heights and they happen with greater frequency.
A case in point is, during the infrastructure development in preparation of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, service providers inflated their prices to make a greater profit at the expense of the taxpayer. Citing another example, we were all shocked to learn that Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which had a good international reputation, could be embroiled in corruption and maladministration.
In the final analyses; no one can dispute that: Corruption destroys the gains of our freedom!
The obvious question that follows is: Are things so bad that we might as well throw in the towel?
The UDM emphatically says NO!
As much as the situation in which we find ourselves might be discouraging and bleak, the UDM firmly believes that it is not too late for us to turn things around. There is so much untapped potential in our country and her people that we cannot, and should not, let go of the dream of prosperous nation.
In this manifesto the UDM makes a number of constructive suggestions to address some of the burning issues we face as a nation – for greater detail on our policies please visit our website www.udm.org.za.
As you read through this manifesto, remind yourself that you, the voter, have the power to make the dream of a prosperous South Africa a reality.
We need a government that puts South Africa and her people first. We deserve a government that will really take South Africa forward. Vote UDM!
Rule of law is a system on which a proper government should be based as it guards against the abuse of power and allows innovation and the economy to flourish.
As an indictment of our government, the Institute for Accountability unequivocally stated that, since 1994, the reason for poverty in South Africa is directly attributable to, “the theft” of R700-billion. The Institute further stated that government in fact had the resources necessary to uplift 11 million citizens from abject poverty – see http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/01/27/corruption-is-killing-the-poor).
The UDM sees corruption as one of the main contributors to unemployment, poverty, inequality and poor service delivery. Our people are so frustrated by their living conditions that their anger frequently boils over and instead of government listening to their concerns it dispatches the police.
We cannot hope to effectively eradicate poverty without addressing “institutionalised corruption”. There are many examples, such as the E-tolling system; Travelgate; the Oilgate/PetroSA (Iraq) scandal; the deal involving Hitachi, Eskom and Chancellor House Holdings; the IEC and the South African Police Services’ lease agreement scandals; Guptagate and also of course Nkandlagate.
Another typical example of the disregard of the rule of law is that, despite the fact that a court ordered the President of this country to hand over the so-called “spy tapes”, a government property, he refuses to do so. In yet another instance, cabinet chastised the Public Protector for simply fulfilling its mandate.
This cancer of corruption has implicated many top leaders and officials (including the highest office in this country) and it has spilled over into the private sector.
The brazen practice of corruption has the ruling party reeling from one scandal to the next. It has in fact reduced its promise to combat corruption to a joke.
How perfectly timed was the arrival of the Information Bill just after the media had exposed a number of corruption scandals. Although the jury is still out, there seems to be general consensus that the Bill was introduced to hide evidence of corrupt practices.
The tendency to appoint people with the “right political connections”, instead of those who have the right qualifications and/or skills, promote mediocrity.
One sees many examples of this tendency when one looks at the corrupt and ineffective state owned enterprises (SOEs) that serve as a gravy train for the elite. To make matters worse, the situation has become more complicated with the tri-partite alliance leaders now fighting over state resources forgetting that this infighting erodes investor confidence and leaves our people living in squalor without basic services.
A UDM Government commits itself to:
SA economy in context
While the UDM acknowledges and appreciates the impact of the colonial and apartheid legacy on the South African economy, 20 years into our democracy there is clear verifiable evidence that poor policy choices, mismanagement, corruption and lack of visionary and imaginative intervention has negatively affected our economy. As a direct consequence, massive poverty, high unemployment (especially among the youth), growing inequality as well as shrinking productive manufacturing sector have become defining features of our economy. In recent years our global and continental competitiveness has been on the decline as reflected in most studies and surveys. The reality is that this country is fast becoming more of a welfare state than a developmental state with the swelling number of dependents on state-provided social security and diminishing productive sector of manufacturing and entrepreneurship. All this happens against the backdrop of escalating cost of living which puts a greater squeeze of economic hardship on the average citizen.
As an answer to these challenges, the UDM has a carefully considered plan to stimulate and grow the South African economy for the benefit of all its citizens while remaining globally competitive.
The economy and job creation
Since 1994 the paradox of the South African economy has been a jobless growth, even when this country has had a sustained growth for ten years. Therefore the recent global financial crisis can never be used as an excuse for what is obviously a structural problem perpetuated by poor policy choices by the ruling party. The problem is twofold, slow economic growth to meet the increasing demands for employment and development as well as jobless growth even in the sectors that have registered significant growth.
The ruling party has adopted policies that have failed to grow the South African economy at the rate required to create jobs. As a result, the average economic growth rate stands at a dismal 2.6% per annum compared to the other emerging markets and most African economies where average is between 6 and 8%. The official unemployment rate is 24.7%. This unemployment rate excludes those people who have given up looking for work. When this category is included in the overall measurement, the unemployment rate deteriorates to more than 35%, with youth the most affected. This presenting perfect conditions for social and political instability should this situation not be urgently addressed.
In other words, nearly 7 million South Africans are unemployed due to the misguided policies of the ruling party. According to the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk report, South Africa has the third highest youth unemployment rate in the world. It estimates that more than 50% of young South Africans are unemployed and this rises to above 70% in some rural communities and informal settlements. The growing service delivery protests and labour unrest are objective irrefutable indications of a growing crisis, with the state more frequently relying on violence and brute force as evidenced by the Marikana Massacre and many other situations in communities in the Northwest and Limpopo.
The most painful irony is that the former liberation movement, that espoused egalitarian principles during the struggle years, now presides over the most grotesque and ever-worsening inequality. South Africa today has earned the dubious title of being one of the most unequal societies in the world even surpassing Brazil that has held this ignoble title for some time.
This badge of dishonour is a direct consequence of corruption and policies that allow the rich to accumulate obscene levels of wealth in a vast ocean of material poverty of the majority of our citizens.
This situation is made worse by the ruling party’s abuse of otherwise well-intended policies of empowerment such as Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and state tender policies that are twisted to enrich the politically connected cadres of the ruling party. The most dramatic and symbolic demonstration of the social distance between the ruling political elite and the people is the failure to review and make modest the ministerial handbook. Even in the face of global and local economic and financial crises they insist on parasitic preservation of their lifestyle using taxpayers’ money.
Poor management of fiscus
The ruling party often prides itself on its ability to maintain fiscal discipline. However, in the past five years South Africa’s fiscal position has deteriorated significantly due to the ruling party’s poor management of the economy and its failure to improve the country’s competitiveness.
Nowhere is this loss of competitiveness more evident than in the current account deficit of 6% (R200 billion). In 2008, South Africa’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 23%, and it is projected to reach 39.3% in 2013/14 and 43.9% in 2016/17. In 2007/2008 South Africa had a budget surplus of 1.7%. This surplus declined to a budget deficit of 4.2% in 2013/14, which puts our country in the unenviable position of operating twin deficits on the expenditure side of the budget and the current account.
It is clear that the ruling party has failed to properly manage our economy. It has also failed to close the gap between revenue and consumption and is therefore unfit to govern.
Government has failed to create an environment that is conducive for foreign direct investment. Instead it insists on keeping the interest rates artificially high in order to attract portfolio investments that are fickle in nature. This however raises the cost of credit for ordinary South Africans.
South Africa’s current cabinet is far too big to function effectively. Millions of taxpayers’ money is wasted on maintaining their opulent lifestyles with perks like fancy cars and luxury accommodation.
Government departments waste billions of rands hiring service providers and consultants to start projects; they however do not even make the effort to monitor progress and establish whether the minimum requirements are met. Such service providers are paid in full without government inspecting the quality of their work.
When international businesses seek to invest in our economy, they are “told” who their South African partners would be. A classic example would be the deal between Hitachi, Eskom and Chancellor House Holdings (the latter of course being the ruling party’s investment arm). This institutionalised corruption that makes potential investors think twice about investing in our economy.
UDM plans for economic development and job creation
After a careful analysis of South Africa’s economic challenges and opportunities, reinforced by comparative analysis of successful policies in other countries, the UDM has a practical realisable plan.
The basic philosophy of the UDM is that “Government Must Do More”. While the UDM recognises the valuable role that markets should play, it is of the firm belief that government must play a key role in creating a stable policy environment and developing the economy for the benefit of our people.
“Government Must Do More” means that a responsible government:
A UDM government commits itself to:
Well-targeted strategic infrastructure development is critical for the proper functioning of the economy. It is the cornerstone of sustainable social and economic development. The ruling party’s infrastructure development programme is not properly planned and fails to address past imbalances and backlogs. For instance, while government has budgeted and approved more than R800 billion over the next few years for infrastructure development, very little of this is allocated to rural areas and other previously disadvantaged communities in the townships, informal settlements and peri-urban areas. As a result, the infrastructure in these areas is in a state of disrepair. This causes people to migrate to large cities in search of better job prospects and better living conditions. Even as new infrastructure is being put in place there is a decay of the old infrastructure due to the lack of maintenance plans.
In many parts of this country the only way to access service delivery requires that a citizen be a card-carrying member of a particular political party.
A UDM government commits itself to:
Small business development
Development of small businesses has been accepted worldwide as the backbone of global economic growth and development while simultaneously creating more jobs.
Small businesses in developed countries contribute more than 50% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while in Asia they contribute around 40%. In South Africa, too little has been done to reduce the costs and administrative burden for existing small businesses. As a result, our small businesses contribute around 30% to the GDP. Ironically, government’s delayed or even non-payment to small businesses has contributed to their collapse.
The UDM believes that a growth rate of 6 to 8% is required to reduce unemployment. To do this we need to unleash the creative spirit inherent in South Africans to create jobs. UDM also plans to reverse the trend of shrinking numbers of South Africans in the retail sector that is gradually being taken over by foreign nationals with little, if any, assistance provided to South Africans to compete effectively in this sector.
A UDM government commits itself to: