United Democratic Movement (UDM)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption.

Holomisa, the former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party Cabinet minister, to form the new party.

Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.

The party envisages “the coming together of all in South Africa”, to build one nation that ensures a quality life for every citizen.

At the launch of the party’s election manifesto, the UDM called for an indaba to discuss South Africa’s economic policies.

Addressing delegates at the party’s election manifesto launch in Soweto, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the indaba should review current policies and agree on a pact between unions and business.

Holomisa says on-going mine strikes show there is a lot of dissatisfaction with existing policies. He says the indaba should be modelled on CODESA talks.

“Over the last years we have witnessed growing levels of tension and mistrust among the three main role players, that is government, labour and business. On the one hand this mistrust has discouraged big business from investing billions of available cash in our economy. On the other hand it has resulted in illegal and violent strikes, which negatively affect the economy, depress the currency and investor sentiment.”

High levels of poverty and unemployment have also featured prominently in the UDM’s 2014 general manifesto.

Over the last years we have witnessed growing levels of tension and mistrust among the three main role players, that is government, labour and business

2014 Elections Manifesto

UDM says it plans for economic development and job creation.

UDM says after a careful analysis of South Africa’s economic challenges and opportunities, reinforced by comparative analysis of successful policies in other countries, the party says it has a practical realisable plan.

The party says 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:

• Cannot depend on market forces alone.

• Cannot fail to decisively intervene in the economy whilst the quality of life of its citizens deteriorates, South Africans cannot find decent work, millions live in abject poverty and suffer because of underdevelopment.

• Has to ensure that our political freedom translates into economic emancipation.

A UDM government commits itself to:

• Use a manageable budget deficit and government debt to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

• Implement the necessary checks and balances to ensure that government (i.e. taxpayer’s) money is not wasted.

• Streamline the cabinet by appointing fewer ministers as part of cutting costs.

• Review the public sector wage bill.

• Stop the over-utilisation of consultants by appointing competent staff.

• Stop the current practice of appointing individuals, who did not make it as public representatives, as so-called “advisors”.

• Standardise the value of perks (e.g. vehicles) across the board for ministers, deputy-ministers, directors general, mayors and traditional leaders, etc.

• Take action against any government employee found guilty of corruption, instead of rewarding them with ambassadorial posts.

– By Southafrica.info