South Africans go to the polls this year to vote in the fifth democratic election for our national and provincial governments. This is an important moment for our country. We have come so far since the dark days of Apartheid.
In those days, our country was divided and our people suffered. Many parties played a role in the struggle against Apartheid, including the predecessor parties of the Democratic Alliance. We acknowledge the immense contribution made by the ANC in that struggle, and pay tribute to Nelson Mandela for reconciling our nation and helping to heal the wounds of the past. Under Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, we made important progress towards social justice through the delivery of basic services and houses and by providing a safety net for vulnerable citizens through social grants. It is undeniable that life in a democratic South Africa is better than it was under Apartheid.
However, as we approach the 20th anniversary of democracy, the progress we have made is being reversed. Under Jacob Zuma, the ANC has changed. More and more, it seems that the best jobs and opportunities go to people with political connections. They are the insiders who benefit at the expense of the outsiders. Public money that should be used for services to the poor is being wasted on corrupt projects like President Zuma’s private house at Nkandla. While Jacob Zuma and his friends and family get rich, economic growth has slowed and unemployment is on the rise. President Zuma has promised to create 5 million more jobs. Only 561 000 of these jobs have materialised. Zuma has delivered only one job for every ten he promised. Today there are 1.4 million more unemployed South Africans than the day that President Zuma took office. Under President Zuma, the number of people becoming unemployed every year is five times higher than under President Mbeki. The DA is working to break down the barriers between insiders and outsiders by cutting corruption and creating an enabling environment for job creation. Research published by the South African Reserve Bank in 2013 shows that policies like ours can increase economic growth to 8%, help the economy to create 6 million real jobs, and halve unemployment over the next ten years. We will incentivise job creation, dramatically broaden the skills base, drive down high prices that hamper growth and make South Africa an attractive environment for businesses to invest and grow. We will break up inefficient state monopolies, and distribute shares to ordinary citizens, to increase competition and bring down prices. We will invest at least 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the roads, ports, railways, airways, water and low-cost, high-speed communication infrastructure that the economy needs to grow. We believe that South Africa can become a nation of entrepreneurs if we provide more support and training for small business and cut red tape. We are prioritising education and training to equip school leavers and young people to compete in a growing economy. To ensure that our children matriculate with the skills they need to succeed, we will focus on training more teachers and ensure that school environments are conducive to learning.
THE DA’S VALUES
We opposed Apartheid because it took away people’s rights based on the colour of their skin. We want to create a society of individuals with the freedom and the power to overcome the legacy of Apartheid. We call this the Open, Opportunity Society for All. An open society is one where every individual’s freedom is protected by the Constitution. The state has no right to tell people how to think and what they may or may not say. People are free to do as they please as long as they do not infringe the rights of others. An opportunity society is one where every individual has the power to live a life he or she values. It is based on a growing economy that creates jobs to lift people out of poverty. In an opportunity society, vulnerable citizens are protected through a social safety net. It is a society where every person gets a fair chance. A society for all is one where every individual enjoys equal rights and access to opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Action is taken to achieve genuine redress for the social and economic legacy of Apartheid. The DA is a dynamic force for change. This is our plan to improve the lives of all the people of South Africa.
As we take up the fight against the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality we need all spheres of government and all organs of state to contribute to positive change. We must attract the very best people to the public sector and work with tertiary institutions to develop training programmes that will make sure we develop the skills that we need in the public service. Stop corruption, fire corrupt officials and save R30 billion per year South Africans deserve a government that is not corrupt and that uses public money to deliver services, not to enrich politicians and their cronies. Where the DA governs, we spend public money in a responsible and efficient way, we have zero tolerance for corruption, we deliver services to the poor and we create environments where businesses grow and create jobs.
Where we govern, we will make sure that your government really works for you.
• Stop tender corruption by allowing the public to attend meetings where decisions on tenders are taken.
• Prevent government ministers, public servants and their immediate families from doing business with the state.
• Stop ministers from abusing public money to drive expensive cars, fly first class or with government jets, stay in luxurious hotels and have extravagant parties.
• Disallow any person who has been convicted of corruption, fraud, theft or violent crime from holding public office.
• Strengthen the mandates and capacity and increase the budgets of anti-corruption bodies like the Public Protector, the Auditor General and the Public Service Commission.
• Use lifestyle audits to make sure that politicians and public officials are able to account for the sources of their wealth.
• Establish an independent, effective and highly specialised, prosecution-driven anti-corruption unit (like the Scorpions used to be) to ensure that corrupt persons in both the public and private sector are caught and held to account.
Holding government to account
Government must be held to account through the efficient operation of oversight bodies, like Parliament, and the active participation of the public and civil society in the choices made by the people and parties they elect. Give people the power to directly elect representatives to Parliament and to remove them through the ballot box if they do not deliver
In national government, the DA will:
• Reform the South African electoral system to combine proportional representation with a constituency-based system that would make elected officials more accountable to the voters.
• Restore Parliament as an effective forum for the people to hold government to account by encouraging greater public participation, requiring ministers to answer parliamentary questions efficiently and honestly, and ensuring that the decisions and recommendations of Parliament are implemented.
• Expect every minister and senior official to sign a performance contract with clear results areas to determine whether they are doing their jobs well. Public servants who do not perform will not get performance bonuses.
A responsive government
To make the government more responsive to the needs of the people, a national DA government will:
• Ensure the appropriate devolution of responsibilities to capable provinces and municipalities to bring decisions as close as possible to the communities that are affected by them.
• Establish one-stop shops where people can do all their business with government in one place.
• Make as many government services as possible available online and facilitate interaction with government through online platforms.
• Adopt legislation to clarify the responsibilities of traditional leaders in engaging with recognised traditional communities and to make sure that they serve these communities effectively.
For many South Africans, the political freedom achieved since 1994 has not been matched with economic freedom. South Africans want to work and all they seek is an opportunity to do so. But many remain excluded from the economy. More than one out of every three South Africans is unemployed. Around four out of every ten live below the poverty line. South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world and we are not achieving the levels of economic growth required to change this picture. The ANC government under President Jacob Zuma has not delivered on its job creation promises. When he was elected in 2009, President Zuma promised to create five million more jobs. Since he assumed the Presidency in 2009, 1.4 million have joined the ranks of the unemployed. In fact, unemployment has increased from 30.4% to 34%. We need innovative policy solutions to allow every South African the chance to participate in the economy by getting a job or starting a business. Together, we can deliver six million real jobs If elected to national government, the DA will work to increase our economic growth rate to 8% by 2025. Research published by the South African Reserve Bank in 2013 shows that the right combination of policies – all championed by the DA – could see the economy add 6 million real jobs in ten years, over and above temporary expanded public works placements. To create an enabling environment for growth and job creation, a national DA government will:
• Provide leadership on the economy: The government must provide certainty on its vision for the economy, the policy it intends to implement to realise that vision, and its commitment to ensuring that the economy serves ordinary people and not only those connected to the governing party.
• Manage the government’s money better: Take the steps outlined above to combat government corruption and to make sure that government spending decisions are taken in the best interest of all South Africans.
• Provide direct incentives for job creation: In recognition of the impact of high unemployment on our economic growth potential, the government should directly incentivise job creation by South African businesses.
• Make sure that labour laws support job creation: The government must ensure that labour regulations and trade union engagements achieve a balance between the protection of workers’ rights and the need for labour market flexibility in support of job creation.
• Support small businesses: The government must make it easier for South Africans to start and grow their own businesses.
• Support redress: The government should recognise the need to broaden participation in the economy and help to make it easier for outsiders to become owners, get access to capital, and actively participate in the economy.
• Create an enabling environment for growth: By investing in economic infrastructure and, where possible, bringing down the cost base in the economy, the government can provide an enabling environment for economic activity, growth and job creation.
• Invest in knowledge: The government must work to give more people the education and skills they need to get a job and to support the kinds of research and development that can make South Africa a winning nation in a globalised knowledge economy.
• Increase investment and savings: To drive economic growth, attract international investment and help South Africans to maintain quality of life during retirement and difficult times, the government should actively support both increased corporate investment and personal savings.
• Boost trade: The government must make it easier for South African businesses to trade with other countries, especially our African neighbours, so that these businesses can grow and create jobs.
If an economy grows at 8%, it can double in size in 10 years. In the South African scenario, this could mean an increase in the national budget from R1 trillion to R2 trillion in today’s money. This means that we would be able to spend more money on education, health, housing, social security and other support services for ordinary South Africans.
Incentives for job creation
A national DA government will offer direct incentives for job creation through the following programmes:
• The comprehensive roll-out of a real, strong youth wage subsidy programme to encourage the appointment of young work seekers. This subsidy could benefit 423 000 young people in the first three years of implementation.
• Attracting investment in labour-absorbing industries through Jobs Zones that offer flexibility around labour relations and tax incentives for job creation. Create 7 million EPWP work opportunities by 2019
• Scaling up the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to create seven million work opportunities over the next five years and deliver 2.5 million work opportunities per year by 2025. These programmes will include a training component to prepare participants for a permanent career.
• Introducing a government internship programme across all departments, based on the highly successful Western Cape model. The programme will provide internship opportunities for at least 18 000 young people and help them to gain the knowledge and skills they will need in the world of work.
• Actively encouraging apprenticeship programmes by reimbursing employers for training costs and involving businesses more directly in designing work-based training.
• Including recognition for job creation in the scorecard for broad-based black economic empowerment.
• Reviewing the efficacy of the Jobs Fund and increasing investment in areas where the fund has been most effective.
• Establishing Opportunity Centres, which will serve as one-stop shops for small businesses and as a central node for young job-seekers and entrepreneurs to access support.
Empowerment that broadens opportunity and creates jobs
In redressing the economic legacy of apartheid it is the DA’s first priority to grow the economy, to create jobs and to empower people through excellent education to enable them to improve their lives. We believe that the nature and extent of economic exclusion under apartheid, along with the cultural barriers that it has created between South Africans from different backgrounds, require active measures in support of redress. In choosing the policy tools to promote inclusion, the DA aims to strike a balance between the need for race-based redress and our commitment to non-racialism. We will also make sure that our redress measures do not hamper economic growth and job creation. We support black economic empowerment that creates jobs, not just billionaires. The fundamental principles underpinning our approach to economic inclusion can be summarised as follows:
• Redress measures must give expression to the Constitutional commitment to promote equality.
• We believe that race and disadvantage are not the same, but that a significant correlation between race and disadvantage remains today.
• We strongly support programmes that broaden opportunity for disadvantaged people and reject programmes that facilitate crony enrichment and the manipulation of outcomes for the politically connected.
• The DA rejects racial quotas in favour of programmes that actively promote black advancement by extending opportunity.
• We support incentives for firms to implement programmes of black advancement rather than punitive measures that hamper growth and jobs.
• We regard redress programmes as transitional measures that must be subject to regular review. This is to evaluate their on-going effectiveness and to ensure that the measures of disadvantage used are still valid and optimal. The DA will measure the success or failure of redress programmes by their impact on economic growth and the opportunities that have been created for black advancement. We will ask whether jobs have been created for unemployed youth, whether progress has been made in reducing poverty and inequality, whether we have improved education outcomes and whether South Africans across the racial spectrum can access opportunities and are supported to use them at all levels of the labour force. An empowerment scorecard can provide a framework of incentives for business contributions to economic inclusion. The scorecard must, however, be reformed to make it a tool for truly broad-based empowerment.
Under a DA government, there will be more recognition for businesses that create opportunities for new owners in the economy. This is essential for growth and new jobs, and does much more for redress than the mere transfer of shares in existing businesses between wealthy and politically connected elites. We must give more points for broad-based ownership schemes than for elite-level ownership transfers. We must prioritise skills development and small business development. We will reduce the regulatory burden of the scorecard for small businesses by allowing them greater flexibility in choosing the elements that they will comply with, and having their scorecards audited only once every two years. We will recognise job creation as a contribution to empowerment. And we will use the scorecard to offer positive incentives to businesses that invest in the recruitment, training and career management of black employees and succeed in building more diverse workforces over time.
A labour regime that supports job creation
The DA strongly supports the rights of workers to organise and the right to collective bargaining. We do not, however, support any abuse of power by entrenched labour unions that perpetuates the divide between economic insiders and outsiders, and shields the employed at too great a cost to the unemployed. Collective bargaining is losing its value as a way to find solutions to labour issues that are acceptable to workers and employers. Big businesses and big unions dominate collective bargaining councils. The agreements that are reached between these big players are often extended to smaller businesses that did not take part in the negotiation. These small businesses are often unable to meet the terms of the agreements reached between stronger, bigger market players. A national DA government will change the labour laws that allow for agreements negotiated between big companies and unions to be extended to smaller players that were not part of the negotiations. To reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses and encourage them to employ more people, the DA would amend the definition of a “big” employer in the Labour Relations Act so that it only applies to entities that employ more than 250 persons.
To prevent historically dominant unions from keeping out new and smaller players, a national DA government will democratise labour relations by:
• Changing the labour laws that give big unions the right to claim fees from all the workers at a specific business, even if they are not members. We will propose a model of proportional representation in labour bargaining, with firm minimum thresholds for participation, to prevent the proliferation of labour representatives in a given bargaining unit.
• Repealing Section 18 of the Labour Relations Act, which allows majority unions and employers to agree on thresholds of representativeness for unions to gain organisational rights in a specific workplace or sector. The DA recognises the importance of temporary employment agencies in preparing people for the formal job market. The government should support the reputable formal employment agencies that contribute to job creation and get rid of the illegal, temporary employment agencies that exploit workers. This should be coupled with a redesign of the Labour Inspectorate and increased resources for its operations to ensure that labour laws are adhered to. Targeted support for strategic sectors to create jobs and reduce unemployment the government must provide targeted support for labour-intensive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, mining and tourism, and appropriate stimulus for new growth industries in the knowledge economy, ICT sector and green economy.
Agriculture can only play an important role in supporting growth, creating jobs, protecting food security and reducing poverty. To grow the agricultural sector and facilitate job creation a national DA government will:
• Provide the water, road and transport infrastructure needed for the sector to thrive.
• Invest in training and education for agriculture – particularly the training of extension officers that can support small and large-scale commercial farmers and advise on initiatives to improve rural livelihoods through subsistence farming.
• Expand investment in research and development for agriculture and ensure that national research institutions serve the needs of the sector.
• Keep rural communities and their property safe by establishing dedicated ruralsafety units.
• Implement an effective disaster risk management system for agriculture and involve local producer organisations in an early warning system for fires, disease and pest outbreaks that can threaten production and exports and lead to job losses.
• Manage agricultural input costs, e.g. by keeping electricity price increases in line with inflation; pushing for changes to the fuel price formula to smooth out the short-term effects of exchange rate fluctuations and the international oil price; and simplifying the requirements for farmers to claim diesel rebates.
• Facilitate trade agreements which would optimise South Africa’s strategic advantages, including furthering trade with the rest of Africa, and the renewal of the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Where we govern, the DA will create the policy and institutional frameworks to grow the size of the South African fisheries economy and increase the number of jobs it sustains.
We will ensure that small-scale fishing quotas are given to the communities in and around coastal villages that actually use their own quotas. Large-scale quotas will go to commercial entities that use sustainable fishing practices, grow their workforces and invest in their staff. Fisheries’ compliance will be improved by more effective monitoring and dedicated green courts. Proper systems will be put in place to ensure that the research that is needed to allocate fishing quotas is done timeously. The DA would not permit any form of foreign fishing in South African waters as we believe that all our fish stocks capable of being commercially fished can be fished by South Africans.
South Africa’s abundant natural resources, cultural variation and local traditions give our country unique appeal as a tourism destination. It is conservatively estimated that one new job opportunity is created for every 16 international tourist arrivals. By bringing South Africans from different backgrounds into contact and conversation with each other, tourism can also play an important role in reconciliation. The DA believes that South Africa’s attractiveness as a tourism destination, the competitiveness of our tourism industry, and its potential as a vehicle for reconciliationcan be boosted by:
• Prioritising tourism in support programmes for small business development.
• Supporting the tourism industry with research and information that can help them tailor their products and services to market demands.
• Putting in place the necessary transport and other infrastructure to connect visitors to tourism sites.
• Clarifying the roles of tourism industry stakeholders and maintaining platforms for constructive interaction.
• Promoting tourism as a career choice and facilitating skills development
Mining that the industry has access to the human resources it needs to succeed. Mining can be a key driver of economic growth, but its contribution to the economy is dependent on investment. To contribute to growth and job creation the mining sector requires policy certainty and an efficient, predictable regulatory environment. If elected to national government, the DA will:
• Reform the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act to ensure that it facilitates investment in mining, rather than scaring it away.
• Provide investment protection in the form of guarantees of conditions under which investment could take place over extended periods, provided licence conditions are met.
• Use a percentage of royalty taxes for the benefit of local communities where mining takes place.
• Streamline empowerment requirements for the mining sector, with empowerment recognition focussed on (i) ownership involvement by mining employees, the communities surrounding mines, and (where relevant) affected landowners, (ii) investment in skills, and (iii) investment in small business development.
• Ensure that mining does not have a disproportionately negative effect on the environment and that environmental processes are carefully managed. This will include prudent management of processes related to hydraulic fracturing. The green economy where we govern, the DA will use positive incentives to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour by businesses and households. In national government, we will establish a Climate Change Adaptation Fund to assist famers in adapting to the changing temperatures and rainfall patterns caused by global warming.
We will also use the spending power of government to stimulate the development of environmentally sustainable products. Our investment in research and development will focus on stimulating innovative business solutions in the green economy that contribute to growth and create jobs while reducing the impact of our actions on the environment.
Analysts say that if we want to create six million new jobs, we must create more than one million new businesses. This highlights the importance of small business in any policy offer that has job creation as its top priority. To grow new businesses, a national DA government will:
• Establish Opportunity Centres where small businesses can access support and conduct all their business with government.
• Roll out small business incubators where small businesses can share resources and have a supportive environment in which to find their feet.
• Give small business owners an Opportunity Card to improve awareness of, and access to, free or discounted training, business support services and business advisory services (such as insurance and accounting). The card will give qualifying entrepreneurs credits to spend on an e-commerce portal listing accredited service providers.
• Work to reduce the red tape that makes it so hard to establish a business in South Africa, with a specific focus on a streamlined small business regulatory system for registration, labour legislation and empowerment regulations.
• Make it easier for small businesses to win government contracts through:
– An e-procurement system that brings down the cost of bidding and makes the process more accessible;
– A community supplier database for small tender opportunities (e.g. less thanR30 000);
– Breaking tenders into smaller contracts that can be won and completed by small companies.
• Establish a National Venture Capital Fund to provide initial funding for start-ups and early-stage businesses.
• Enter into partnerships with civil society organisations, businesses and education and training institutions to establish an annual My Future Starts Now entrepreneurship competition for 18- to 30-year-olds, offering cash prizes for winning business plans.
• Foster the role of the informal sector in enhancing livelihoods by:
– Providing safe trading spaces for informal traders.
– Developing a Code of Good Practice on engagement with informal traders with a specific focus on (i) developing common ethics, values and policy guidelines for interactions with informal traders, (ii) improving relationships with the police, (iii) guidelines for good practice with regard to the confiscation of goods and the processing of permits at local government level, (iv) identifying appropriate levels of protection for workers in the informal economy, and (v) assisting the sector in establishing credible, representative and accessible organisations to lobby on its behalf.
– Initiating a comprehensive survey of the informal sector that can be used by an inter-departmental task team to develop a strategy to assist informal business owners and their employees.
• Invest in awareness programmes on the support available to small business.
Creating an enabling environment for business growth
There is much more that can be done to create an enabling environment for growth and to break down the barriers that are keeping people out of the economy. We need a single plan for the economy that can guide government policy, that can reassure international investors, and that all South Africans can unite behind. In a DA government all Ministers in the Economic Cluster will sign a single economic framework as the blueprint for national development. This plan must inform government efforts to target spending more effectively and to drive down debt. It should also guide the national investment in infrastructure. The DA will ensure that at least 10% of GDP is invested in the infrastructure that the economy needs to grow – including roads, ports, railways, airports, water, transport and communication infrastructure. If we allow our transport and other infrastructure to continue deteriorating, it will have dire consequences for our economy and for job creation. More money in the pockets of citizens and businesses can enhance spending, boost growth, create jobs and ultimately increase contributions to the fiscus. The DA will keep corporate and individual tax rates as low as is financially viable. High costs make life unaffordable for many consumers and discourage business activity in South Africa. If elected to national government, the DA will work to bring down the cost base in the economy by:
• Strengthening competition authorities and increasing their budgets in order to counteract anticompetitive behaviour by Big Business ‘insiders.’
• Strengthening the Consumer Commission through an increased budget and targeted amendments to the Consumer Protection Act to give the Commission greater powers to impose fines when consumer rights are violated.
• Exploring the privatisation of uncompetitive state-owned enterprises.
• Establishing a Cost Reduction Caucus between organised business, government, labour and the unemployed to work to reduce administered prices, wage increases and inflation. Giving operating licences to additional fixed-line operators to encourage competition in the ICT sector, bring down prices and improve service delivery for consumers.
• Establishing a new regulatory framework for the ICT sector to ensure that broadband capacity improves, that prices fall and that the internet becomes accessible to all.
• Encouraging Independent Power Production through an overhaul of the institutional framework governing the electricity sector in South Africa to facilitate competition and drive efficiencies.
• Investigating the lease or ownership of our ports and airports by private companies in order to lower costs and improve service levels. In the modern knowledge economy, growth and job creation rely on ideas. Smart policy reforms will be needed at a national level to harness South Africa’s intellectual assets to solve our key social challenges, to drive growth and to create jobs. A national DA government will aim to boost investment in research and development (R&D) to at least 1% of gross domestic product. We will:
• Establish a research alliance venture fund to provide grants to researchers to turn their work into marketable products.
• Allocate national grant and bursary funding to encourage research in priority areas.
• Establish a web-based portal where innovators and designers can access information on the types of support available for R&D in various areas, the funding cycles for financial support, application processes and opportunities for research partnerships.
• Provide tax incentives for private investment in R&D and support towards the cost of patenting, exempt R&D inputs from import duties and allow for the accelerated depreciation of equipment used in R&D.
• Strengthen the capacity of the Technology Innovation Agency to provide financial and non-financial support for the development and commercialisation of knowledge-based services and products.
• Establish techno-parks, industrial zones or city rejuvenation projects as innovation sites. Economic growth and job creation can also be promoted through an export regime and trade policy that make it easier for our companies to do business in the global market. If elected to national government, the DA will:
• Establish one-stop border posts to expedite border crossing processes, reduce administrative burdens and costs, and enhance regional trade.
• Eliminate exchange controls to allow the efficient and productive flow of capital.
• Make the promotion of trade with South Africa the primary focus of our foreign missions and train our diplomats properly to ensure that our vast network of diplomatic representatives can deliver solid economic gains.
• Simplify import, export and customs procedures to encourage trade with South Africa.
• Work towards the establishment of a regional common market.
Making land reform work in rural areas
Sustainable and fair land reform is the right thing to do in a country with our history of dispossession. Land reform should also contribute to rural economies by giving rural dwellers greater access to productive assets. We believe that land reform must achieve justice while ensuring that land productivity is retained and increased. The current land reform programme has been an abject failure. The total amount spent on land reform and restitution is R69 billion – enough to buy, at market value, around 58% of productive agricultural land in South Africa.
While the DA supports land reform, we believe it would be a travesty to continue the current policy, which the present government has admitted has a 90% failure rate so far. Our approach will lead to land reform that is effective and productive. The uncertainty around the ownership of key assets in rural economies discourages investment in agricultural activity. The government has admitted that this uncertainty around land reform has reduced the number of commercial farmers and undermined food security, leading to increased imports and higher food prices. This disadvantages the poor most.
The main pillars of our approach are:
• Using the available resources better: Wherever possible, state-owned land must be released for reform purposes. We must get the Department of Land Reform properly staffed, corruption free and working efficiently.
• Communal land reform: At present large tracts of South Africa’s most fertile agricultural land produces very little food and hardly any jobs.
Approximately 21 million South Africans live on more than 17 million hectares of communal land (around 17% of the country’s total farmland area). State-owned land in communal areas must be released immediately for reform purposes and citizens must receive legal title to the land on which they live and farm.
• Using the models that work: Research shows that collaborative reform models (such as joint ventures, contract farming and farm equity schemes) are more likely to succeed. Around 80% of farm equity schemes introduced by the provincial government in the Western Cape have succeeded. We must put more money and effort behind these kind of programmes.
• Training and support for new land owners: We must focus on increasing the percentage of projects that become self-sustaining and provide reasonable incomes for those involved (rather than only the number of hectares transferred). When the right policy approach is in place it will make sense to invest more in effective land reform. Pouring money into the current failed system will not improve its outcomes. Once an overhauled policy is in place, we will commit an additional R10 billion to land reform programmes over the next five years, provide low interest loans for private land transactions and establish a dedicated fund for farm equity schemes.
The DA will eliminate uncertainty about land reform and land ownership through a clear commitment to the principle of willing buyer willing seller, and by making sure that the court remains the final arbiter in determining prices when land is expropriated in the public interest.
Addressing urban land and housing pressures
We must also recognise that more people are moving to the cities and that not every person who wants to own land necessarily wants to farm. The DA will therefore broaden the focus of land reform to include initiatives to relieve urban land pressures. This will include:
• Speeding up the expansion of housing opportunities by providing serviced plots close to urban centres.
• Ensuring that all beneficiaries of state-subsidised housing receive the title deeds to their homes.
• Increasing security of tenure in informal areas by lifting the restrictions on the sale of state-subsidised housing (allowing new owners to sell their properties after two years).
• Abolishing transfer duties on land transfers for all first-time, owner-occupied residential purchases under R2 million, as well as for purchases by over 65-year-olds.
• Introducing a subsidy programme aimed at the low-income “gap” housing market to assist those who do not qualify for fully state-subsidised housing in gaining access to bank loans.
• Making state land available for urban densification.
• Expanding and improving the management of commonages in peri-urban areas which are used by the urban poor to supplement their incomes.
• Piloting the use of flexible subsidies for housing delivery (particularly for serviced sites, finance-linked subsidy programmes and subsidised rental housing). We will also prevent the corruption and “back-room deals” that often see public housing going only to those with the right political connections. Our housing allocations will be entirely independent of party loyalties and determined by such objective criteria as length of time on waiting lists, need and economic disadvantage.
Education that empowers
A focus on quality education
Quality education is key to improving quality of life. It empowers individuals to obtain a fulfilling job, contribute to the economy and utilise their talents to the full. Both national and international assessments show that whilst we are spending a lot of money on education and there has been significant progress in improving access to education, our education system is not equipping learners with knowledge to master modern life and the skills they need to succeed. While spending money on education is important, it is not enough. It is what is taught, how it is taught and how the system is managed that matter. A textbook for every child, in every subject, delivered on time
Education outcomes can be improved by:
• More, better teachers: Training 15 000 more teachers per year, attracting great teachers by offering bursaries to deserving students, and working with universities to establish dedicated teacher training colleges.
• Better management: Excellent provincial administration of the education system to ensure that every child has a textbook, a trained and motivated teacher, and enough time in the classroom to master schoolwork. The DA has shown in the Western Cape that a good provincial education department can get results.
• Better resources: Proper planning and infrastructure spending to ensure that every school has basic resources and services such as safe classrooms, water, electricity, sanitation, libraries, laboratories and information technology that can enhance
• Better together: Encouraging the sharing of facilities between schools and between schools and communities, where some schools and communities are much better resourced than others.
• Better curricula: Aligning education outcomes with workplace needs by regularly reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it equips learners for participation in a competitive, modern economy.
• Involved parents: Making parents active agents in their children’s future through informed participation in well-run School Governing Bodies.
• Getting a good start: Establishing formal Grade R classes at every public primary school, with shared classes being used where learner numbers do not allow for a full post of a Grade R teacher.
• Proper testing: Continuing to use Annual National Assessments in Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 9 and ensuring that assessments in Grade 3, 6 and 9 are (i) internationally benchmarked, and (ii) independently marked. All assessments will be analysed to make improvements to the system where necessary.
• Appropriate support: Allowing schools that produce good results to become more independent and assisting under-performing schools in identifying and addressing their problems.
• Rewarding performance: Focusing on accountability for both teachers and principals by measuring performance and rewarding schools, teachers and principals who deliver excellent learner outcomes or show significant improvement.
• Focusing resources: Maintaining a differentiated model of school funding in which the learners from low-income families receive the most support from government.
• Supporting learning: Ensuring appropriate support for learners with special needs and for students who are at risk of failing or dropping out of the system.
Skills that matter in the workplace
Every qualifying learner must get an opportunity for further study
To deliver on the DA’s vision of an Open Opportunity Society for All, we must ensure that our education system equips South African job seekers with the skills they need to succeed.
The World Economic Forum considers South Africa’s “inadequately educated workforce” as one of the key constraints to doing business and creating jobs in our country. Tertiary education significantly improves the likelihood of getting a job in South Africa. Research by the Centre for Development and Enterprise shows that fewer than 5% of people in South Africa who have a university degree are unemployed (versus overall unemployment at around 35%). The DA wants every qualifying learner in South Africa to be given an opportunity to further his or her education. We will gradually increase the NSFAS budget to R16 billionso that no student is denied further education because they cannot afford it. To achieve this, we will expand the capacity of universities and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to provide more opportunities for higher education. In addition, we will ensure that a lack of funding does not discourage school-leavers, job seekers and those wishing to further their education from obtaining the skills they need to succeed.
We will do this by:
• Encouraging the use of skills levy funding for both short courses and long-term studies at universities and FET colleges.
• Providing dedicated funding for the development of scarce skills (e.g. teachers and social workers).
• Expanding the assistance provided through the NSFAS and implementing current proposals to make funding for the full cost of study available as loans to poor students, and then converting them to bursaries if studies are successfully completed.
• Providing state sureties for students who do not qualify for NSFAS bursaries, but are seeking student loans from commercial banks.
• Allowing students studying towards qualifications in identified areas, where the public service is in need of skills, to repay public loans through public service. In national government, the DA will implement an opportunity voucher programme that will provide funding to young adults who would like to start their own businesses or further their education and skills development. The voucher would entitle the graduate to (i) a partial subsidy of university or FET college fees; (ii) seed capital to establish small or micro enterprises subject to a well-formed business plan; or (iii) a state guarantee to cover carefully screened small business loans extended by commercial banks.
The business community must be a key partner in a renewed national focus on vocational training that can prepare learners for the world of work. We will get rid of the highly bureaucratic and inefficient Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) system, allow industry bodies to develop and manage apprenticeships, and reimburse employers directly for work-based learning. This will mean that businesses, rather than bureaucrats, will determine what skills the economy needs and how to train workers to develop job-ready skills.
Work with business to deliver one million internship opportunities
Education and training institutions must serve the country’s skills and knowledge needs. The DA supports focussed occupational and professional education (potentially linked to universities) through dedicated teacher training colleges, nursing colleges, colleges training social workers and social auxiliary workers, agricultural colleges and occupation-specific academies (e.g. for the police). To ensure that education and training curricula are aligned with workplace and knowledge needs, we will establish dedicated units for curriculum studies – aimed at educating a corps of trained curriculum developers for basic, further and higher education.
Keeping yourself and your family healthy
A caring government must ensure that accessible, affordable, high-quality health care is available to every citizen.
Public healthcare must be well managed. We need enough doctors and nurses to make sure that every patient is cared for. Medication must be available to all who need it.
Wellness must be improved through a holistic approach to health which tackles behavioural and lifestyle issues that result in avoidable diseases. The goal of universal healthcare will only be achieved through effective partnerships between public and private healthcare providers and through a decentralised, area-based, people-centred primary healthcare system.
Where we govern, the DA will:
• Conduct a full review of the nature and scale of vacancies in the public health system and work with tertiary education and training institutions to fill human resource gaps.
• Ensure that management teams in public hospitals are qualified and effective by applying a quality rating system to all hospitals and establishing an Independent
Office for Standards Compliance to conduct regular evaluations and propose interventions where necessary.
• Develop standardised response times for emergency medical services in both urban and rural areas, and support the development of health and emergency services to bring emergency care to international standards.
• Work to reduce the mother-to-child transmission rate for HIV and accelerate education programmes related to HIV/AIDS and general health issues.
• Invest in research that finds solutions to the most important challenges in our society – including preventable illnesses that add to the burden of disease.
• Modernise the health system and use information technology to improve health systems, including improvements to the system of buying and distributing medicines.
Patients should be able to collect medicines from any accredited pharmacy or premises, making collection more convenient and less time consuming.
Supporting the vulnerable and getting people into jobs
The DA believes in the power of individuals to improve their own lives when they are given the opportunity to do so. All South Africans deserve a chance to live a life that they value. Unemployment prevents people from living a better life. To give all South Africans a real chance to improve their lives, the most important responsibility of government is to create an environment in which people can invest, businesses can thrive, the economy can grow and jobs can be created. But many South Africans remain excluded from jobs and opportunities. The DA is strongly committed to providing a social safety net to vulnerable citizens and protecting all South Africans from extreme poverty and hunger.
The DA believes that social spending should be focussed on the disadvantaged and that such spending should improve the life chances of individuals born into poverty. We also believe that citizens are capable of taking responsibility for their own destiny and should be viewed as partners rather than “subjects” in development.
Where we govern, the DA will support children by:
• Ensuring that the parents or caregivers of every child born into poverty are able to provide the child with the food, health care and education he or she needs to learn and grow.
• Strengthening community oversight to ensure that child grants are not abused and intervene if children on social grants are not attending school or not being cared for.
• Working to expand and strengthen Early Childhood Development Centres to give every child an opportunity to learn basic skills before they start their formal schooling.
• Expanding the school nutrition scheme to include learners up to Grade 12.
Where we govern, the DA will support the youth and young adults by:
• Rolling out Mass Participation, Opportunity and Development (MOD) centres to all provinces where we govern. These centres offer sports, cultural and recreational facilities after school hours.
• Encouraging young people to finish school and dedicate themselves to their studies by paying a reward to social grant beneficiaries who have completed Grade 12 or have performed above a set standard. These benefits can be linked to our
Opportunity Voucher Scheme which provides funding to young adults who would like to start their own businesses or further their education.
• Introducing an internship programme across all government departments to bridge the study-work divide, and equip recent graduates with valuable professional knowledge and skills.
Where we govern, the DA will support unemployed adults by:
• Helping them to get work experience through greater investment in Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) and Community Works Programmes that include proper training and provide opportunities on a fair basis – not only to those with political connections.
• Promoting employability by providing integrated support services to job seekers at Opportunity Centres across the country. These centres can serve as a central point to provide information and assistance to job seekers, including:
– Information on private sector job opportunities, EPWP and Community Works Programmes;
– Access to education and training opportunities (including Adult Basic Education programmes and support programmes for post-school education);
– Assistance in writing CVs and applying for jobs;
– Assistance with transport and communication related to job-search activities;
– Placement in an apprenticeship scheme or government internship programme; and
– Support programmes for small business and informal traders.
Where we govern, the DA will support the elderly by:
• Phasing out the means test for old age pensions to reduce administrative costs and ensure that all elderly persons are getting the support they need.
• Encouraging saving by making membership of a retirement scheme compulsory for all working adults. Retirement savings can be facilitated through a National Social Security Fund. Individuals must, however, be able to opt out of the national fund if they belong to an approved private sector fund. Our key priorities with regard to people with disabilities is to promote access to education and job opportunities, to ensure that they can access the assistive devices that they need and to promote their economic and social inclusion. Where we govern, the DA will support people with disabilities by:
• Strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of disability grants to ensure that all disabled South Africans can access the grants.
• Ensuring the efficient administration of grant reviews – including ensuring that recipients receive ample warning of pending reviews and, where necessary, are well informed of the steps they must take to renew their grants.
• Limiting the regulatory burden for persons with severe and permanent disabilities by exempting certain categories of disability from the review process.
• Ensuring that state-funded schooling options are available for learners with a wide range of special needs.
• Providing transport subsidies to organisations in the disability sector to help peoplewith disabilities to access services and support.
• Continuing to promote the accessibility of buildings, public services, transport andother facilities for people with disabilities.
The DA delivers:
• National reports on Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) show that half of the training for EPWP beneficiaries across South Africa is done by the Western Cape Government.
• We are showing how EPWPs should be used to prepare people for jobs, not just to assist them temporarily through opportunities for unskilled survival labour.
• 432 000 learners receive lunch every day through the Western Cape school feeding scheme
Providing the services that you need General service delivery
Access to basic services like clean water and housing is a right guaranteed by ourConstitution. The DA is committed to ensuring that all South Africans have access to basic services. That is why, where we govern, we spend the bulk of our money and resources on delivering services to poor communities. More than R3 out of every R4 in the Western Cape budget is spent exclusively in poor communities. The remainder is spent on programmes and initiatives that benefit the whole province. Of the R18 billion spent on service delivery in the City of Cape Town, R11 billion is spent on the poor.
Our approach is delivering results: The latest Census results showed that the Western Cape has the best basic service delivery record in the country.
When individuals cannot move around freely and easily they cannot access opportunities.Transport costs have a disproportionate impact on the poor, who spend a significantportion of their monthly income on travel. South Africa must have a transport network that provides safe, reliable and affordable transport options for all people over both short and long distances. Public transport must also make it possible for people to reduce their use of private vehicles and minimise their impact on the environment.
Where we govern, the DA will make it easier, safer and cheaper to use public transport.
• Establish a dedicated Road Maintenance Fund, sourced primarily from the fuel levy,which will enable South Africa to eliminate the R150 billion road maintenance backlog over six years.
• Avoid the tolling of commuter routes and urban roads, only consider tolls on roads where there are properly maintained alternative routes, and then only after appropriate consultation with the affected stakeholders.
• Introduce a massive road safety drive, modelled on the successful initiatives in the Western Cape, to reduce our road accident rate by 50% over five years.
• Introduce a single, multi-use ticket applicable to all certified public transport users to make transport more accessible to everyone.
• Continue to expand and improve Bus Rapid Transport and commuter rail services.
• Privatise state-owned airlines and strengthen competition in domestic air travel services to make flying an affordable transport option for all long-distance trips.
• Encourage the use of rail transport for goods in order to protect the road network from heavy vehicles that cause damage and make the roads unsafe for other users.
New information and communication technologies continue to break down traditional boundaries between people, businesses and nations by making it easier to engage, to exchange information, to transact and to deliver services. Information and communication technology (ICT) is therefore vital to the development and wellbeing of all who live, work and play in South Africa. It enables us to contribute to, share in and benefit from the opportunities of a networked world. It connects people to education, jobs, opportunities and each other. It sparks innovation, enables citizens and government to interact effectively, and facilitates the provision of basic services such as education, health and policing. It supports the creative and cultural activities that define us.
Affordable, reliable and efficient internet must be available to all South Africans
The DA believes that every person in South Africa should have access to the internet.
Where we govern, the DA will work to ensure that information and communication infrastructure, the devices that access it and the services conveyed on it are affordable, reliable, efficient and readily available. This will be achieved both by supporting the private sector to expand access to ICT and using government resources to provide ICT infrastructure and services in under-serviced areas.
Fighting drug and alcohol abuse
Drugs and alcohol abuse undermine the safety and wellbeing of our communities. We must do whatever is needed to prevent our children from turning to drugs like tik and nyaope. Keep the youth away from drugs and crime by giving them a chance to succeed
To protect communities from the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol abuse a national DA government will:
• Reinstate the Narcotics Bureau. A dedicated unit within the SAPS to fight drugs would be in a position to co-ordinate an assault on drugs far more effectively than police officers working individually.
• Create a public-private partnership to fight drugs and crime. The DA would establish a public-private partnership between government and civil society to lead the fight against drugs and crime. The activities of credible NGOs that specialise in targeting drug addiction and rehabilitation must receive more support.
• Strengthen border security. By improving our border security, we would make the shipping of drugs in and out of the country far more difficult.
• Ensure better trans-national support. South Africa’s relationships with neighbouring countries can be improved in terms of resource pooling (expertise, training, equipment, etc.) as well as joint exercise collaboration (e.g. in border patrols, joint criminal investigations or fighting international drug and crime cartels).
• Devote more funds to rehabilitation. The long waiting list for existing rehabilitation centres emphasizes the enormous need for more of these facilities. State funds must be more readily available for properly accredited residential and community-based treatment centres.
• Increase the number of addiction treatment centres to broaden access to rehabilitation programmes.
• Expand drug rehabilitation programmes in prisons and ensure that continued drug abuse is considered in decisions around parole and early release.
• Make use of random drug testing in schools where appropriate. The DA would require that at least one teacher per school be trained in conducting drug tests, and that random tests are conducted regularly in problem schools. Regular testing would enable the expansion of early intervention programmes for children and adolescents vulnerable to drug addiction.
• Prioritise funding for combating alcohol abuse. The establishment and funding of programmes to address the socio-economic impact of alcohol abuse, preferably with co-operative arrangements with churches and other community organisations, must go hand-in-hand with more vigorous efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.
• Clamp down on illegal liquor sales. The DA would be uncompromising about enforcing the law on alcohol sales. Illegal sales points would be shut down, opening hours would be strictly enforced, and police and traffic officers would conduct regular blitzes around problematic areas to test patrons.
Protecting our natural environment and using resources in a responsible way is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. South Africa is blessed with rich resources and unique biodiversity. Our environment is, however, under significant pressure from a growing economy, a rapidly increasing population and climate change. Water scarcity is a reality for many people in our country. The International Environmental Performance Index ranks South Africa 128th out of 132 countries, based on our poor performance in air quality, water quality, waste management and the management of our fisheries. If elected to national government, the DA will reward businesses and households for behavioural changes that reduce environmental impacts and strengthen the regulatorysystem to protect natural resources. There will be a particular focus on streamlining the process of environmental and other impact assessments that are done prior to theapproval of developments. This process should apply the highest possible standards and be managed in an efficient and transparent manner by sufficient numbers of qualified environmental practitioners.
The DA understands that communities should be involved in the decisions that affect them. A national DA government would host workshops to equip communities, civil society organisations and local councillors with the knowledge and skills to understand and contribute effectively to the public participation processes associated with environmental management. The DA believes that we should be putting in place pro-active measures both to mitigate climate change and adapt to changes in our natural environment.
Key mitigation actions will include:
• Energy efficiency: Introducing compulsory energy efficiency labeling for appliancesand machines, and improved energy efficiency standards for buildings.
• Sectoral targets: Establishing mitigation targets in specific sectors in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
• Renewable energy: Scaling up the installation of renewable energy projects around South Africa by encouraging investment by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and providing incentives for private households to use renewable energy.
• Transport: Improving public transport to reduce individual car journeys.
• Carbon capture and storage: Conducting studies to identify the best areas to capture and store carbon to remove it from the atmosphere and limit the potential for climate change.
While mitigation (actions to limit climate change) is mostly a global issue, adaptation (actions to manage the impact of climate change) is a regional and local issue. Irrespective of the mitigation actions taken at the international level, a certain level of climate change is unavoidable. Adaptation is therefore necessary. We need to build climate resilience in South Africa as our country is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Left unattended, these impacts can seriously undermine our attempts at job creation and poverty alleviation, particularly in rural areas. The DA would focus on a number of projects, programmes and policies that would contribute to adaptation and the building of climate resilience. Among other things, these would include:
• Disaster management: The establishment of well-resourced disaster management centres around the country and improved early warning systems.
• Agriculture: Better use of agriculture extension workers to assist vulnerable communities to develop appropriate responses to farming under changing climatic conditions.
• Planning: Improved planning and building regulations that, along with rigorous environmental authorisations, minimise the risks from extreme weather events.
• Coastal management: The establishment of clear coastal management lines to better guide development along coastal areas.
• Insurance: Engagement with the private sector to develop new insurance products that protect particularly vulnerable communities from extreme weather events.
• Water: Increased investment and maintenance of water infrastructure, along with augmentation of supply from new sources.
• Indigenous knowledge: Utilisation of indigenous knowledge to develop locally relevant responses to climate change.
• Carbon trading: Active encouragement of the appropriate use of carbon trading and market schemes as a means to reduce carbon emissions and fund adaptation projects.
South Africa needs a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of energy both to meet household needs and support a growing economy. Energy planning in South Africa has been very poor and has not kept up with changes in energy demand in the country. At the moment our economy is held hostage to the inefficiencies of Eskom’s monopoly control and over-reliance on large coal-fired power stations. Eskom is currently responsible for 98% of energy generation, it owns and operates the transmission grid and distributes electricity to four million households. In addition, the Minister gets to determine the energy mix and has significant influence over who gets to build generation capability. The DA will change this picture dramatically by completely reforming the way in which decisions are made in the energy sector.
A national DA government will diversify our energy mix, reduce our reliance on coal and invest in grid technologies to make it easier for small-scale producers to feed electricity into the grid. We will allow a new, independent entity to plan South Africa’s energy mix, to manage the national grid and to procure electricity from both Eskom and IPPs. We will also reduce the country’s energy risks by opening up the market and allowing energy-intensive users to contract directly with IPPs.
In the DA’s vision of an Open Opportunity Society for All, children are safe from harm and citizens are able to walk in our cities and towns without fear. Criminals are caught promptly and prosecuted speedily, and victims of crime receive appropriate support and are treated with compassion. In our vision for South Africa citizens are respectful of the law and understand the consequences of violating it. Communities are confident that those found guilty of crime will be punished. Keep communities safe through a more effective and caring police service Whilst there has been moderate success in reducing crime levels in the country since 1994, South Africans still do not feel safe, nor do they trust that their property is safe from crime. The Victims of Crime Survey published by Statistics South Africa in 2012 showed that more than one in three households avoid going into open spaces unaccompanied because of their fear of crime, almost one in four households would not allow their children to play unsupervised by an older person or play freely in their area. Fewer than two out of ten households felt safe to walk around in their area in the dark.
The police, in partnership with communities and civil society organisations, must work hard to prevent crime before it occurs. South Africa needs a police service that citizens can trust and respect and that does not participate in violent or criminal activities. The police must be properly equipped and well trained and they must be disciplined and caring enough to keep communities safe. Our justice system must have the necessary independence and resources to ensure that those prosecuted receive a fair and speedy trial and, if found guilty, are appropriately punished. Our correctional service system must keep those found guilty of crimes securely detained and must offer effective rehabilitation to ensure that the level of criminality in our society is reduced over time.
In national government, the DA will also make the criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of the victims of crime by:
• Establishing a Victims of Crime Fund to ensure that victims have access to services and assistance.
• Allowing the persons directly affected by a criminal case to access information on the case through a secure, integrated database. Police
A national DA government will put nearly 100 000 carefully selected, well-trained police officers on the streets (we will increase the number of operational police officers from the current ±157 000 to 250 000).
We will work to keep citizens safe by:
• Recruiting new members that are properly qualified and trained, and committed to serving communities.
• Making sure that all members have the equipment they need to perform their tasks, including vehicles, firearms, bullet-proof vests, equipment for crowd control and ICT equipment.
• Making better use of technology in the fight against crime. This must include (i) a transversal, efficient and corruption-proof system to ensure that real-time information on crime, criminals and suspected criminals is available where it is needed (from police stations to police vehicles), (ii) dedicated efforts to ensure that police personnel are trained to use such systems, (iii) handheld consoles linked to police stations through which officers can update crimes reported and arrests made in real time, and (iv) making greater use of closed-circuit television units to monitor crime hotspots.
• Removing service members from the system if they abuse their power or participate in corrupt or criminal activities.
• Establishing a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the extent of police corruption, with a particular focus on police involvement in illicit drug dealing.
• Establishing a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to determine the causes of police brutality and to identify long-term solutions to the problem.
• Improving the cooperation between private security companies and the police service.
As we have done in the Western Cape through the Community Safety Act, the DA will also get communities more involved in preventing crime. Where we govern, we will establish provincial police ombudsmen to investigate complaints about poor service delivery, police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between the community and police. We will also strengthen the role of community police forums, neighbourhood watches and community safety structures that act as intermediaries between the police and community.
To make sure that criminals are caught once crimes have been committed we will:
• Employ an additional 8 500 detectives (to bring the total number of detectives to31 500).
• Maintain an integrated fingerprint system accessible by the police, the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Transport.
• Dedicate additional resources to improving forensic and laboratory services to enhance document analysis, chemistry testing, DNA sampling and ballistics testing.
A DA government will target specific crimes through specialised units, e.g. units for Narcotics, Gangs, Sexual Offences and Rural Safety.
To prepare our police to respond to high levels of family and sexual violence, the DA in national government will:
• Establish a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour VictimLink service. By calling a specific number, women who have been raped or assaulted would be able to get immediate crisis support and police assistance, they would be able to discuss safety measures with a trained counsellor, and be given help with practical interventions such as a cell phone for high risk victims.
• Regularly monitor police stations’ compliance with the Domestic Violence Act.
• Establish an electronic system for monitoring domestic violence registers. This would enable the police to track repeat offenders and complainants between stations and provinces.
• Ensure that SAPS members receive training to implement the Sexual Offences Act, including protocols for gathering evidence and supporting victims.
• Ensure that rape kits (including HIV prophylaxis) are available at all police stations. Every victim of rape should immediately be taken to a medical professional to collect samples and to receive assistance regarding the correct use of anti-retrovirals.
• Make real-time crime statistics available at every SAPS station so that the police can prevent and respond to crime more effectively.
In the South African context, where there is at least one public protest every two days and public protests are often associated with violence and the destruction of property, the police must also be ready and able to maintain public order.
If elected to national government, the DA will:
• Develop a clear policy on Public Order Policing and operational guidelines to ensure non-violent responses to public protests.
• Hold those responsible for violence and the destruction of property during public protests to account. This would include action against trade unions which fail to maintain order during strikes they have organised.
• Ensure that police officers receive the necessary debriefing and psychological support before they are redeployed into high-risk situations after being exposed to traumatising scenes and events.
• Ensure that public order policing units have access to the proper equipment and vehicles to fulfil their duties effectively.
Our courts must be free from political interference and they must be properly resourced to handle the number of cases coming through the system. A national DA government will work to dramatically improve the conviction rate in cases before the courts. Where cases are withdrawn, we will give the victims of crime the right to challenge the decision to withdraw charges against suspects.
We will also develop an integrated system for crime statistics in which the number of reported crimes can be compared to the number of arrests made, the number of casesreferred to the National Prosecuting Authority, the number of prosecutions carried out and the number of convictions that are secured.
To ensure that there is access to justice for all citizens, the DA will strengthen the resources of Legal Aid South Africa, expand the use of Community Courts and work to improve the efficiency of the court system around child maintenance. We want specialised Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence courts to protect vulnerable citizens from abuse and to make sure that sentences are commensurate with the crimes committed.
Convicted criminals must be punished for their crimes. It must, however, be a core priority of the correctional system to keep some first-time offenders out of jail to avoid further criminalisation.
Prison overcrowding currently limits opportunities for rehabilitation and is creating a culture of violence in South African prisons that contributes to the further criminalisation of inmates. Indeed, currently most offenders sent to prison will emerge more criminalised on their release than on admission. Overcrowding can be eased by building additional facilities, improving the management of remand prisoners and, crucially, by making better use of alternative sentences.
Rehabilitation must be improved through the structured management of the rehabilitation programmes of individual prisoners through the consistent implementation of sentence plans. Rehabilitation programmes must also include purposeful work by all able-bodied inmates. Such work must be geared to making prisons self-sustaining, to inculcating habits of work and responsibility and to enable restitution to individuals and communities affected by crime.
The re-integration of prisoners into society must be facilitated through halfway houses and an active partnership with faith-based organisations and NGOs as well as the removal of barriers to effective integration (such as the expunging of criminal records in deserving cases).
The majority of escapes occur in transit to or from courts, or from court holding cells. Such escapes can be limited by establishing courts within prison precincts or by using technology (CCTV) to televise court proceedings in appropriate circumstances. Electronic tagging for probationers and parolees must be expanded. This technology allows for more confidence in non-custodial, community-based sentences and reduces staff and other pressure on the community corrections system.
A strong, independent Inspectorate of Correctional Services should work with civil society organisations to monitor conditions in prisons, to prevent prisoner abuse, to combat corruption in prisons and to improve prospects for successful rehabilitation.
The primary priority of the national defence force should be to keep South Africa safe.
The DA will increase the number of troops protecting South Africa’s borders and develop clear guidelines on the circumstances in which the defence force may be called upon to assist in preventing public violence. Our participation in foreign peacekeeping should focus on the safety in the region, with missions further afield only being undertaken in exceptional circumstances and then only as part of mandated missions by the United Nations or African Union.
The weapons and equipment that we buy will be there to protect citizens. Defence procurement will be closely monitored and managed as transparently as possible to ensure that it is not abused to line the pockets of corrupt government officials.
A South Africa that has a place for all
The diversity of cultural practices, languages and histories in South Africa has become a defining feature of post-Apartheid South Africa. This diversity must be promoted as part of our national identity and fiercely safeguarded as an essential ingredient of the Open
Opportunity Society that has a place for all South Africans.
Promote reconciliation through respect and recognition for our individual and shared heritage South Africa’s efforts at building a unified nation are relatively new. We have emerged from our political transition in 1994 as groups divided by history, but united by the vision to “heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”. The DA and its supporters have a vision of a united South Africa in which we honour our past whilst taking positive steps to build a shared future.
While striving for unity, we must be a country which celebrates and protects our diversity. Arts and culture can bring people together in new ways. Our aim should not be to use these interactions to promote sameness, but to support interaction as the celebration of differences and as opportunities to build the foundations for mutual respect and understanding.
The DA wants to:
• Encourage every province to establish its own regional arts festival and commit to financially supporting at least one flagship event per province.
• Offer national arts awards and establish an annual national arts awards ceremony, with the aim of encouraging new audiences and developing the stature of all artists in our society.
• Make public funding available for exhibitions – with a specific focus on exhibitions that promote engagement across different cultures and artistic mediums.
• Support the establishment of a national art bank that will be responsible for procuring and curating art works from established and emerging artists in public buildings and
South African embassies.
• Prioritise investment in the performing arts, where performance itself can be an act of social cohesion – for example in choral traditions, orchestral music and group dance.
• Continue to provide support for national theatres and facilitate private sector investment in their programmes and initiatives.
• Improve the efficiency of community arts centres and promote community participation in the arts through arts representatives at Mass Participation, Opportunity and Access, Development and Growth centres.
• Promote private sector investment in the arts by:
– Recognising investments in arts, culture and heritage in the socio-economic development element of the broad-based empowerment scorecard;
– Providing tax breaks for investment in the arts – as a category of charitable giving; and
– Recognising business contributions to the arts through a national award.
The heritage of each South African is the heritage of the whole country. In the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, this is encapsulated in the heritage vision of the province, which reads: “My Culture, Your Culture, Our Heritage”. Visible representations of our history and heritage, including museums, monuments, memorial buildings, street names, outdoor art and heritage trails, must commemorate the many aspects of South Africa’s past.
The DA supports the provisions of the Use of Official Languages Act (2012) which gives government departments discretion in the use of any three official languages for communication purposes. At a provincial and local level, language choices should be informed by the languages most widely spoken in the relevant area. In national government, the DA would ensure that there is buy-in from all departments to implement this Act and will provide appropriate support to ensure its effective roll-out.
In schools, the decision on the language of learning and teaching will be made by theschool governing body. Multilingualism will be entrenched in schools by requiring learners to learn three official languages until Grade 7, after which two official languages will be compulsory. National symbols can contribute to nation-building and the establishment of a common national identity. South Africa’s national anthem, the national flag and the coat of arms are powerful symbolic representations of the country’s transition to a representative democracy and our collective commitment to building a society that truly has a place for all. Other national symbols, like the national animal (the springbok), flower (king protea), fish (galjoen), bird (blue crane) and tree (real yellowwood) reflect proud aspects of our natural heritage. Where we govern, the DA will promote awareness of these symbols and their meaning and will encourage the display of these symbols in public buildings, public spaces, on prominent hills and at schools and universities.
South Africa and the world
We are a society embedded in an international community. We must manage our relationships in that community to the benefit of South Africans and in pursuit of a just world order. A DA government would remain dedicated to a foreign policy informed by a commitment to human rights, whilst ensuring that our interactions on the global stage serve our national interests. We will seek to build the pillars of a just society everywhere and to promote democratic governments and states characterised by accountable institutions, independent judiciaries, free media and vibrant civil societies.
Our primary priorities, both domestically and in our interactions with the world, must be to:
• Establish a growing economy that can create jobs, alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.
• Raise living standards and educational levels.
• Increase our international economic competitiveness.
A DA government would use our position in multilateral forums like the United Nations, Southern African Development Community, African Union and the BRICS group of countries to contribute to a more just and safe world and to further our national objectives.
Helen Zille began her career as a journalist on the Rand Daily Mail and later became a political activist. She became involved in various NGOs and organisations, including the Open Society Foundation, the Independent Media Diversity Trust, and the Black Sash. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Witwatersrand, and joined the former Democratic Party in the mid 1990s, where she was asked to reformulate the party’s education policy and stand as a candidate on its election list for the Western Cape legislature. She also acted as technical adviser to the party at Codesa in the early 1990s. Zille was elected to the provincial parliament in the 1999 general election and appointed MEC for education.
She served as MEC under the newly formed Democratic Alliance until 2001, and then as leader of the opposition in the provincial legislature until she was elected to national Parliament in 2004. As a member of Parliament she stood on the Portfolio Committee on Education, and acted as the Democratic Alliance’s national spokesperson. In May 2006, Zille was elected mayor of Cape Town, and received the World Mayor award in 2008. She was elected the leader of the DA in 2007, and in 2009 became the premier of the Western Cape, a position she still holds.
Lindiwe Mazibuko is the parliamentary leader of the DA. She was born in Swaziland and raised and educated in Durban. She has a degree in music from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a BA and BA Honours degree from the University of Cape Town. Her dissertation for her honours degree in political communication was on Helen Zille and this led to her realise that the DA’s policies matched her own views and political vision for South Africa. She then started working as a researcher in the DA’s parliamentary operation before becoming the party’s national media officer for the 2009 national elections. She was also elected to Parliament in 2009 and then became the DA’s national spokesperson, before being elected DA parliamentary leader and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.
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