African National Congress (ANC) alliance partners, the South African Communist Party, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) have all thrown their weight behind the ruling party’s election manifesto presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban.
The ruling party has promised to create 1.3 million jobs in the next five years. The party says it will help sharpen the government’s teeth to deal with fraud and corruption in the public sector.
It also promises to increase funding for free higher education in the next five years and accelerate access to water and electricity to every household.
Moses Mabhida Stadium was packed to capacity as people from all walks of life came to listen to Ramaphosa make his party’s election promises.
The SACP, which has over the past few years been considering standing for election on its own, seemed to have changed it’s tune.
The SACP believes the ANC manifesto encapsulates its aspirations. ”
Yes, we contributed immensely to the development of the manifesto. From its beginning, we have been participating. Many other important questions have come through, which I think will be outlined today (Saturday). But in the main, for instance the re-commitment to the universal health care system which is important to us; the re-commitment to social services; whether it is about housing; or the question of land. we are happy with that; about the tackling of unemployment question; the tackling of crime in our society; the problem of drugs in our society, we are all committed to work together to resolve all these things. In education, we have re-committed ourselves to that and skilling of our people, particularly young people,” says SACP Deputy President, Solly Mapaila.
While labour federation, Cosatu pointed to issues such as projected job opportunities, the ANC’s plans to grow the economy and attract foreign investment are important to workers.
“What we are keen … because when you talk about industrialisation, you are also telling us that once we industrialise as a country there is an opportunity to have more job opportunities for our people. But also, you deal with unemployment. Also critically, is how the ANC is going to respond to the issue of the 4th Industrial Revolution, because the challenge it is going to pose to us as workers and people who are unemployed, it is also linked to the education system in this country. Because if you talk about the 4th Industrial Revolution, you must also talk about education system that responds to that challenge that also responds to the economy. We are going to be building this country,” says Cosatu President, Zingiswa Losi .
National civic body, Sanco described the ANC manifesto as a plan that talks to challenges facing ordinary people.
“It is a manifesto that is a product of listening to people throughout the country. Therefore, we own it ourselves. It is a manifesto that is intended to address challenges facing the country. The bigger challenge that we are facing is a challenge of growing the economy, and ensuring that the economy benefits the majority of our people,” says Sanco President, Richard Mdakana
ANCYL President Collin Maine says the mother body must be aware that its role in the liberation struggle does not matter much to some people. Instead, says Maine, people are concerned about what the ANC is going to do to change their lives for the better.
The party’s fraternal organizations from the African continent including Swapo from Namibia, Zanu-PF from Zimbabwe, the MPLA of Angola attended the ANC manifesto launch.