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.
Review vacancies in the public health system and work with tertiary and training institutions in filling human resources gaps, including admin staff and doctors;
Improve response time for emergency medical services in urban and rural areas, thus bringing health and emergency services to an international standard;
Reduce mother-to-child transmission rate for HIV and educate citizens about HIV and general health issues;
Make medicine collection convenient and less time-consuming by ensuring public patients are able to collect medicines from any accredited pharmacy or premises.
Train 15000 more teachers per year, attract skilled teachers by offering bursaries to deserving students, and work with universities to establish dedicated teacher training colleges;
Provide excellent provincial administration of the education system to ensure every child has a textbook, a trained and motivated teacher and enough time in the classroom to master schoolwork;
Establish formal Grade R classes at every public primary school, with shared classes being used where pupil numbers do not allow for a full post of a Grade R teacher ;
Gradually increase the NSFAS budget to R16-billion so that no student is denied further education because they cannot afford it;
Provide state sureties for students who do not qualify for NSFAS but are seeking student loans from commercial banks;
Get rid of the highly bureaucratic and inefficient Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) system;
Work with business to deliver one million internship opportunities.
Create seven million work opportunities through the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) by 2019 and further create 2.5-million EPWP work opportunities each year by 2025;
Through EPWP, provide internships to at least 18000 youths;
Establish work centres that would serve as one-stop shops for small businesses and a central node for young job-seekers and entrepreneurs to access support;
Encourage the employment of the youth using the youth wage subsidy, estimated to benefit 423000 youths in the first three years of implementation;
Do away with racial quotas and replace them with programmes supporting black advancement;
Create six million real jobs in 10 years.
The DA believes that land reform must achieve justice while ensuring that land productivity is retained and increased;
They promise to eliminate uncertainty about land reform and land ownership through 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;
Once an overhauled policy is in place, they promise to 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;
They will broaden the focus of land reform to include initiatives to relieve urban land pressure;
Make state land available for urban densification.
The party believes South Africa needs a single plan for the economy that can guide government policy and reassure international investors. They promise to:
Keep corporate and individual tax rates as low as is financially viable;
Establish a cost reduction caucus between organised business, government, labour and the unemployed to work to reduce administered prices, wage increases and inflation;
Ensure that at least 10% of GDP is invested in the infrastructure that the economy needs to grow;
Simplify import, export and customs procedures to encourage trade within South Africa;
Increase economic growth by 8% by 2025. According to the party, if the economy grows at 8%, it can double in size in 10 years. This could mean an increase in the national budget from R1-trillion to R2-trillion.