Various party leaders have gathered for an election debate in Hermanus, Western Cape on Wednesday morning.
The debates, hosted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) are held at various locations around the country in the build-up to the national elections on May 8.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says they want the South African Police Service (SAPS) to be run at a provincial level to actively deal with criminals.
DA Western Cape premier candidate, Alan Winde, highlighted concerns over the crime rate in the province.
“In this election the big fight really for me is do we get crime under control, 1 226 people were murdered in this province in the last 4 months and that is one thing that we need to devolve power from ANC-run PTA where it comes to SAPS down to a provincial and local level where we need to be able to deal with crime at the level where it happens. Rail is broken and run out of PTA and the ANC at a national level. We need to devolve that power as well. We need to bring to down to local level to fix the rails, says Winde.
The African National Congress (ANC) has voiced concerns over the DA’s running of the Western Cape, highlighting an increase in the unemployment rate and crime since the party took over several years ago.
“The ANC in the WC is particularly concerned and why we are fighting this election is because ten years ago we left with a growth rate of 5.8 % and it is now 0.8%. We left the DA with an unemployment rate of 18%, its now over 20%. We left them with R20 000 Bambananis fighting crime and that is gone. We’ve left them with a range of EPWP jobs reaching R150 000, that’s now an irregular situation. They are allowing farm evictions to take place and allowing the implosion of our economy and social fabric and the expansion of crime,” says ANC Provincial Head of Elections Ebrahim Rasool.
The newly formed African Transformation Movement, ATM says there’s a need for different ways of fighting poverty.
“We think that poverty can be eradicated, one of the key things is to get rid of corruption, without corruption theres enough money in this country, we got laws that enable corruption, PFMA is one of the biggest, they got what they call deviation within that system is the biggest loophole that all the practitioners of corruption are using.We going to review that PFMA,” says Mzwanele Manyi, ATM’s representative.
Watch the full election debate below:
The Good Party says South Africa needs a new political leadership to steer it into a positive trajectory. Good Party leader, Patricia De Lille launched her new political party in December following a row with the DA. She says her party has a plan to fix the country.
“People are tired of the old parties and the way they have messed up our country. The solution for Good is that we must use public land for public good. There is also a lot of corruption, we need to start bringing our people closer to work opportunities. We’ve got a plan to fix SA. We are determined to make sure that we get rid of the old parties, it’s because of them that the country is in a mess,” says De Lille.
The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has highlighted concerns over people not having land and sustainable employment opportunities.
“25 years into democracy, I am proud to say I am African, but I am landless. African people are still jobless. More than 37% of the youth of this country are unemployed and as PAC we say that if there is one party that has got a proven track record of being consistent on issues is non-other than PAC,” says Kenny Motsamai, PAC.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has outlined their land redistribution plan, saying they will prioritise youth, women and people with disabilities when focusing on land reform.
“In terms of land redistribution, the issue of land will start with the state being the one that is doing the custodianship of the land but we will be able to have a process where we will assess what needs to be done. We will also have a land council that will be dealing with the land disputes and all the processes of land redistribution. We will ensure that we will prioritise youth, women and people with disabilities so they will also have access to land,” says EFF’s Provincial Chairperson Melikhaya Xego.
The Land Party says it wants to eradicate racial tensions in South Africa, and help guide the country towards unity. Land Party leader, Gcobani Ndzongana, says the party wants to bring about political and economic stability.
“We as the Land Party promise SA that we will make sure we bring political stability in our country, build a strong economy that will provide a living wage instead of minimum wage because we have a country that is racially divided due to racial politics. We are aware that most political parties out there are just preaching racism. So we want to be a party that unites all South Africans, regardless of colour, religion and creed,” says Ndzongana.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says they believe leaders should live to serve the people of South Africa.
ACDP Western Cape premier candidate, Ferlon Christians, says they want leaders who, they believe, should be credible and God-fearing.
“We believe that we will usher in Godly governance on the 8th May. People are sick and tired of politicking, empty promises, and we offer credible leaders, God-fearing leaders, leaders that will be servants to the people as we believe in servant leadership. We have a plan and have identified seven giants that are stopping us in Africa and we will advance Godly governance on the 8th of May,” says Christians.
The Congress of the People (COPE) has highlighted a range of issues in the Western Cape that requires government’s attention.
COPE’s Bishop Louis Green says crime, public transport and gang violence are among issues that need solving.
“As a pastor and as a minister, how many times have I buried gang members in Bonteheuwel? There is shooting and killing and not even the police comes into the townships. We are tired of the violence and bloodshed. We are tired of the poverty and people standing in queues, the breakdown of the trains with people having to go to jobs. The trains are late and we need to change that. As far as the economy is concerned, our people don’t have jobs, they resort to drugs and buy and sell drugs. So it is time for change,” says Green.
The newly-formed Alliance for Transformation for All (ATA) party says the taxi industry deserves recognition and are calling for measures to reduce the crime rate. The ATA’s Nceba Enge says they want to put an end to taxi owners being harassed by traffic officials.
“They have sent people to parliament for 25 years and up until now we have been waiting to see changes happening, but nothing has happened. As ATA we are saying that where taxi owners are being impounded must come to an end. The harassment from traffic officers must also stop. The crime rate is high and we need to explore some other avenues to make sure the crime rate comes to an end,” says Enge.