A deeper look into the manifestos of Rise Mzansi, DA, EFF, and Change Starts Now: Steuart Pennington

Deciphering the labyrinth of election manifestos reveals a common wish list among South African parties, yet nuances in execution plans differ. Rise Mzansi emphasises constitutional rights, DA eyes a coalition force, EFF pursues nationalisation, and Change Starts Now prioritises urgent funding for reforms, jobs, and infrastructure. The charisma deficit remains a challenge.

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By Steuart Pennington

ARE PARTY POLITICAL MANIFESTOS MEANINGFUL or MEANINGLESS?

The IEC tells us that 369 parties are lining up to contest the National Election and 1396 the Provincial Elections. YIKES, does that mean 369 manifestoes will be put out there to enable us curious voters to make a decision before May 29? Maybe a few Vulcans will read one or two (https://www.sagoodnews.co.za/?s=Hobbits) but I suspect not!

A couple of questions:

  • How many of the 369 Party Leaders will anyone listen to?
  • How many voters will read a single 30 – 50 page manifesto from start to finish? I’d guess 1%, if that.
  • How much difference is there between the various manifestoes in terms of wish lists, or are most of them letters to Father Christmas?  As my summary below indicates.
  • Do manifestoes make a clear distinction between what they gonna do and how they gonna do it??

I spent considerable time wading through four manifestos.

I was particularly interested to try and understand the CLARION CRY of each party – what they intend to shout from the hill-tops. 

Then I wanted to understand their VISION of what each Party intends to deliver to WIN the hearts and minds of the voters

And then, what are their top 7 to 8 critical deliverables?

See below, it was a slog, but I hope it will give you the opportunity to briefly understand what these 4 party’s election campaigns are all about, and in particular to save you the graft of reading through 4 x 30 – 50 page Manifestos

A couple of things are obvious:

The promises raised by these 4 Party’s are very similar (the what) but the manner in which these promises will be delivered (the how) varies somewhat

  • RISE MZANSI with a credible leadership team will deliver by focusing on our Constitutional Rights.
  • The DA with a proven track record in the Western Cape will try and build a Coalition Opposition Force to be reckoned with.
  • The EFF will nationalize and take everything.
  • CHANGE STARTS NOW will raise the money needed now to implement their turnaround strategy.

For me the CHANGE STARTS NOW delivery approach resonates; reform, jobs, social grants, education, loadshedding, infrastructure can’t wait for lethargic economic growth to make it happen (Although the Possessive Liberals won’t like it – don’t sit on my bank balance! https://www.sagoodnews.co.za/talking-of-our-country-where-do-you-stand-sit)  Given the fact that the party launched two months ago I doubt they have a snowballs chance in hell of attaining a single parliamentary seat, but I hope their leader Roger Jardine lends his business acumen to the Multiparty Charter

Sadly, in my view, none of these parties, other than the EFF, has a compelling, charismatic orator who will rouse the masses to the point where they will vote, and vote differently.

In summarizing I have attempted to focus on the nub of each party’s deliverables, not easy and maybe contested!

Next month I will get to the ANC, Action SA, IFP and FF+ manifestos

P A R T YRISE Mzansi
Democratic Alliance (DA)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Change Starts Now
C L A R I O N

C R Y
TO ENSURE THAT ALL SOUTH AFRICANS HAVE ACCESS TO THE SAME RIGHTS, ENTITLEMENTS, AND OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE A UNITED, EQUAL AND PROSPEROUS SOCIETY RESCUE SOUTH AFRICAOUR LAND & OUR JOBS NOW, STOP LOADSHEDDINGA TURN AROUND PLAN, SA HAS SUFFERED 30 YEARS OF GOVERERNMENT’S LACK OF DELIVERY ON ALL FRONTS. OUR DEMOCRACY IS UNDER THREAT, FIXING THIS REQUIRES MONEY & BOLDNESS
V I S I O NSouth Africa’s constitution is the central pillar of our values: Freedom; Equality: Integrity; Solidarity; JusticeThe creation of a multiparty charter for South Africa, a political game changer. By forging a common vision amongst opposition parties to work together to unseat the current governing party. We have to prevent an ANC – EFF coalition.The emphasis is on NOW, these are not empty promisesCreate a R500 billion Reconstruction and Growth fund (ReGrow) to fix the economy and our social challenges via an Increased tax on corporate and individual wealth for three years. “We can’t wait for economic growth, we have to find a way of paying for CHANGE now

Top 8 DeliverablesTop 7 DeliverablesTop 7 DeliverablesTop 8 Deliverables
1Leadership,  governance and implementation
We will appoint, capable and ethical leaders Ban blue light brigades Appoint SOE boards on merit
Create 2 million new jobs Break free from minimum wage legislation Reform the restrictive regulations of the Labour Relations Act Introduce apprenticeships Ban quotas Curb Union powerExpropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution and useIncrease corporate tax by 4.2% for three years. Implement a 4.5% tax increase for 3 years for those who earn more than R1.8 million and a 1% tax on retirement funds
2Safety and the rule of law We will professionally equip the police We will strengthen the administration of justiceEnd load and water shedding Unbundle and restructure, Eskom Enlarge the Grid Pay private providers for powerNationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation. Build strong public, private partnerships to manage Electricity, Logistics and Water infrastructure reform and optimize Green Growth with the possibility of creating 5 million jobs
3Economy and jobs We will double the size of our Economy every 12 yearsHalve the rate of violent crime Devolve policing to competent, local and provincial governmentBuilding state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders Create Spatial Inclusion Implement mixed income higher density housing
4Individual, family and community well-being Ensure, affordable and nutritious food for all Ensure readily and affordable basic services Deliver Education reformCrush corruption, and abolish cadre deployment In favour of merit based appointments and a capable state that delivers for all Political interference in the appointment of civil servants to be made a criminal offenceFree quality education, health care, houses and sanitation. Increase social grants, identify the most vulnerable and assist sustainably.  Land reform  Guidelines for meaningful reform to broaden property ownership Implement to strong food security initiative. Lower the costs of basic foods
5The climate crisis Green energy mix Electrify the transport system Decarbonize manufacturing operations Adopt drought resistant crop varieties6 million people out of poverty Replace BBEEE with incentives to deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development GoalsMassive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs for Africans, including the introduction of minimum wage(s) in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace. Expand Early Childhood Development centers for all children 2-5. Focus on Literacy levels. Reform the entire system to meet SA’s changing industrial needs
6Develop Policy on managing immigrationTriple the number of Grade 4 learners who can read for meaning 210 teaching days per annum Reform NSFAS Improve Literacy levelsMassive development of the African economy by advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice on the entire continent. Deal with climate change by focusing on renewable energies
7Develop Policy on foreign policyEnsure quality healthcare for all Irrespective of economic status Lower private healthcare costs and guarantee and minimum package of services to allOpen, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies. 
Decentralise, crime-fighting and corruption investigating initiatives. Find ways of restoring public trust in the SAPS. Reduce number of illegal guns

Develop policy on Centering  people with disabilities

Fund economic growth through the initiatives outlined above, funding on energy use, infrastructure, logistics & water delivery

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