Honesty always the best policy

CopyLogoThey come from different political parties but they all have one thing in common — they believe they can run South Africa better than the ANC. Reporters THULANI GQIRANA and ROCHELLE DE KOCK look at what COPE, Agang and the Freedom Front Plus had to offer.

IN its election manifesto, COPE promises it would be an honest and better government with leaders who have respect and values.

Should it be elected, it promises to:

HEALTH

Support the provision and availability of universal healthcare; Ensure automated queuing systems are introduced at all health centres to prevent long lines; Ensure that traditional health practitioners are properly accredited and monitored with the primary aim of improving healthcare in rural areas and recognising indigenous knowledge systems; Keep government clinics open 24 hours a day in designated areas to improve accessibility to health care to all communities; and Prioritise ambulance services attached to clinics so that there are better response times in rural areas and informal settlements.

EDUCATION

Set a benchmark for ICT literacy for teachers and pupils to empower them for e-learning; Increase the minimum pass rate across all grades and support the enforcement of common certification. The party promises to embark on a scientific investigation on what should constitute a minimum pass mark; Pay and promote teachers based on academic qualifications, performance and skills; Lower the ratio of pupils to teachers; Re-open teacher training colleges and FETs with special emphasis on critical subjects and ensure that every municipality has an FET college; Ensure Early Childhood Development practitioners are recognised as part of the education system and are employed by the department; and Introduce physical education as a compulsory activity in all schools JOBS While the party emphasises the creation of a growing economy and sustainable development, there is no mention of job creation in the manifesto.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Support National Development Plan implementation, and develop strategies to make it work; Ensure that small, medium and micro enterprises enjoy increased support from government to make it easier to start and run a small business; Make affordable loans available for start-up enterprises, with mentoring support to make sure small businesses succeed; and Expand inter-African trade.

LAND

Unused state-owned land would be made available for housing and agricultural purposes; Conduct a comprehensive audit on land ownership to form practical strategies for land reform; Ensure that communities benefit from mines and mining on their land and that they are empowered to manage royalties; Identify land for settlements and identify legitimate land claimants; and Make farming opportunities available to diversify and broaden land ownership.

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