The United Democratic Movement (UDM), held its National Election Workshop from the 1st to the 2nd of June, at Burgers Park Hotel, in Pretoria. The UDM can now confirm, with confidence, that it is all systems go. 2018. The workshop was attended by the national leadership, the representatives from provinces and regions, the youth, women and young professionals associate structures.

President Holomisa said the gathering’s main purpose was to establish a UDM Road Map towards 2019 national and provincial elections, and to retune its Manifesto to effectively address the national current challenges. He said the current state of national affairs require a new thinking. He made it clear that the old thinking of Liberation Movement no longer serves the needs of the majority of South Africans and lamented the loss of vision within the ruling party, which has been captured by the corrupt, and co-opted by the elites. The current change of leadership in the ruling party does not bring anything new, Holomisa said; instead it is a step backward towards the neoliberal narrative that brought us corruption in a large scale. In Orwellian language, it is just a change of characters who stands on the first trough feeding line.

The Secretary General of the UDM, Mr Bongani Msomi, presented the state of the party report. He talked with r

egards to laws and regulations of IEC, making it clear how the UDM features in the current political landscape.

The UDM believes the country is in urgent need of a comprehensive and integrated infrastructure plan, both for social and economic development. The party emphasis is on the maintenance, improvement and sustainability of the existing, whilst new and modern infrastructure is developed.

The well-known independent political analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni gave a robust and critical evaluation of the balance of political forces in the country.

With regard to elections, we took bold resolutions, amongst others, are the following:

  • Reconnect with our communities through a campaign called Community Service – Putting People First. [We are clear that there are still serious service delivery gaps that need to be take up with the government of the say on behalf of the people in particular the vulnerable groups.]
  • Internally, we plan to be ready with the list processes before the end of the current year. All our election machinery shall be in full swing by the end of August.
  • Polish our manifesto and policies on the socio-economic challenges facing our people: rural and the urban infrastructure, implementation weaknesses, job creation, crime, education, health, good governance and anti-corruption.

The UDM has been successful in championing current Popular Policy Positions in the country. Amongst those is:

  • The need for a dialogue on Land.
  • A National Convention on economic policy development and redistribution that must benefit the majority of our people.
  • The National Assembly resolution of the 27 February 2018, which is also consistent with the UDM call for explicit constitutional clarity on expropriation without compensation, thus we supported it.
  • The recently adopted Party Funding Bill is one of the campaigns the UDM has been championing since 2003.

The party sharpened and consolidated its position on the Land Issue and its prepared contribution in the current national debate on Land Expropriation without Compensation. The workshop is of the view that:

  • Land must be expropriated without compensation, for the common cause, where necessary.
  • The constitution as it stands, must be tested to the maximum to create progressive precedence.
  • The state capacity to deliver on this constitutional mandate has to be enhanced for efficiency and speedy effectiveness.
  • There is an urgent need to attend to the urban / city land hunger for human settlement and entrepreneurship.
  • Rural development must be reprioritised.
  • Land Tax
  • Gender Parity

The UDM notes the politically related violence and which finds its expression within the governing party. We call on all political parties, to ensure that their internal party squabbles do not become a threat to free and fair elections in 2019. We also call on IEC to ensure that all its systems are in place on time to enable citizens.

Lastly, the UDM welcomes the good work being done by our members in various provinces. We are excited about the growth of the party, especially in provinces like KZN.