The United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) was formed by Lucas Mangope, head of the apartheid-era “homeland” of Bophuthatswana. Mangope was among the first homeland leaders to accept so-called independence for his scattered country for the Setswana-speaking people. The UCDP was the only party allowed to operate in the territories under his control.
The UCDP is a quasi-religious party with a strong regional base: the North West province. The party was formed after the 1994 election when Mangope revived an organisation that existed in the former homeland in the1980’s.
In the 1999 election support for the ANC was 4% lower on the provincial than the national ballot which indicated that the UCDP was able to steal away some of the ANC’s support in the NW province. The UCDP’s share of the national vote was relatively small, managing to get 3 seats in the National Assembly.
The core of the UCDP’s support stemmed from disgruntled civil servants and the urban centres of North West and tribal chiefs and headmen from the rural areas. With each election, the UCDP has experienced dwindling electoral fortunes.
In 2011, a new leadership, led by Mavis Matladi with Sipho Mfundisi as Deputy President, was elected. Matladi however, met her untimely death after a short illness in December 2011 at the Milpark Hospital. A month later stepped up to take up her position as party president.
The party won 3 seats in the 1999 general elections. They maintained the same number in the 2004 elections, but found themselves with only 2 seats in the 2009 elections.
In the 1999 election support for the ANC was 4% lower on the provincial than the national ballot which indicated that the UCDP was able to steal away some of the ANC’s support in the NW province
2014 Elections Manifesto
• UCDP says they have a history in delivering quality services – The infrastructure adorning the landscape especially in the North West, parts of the Northern Cape, that Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga attest to the fact that all the UCDP and South Africans is to Stand Up and Speak out to make a change.
• The party says they have a history in the maintenance of law and order to the extent that a senior judge in passing judgement was unequivocal when he said during the tenure of the UCDP in government; women and girls could go about at night unescorted. No one can dream of that at present, not even a man. It is not surprising that the president is escorted in 12 cars. South Africa is unsafe.
• In education, UCDP says infrastructure, preparation of manpower and the results were second to none south of the Zambesi. The party says is ready to repeat that performance and make a change in what it calls the ‘dismal’ performance over the years.
• In overhauling the education system, the party says it shall not transplant an education system from some country holus bolus. But it shall set a commission to research and structure SA’s education system.
• UCDP will reintroduce school inspectors.
• Introduce the in-service training system for teachers so that they may be in serviced on an on-going fashion by qualified resident lectures at the centres.
• Clinics in our new state will remain open 24/7.
• To bring health services closer, doctors will be appointed on a full-time basis to service clusters of clinics or villages.
• Health should be easily accessed.
• Encourage a free market economy. Those who exert themselves and work hard can accumulate wealth without fear of nationalisation. The party’s outlook is to create 4 million jobs in five years.
• Labour laws will be friendly to local and international entrepreneurs. UCDP says it shall do all in their might to ensure that the family shops around the corner are functional.