FREE education for all, salary increases for domestic workers, the taking back of land and ending of all HIV infections. These are some of the promises made by political parties as they criss-cross the country for the next two months trying to lure your votes. Reporters THULANI GQIRANA and MKHULULI NDAMASE look at how the ANC, DA, UDM and EFF – which have already launched their manifestos – plan to deliver on health, land, economic development, education and jobs.
Reopen nursing colleges;
Work towards decreasing the HIV infection rate to 0%. The party does not give a timeframe for this;
Every year send a minimum of 5000 citizens to train as doctors in the best institutions;
Build a pharmaceutical company to produce medicines and distribute them to clinics and hospitals;
Incorporate traditional leaders into the health system and ensure healthcare facilities are available to all communities through clinics, hospitals and community-based healthcare workers.
Provide free quality education for the poor from early childhood development to attaining a post-secondary qualification. It also plans to put in place mechanisms to encourage students to attain post- graduate degrees and qualifications;
Impose an education tax on all corporations to fund the education and training of all South Africans;
Ensure the number of first-year students accepted in institutions of higher learning increases by 100% in the next five years;
Introduce a scholarship which will take a minimum of 15000 students, 5000 of whom will be medical practitioners, to the best universities across the world to attain skills, education and expertise in various fields;
Cancel all debts of students who owe institutions of higher learning money for academic purposes;
Introduce history as a compulsory subject to ensure children are “adequately conscious” of South African history;
Eradicate mud schools in the Eastern Cape, and replace them with decent schools with all basic services provided.
The EFF believes that without redistribution of land there would never be genuine economic freedom in this lifetime. It proposes that a government:
Pass legislation to make the state the custodian of all land and all those who occupy and use the land would need to apply for the re-issue of licences to use it for agricultural purposes and other sustainable economic activities;
Ensure land redistribution is equitable and land ownership and control reflects the demographics of South Africa, and those who work on the land would be given priority on land use;
Abolish all forms of foreign land ownership and institute a land lease system for foreign investors and companies to use the land for sustainable economic activities;
Adopt a principle of “use it or lose it” on land use;
Make it illegal for land to be used as surety for bank loans.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT :
?Increase taxes from private corporations and companies to run a R2-trillion budget by 2017. It believes corporate and company taxes should amount to not less than 40% of the tax revenue, while all other taxes , including VAT, are retained at the current levels;
Increase customs and excise duties and levies by 50%;
Tighten exchange control to lock capital to invest in South Africa, and pass laws that all corporations doing business in South Africa should be listed in and pay the majority of their taxes in South Africa;
Increase taxes on speculative capital inflows by 60%;
Cut the budget for the presidency by 60%, closing the official residences in Durban and Cape Town, and guaranteeing security only in one official residence.
Pass legislation to force employers to pay a R4500 minimum wage across the board;
R12500 monthly salary for mineworkers;
R7500 monthly salary for private security guards;
R7000 builders’ monthly salary;
R6500 manufacturing workers’ monthly salary;
R5000 monthly salary for farm workers, retail workers and petrol attendants;
Domestic workers and full-time waiters and waitresses to earn R4500;
Do away with contract workers and labour brokers.