ANC aligns manifesto with Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision
During his first state of the nation address the president outlined his plans for bolstering the economy and investment and tackling rampant corruption
The ANC has aligned its election manifesto with the vision of President Cyril Ramaphosa, which had begun taking shape in 2018.
Ramaphosa was elected almost a year ago when former president Jacob Zuma resigned.
During his first state of the nation address Ramaphosa outlined his plans for bolstering the economy and investment, and cleaning up the state and its institutions after almost a decade of looting through state capture.
Ramaphosa was received well by the crowd that filled the 85,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday for the party’s manifesto launch, in a province where Zuma remains popular despite waning popularity in the rest of the country.
Zuma, who also attend the manifesto launch, was greeted with screams and applause. Ramaphosa received a welcome reserved for a statesman.
The ANC is the first party to deliver its election manifesto ahead of what is seen to be the most hotly contested polls since 1994.
Its majority has been on the decline since 2009, with its national share of the vote dropping to an all-time low of 56% in the 2016 local government election.
Delivering his first manifesto for the governing party, Ramaphosa focused on job creation, transforming the economy, investment and rooting out corruption.
First on the list was doubling the annual rate of employment by creating 275,000 jobs per year.
The party plans to create these jobs by boosting local demand for goods, investing more in mining, manufacturing and agriculture and expanding export markets, according to its manifesto.
This was in line with the presidential jobs summit framework agreement compiled in October.
“The most pressing task for our country at this moment in our history is therefore to set the economy on a higher path of shared growth and to transform the structure of our economy to provide opportunities for millions of South Africans,” Ramaphosa said
This required a massive injection of new investment, he said.
For several years, investment in the economy had stagnated, stifling growth and job creation. The ANC’s plan to combat this was raising R1.2-trillion in new investments over the next five years.
According to the manifesto the country was within reach of this target.
The ANC would look at introducing legislation which would allow workers to share in profits through an employee ownership scheme, and similar arrangements to supplement workers’ incomes.
The government, labour and business would put together the minimum thresholds and conditions to govern the establishment of worker-ownership funds. The party is also looking to strengthen and consolidate state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
The ANC said it would also extend public ownership, guided by feasibility studies, in pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and banking.
The party would also look at amending legislation to allow qualifying SOEs , such as those involved in the enterprise development, postal services and housing finance sectors to acquire state banking licences.
On land and expropriation without compensation, the ANC said nothing new.
Ramaphosa assured people that the ANC’s approach to land reform would be guided by the constitution and by the need to advance economic development, agricultural production and food security.
In its manifesto, the ANC said it supported the amendment of section 25 of the constitution to “clearly define the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can take place”, adding that this should be done in a way that promoted economic development, agricultural production and food security.
The party would also submit the revised Expropriation Bill to parliament to provide explicit circumstances under which land expropriation in the public interest may happen without compensation.
The launch of the manifesto on Saturday officially opened the party’s election campaign. The election date has not yet been proclaimed.