The Manifesto for Change
The Change that Builds One South Africa for All
Fellow South Africans,
In 1994, we had a dream. A dream of One South Africa where whatever our race, background or religion, we would be able to stand together as one, living free, happy and dignified lives. A dream where we would reduce the economic inequality in our country. A dream where we would realise the potential of our great nation, working together to make South Africa a beacon of hope and leader in the developing world.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) shares that dream. We live that dream. And we call that dream One South Africa for All. A South Africa where we come together because we are better together. A South Africa of the shared values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity.
Tragically, that dream has not been realised. Successive ANC governments have forgotten the people and through gross corruption and empty promises, they have rid our country of hope. Not only do they not want to lead South Africa forward to our dream – they are utterly incapable of managing the real problems that South Africa faces.
The ANC is no longer capable of moving South Africa forward. No matter who leads them, they will never change their focus on enriching themselves first and putting people last. They are a broken vehicle that cannot be repaired. South Africa needs to write-off the broken vehicle that is the ANC.
South Africans face a choice. A choice between the corrupt, old, disorderly ANC and the honest, capable, modern and orderly DA. The ANC has made a total mess of governing, and it is only the DA that will restore order through rules and accountability.
The DA is a movement whose mission is to realise the dream that is One South Africa for All. And Election 2019 will provide millions of South Africans with the chance to bring change that builds One South Africa for All.
The DA has proven that we are capable of managing the real problems that South Africa faces. Where we govern, we deliver for all and we deliver far better services faster and more effectively. We are a vehicle that can drive our country to where it needs to be.
This manifesto sets out our agenda for change. It is our contract with the people of South Africa should we be entrusted by the people to govern. And our commitment is simple: we will build One South Africa for All and prioritise the fight against corruption, growing the economy and creating fair access to jobs, fixing the police service to make it honest and professional, securing our borders, and speeding up the delivery of services for all.
The South African people deserve a government that will put them first. This manifesto for Change shows that the DA will do this when we become the next government of South Africa.
This election is about South Africa’s future. Led by a new generation, the DA is the only party that can bring real change.
Only the DA can bring change that builds One South Africa for All.
DA Leader Mmusi Maimane
The DA’s Values
Freedom is the hard-won right of all South Africans. Everyone has the right to express their freedom, mindful that their choices come with responsibilities towards others. This includes the freedom to earn a living and accumulate wealth, live where we want, love who we want, say what we believe, develop our talents and pursue our dreams.
Freedom is the engine of progress that will drive South Africa forward. It inspires our people to be innovative and allows the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. In an environment of maximum freedom, everyone is empowered to participate in a growing economy and live a dignified life.
People cannot be free without a respectable standard of living, which requires access to education, healthcare and quality basic services. Government must free people from the chains of poverty and the oppression of crime, giving meaning to the Bill of Rights.
A fair society is one in which our achievements should be the result of our hard work and efforts, not our birth. Fairness requires equal and plentiful opportunities, and the means to make the most of them. Equal and fair justice acknowledges the legacy of apartheid and is committed to redress. Fairness cannot be said to exist in a society burdened by large-scale inequality.
All South Africans deserve a level playing field where opportunities are not concentrated in the hands of the few. A fair society is characterised by openness and an empowering abundance of opportunities, coupled with quality education, jobs, security and affordable healthcare. A fair society cannot exist without a capable, service-oriented and clean government. Individuals are free to flourish as fairness rejects unfair discrimination and exclusion.
Access to opportunity gives life and meaning to our hard-won freedoms and rights. Dignity is strongly linked to being able to work. This requires a growing economy and an educated society. The job of government is to ensure peoples’ rights to excellent education, quality healthcare and a functional criminal justice system. Government must also provide social assistance for South Africans faced with circumstances beyond their control. Poverty and hardship should rob no-one of their opportunities.
When people are deprived of their opportunity to work, their independence and dignity is damaged. This threatens not only them, but also the people that rely on them. People cannot fulfil their potential without a capable state. Government must provide access to electricity, water and sanitation, and reliable public transport. Our leaders must never forget they are elected by the people and must be close and accountable to them. South Africans deserve a government they can trust and that will responsibly spend every cent to create opportunities for all.
South Africa is a richly diverse society. Though our people come from different origins, worship in different ways and have different cultures and customs, we are all unique individuals. Diversity is one of South Africa’s greatest assets. We celebrate diversity and recognise the right of each individual to be who they want to be, free from domination by others.
The value of diversity aligns to the preamble to the Constitution of South Africa which recognizes the injustices of our past and affirms that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in diversity. It is this commitment that means we will continue to take active steps to promote and advance diversity in our own ranks.
Our Vision for Government
Based on these values, the DA believes that it is the role of the state to expand the frontiers of opportunity for individuals by ensuring that it fulfils effectively the core functions of a modern state. Apart from having the monopoly of the legitimate use of force to secure the safety of citizens, it is the role of the state to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to be the engine of economic growth and development. In this we are guided by our fundamental belief in:
- the rule of law;
- the market-based economy;
- protecting and upholding individual rights and freedoms;
- the importance of building a caring, opportunity-rich South Africa;
- the significance of a capable state (staffed with qualified, fit-for-purpose professionals); as well as
- the moral imperative to redress the stark inequalities that remain all pervasive in South Africa, 25 years into democracy.
Our liberal democratic world view and the related belief in the role of institutions has arguably never been more important in light of the rise of populism, nationalism and proto-fascism, both domestically and internationally. South Africa’s viability as a functional democracy therefore not only has importance for South Africans but also for the future of the global liberal democratic order which, since the end of World War Two, has seen unprecedented increases in global development and prosperity.
With these beliefs in mind, this manifesto sets out how we would achieve our primary objectives of Creating Economic Growth And Jobs, Now; Building a Caring and Opportunity-Rich South Africa; as well as Creating a Capable State. Our programme of action will minimise the role of the state and unleash the extraordinary potential of South Africans, whilst at all times ensuring there is a safeguard for those who cannot help themselves. Ultimately, it is our foundational belief that no South African – regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or any other marker – should have their life chances determined by the circumstances of their birth. In government we would work tirelessly every day to ensure all South Africans reach the richness and fullness of their limitless potential and in so doing, build One South Africa for All.
Economic Growth and Jobs, Now
South Africa needs a plan to rescue our economy and create more jobs. More than 10 million South Africans are without work and half the population lives below the poverty line. Youth unemployment is amongst the highest in the world. Businesses, large and small, are struggling to survive in a chaotic and uncertain business environment leading to more and more unemployment. This represents a profound injustice and a clear threat to socio- economic cohesion in our country.
In effect there are still two South Africas, 25 years into democracy. One where there are the skills and resources to access economic and other opportunities, and another South Africa where the majority of citizens find themselves excluded with no hope of accessing life-changing opportunities. The DA’s vision of One South Africa for All is founded on the fundamental belief that there is an urgent need to remedy this manifestly unfair reality to ensure that all South Africans – regardless of their race, gender or geographical context – are able to reach their full potential and in so doing, truly build One South Africa for All.
There are too many families in our country who do not have a single breadwinner. These households are completely dependent on the state with little hope of achieving independence. Every person who is able to work should be able to access employment opportunities and support themselves and their families. But this is not our economic reality. We believe our plan for Economic Growth and Change, Now, can put us on the right track to achieving the goal of good work for all South Africans and, in the short-term, ensure that there is a job in every household.
Our plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, Now, contains the following core elements:
- Economic policy for growth, jobs and change, now.
- Providing policy certainty and direction for growth and jobs by:
- passing the Jobs Act for a job in every home;
- eradicating employment corruption;
- ensuring labour unions protect the interests of workers, not their own elites; and
- introducing a Voluntary National Civilian Service year.
- Taking urgent measures to stabilise the economy and prevent government bankruptcy, respecting:
- public finances;
- institutional independence; and
- fiscal risks.
- Creating a new plan to realise economic justice for all South Africans, with respect to:
- economic justice for all; and
- land reform for jobs, justice and growth.
- Expanding access and improving higher education and training.
- Unleashing small business.
- Enabling city-led growth.
- Stimulating trade and investment promotion.
- Making industry and manufacturing work again.
- Transport: getting South Africans moving.
- Unlocking agriculture.
- Improving access and innovation in ICT.
- Cleaning house: unbundling SOE monopolies for growth.
- Energy: powering South Africa’s economic growth.
Economic Policy for Growth, Jobs and Change, Now
If we want to realise real socio-economic change in South Africa, we have to achieve higher and more consistent economic growth that benefits more South Africans.
The 2018 World Bank report on Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in South Africa states that in the absence of any major shock or radical shift from the current policy stance, real GDP would grow at an annual average rate of 1.4 percent between 2018 and 2030. This would mean that the unemployment rate would go down from 27.3% in 2017 to 26.7% in 2030. Another decade of over 25% unemployment is a grim prospect indeed for South Africa, and for the millions desperate for the better life they were promised.
To realistically turn our economy around and reduce unemployment we must place the economy on a trajectory toward realizing 3% GDP growth, at least, annually. However, once we have unleashed the full latent potential of South Africa’s productive capacity and human capital, we will put ourselves on a growth trajectory in line with many of our regional counterparts – such as Kenya, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Botswana and Ethiopia – of economic growth between 5 and 8%.
South Africa cannot continue any longer with the majority left looking in from the outside, while the insiders enjoy all the opportunities and spoils. It is our intention to not only be pro-poor, but pro-all South Africans. For an inclusive, stable economy to exist, the government cannot take sides but must be able to function as a neutral agent responsible for opening the playing field and maximising opportunities.
This manifesto details the policy choices a DA national government will take to turn the tide on stagnant growth, grinding poverty and worsening inequality. We can achieve change now that ensures a job in every household.
Providing Policy Certainty and Direction for Growth and Jobs
The first vital step in turning our economy around is to provide the private sector with a reason to invest in South Africa: policy certainty. The current government has not only flip-flopped on important policy issues but has taken a hostile stance toward the private sector for years and the result has been a business environment wracked by uncertainty and heightened risk. We need to communicate that
South Africa has a safe and stable economy where investments can grow. There are a myriad of policy and legislation issues which must be addressed – the most important of these for jump-starting job- creating growth are listed below.
We will give complete policy certainty to business through:
- Guaranteed private property rights that will be upheld for everyone in our country.
- The rejection of expropriation without compensation. We believe in land reform that grows jobs, expands ownership and the economy, and enables economic justice. This does not require expropriation or state ownership but a government capable of using existing provisions in our Constitution.
The ANC has pushed through an inter-related and complementary bundle of legislation:
The Protection of Investment Act and the Competition Amendment Bill are part of a package that fits with the current government’s plans relating to: land expropriation without compensation (more accurately property expropriation without compensation) and nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.
The Protection of Investment Act removes measures to protect foreign investors, for instance it technically allows for asset expropriation without compensation. The Act has already led to a deterioration of foreign investment and continues to do so. The Act has basically replaced the use of bilateral (multilateral) investment treaties (BIT). The opposition to BITs is often explored in development theory, and argument to do away with these is premised on the point that the host country does not always experience skills development or the full benefit from foreign direct investment. However, this is not a strong argument because conditions can be included which work in BITs to resolve these issues while still ensuring property rights. Scrapping BITs makes it is easier to nationalise the Reserve Bank – considering that there are foreigner-owned shares in the SARB.
There are a number of issues with the Competition Amendment Bill which, among other issues, gives the president the ability to stop investments and acquisitions on the basis of National Security the definition of which is very broad and comes down to a degree of discretion. The Bill also increases red tape and bureaucracy – making business costlier.
A DA national government will address specific policy and legislation challenges holding back economic growth by:
- Repealing the Protection of Investment Act and ensuring that foreign investors have certainty that their property will be protected.
- Reintroducing the use of Bilateral (multilateral) Investment Treaties (BITs) with conditions to ensure skills development, and industry development in South Africa.
- Scrapping the national security clause in the Competition Amendment Bill which is a major cause for concern for investors.
- Developing legislation that focusses the Competition Commission’s efforts on addressing market concentration and reducing barriers to entry for firms, in both the private and public sectors, especially focusing on the biggest monopolies in the country in the form of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
- Opposing the Banks Amendment Bill (EFF PMB) which aims to allow for SOEs to register as banks under the Banks Act. Given the disastrous track record of numerous SOEs in managing their own finances it would be foolish to extend banking licences to these entities and would increase risk across the entire financial sector.
- Opposing the SARB Amendment Bill (EFF PMB) which aims to nationalise the SARB by simply erasing any mention of shareholders form the SARB Act. If executed as envisioned the consequences will amount to asset expropriation without compensation and will breach some investment treaties which are still effective despite the Protection of Investment Act. The Bill will reduce the independence of SARB and also the operations of SARB.
- Protecting the SARB’s mandate as depicted in the Constitution, including the current monetary policy regime followed by SARB and the use of inflation targeting. This will be done to create certainty related to interest rate paths and currency movements allowing investors and businesses to have greater certainty in terms of planning.
- Ensuring that our alternative to the broad-based empowerment programme sets timeframes to how often scorecards and regulations are changed. This will make medium to long term planning easier and less costly so that investors and businesses know what to expect over a specific period.
- Overhauling the current visa regime for skilled workers to attract investment and to ensure that South Africa imports “skills”.
- Scrapping the Mining Charter in totality.
- Rewriting the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (the MPRDA) so that it delivers certainty to investors and reduces the scope for decisions to be taken by officials and politicians.
Passing the Jobs Act for a job in every home
To jump-start the economic growth needed to create more employment we need to do something radically different. A DA national government would introduce a Jobs Act to serve as an economic stimulus shock.
The act will make special incentive offers open to foreign and domestic investors who meet a minimum employment threshold. In other words, a DA government will make doing business as easy as possible for companies that want to invest and create jobs in South Africa.
Our Jobs Act will provide the following for companies and individuals looking to either start new businesses or expand existing ones, and which create new jobs, including:
- The right to repatriate profits in the case of international investments. This is one of the biggest barriers to attracting foreign investment that can create jobs and is a vital incentive our government will offer.
- Relaxed foreign exchange controls for individuals/businesses willing to invest in the country to provide assurances that they can access their funds as needed.
- Access to a specialised team of arbitrators, located in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), who will assist medium-sized businesses in terms of the International Arbitration Act, when necessary. This will assist medium-sized businesses who may find the cost associated with arbitration prohibitive and will unlock the growth potential of the bill for these companies.
- A labour market flexibility exemption clause aimed at making the process to hire and fire employees simpler and allowing potential employees to opt-out of the relevant sectoral minimum wage (which would have a new minimum of no less that the old age grant) while still ensuring occupational safety and the human rights of all employees are upheld. Labour costs are one of the biggest inputs that businesses consider when investing, and this clause has the potential to unlock hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Eradicating employment corruption
South Africa’s official unemployment rate stands at 27.5%, rising to a staggering 37.3% if the expanded definition (which includes discouraged job-seekers) is used. This ranks amongst the highest unemployment rates for both developing and developed nations.
The scarcity of job opportunities, considered with the broad failure of the current government’s empowerment efforts, perpetuates apartheid-era inequality and poverty. The result of this is that there are now many desperate, and more often than not, young South Africans chasing fewer jobs. The resulting opportunistic environment has given rise to corrupt and predatory phenomena such as cash- for-jobs and sex-for-jobs.
The DA believes that in order to move towards a more inclusive society, access to opportunities, particularly employment opportunities, needs to be extended more diversely and in a fairer manner, to more South Africans. While much of our focus needs to be on growing the economy and making more jobs available, combatting job corruption remains a vital component to achieving the goals of fairness and opportunity.
In order to tackle employment corruption a DA national government will:
- Increase the transparency of the recruitment process by:
- ensuring high-profile public sector jobs are properly advertised through a variety of media; and
- making a hotline available to report instances of employment corruption.
- Introduce legislation to protect job-seekers, particularly women, who are vulnerable to coerced transactional sex requests. The legislation should:
- codify sexual exploitation as a distinct form of corruption;
- protect individuals who report incidences from self-incrimination, therefore changing the charge from bilateral to unilateral; and
- increase awareness of rights that job-seekers and employees have.
- Require that all candidates applying for employment in the public service complete a public service entrance exam.
Ensuring labour unions protect the interests of workers, not their own elites
A DA government will stop labour unions from damaging the economy and limiting the rights of their members by:
- Restoring consensus between government, the private sector and unions – recognising that all are important stakeholders in our economy.
- Making it a requirement for ballots to be held before there is strike action by unions – a key initiative to ensuring all strike action stems from the democratic decision of workers.
- Holding labour unions accountable for any damage to public or private property as a result of strike action.
- Holding labour unions financially accountable to pay damages to individuals who have successfully brought cases of intimidation and/or assault against trade union members during strike action.
To begin with the programme would aim to pilot three streams:
- Firstly, an education stream which will be geared towards providing underserved schools with teachers’ assistants to provide services such as administration work, sports coaching, cultural initiatives and extra supervision. Participants of this course will also partake in basic educator skills courses such as early childhood development programmes. This stream would hopefully produce a number of successful candidates who could undergo bridging courses to study further teaching degrees and diplomas – filling a much-needed skill gap in our country.
- Secondly, a healthcare stream which will be geared towards providing administrative assistants to clinics and public hospitals across the country. Participants of this stream will be enrolled in one- year community health worker qualification programmes, ensuring they will be qualified CHW’s by the end of the programme. Top performers would also receive bridging support and scholarships to study as qualified nurses to feed back into the skills-deprived public health service.
- Thirdly, a police academy stream would see participants join newly established police academies across the nation. They will simultaneously join members of local law enforcement on daily patrols to gain an understanding of the role in the community, whilst also receiving training to become a certified police officer. This programme may need to run for two years before participants qualify, however new students will be enrolled each year.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Western Cape Premier’s Advancement of
Youth (PAY) Project:
The programme provides approximately 750 matriculants with work and training in one of the 13 Western Cape government departments each year. The Programme helps matriculants to acquire the necessary skills and work experience to make them more marketable to future employers with contactable references on CVs. It makes provision for career awareness exposure to assist matriculants in making informed career choices and also provides a network to support and guide them.
Urgent Measures to Stabilise the Economy and Prevent Government Bankruptcy
South Africa’s economy faces a serious risk of collapse because of the gross mismanagement of our economy by the current government. Our gross national debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 55.8% meaning that it would take 55% of the value of everything our country produces in a year to pay off the debt this government has racked up. This ratio is expected to rise over the next three years reaching 58.5% by the 2021/22 financial year. What’s more frightening, the government has also backed a lot of the debt of failing state-owned entities – with Eskom being the best example of this. These loans, which run into the hundreds of billions are also set in foreign currency, meaning that if the Rand loses value against the currency loans are set at, the government would be liable for even more debt.
The very serious debt problem is made worse by a huge and ever-growing public-sector wage bill that is not paying for quality public servants but is used as a network of patronage for ANC cadre deployment. So, while out doctors, nurses, teachers and policemen and -women are vastly underpaid, the current government has crippled our country with debt for self-enrichment. This urgently has to stop if we are going to invest money in the things the country really needs like better safety, education/ skills training and health. Currently, the public sector wage bill accounts for more than a third – 35.18% – of total government expenditure.
The DA has a plan to stabilise the economy. These steps must be immediately actioned if we want to avoid a looming economic crisis and get our country’s economy growing for all South Africans.
A DA national government will make sure that our national debt does not cripple our economy by:
- Introducing fiscal spending rules, as envisioned in the DA’s Fiscal Responsibility Bill, to prevent the debt-to-GDP ratio continuing to spiral out of control. The key stabilising initiative would be implementing a debt ceiling at a maximum of 60% of GDP.
- Requiring the minister of Finance report to Parliament every year on compliance with the new fiscal spending rules.
- Requiring that government guarantees to SOEs do not increase as a percentage of GDP.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Turning finances around in Tshwane
In its first year in government in the City of Tshwane, the DA-led administration received an unqualified audit. It managed to create a stable financial environment by tightening controls over the supply chain management process, reducing unauthorised expenditure by 63%, and extricating the City from unlawful and wasteful contracts such as the PEU contract. In its first year the DA-led administration also managed to almost double the cash and cash equivalents held by the City, from
R1.1 billion to R2.1 billion. The ANC-administration had left the city with a large deficit in the 2015/16 financial year – the DA-led administration managed not only to eradicate this deficit but also to end its first financial year off with a surplus of R704 million.
We took immediate steps to cut down on wasteful spending, which had reached pandemic proportions under the corrupt and failing ANC. The DA-led administration:
- Banned the purchasing of new luxury vehicles for politicians and officials.
- Banned lavish banquets and inaugural parties.
- Put an end to the blue-light brigades that had terrorised the streets of Tshwane.
- Dramatically reduced the size of the Mayor’s Office, which formerly employed almost a thousand ANC members with enormously inflated salaries.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Turning around finances in Nelson Mandela Bay
Under a DA-led government, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro received a credit rating upgrade from ratings agency Moody’s, which is all thanks to the DA’s ability to run a clean government.
The ANC administration had been using the City as a piggy bank, looting hundreds of millions to support the lavish lifestyles of its officials and politicians. When the DA took over, Mayor Athol Trollip banned business and first-class travel and the purchasing of luxury vehicles. We also uncovered large- scale corruption, putting a stop to R615 million worth of irregular and wasteful contracts in the Supply Chain Management Department.
In the 2018/19 financial year, before the Coalition of Corruption regained control of the purse strings, the DA-led administration passed the City’s largest ever operating budget, of R10.3 billion. The budget was one of the most pro-poor the City has ever seen, including a billion spent on water infrastructure upgrades, R2.2 billion for the assistance of poor inhabitants, R45 million to buy new land for housing developments, and the lowest basket of tariff increases the City has seen in two decades.
The DA will ensure the integrity of our financial institutions remain intact and that they are able to deliver balanced and sustainable economic growth, by:
- Ensuring that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) remains independent and is able to deliver on its constitutional mandate of protecting the value of the Rand by making sure that it stays independent and free of political control. The SARB must not be used as an ATM to fund corruption and patronage.
- Making sure that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is not used as tool or accessory to State Capture by introducing better checks and balances to its management structure, enhancing transparency, and promoting good governance.
- Protecting the independence of other institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) from political tampering.
The DA will manage risk posed to the stability and growth of our economy by:
- Rooting out corruption at Eskom and other state-owned enterprises, in order to more efficiently manage procurement and prevent irregular and wasteful expenditure.
- Restructure Eskom as envisioned in the DA’s Independent Systems and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill, which will make Eskom more reliable and efficient and allow more competition in the energy market. See the SOE section for full details of how the DA will deal with the Eskom crisis.
- Place SAA in business rescue to stabilize the ailing airline and minimise the financial risk it poses to our economy and government spending.
- Reject the ANC’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) which is little more than the creation of another enormous state-owned entity which is very concerning considering the current government’s dismal performance in managing SOEs and its equally dismal performance in providing healthcare. The NHI presents an idea that could sink South Africa financially. Instead the DA proposes Our Health Plan, which will improve healthcare in South Africa without threatening the financial health of South Africa – see our full plan for providing a working and quality healthcare system in the Health section.
- Reducing the size of the public sector wage bill but cutting down on cadre-deployment positions as part of a comprehensive spending review that establishes, amongst other things, the efficiency of spending, the composition of spending, and future spending priorities. Increased spending on public sector jobs should be preserved for those positions which are currently underpaid like nurses, teachers and the police, and not connected cronies.
A New Plan to Realise Economic Justice for All South Africans
South Africa is a deeply unequal country. In fact, there are still two countries: a South Africa for those who are on the inside and a South Africa for those who on the outside. Those who have access to economic and other opportunities, and those who do not. We will not be able to truly build One South Africa for All, until such time as this inequality is eradicated.
For too many South Africans economic redress and access to opportunity are still foreign concepts. These are the South Africans who have been left at the fringes of our economy and society. While many enjoy freedom, there are millions of people who are still trapped by our legacy of racially exclusionary policy in grinding poverty, with no real chance of escape or a better life.
Our society is unique in many ways. One of our most defining features is the legacy of race-based deprivation. Apartheid used laws to push black South Africans to the periphery of our economy and society. While the freedom to take part in elections, and other freedoms, have brought very real choice and justice for millions more, it has not manifested in economic justice – the ability to access opportunity – for the majority of South Africans.
The failure to bring these South Africans back into the centre of our economy and society has reached a crisis point. Our country has not faced a period of more racially divisive rhetoric and tension since the dawn of our democracy. While much of this rhetoric stems from opportunistic political parties mobilising people on the basis of race, it must also be recognised that it is because many millions of South Africans remain on the periphery of our society, where apartheid forced them or their parents that this rhetoric takes hold. Racially divisive rhetoric, rooted in populism that venerates the failed nationalist policies of countries like Zimbabwe and Venezuela, takes advantage of the reality that there has been no real justice or redress for our divided past.
The reason that the DA supports a programme of race-based redress is, simply put, because it is an important part of our country’s reconciliation project and vital for justice. Redress by definition is a project aimed at redressing a past wrong, and once that wrong has been remedied, the need for said redress will by definition fall away. This means that a programme of redress does need a sunset clause. As a party that believes in liberal values and principles, we would seek to ensure that we move to a non-racial position as soon as a successful redress programme has been implemented.
Race-based redress, that truly seeks to broadly empower Black South Africans, recognises that a particular group was disadvantaged in the past on the basis of their race and seeks to right that specific wrong. The fact that grinding poverty still overwhelmingly affects Black South Africans is testament to the fact that the ANC government has wholly failed to effect redress.
What is crucial to understand is that redress must not be conflated with social support. Every state has a duty to protect its vulnerable citizens and this protection must never be provided on the basis of race or any other marker of religion, gender etc. What is also important to note is that economic redress does not have to mean taking from one group or individual to give to another. It is about expanding access to opportunity to all South Africans. It must not, and should never be, reduced to a zero-sum game, where there is a fight for the scraps of a shrinking economic pie. Rather through the aggressive expansion of access to economic opportunities, all South Africans will benefit.
We emphatically reject the approach to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) as carried out by the ANC, which has only served to enrich a politically connected elite and to dampen economic growth, at the cost of job creation.
When combined with the ANC’s plans to expropriate property without compensation, the current government’s B-BBEE plan will only serve to make the pot of economic wealth in our country smaller and more difficult to share. We do not need policies that disadvantage those who have in order to benefit those who do not. We need policies that:
- spend tax wisely and uplift those previously disadvantaged by race through vastly improved service delivery; and
- a programme of real empowerment that makes the pot of economic growth bigger, and the share that all South Africans get, fairer.
Addressing racial disadvantage is particularly complex because it must go hand in hand with a responsibility to provide social protection to all South Africans – regardless of race – as well as a responsibility to make our economy more inclusive than it was in the past. These two priorities can and must be complementary.
This means we must take two approaches:
1. Empowerment approaches to provide meaningful redress which eventually realises socio- economic justice. This approach must codify specific metrics which will signify successful redress (these could include measurables in terms of broader ownership, improved education and skills outcomes, improved entrepreneurial support etc.). As these goals are achieved the need for this approach will fall away.
2. Social protection measures which provide for all currently disadvantaged South Africans regardless of their, or their families’, exposure to past injustice.
Our country has a unique opportunity at this crossroads to bring the millions of marginalised South Africans back into our socio-economic fabric in a way that, learning from our past, does not force others to the periphery.
Unlike the current government and all other political parties in this country, the DA does not seek to achieve economic justice by taking away from one person to give to another. We want to build a bigger economy that can include everyone. This is possible and we can and must achieve it.
The DA will achieve this through real economic inclusion initiatives and growth-focused land reform, bringing millions more South Africans into the economy.
Economic justice for all
The relationship between the private sector and government in South Africa has become unnecessarily strained and combative. The private sector is the engine of our economic growth and the only means of generating the economic growth and development that will create the millions of jobs that South Africa so desperately needs. Going forward, South Africa needs a new framework for cooperation between these stakeholders that leads to enhanced economic growth and that can tackle inequality.
The current antagonism toward the private sector in South Africa is largely driven by narrow political interests with the private sector being scapegoated for the lack of meaningful economic justice by a government unwilling to take responsibility for its own failures in this regard.
In reality, the private sector can and should be brought onboard to help government and organised labour implement a partnership to create growth that empowers many more South Africans. The DA has a workable plan for achieving real economic empowerment for black South Africans. This plan will achieve the aims of providing our country with much-needed and sorely missing economic redress but also decrease the high levels of inequality and unemployment in our country.
It is simply not true that these goals have to be achieved through punitive measures for private businesses and individuals, rather they should be achieved in a way that actually helps businesses, by improving the skills of our labour force and through real incentives.
The current BEE system has only had the consequence of enriching a small group linked to the ruling party. The ANC’s BEE has not delivered meaningful economic redress because, just like with the massive corruption associated with State Capture, the BEE system has been captured by a well-connected elite within the ANC. Being overly complex and without sufficient built-in rewards, the system has created a culture of compliance: businesses have tended to box-tick rather than meaningfully expand access to economic opportunity, in large measure because of the over emphasis on ownership above all other factors, has led the system to be riddled with corruption and patronage.
That’s why we need to overhaul the BEE system. It must keep sharp focus on desired outcomes, be based on positive incentives, and must add value to the economy by helping to create black entrepreneurs and expanding the middle class.
Simply put, we need a BEE system that enjoys broad support from the majority of South Africans, government and the private sector. Crucially, it must spur the expansion of access to opportunity.
This requires that it is simplified, flexible, and easily measurable on its key objectives. Lastly, but by no means any less important, we need empowerment programmes that focus on growing the economy and making the share of that growth more fairly accessible – not a focus on taking from one to give to another or advantaging a group or individual by disadvantaging another.
DA’s approach to broad-based empowerment:
For too long the government’s approach to empowerment has been top-down. That is to say it has focussed energy on telling business what the end result of meaningful economic redress should look like and using punitive and confusing points systems to achieve these outcomes. This approach was the easiest option for the current government to use because it firstly allowed for large-scale patronage networks, corruption and cronyism, but also because it did not require the kind of good governance that would make a bottom-up approach work.
The problem with this is that there are still many overwhelming foundational challenges to economic redress that is truly broad based. The DA believes that it is not sustainable or effective to set these objectives for business when the bottom-up approach to economic redress has been so completely neglected. By this we mean that there has been little real improvement of the enablers that would allow those previously disadvantaged by race-based apartheid policy to compete in the economy in an equitable fashion. A bottom-up approach needs to focus on education and skills, from a primary level to the tertiary level. It also needs to focus on rapidly increasing employment and equity schemes that can benefit hundreds of thousands, and not a few individuals. It needs to nurture, train and support individuals to start their own businesses.
The DA believes that South Africa needs this focus on the bottom-up approach to economic redress and that the private sector in South Africa is not only willing but eager to engage and contribute to meaningful change in our country.
From this logic, the DA supports a much-simplified system that measures real empowerment. Our approach would see the current B-BBEE scorecard vastly simplified with the inclusion of timeframes for initiatives in the scorecards (to help business plan for the medium- and long-term).
Vitally, the DA’s approach will also set requirements, as part of the scorecard, to ensure that the beneficiaries of genuinely broad-based black economic empowerment are not just a politically connected elite, or individuals who are continually re-enriched.
This can be achieved through measures like means-testing for beneficiaries of equity schemes and focussing corporate investment in education in lower income schools and/or learners from low- income households. The new simplified scorecard would channel the efforts of the private sector into investment in the bottom-up approach by focussing broadly on the categories below:
- Firstly, award significant weight to Employee Share Ownership Schemes (ESOS), so that employees as a group become substantial stakeholders in the business. This would grow black equity while the company would benefit from the increases in productivity that ownership confers.
- Secondly, recognise all spending on growing the education, skills and expertise of your workforce, be it schooling, skilling, training, bursaries, mentoring, internships or apprenticeships, whether conducted in-house or not.
- Thirdly, reward companies for growing their workforce. This would mitigate against the incentives to mechanise – ultimately, if you can’t be an entrepreneur, the best form of real empowerment is to get your foot on the ladder of opportunity through a job.
- Finally, reward companies for their development of new black entrepreneurs, whether achieved through direct mentoring of sub-contractors or suppliers, or through donations to organisations whose core competency it is to identify, incubate, finance and nurture black entrepreneurship.
Land reform for jobs, justice and growth
The current land reform programme is riddled with corruption, the diversion of the land reform budget to elites, lack of political will, and lack of training and capacity – all of which have proved serious stumbling blocks to meaningful land reform. Crucially, land reform initiatives run by the current
government have not enabled more South Africans to own their own land. This failure has led our ruling party, so desperate to cling to power, to move to expropriate land without compensation – a move which will violate South Africans’ rights to private property ownership. Individual land ownership and property rights are a cornerstone of all successful liberal democracies – these rights must be protected.
South Africa requires a land policy which will ensure that beneficiaries of land reform are empowered and supported through adequate funding of such programmes, a ruthless rooting out of corruption, and the political will to implement.
Land reform can, and should be, a tool for economic development. The DA believes in the importance of land reform not only because of the imperative for redress but also because, if done in the right way, land reform can also be a powerful tool for the economic development of individuals and communities.
As with economic empowerment, land reform does not have to be carried out in a way that takes from one to give to another. The current plans for expropriation without compensation make land reform a zero-sum game when it need not be. A DA national government will implement land reform where all stakeholders are winners.
Our land reform programme will be grounded in the following principles:
- We are directly opposed to the ANC and EFF’s plan to change the Constitution to allow government to expropriate land without compensation. This would make government the owner of all property and land, and citizens would have to rent their homes and land from government for life.
- South Africa suffers from a history of black people being denied land ownership;
- we do not need to change the Constitution to address this: we need government action; and
- by allowing for populist expropriation without compensation, the government will collapse the agricultural sector, and this will hurt the hundreds of thousands of South Africans who stand to lose their jobs in this sector most. Those who will be hurt most are already some of the most vulnerable in our country.
- The belief in the right of individuals to own land without a limit on the amount of holding. We want South Africans to own their land and property. Secure property rights are the cornerstone of any successful economy, any uncertainty around these rights will destabilise the SA economy, destroy growth and add millions to the ranks of the unemployed.
- Land reform is not only about the redistribution of agricultural land but also urban land. More people can and should live closer to, or be able to easily travel to, places where they can access opportunity. Two thirds of South Africa’s population live in urban areas. The DA will ensure that strategically located government-owned land is released to this end.
WHERE WE GOVERN
- We have prioritised urban land reform by creating titled homeowners out of nearly 100 000 housing beneficiaries.
- Proven our commitment to supporting emerging farmers – the Western Cape’s land reform audit found that the provincial government’s pioneering Commodity Approach, and through innovative
solutions like the share equity schemes, had led to the success of 62% of all land reform farms in the Western Cape. The national government’s failure rate of land reform projects is currently standing at 92%.
- Support land reform processes that ensure real opportunities for beneficiaries while ensuring food security. The Western Cape has therefore increased its budget to our implementation agency, the Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas (Casidra), by almost 44% in order to speed up land reform across the agricultural sector.
In national government the DA will extend our successful programme of land reform by:
- Prioritising land reform in the budget and cutting back on unnecessary spending.
- Working with all stakeholders, including traditional leaders and communities, to give title deeds to those who currently live on communal land.
- Making sure suitable government-owned land that isn’t used will be released and divided for land reform and housing needs.
- Giving title deeds to urban housing beneficiaries so that they can pass their homes on to their children.
- Creating voluntary incentivised partnerships with farmers so that farmworkers can own shares in the farms they work on.
- Support those land reform beneficiaries who want to farm with the skills, resources and market access they need to be successful.
- Prioritise the speedy settlement of all land claims.
Let’s bring land reform that makes the people land owners, not life-long tenants. Together we can implement land reform projects that build One South Africa for All.
Expanding Access and Improving Higher Education and Training
Post-school education trains and broadens minds, creates and provides access to jobs and helps our economy grow. Expanding access to the quality education and skills training needed by our people and our economy is an essential step in building One South Africa for All.
There are areas of world-class excellence in our tertiary system in research, teaching and innovation. These need to be further enhanced and preserved. Currently, large portions of the higher education system in South Africa, are, however, broken. Quality has been sacrificed in the pursuit of sheer numbers by the ANC, while the general corruption that has infected our society has crept into many post-school education institutions.
Today much of the system is of average or poor quality and does not prepare our youth for an ever- changing workplace. Failure rates at universities and particularly colleges are so high that many are left stranded after spending time and money studying. And today, even among those who have graduated, increasing numbers struggle to access jobs.
There are many systemic challenges facing universities and colleges, including:
- poor quality teaching and out-of-date curricula;
- unmanageably large classes and too few staff to teach them;
- decaying and dated infrastructure;
- mismanagement of institutions;
- endemic corruption;
- an “all or nothing” funding approach which leaves some students who can afford to partially fund their own education unable to access the system; and
- a lack of safe, affordable student accommodation.
The DA has a comprehensive plan to fix the higher education system and give students the tools they need to succeed in a modern economy.
The DA will improve student access and success by:
- Providing comprehensive bursary packages to students from low-income families who could otherwise NOT afford to study. The bursaries would not have to be repaid upon the successful completion of studies.
- Bursaries to these learners would cover the comprehensive cost of study, including cover for travel, food, accommodation and learning materials; and
- the bursary would modify the 10km restriction that the current programme has for transport support.
- Providing the progressive roll-out of partial bursary awards for learners from families who are in the low- to middle-income bracket. These are students who can pay for some of the costs of their education but who still struggle to pay the full cost. The provision of financial assistance would always seek to provide support to students from a financially deprived context and would thus have to be determined by amongst other things, a means test.
- Scrapping the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and channelling its funding into the creation of Khuphuka Opportunity Centres (Khuphuka meaning ‘go upwards’). These centres would provide a wide range of services, including:
- career and tertiary study advice;
- assistance/training for small businesses and entrepreneurs and access to small business start- up grants. Young South Africans deserve the chance to work for themselves and grow their own futures; and
- access to information about what job opportunities are available in local communities and elsewhere.
The DA will ensure universities are improved by:
- Merging the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to form the Department of Post-School Education, Research and Innovation. It will direct and fund research and innovation as well as attract investment.
- Attracting top researchers, lecturers and academics – including those from abroad – to improve tertiary teaching standards.
- Creating a differentiated range of universities spanning the private and public sectors, with appropriate funding for each category. The range of institutions would cater for academic/ research-based, teaching-based, technical and distance higher education.
- Protecting and promoting academic freedom, innovation and research and development.
- Progressively improving funding to ensure that fee hikes are kept to an absolute minimum while ensuring that the quality and standard of education, infrastructure, accommodation and equipment remains high.
- Revamping the management and governance of some universities with the aim of stabilising these institutions, as well as eliminating corruption.
The DA will strive for excellence in TVET colleges by:
- Modernising the syllabus and staff composition of TVET colleges so that they offer 21st century training. This will include a move towards training in areas relevant to a) the information economy, and b) the services economy.
- Differentiating colleges by form and function to reflect a variety of missions and local and regional needs.
- Revamping the management and administration of colleges to eliminate corruption and providing support to and training for their senior executives.
- Ensuring that all certificates are speedily and efficiently produced and delivered to students.
- Developing high-quality two-track (work and study) apprenticeship programmes.
- Substantially increasing the involvement of companies in training apprentices to provide on-the-job training and internship programmes in new and existing fields.
A DA government will increase and improve skills and training providers by:
- Closing or merging dysfunctional Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and supporting those which perform well.
- Encouraging SETAS to move away from offering multiple, unsustainable training programmes towards investing substantially in TVET Colleges in areas the SETAs deem appropriate.
- Ensuring that all SETAs fund only fully accredited and worthwhile courses to students.
- Encouraging the growth and expansion of quality private skills providers by cutting red tape and bureaucracy – private skills providers, partnering with industry and business, can and should fill the gaps left by failing public training institutions.
- Offering the private sector improved incentives, through a revamped empowerment system, to partner with SETAs to provide on-the-job training and internship programmes. This would provide SETA-funded students with much-needed job experience to improve the likelihood of finding work after studying.
There are many South Africans over the age of 35 who have been left behind by the current government’s education programmes.
We will empower adults with skills to gain employment and take advantage of opportunities by:
- Upgrading the system of Adult Education with the aim of establishing various options for the vast number of early school-leavers to achieve their matric certificates.
- Moving the management of Adult Education back to the Department of Basic Education to blend it better with the schooling system and infrastructure.
- Piloting a civilian service year for those over the age of 35 who have no secondary education to provide skills that can improve lives and unlock job opportunities.
- Piloting a system, which would form part of the adult basic education curriculum, to provide a set number of free driving lessons to those over 35 who have not yet completed secondary education. This would be made possible by partnering with the private sector (see the basic education offer for more information).
Unleashing Small Business
Research conducted by the Small Business Institute and the Small Business Project in June 2018 revealed that South Africa’s formal small business sector is much smaller than previously thought. It found there are only about 250 000 formal small and medium enterprises (SMEs), firms employing less than 200 people, in South Africa. Though they comprise 98.5% of all formal businesses, they employ only 28% of the formal workforce.
In South Africa, less than 20% of all employed people are self-employed or employers. The norm for upper middle-income countries is 40%. “Evidence suggests that the lower the share of self- employment, the lower the level of employment overall.”
South Africa has an abundance of world-class large firms but, with so much of the population excluded from the economy, their contribution to the country’s social and economic wellbeing is limited.
Achieving higher rates of economic and employment growth in South Africa requires a more collaborative relationship between large and small businesses leading to the creation of more small businesses, both formal and informal.
The DA will put policies that help create more small businesses at the forefront of our economic agenda for change. Empowering more South Africans to run and own their own businesses, and in turn employ others, is a key step to building a society where all who can work have jobs, and in the short- term, making sure there is a job in every household.
The DA national government would implement a six-point plan on Small Business Development: Firstly, introduce an overtly pro-small business policy approach.
Growing the number and success rate of small businesses is the key to reducing unemployment and increasing our labour absorption rate. This starts with improving government and private sector advocacy of small business development.
As part of the shift to an overtly pro-small business policy outlook the DA will:
- Introduce a start-up visa and other incentives to encourage direct investment by foreign entrepreneurs in the South African economy and partnership with local entrepreneurs. This will be priority within the first 100 days of entering office.
- Reinvigorate the CEO’s Initiative with the goal of injecting new energy and optimism into the business sector. Policy uncertainty and conflicting agendas have led to growing frustration within Business Leadership SA (BLSA). Soon after assuming office, the DA will convene a Business CODESA which will include representatives from big and small business, unions and civil society charged with identifying and agreeing on a few key policy initiatives to reignite SA’s economy.
Secondly, ease the cost of doing business by exempting small businesses from certain labour and BEE regulations.
Oppressive red tape, labour and BEE regulations are disincentives to small business. A number of interventions are required to ease the burden on small and medium sized businesses to help them grow and create more employment opportunities.
To ease the cost of doing business in South Africa a DA national government will:
- Implement our Red Tape Impact Assessment Bill (as a Section 27 Bill) under the direction of Premiers’ Offices in the Provinces. Small businesses under R30 million turnover per annum will be exempted from all labour and BEE legislation barring the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (e.g. allow companies to hire and fire employees for up to 6 months post-employment).
- Amend Section 32 of the Labour Relations Act to reflect membership of Sector Bargaining Councils based on company representation and not number of employees. This will improve the bargaining capability and voice of small business owners over large corporations.
- Review the taxation and business registration systems for small business, administered by SARS and CIPC with the aim of reducing the time it takes for a small business to comply with the current tax requirements (a possible solution is to integrate CIPC annual returns with SARS).
- Speed up the roll-out of ‘One-Stop-Shops’ for small businesses. These centres based on the Khuphuka Opportunity Centre model will allow prospective entrepreneurs to register a company name, lodge their documentation with the Companies Commission, and register with SARS, the Department of Labour and the relevant commissioner under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act – all with a single online form and with a single registration fee.
Thirdly, improving cash flow by implementing a temporary amnesty on tax penalties for small businesses and ensuring government and big business pay suppliers within 21 days.
Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing any business. This is especially true for small and medium businesses where prompt payment by customers, both government and private sector, is crucial if businesses are to survive and grow.
To improve cash flow a DA national government will:
- Improve cash flow challenges by investigating the feasibility of two interventions, namely:
- change the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) to allow for finance providers to be co-signatories on government supply contracts (this will allow the financier to collect debt directly from government departments); and
- enable Treasury to become the ultimate debt factoring entity buying invoices/providing guarantees for all small businesses with a turn-over below R30 million per annum.
- Introduce a temporary moratorium on VAT, PAYE and corporation/turnover tax penalties levied on businesses with annual turnover below R30 million, while implementing a review of the tax code through the Davis Tax Committee.
- Work with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants and SA Institute of Professional Accountants to ramp up business rescue and business retention services available to small businesses. Grants will be made available to recipients of these services to make them affordable.
- Enforce government payment to suppliers with annual turnover below R50 million within 21 days, down from the current 30 days.
- Impose penalties and name and shame ministers, deputy ministers and directors general for non- compliance. We will support the Prompt Payment Code, a private sector led voluntary code of good practice for government and the private sector relating to supplier payments.
- Include payment histories and age analyses in the BEE scorecard where points would be allocated for prompt payment, and points deducted for poor payment practices.
- Link government’s central supplier database to department procurement and payments systems, as well as to SARS, to enable the smooth processing of invoices and lead to penalties for late payment of tax due by suppliers being passed on to late paying departments.
- Consider establishing a Small Business Ombudsman to intervene in disputes concerning small business, and in particular, late payments.
Fourthly, provide funding and related assistance for small businesses.
Small business owners cite lack of access to funding as a major constraint to growth.
The South African funding environment is not geared to small business and banks in particular are criticised for their unfriendly funding practices. Government attempts to plug this “market failure” have not proved successful either.
To improve the funding available to small businesses a DA national government will:
- Institute a review of current Development Funding Institutions (DFIs) including: SEFA, the IDC, the National Empowerment Fund, the Jobs Fund and the NYDA, as well as regional funds such as Gauteng Enterprise Propeller and Ithala Bank with a view to assess the feasibility of creating a single Business Growth Fund offering a combination of equity, grant and debt funding.
- Formalise and regulate angel investors and the venture capital sector as well as simplify the Section 12J regulations and formalise equity crowdfunding for start-ups and growing small businesses. This will include offering additional tax incentives for small investors under R100 000.
- Support sourcing international grant and impact bond finance for the Small Enterprise Foundation and other impact funding organisations to increase the number of beneficiaries from 160 000 to 1 million within 5 years.
Fifthly, provide targeted support for micro-entrepreneurs in the informal economy.
South Africa has a significant informal economy. The DA’s approach to the informal economy is to recognise that it is economic activity happening organically in a country where economic activity is relatively scarce. As such, we must ensure that we foster this sector and support the job creation potential that it offers.
To boost growth and employment in the informal economy, DA national government will:
- Initiate a comprehensive survey of the informal sector that can be used by an inter-departmental task team to develop a strategy to assist informal business owners and their employees.
- Develop a Code of Good Practice on engagement with informal traders to benefit these entrepreneurs and strengthen their position in interactions with local, provincial and national government authorities.
- Adjust the legal and regulatory framework to accommodate those in the informal economy who need appropriate laws, including property rights and the ability to enforce contracts.
- Encourage all local governments to provide safe trading spaces for informal entrepreneurs as has been done where we govern.
- Work with local government to implement a simplified application process for informal trading permits through an e-registration system that makes it easy for small entrepreneurs to register their businesses and gain access to trading sites.
Finally, focus on instilling an entrepreneurial mindset and expanding support and incentives for youth-owned businesses and cooperatives.
South Africans should be encouraged and incentivised to start new businesses. Starting a business is another rung on the opportunity ladder. It is a practical expression of an individual’s ambition to convert their talents into an income-producing activity.
To boost entrepreneurship a DA national government will:
- Direct more resources to the Centres for Entrepreneurship which the Department of Small Business Development is piloting with some of the TVET colleges, to encourage entrepreneurship as a career choice, especially for young people pursuing trade and technical vocations.
- Issue a Request for Proposal to take over the Seda offices and bring them into private ownership as Enterprise Development Hubs. It would make sense to locate them in the Khuphuka Opportunity Centres which would replace the National Youth Development Agency (and labour centres) and would provide entrepreneurship training and advice and career counselling.
- Review the DSBD’s Enterprise Incubation Fund and the DTI’s Incubation Support Programme incubators to establish their return on investment. A similar cost-benefit exercise will be conducted on all other state-funded incubators including those supported by the Jobs Fund, and comparisons made with surveys such as that conducted by Catalysts for Growth which examines the effectiveness of mainly private sector- funded incubators and accelerators.
WHERE WE GOVERN
City of Cape Town Business Support Project
The City has committed to facilitating business support for around 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) per year up until 2022. This support includes guidance on regulation compliance, help to remove business-related bottlenecks, ongoing advice and skills development. It is delivered directly and in partnership with support organisations and various business incubators.
In 2017/18, the City facilitated enterprise and supplier development for 588 SMEs in partnership with Smart Procurement Western Cape, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), the South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI) and Province’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism. In addition, through the SME one-stop shop service and monitoring system, which includes a red tape notification system to resolve blockages and delays in administration processes, the City efficiently responded to 1 129 enquiries from SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Enabling City-led Growth
In developing and developed nations, cities typically account for the largest proportion of GDP production. As an economy develops and shifts toward secondary and tertiary activities, job-seekers begin to move to urban areas in hope of finding employment.
Local migration is not a new phenomenon in South Africa, with cities in Gauteng and Cape Town experiencing high levels of urban migration over the past decade. A recent Allianz report predicts that Johannesburg will join the ranks of the worlds’ megacities by 2030, with a projected 10 million citizens calling it home. Allianz’s research goes on to show that “global GDP is much more dependent
upon the largest megacities than it is on the world’s 200 sovereign nations.” This holds true due to the overwhelming GDP contribution of certain cities within a nation, and South Africa is no exception, as “Johannesburg and Pretoria represent in excess of 35% of the country’s GDP.”
A city-led growth strategy must be driven by an integrated urban framework that considers housing, healthcare services, transportation networks, water and electricity, and so forth. These components of integrated urban design cannot be designed in silos. It must also be remembered that a focus on urban-led growth cannot mean the abandonment of our rural economies. A DA national government
will ensure that all spheres of government work together so that the local economic development plans of local governments dovetail with provincial and national growth strategies in a way which revitalises rural economies (such as providing enhanced market access for agricultural products and encouraging agri-processing close to primary agriculture production areas along important trade corridors).
The Democratic Alliance has outlined its core principles which guide city-led growth in the places where we govern, and these can be summarised as follows:
- infrastructure-led growth;
- zero tolerance for corruption;
- fair access to opportunities;
- policy certainty and fiscal responsibility;
- reducing regulation and red tape;
- speeding up ease of doing business;
- investing in transport;
- investment facilitation, including the introduction of incentives;
- private sector collaboration;
- investment in ICT;
- training and educational support through apprenticeships; and
- tackling the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.
WHERE WE GOVERN
The City of Johannesburg’s drive to reinvigorate the Inner City
Inner City regeneration is well underway in the City of Johannesburg with the R2 billion investment by the Divercity Urban Property Fund into the reimaging of the 30-storey ABSA Towers main building and iconic Jewel City. This redevelopment will transform the area into a vibrant hub with thousands of affordably-priced residential rental apartments, several cafes and restaurants, retailers, child care facilities, a public park, and integrated public transport facilities. With the ABSA Tower and Jewel City projects, as well as the 400 million Rands worth of residential accommodation under development in Maboneng, Divercity alone will deliver 2500 apartments in total.
Cape Town the top opportunity city
Cape Town was recognised as the top opportunity city in Africa in the 2018 Cities of Opportunity report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report also ranked Cape Town sixth out of all middle- income country cities rated – behind Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Shanghai and Mexico City. PwC used independent data to benchmark Cape Town against 31 of the world’s leading cities across 66 indicators of urban success. Globally, Cape Town ranked 24th.
Stimulating Trade and Investment Promotion
The global economy is facing a perfect storm with generally low levels of growth and rising trade protectionism between major players like America and China, as well as the uncertainty over the future of Brexit. As these major players retreat behind trade walls it is more important than ever that South Africa, increasingly the economic hub of Africa, promote and liberalise trade in our region, on the continent and globally. However, we will act in a manner which shields local manufactures and service industries where there is a clear violation of WTO rules such as below cost-production dumping in South Africa. One such example is the sugar cane industry.
There are a number of areas where government can aim its focus in a bid to lower the cost of trade and improve the ease of trade in and out of South Africa to drive growth and job creation.
Currently, South Africa’s overall poor infrastructure maintenance is a major impediment, contributing to high costs, both in terms of regional and global trade. Road and rail infrastructure are particularly poor and the lack of reliable electricity, or its rationing, negatively impacts manufacturing significantly.
The current government has focussed on investments (like subsidies and other protections) which pick certain sectors as economic winners. If we want to create an economy that all firms can succeed in, and where it is easy for individuals to start new businesses and succeed, we must focus on fixing the overall business environment – investing in the infrastructure that lowers the cost of business for all sectors will provide sectors like manufacturing with the ability to be more competitive globally. South Africa’s Business Confidence Index has shown that confidence in South Africa is at an all-time low despite an initial phase of ‘Ramaphoria’ early last year.
One key challenge for local businesses is expensive inputs driven by high import tariffs. Local manufacturers struggle to compete internationally because of protectionist tariffs which make basic manufacturing inputs, like steel, more expensive. The result is that the end product of local
manufacturing is more expensive than global competitors which makes exporting these products near impossible. The only way to address this is to slowly liberalise tariff structures for imports (starting with sectors where we are unlikely to be competitive i.e primary steel production). This, whilst being mindful that without a sound plan to reskill labour currently hired in protected sectors, as well as targeted initiatives and incentives to help affected firms adapt and evolve, liberalisation will have a negative impact on jobs in the short- to medium-term. We cannot be blind to the human cost involved when even one family loses a bread winner. Our plan to liberalise tariffs will not leave behind any employee, in any sector.
If these initiatives and incentives for firms to adapt are put in place, with a programme of phased trade liberalisation, we will be able to unlock South Africa’s true trade potential and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs while ensuring those who are already employed are upskilled and able to work in a globally competitive economy.
Trade liberalisation and helping firms adapt and evolve: The case for the steel industry
Steel is an example of an industry which is unlikely to have a market without import tariffs.
While these tariffs protect the jobs in that sector, they also have the impact of making manufacturing more expensive for all industries which use steel as an input. This not only makes consumer goods more expensive but dampens growth in industries like construction, which are labour intensive. The DA believes that it is possible to liberalise tariffs, slowly, in a way that will not lead to job losses. Key to this is the reskilling of workers in that sector paired with assisting firms to adapt to higher value add production. The aim would be to move our steel industry’s skill set – and the industry itself - from primary to secondary steel production, moving production up the value chain.
As a first step, we would focus on investment treaties with steel producing countries that include skills sharing and skills exchange programmes to upskill our workers. International partnerships should include the USA, India, China and Japan. These partnerships should look at attracting foreign investment which can, in effect, allow our local firms to build an upstream value chain.
Upskilling could also be supported through creating a stream in the national civilian service focusing on steel fabrication and related artisanal skills; offering bursaries to workers from firms currently engaged in primary fabrication for courses at artisanal colleges with a focus on secondary steel fabrication; ensuring that the relevant SETA meets regularly with industry to make sure the most relevant skills training is available and that, where necessary, the curriculum is adjusted.
Firms should also be supported to adapt through focused Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) incentives on steel that would offer tax breaks and export credits similar to the current Automotive Investment Scheme which has created value chains in the vehicle sector. This could be linked to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Finally, South Africa needs trade diplomats, not diplomatic tourists. Under a DA government the days of ambassadors being involved in scandals, travelling first-class, receiving lavish consulate upgrades and using diplomatic posts as a means to buy political favour will be over. Under our leadership
all diplomatic missions will become powerful trading houses in those respective countries and will primarily focus on attracting investment and promoting our country and its goods and services. We will incentivise these trading houses to seek out new investment for South Africa.
To ensure that trade becomes a significant driver of job-creating growth in South Africa, a DA national government will...
Make trade cheaper and easier by:
- Auditing key basic infrastructure (such as roads, railways and air-freight facilities) with the aim of identifying the most serious maintenance backlogs holding back regional and international trade.
- Rolling out targeted and prioritised refurbishment and maintenance programmes to unlock these blockages while also driving an across-the-board programme of maintenance and infrastructure investment. Targeted infrastructure programmes will focus on trade corridors (like the Maputo Development Corridor).
- Reviewing all of South Africa’s air connectivity and aviation routes (both commercial and freight) with a view to add more flights to and from airports in South Africa.
- Championing the unlocking of an ‘open skies’ agreement in Africa to truly maximise intra-Africa trade connectivity and tourism.
- Lowering airport charges from ACSA and the air traffic control.
- Decentralising ports and harbour management to metros or provincial governments that are fiscally sound and well-managed and have a proven capability.
- Working to reduce port tariffs and container charges to globally competitive rates through efficiency gains from improved metro or provincial level governance.
- Determining efficiency targets for our ports with respect to off and on loading of containers to come into line with international competitors.
- Investing in infrastructural links between South Africa and our trading partners in Africa (including revamping strategic border posts to rapidly increase the turnaround time for the transportation of goods through customs etc.).
- Gradually and sustainably reducing input costs like electricity and water (see SOE and Basic Services section).
- Expediting imports and exports by reducing the number of documents and procedures required by replacing the current system with a simplified system that requires only three documents:
(i) a bill of landing;
(ii) customs declaration; and
(iii) a packing list (for exporters) or terminal handling receipts (for importers).
Promoting tourism to South Africa by:
- Strengthening tourism coordination structures on a provincial, national and local level to ensure destination marketing is enhanced and cost effective.
- Ensuring that South African diplomats are equipped to promote tourism to South Africa in the countries where they operate.
- Ensuring the ability to apply online and receive e-visas before travel and scrapping the unabridged birth certificate requirement in order to unlock the job creation potential that tourism holds.
- Driving air access projects to increase tourism numbers through more direct routes to South Africa.
Further promote investment by:
- Ensuring sound institutional capacity and funding of trade promotion entities such as the Western Cape’s Wesgro through outcome-oriented service level agreements.
- Making Invest SA a standalone entity to promote significantly higher rates of trade and investment in the country.
- Rationalising the number of foreign missions South Africa has, with a view of cutting those which have little significance in terms of promoting trade or any other significant national interest.
- Head hunting experienced business people to serve their country as trade ambassadors to our strategic trade partners.
- Making all ambassadorships subject to annual performance management agreements (managed by the Presidency) focussed on trade achievables. Ambassadors who are not increasing trade and investment for South Africa will be replaced.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Drakenstein Municipality attracting investment
In July 2018, the municipality signed an agreement with Wesgro – Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment promotion agency – tasking it with promoting film, media and gaming opportunities.
This agreement will give the Municipality the opportunity to display its natural scenic beauty, age-old winelands and friendly, diverse community. The Municipality’s location (in proximity to Cape Town) as well as its unique history and natural beauty will make it a distinctive film destination.
Additionally, a Development and Investment Forum (DIF) help desk has been opened in the Municipality. The DIF was established to improve good service delivery and to roll out the red carpet to developers and investors. It operates as a one-stop shop to coordinate, fast track and speed up development and investment applications. More than R2 billion worth of developments/investments have been approved by the Drakenstein Council since the DIF became operational.
Improve regional and international trading by:
- Reviewing current trade agreements especially with respect to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) duty free regime for exports to South Africa, to eliminate point of origin fraud, and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), where South Africa carries the unfair burden of administrating the system at a big cost in return for dealing revenue.
- Enhancing and expanding South Africa’s existing trade deals and negotiate more bi-lateral agreements.
- Making it easier for skilled foreign nationals to get work or business visas.
- Partnering with regional states to invest in medium to long-term large-scale infrastructure investment to create links between trading partners.
- Establishing a SADC-wide free trade union and gradually expanding the SACU to include all SADC countries – subject to a review of the feasibility.
- Repealing the Protection of Investment Act and ensuring that foreign investors have certainty that their property will be protected.
- Holding a railway indaba to discuss the future prospects and plans for rail in South Africa, specifically looking at narrow-gauge versus broad gauge lines.
- Beginning the implementation of public-private partnerships in the management of the industrial rail network with the aim of unlocking areas earmarked for manufacturing in the SEZs.
- Ring fencing already budgeted money for specific infrastructure improvements in rail.
Making Industry and Manufacturing Work Again
Higher digit growth in South Africa is also constrained by an often uncertain and difficult investment environment. Policy focus must be on increasing the ease of doing business in South Africa, in particular for small- and medium-sized enterprise.
A DA national government will provide incentives and the right business environment for labour absorptive businesses to grow and create more jobs by:
- Lowering corporation taxes for manufacturers to 15%, conditional on re-investment in capacity that expands production in a manner which absorbs labour, skills training and Corporate Social Investment (CSI). The criteria to qualify for this tax cut would be spelled out in our Jobs Act.
- Ensuring that manufacturing has access to cheap and reliable power suppliers in order to lower the cost of manufacturing. This would include bulk and long-term deals with heavy industries. This would be achieved through the break-up of the energy sector with the DA’s ISMO Bill.
- Allowing well-functioning metros to apply to enter into agreements with electricity generators directly, giving them scope to choose who supplies them with electricity and reduce the risk of load shedding – this would decrease the downtime that industry in major cities faces.
- Creating a new national manufacturing innovation and export task team to pursue new markets and step up innovation and productivity in SA. This entity would operate on a similar mandate and vision as Wesgro for the Western Cape, which has had phenomenal success in attracting investment into SA and promoting exporting companies abroad.
- Immediately passing the Red Tape Impact Assessment Bill, aimed at assessing legislation in order to reduce the regulatory burden it places on small business. Red tape removal will unlock numerous opportunities for new manufacturers to move into the market by making it easier to do business.
- Introduce Sector Specific Manufacturing Incentives (SSMIs) as a way to incentivise investment in manufacturing in labour absorptive sectors (such as agro-processing) where there is also a clear business case for successful growth. Incentives would be based on the ability to improve production efficiencies, lowering of manufacturing costs and ability to create new jobs – incentive programmes will focus on assisting existing firms to become competitive and adaptive and encourage new firms to open in sectors where there is comparative or competitive advantage.
- Review all current incentive programmes to make sure there are no administrative blockages and that they are efficient and effective in creating value. In this, the DA would advocate unfreezing the budget for the Manufacturing Enhancement Programme.
- Making it easier for foreign skilled workers to attain visas into South Africa and offering focused DTI incentives, coupled with skill visas and skill transfers. This will require visiting the current regulations on visas and raising the strategic importance of visas linked to scarce skills.
Transport: Getting South Africans Moving
The DA believes that the extent to which people are able to use the opportunities available to them depends significantly on how freely and affordably they move. Apartheid left South Africa with a fragmented spatial framework that leaves many people still disconnected from opportunity. Our urban landscapes are the physical embodiment of how South Africa still has insiders and outsiders.
For far too long, most people in our country have suffered the inconvenience, irritation and cost of a wholly inadequate public transport system. Added to this are the very serious risks that commuters face from unsafe modes of transport and criminality.
Businesses also face significant challenges because of poor transport infrastructure. Delays because of these issues can add prohibitive costs that can mean the difference between creating jobs or losing them. It must be easier for businesses to make use of transport infrastructure to sell goods and services if we want to grow our economy.
South Africans deserve better, safer, and quicker access to opportunities like healthcare, education and training; sports and recreation; and, vitally, job opportunities.
The Democratic Alliance will ensure that the investments and processes are put in place to deliver a transport system which is safe, reliable and affordable. Our plan for transport will help South Africans find work and get to it on time. It will help scholars get to schools, colleges and universities. It will also serve as a vital means of connecting previously segregated areas – making our urban landscape more diverse and inclusive.
As an overarching initiative, the DA will develop a National Transport and Urban Work Access Strategy based on the principles of integration, accessibility, responsiveness, safety, and sustainability. A DA government will ensure all transport infrastructure investment is based on increasing trade, investment, job creation and sustainable geographic access to jobs through well-planned spatial transformation.
Road infrastructure and safety will be at the core of a DA government’s priorities in terms of transport.
South Africa’s road network is deteriorating because of inadequate funding and rising costs of construction and maintenance. The state has increasingly relied on private concessions to deal with this backlog, making it too expensive for many to use our roads.
To sustainably and affordably upgrade and maintain existing road infrastructure a DA national government will:
- Amend the Road Maintenance Fund using a hybrid funding model which will enable South Africa to eliminate the massive maintenance backlog over our first term in office.
- Ensure that where toll road concessions are considered, the impact on urban commuter routes will be minimal.
- Immediately begin the process of scrapping the defunct e-Tolls system.
- Urgently upgrade the degraded provincial roads systems to at least the standard the DA is implementing in the Western Cape.
- Upgrade tar roads in rural areas (notably those linked to tourism and agriculture) as a matter of urgency.
To improve road safety and public transport a DA national government will:
- Recruit, train and accredit more metro traffic officers, as done in the DA-led cities, to ensure optimum visible policing on all our roads.
- Design and develop a punitive and objective demerit system that will reflect electronically on driver’s licenses (whilst preventing corruption amongst traffic police and drivers alike).
- Introduce a massive road safety drive, modelled on the successful initiative in the Western Cape, in order to reduce our accident rate by 80% over five years.
- Make speed control devices for heavy-duty and public passenger vehicles mandatory.
- Withdraw and redraft the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offenses (AARTO) Amendment Bill, retaining the principle of administrative not criminal justice (and accounting for practical experience as well as outside expertise).
- Work closely with taxi associations and ensure taxi violence is prevented through clear negotiations and research, as well as institutional support from government and civil society.
- Develop an Integrated Public Transport Plan for the country which will emphasise mechanisms to include the taxi industry in government’s plans to integrate other modes of public transport. The taxi industry is a vital part of public transport and must be part of any permanent public transport system.
To turn around our collapsed rail system a DA national government will:
- Stop the institutional collapse at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) by improving leadership and the complete “institutional breakdown” at the entity.
- Take decisive action against all corruption at the entity and address the lack of action against those found in the public protector’s “Derailed” report.
- Implement an emergency safety plan that includes a dedicated police service in the form of railway police to take over security operations:
- to order an urgent update as to the progress made in upgrading the current signal system so that no manual signal is used‚ to therefore avoid unnecessary incidents of crashes and derailments; and
- ensure that PRASA cede control of Metrorail services and the allocated budget to metro councils to ensure an efficient and safe integrated transportation system is delivered to commuters.
WHERE WE GOVERN
The call to devolve Metro Rail
A DA national government will look to devolve the operation of train services in well-functioning metros, such as the City of Cape Town. The devolution of the rail function and infrastructure to local authorities will be similar to the MyCiTi model where the City owns the perway, the stations and the rolling stock but where the BRT service itself is run by vehicle operating companies.
These operators are contracted to and must meet service standards or face penalties or even cancellation of contracts. This model also allows for integrated transport services with a one ticketing system which allows commuters to choose between using bus or rail services, or both, with the same ticket. We call this our Vision of One:
One transport authority | One transport network | One transport plan One ticket | One timetable | One brand
Aviation and Airports
The mismanaged SAA monopoly is massively costly both directly to the fiscus as well as directly and indirectly to the national economy. Transport policy must focus on attracting more investment and expanding international routes into our country.
A DA national government will:
- Immediately place SAA under business rescue.
- Once stabilised, privatise the three state-owned airlines, namely SAA, Mango and SA Express. Legislation will be amended to allow greater foreign ownership in SAA, in line with international trends (following British Airways, Qantas, Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Kenya Airways and others).
- Consider subsidising particular strategic routes but the subsidy will be paid only after an open and competitive bidding process.
- Liberalise air services to and from South Africa, with charter flights encouraged to satisfy peak demands within an ‘open skies’ policy. We will ensure more flights to South Africa and more destinations available for South African travellers and business people.
South African airports are the front desk to tourism and the international investor. A DA national government will ensure:
- Passenger service levels at our airports are increased dramatically and improvements made to passport and immigration control.
- As demand dictates, a new freight or passenger/freight airport is constructed in Gauteng to alleviate congestion.
- The Airports Company of South Africa is encouraged to embark on a programme of selling off state shares to ensure its improvement in certain key areas of operation while becoming more service oriented.
To encourage investment and economic growth via maritime transport and ports, a DA government will:
- Privatise, lease or concession port operations in order to encourage lower costs and a higher level of service.
- Resuscitate, with limited capital expenditure, existing dry docks and ship building yards at some of our ports to re-establish them as an affordable destination for repairs and construction and thus create many more jobs.
Agriculture is vital sector in the South African economy. It is an important employer and is one of the best sectors in terms of the number of jobs created through new investment. A thriving agriculture sector is also vital to ensure South Africa’s food security.
South Africa has great potential for economic growth in this sector and can add even more jobs through the development of the adjacent agro-processing sector.
However, the sector is facing challenges that actively inhibit current operations. Chief among these are:
- policy uncertainty (especially around the right to private land ownership and expropriation without compensation);
- severe challenges in terms of rural safety; and
- crumbling infrastructure and the related challenges of climate change.
Beyond addressing these roadblocks that are currently holding the agricultural sector back, there are also a number of initiatives that could see significant job-creating growth in the sector and up the value chain. These initiatives include unlocking the potential of the agro-processing sector and unlocking market access, both domestically and internationally.
To address the challenges holding the agricultural sector back, a DA national government will provide policy certainty by:
- Immediately rejecting expropriation without compensation and ensuring the rights of all South Africans to private property ownership.
- Fast-tracking the land claims process to ensure each and every claim is finalised.
A DA national government will also tackle crime in rural areas. In addition to the comprehensive plan to address rural safety challenges covered in the Safety section, the following will also be done by a DA national government:
- Keep separate statistics on specific rural crime categories, including attacks and murders on farms and stock theft at station level, in order to identify the rural areas facing the most significant challenges and under-resourcing. This will allow for the deployment of resources to those farming areas and rural communities worst affected by crime.
- Work with all livestock buyers, auctioneers, feedlots and abattoirs to ensure that they confirm livestock ownership or refuse to buy unmarked animals.
- Strengthen border security in the relevant provinces, with a specific focus on combatting cross- border crime, crime syndicates and undocumented migration.
The DA government will prioritise the safety of farming communities as workers and farmers have a right to be protected from violent attacks. Our citizens in rural communities should not live in fear while their leaders turn a blind eye to farm attacks. Rural safety is critically important to food security, job security, and sustainable agricultural growth.
Improve the quality of vital infrastructure and ensure rural and farming communities can adapt to the challenges of climate change by:
- Compiling a detailed resilience plan to respond to the most urgent impacts of climate change with a view to minimise the shocks and stressors experienced by the agricultural sector and rural communities.
- Investing in water infrastructure, including large dams and bulk water reticulation, in line with our climate change resilience plan, to ensure that those communities suffering from protracted drought have the resources they need to continue agricultural production.
- Working with beneficiaries of land reform programmes and share equity schemes to ensure that they have adequate access to financing and support for ‘on-farm’ infrastructure such as dipping tanks, fencing and silos.
- Improving rural communication infrastructure (broadband and cellular/4G connectivity) to enhance the ability of farmers to carry out business activities.
- Investing in targeted road, rail and port infrastructure to transport agricultural produce for local and international markets. Transport infrastructure must also make it easier and less costly to access local fresh produce markets. See the Transport and Trade and Industry sections for more detail on these plans.
To further help the agricultural sector grow and create more jobs, a DA national government will:
- Work with local and provincial governments to plan and facilitate private sector investment in agro-processing plants – located along key corridors – with the aim of adding further value to agricultural production and to create jobs. The Western Cape Government has successfully pioneered such a project with the a Halaal Food processing plant in Cape Town.
- Partner with provincial and local governments to improve market access for small-scale farmers and land reform beneficiaries. This will in part be achieved by creating an environment in which the private sector, in particular supermarkets and cooperatives, become key players in driving South African market access as well as assisting with compliance with international health and safety standards to optimise agricultural production for export.
- Improve the curriculum of agricultural training colleges so that they provide world-class education which can assist farmers to compete in the global economy.
- Partner with different spheres of government to make technology available to farmers which can boost agricultural output and business efficiency.
- Fund research and development, in partnership with higher education institutions, to drive innovation in the agriculture sector that can boost job-creating economic growth.
- Ensure the effective protection of indigenous products in international markets. South Africa produces a number of unique products and there is substantial value to be added by ensuring the protection of these (Rooibos is an excellent example of where this has been successful).
Improving Access and Innovation in ICT
The global economy is rapidly evolving into a data-driven era. Every aspect of human social, political and economic activity is becoming rooted in information generated by the online activities of people and machines.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is seen as an economic growth multiplier, particularly because it facilitates knowledge exchanges, including effective functioning of regional and multi-national value chains that include goods and services.
ICT is the nervous system that enables international commerce to function efficiently and reliably enables governments to offer online interaction with citizens, facilitates knowledge and cultural exchanges between communities and nations, and gives access to a world of opportunities.
For all South Africans to benefit from this dynamic, ever-changing world, ICT must be supported and governed by flexible policies and laws that synchronise with international jurisdictions, champion human rights of Internet access and use and protect people’s information and property in a trusted and secure networked world.
To harness the full benefits of ICT a DA national government will pursue policies and initiatives which...
Firstly, Facilitate ICT’s contribution to economic growth and job creation by:
- Establishing one ICT department responsible for developing research-based policies and formulating legislation that gives long-term certainty for a dynamic and flexible converged telecommunication ecosystem.
- Legislating, through an amendment to the Constitution, the Chapter Nine independence of the sector regulator to ensure independence from political, commercial and government influence.
- Assuring investors of the constitutional protection of their investment and intellectual property in terms of owning and operating ICT facilities, such as networks and data centres.
- Requiring networking companies to contribute to financing, and in kind, the infrastructure build and maintenance of operational networks to marginalised communities, and well as to community- owned, not-for-profit, networks. These networking companies will be given tax relief for as long as they assure the operability for a pre-determined period of these connections to the nationwide broadband network.
- Reviewing the failed Broadcasting Digital Migration policy to promptly switch off the analogue broadcasting signal to make the airwaves available for mobile broadband and usher in more choice of broadcasters and better-quality programming.
- Giving qualifying poor South Africans, in danger of being isolated by digital broadcasting, a voucher to use as part payment at selected retailers for their choice of digital device.
- Abolishing Import tariffs on entry-level smart personal devices, meeting the technical standards prescribed by the regulator to enable mass access to the Internet.
- Reviewing the 2014 South Africa Connect broadband plan to identify and prioritise ‘quick wins’ to gain the inclusion of digitally marginalised communities to communication networks and to ensure all government facilities – such as post offices and clinics - are equipped to offer capped free Wi-Fi or Internet café-type facilities for the public.
Secondly, make it easier and cheaper to access the Internet by:
- Motivating that the regulator assigns spectrum via a competitive market process in the best interests of driving affordable, user-driven Internet access demand and in so doing, ensure the stability and expansion of technology (like 5G) going forward as well as serving to unlock latent investment potential.
- Giving a policy directive to the regulator to determine the most effective way for all network licence holders to separate their wholesale and retail offers to stimulate competition in wholesale network provision and drive down prices.
- Limiting import tariffs on some imported ICASA-compliant mobile electronic equipment, such as personal devices to make them more affordable and drive accessibility to the Internet.
- Encouraging private sector and government to recruit scarce skills from wherever they can be found in the world with a view to knowledge exchange and mentorship of local ICT developers, analysts and engineers.
Thirdly, ensure secure citizen-centric legislative and Internet governance by:
- Developing a strategy to address both the economic and non-economic dimensions of the collection, storage and use of data of all users of devices and networks whether they be individuals, governments or companies.
- Escalating the implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act and properly resource it with funds and skilled personnel at the office of the Information regulator.
- Identifying, registering and regulating data brokers to ensure collection of data for surveillance and commercial purposes is strictly governed.
- Ensuring that access to the Internet is protected as a basic right, in line with the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s resolution that the rights citizens enjoy offline, such as access to information, are also applicable online.
- Empowering citizen rights groups and NGOs to be the initiators of policies that identify and govern Internet access and usage.
Fourthly, build a robust, easily accessible and secure government ICT operation by:
- Ensuring all spheres of government invest in interactive online services to enable businesses and citizens to deal with governments promptly and efficiently, when applying for and renewing licences etc.
- Working with ICT service providers to ensure the efficient planning and building of ICT infrastructure essential to efficient and inclusive service delivery, economic investment and growth and creating an attractive environment for citizens to work and play in.
- Ensuring roads and electricity supply to rural areas where marginalised communities need communications infrastructure.
Finally, establish a Presidential Advisory Body which:
- Regularly reports to the Presidency, on, inter alia, international and local ICT developments, research and application of technology and its impact on society, work, service delivery, international relations, global economic protocols, cyber security, education, multi-national dominance of the sector and market-competitive issues.
Cleaning House: Unbundling SOE Monopolies for Growth
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in South Africa are characterised by mismanagement, corruption, poor procurement, poor organisational strategy and a poor governance culture. The result of this is a breakdown of delivery in key service areas like power production and rail transport – vital economic drivers and services for everyday life.
But the risk that these enterprises pose to our economy, and indeed our country, is bigger than failed service delivery. Nothing is a better illustration of the current government’s ability to make a bad situation worse than the never-ending sagas of SOEs like Eskom and SAA which are so bankrupt, and their governance so poorly degraded, that the status quo of their current management threatens to crash our entire economy. They have lumbered from crisis to crisis for more than a decade, accumulating hundreds of billions in debt (much of it government-backed) with absolutely nothing to show for it. Indeed, the debt that Eskom, in particular, owes is so enormous that the ANC have openly admitted that they plan to loot public and private pensions to pay it off through their ill-conceived ‘prescribed assets’ investment scheme.
What is worse is that some of this debt has been secured in foreign currencies, meaning if the Rand devalues and we are unable to pay off the debt we face debt defaults which could cause a currency collapse. This would lead to the kind of rampant inflation, food shortages and massive job losses that plagues our neighbour, Zimbabwe.
Stabilising the delivery of services currently mandated to SOEs like PRASA and Eskom is an absolute necessity to get our economy back on track and provide citizens with the services they need. Failure to stabilise their volatile finances will be a death knell to our economy.
It is vital to inject competition into the market for many of these goods and services as many SOEs have complete monopolies over their respective markets. South Africans must have access to more choice and our economy needs to have reliable basic service provision.
The DA is the only party that can fix the mess at our SOEs. The current government cannot take the action needed because they have used these enterprises as vehicles of corruption and patronage with the enterprises facing increasing political interference in the awarding of tenders and contracts. The ANC will not bite the hand that feeds it, even if the consequences are devastating for South Africans.
See the Transport section for a full description of the DA’s plan to deal with SAA.
To address the crisis facing SOEs a DA national government will...
Firstly, implement a programme of full and partial privatisation by:
- Analysing all SOEs with the aim of identifying those which should undergo full or partial privatisation by bringing in private equity partners and disinvesting from non-core SOEs urgently. This will bring in vital cash injections, skills, systems and expertise to turn-around a number of SOEs, while ridding the fiscus of the burden of the worst performers. State-owned companies that perform tasks that can be more effectively delivered by the private sector can and must be privatised.
- Introducing an independent board to manage the sales of SOEs to prevent oligarchs (a small group who control the industry) from forming. Share options for employees can be offered to get buy-in for privatisation from workers.
Secondly, de-politicise the boards of SOEs by:
- Appointing board members first and foremost for their business knowledge and expertise, and not on their political connections.
- Introducing the mandatory vetting of board members for political connections and conflicting business interests.
- Carrying out lifestyle audits once a year to ensure that board members do not become captured during their tenure.
- Ensuring appointments are made with a clear mandate to instil stability, confidence and vital skills required on the boards of SOEs.
- Creating a Director’s Academy with the primary objective of providing the directors of SOEs with world-class knowledge and management skills.
- Implementing a Code of Good Practice for SOEs, developed to govern board members.
Thirdly, instil a focus on becoming competitive by:
- Ensuring management and financial decisions at SOEs are guided by financial considerations and sustainability and not by ideological considerations.
- Giving SOEs transparent and clear mandates that set financial objectives and sustainability as the primary goals.
- Selecting and monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as part of the creation of a monitoring and linked performance-based culture.
- Clearly defining profit and non-profit objectives for SOEs which match industry standards and best practices for financial targets such as: returns on equity (e.g. 13%), interest coverage (e.g. 2:1), and minimum debt-to-equity ratios (e.g. 1:1).
- Selling off, franchising, outsourcing or terminating non-core activities and assets.
- Pursuing an operational campaign focusing on improved technical capabilities and a more effective working culture with excellence at its core.
Fourthly, ensure good governance based on transparency by:
- Overhauling procurement within SOEs to make these processes more transparent in order to minimise the opportunity for corruption.
- Communicating regularly (at least monthly) on progress achieved with regard to KPIs, and social and financial objectives to maintain public support and buy-in.
- Making performance agreements with executives publicly available and holding executives accountable.
- Making the tender awarding process for tenders over a certain value open to the public at the adjudication stage to avoid cases of political interference.
- Implementing an online portal system for viewing these tenders.
- Strengthening procurement oversight at SOEs through implementing regulations that would create an internal procurement oversight committee, consisting of selected internal auditors that would report to the board directly every fortnight.
- Including regulations which require procurement officers be vetted extensively for conflicts of interest on an annual basis by a procurement committee.
Finally, streamline government oversight by:
- Disposing of the defunct and ineffective Department of Public Enterprises and moving the management of SOEs under their rightful departments. In the case of Transnet, government should return it entirely to the Department of Transport; Eskom should move to the Department of Energy; SAFCOL should move to the Department of Agriculture; and Denel should go to the Department of Defence. This would improve the lines of accountability and communication and also align the SOEs with the efforts of their rightful sector and portfolio.
Energy: Powering South Africa’s Economic Growth
A consistent and reliable supply of electricity and energy is vital to reigniting job-creating economic growth in South Africa. At present, South Africa is unable to produce the energy needed to sustain current levels of economic activity, let alone enable the growth needed to create the millions of jobs required to tackle poverty and inequality.
Eskom’s monopoly on electricity generation, if not addressed, will cripple our economy. The DA has a full plan to deal with the crisis at Eskom. These measures will provide significant short-term alleviation.
The current government’s plans and programmes will not be able to stabilise energy production or stimulate rapid economic growth.
This is in large part due to the incorrect composition of energy production and energy sources in South Africa (for instance a heavy reliance on coal limits energy production when there are coal shortages or when corrupt tenders lead to the incorrect type of coal being bought). The current government has also been relatively slow to increase the renewable energy mix.
The latest draft IRP plan in 2018 will see no increase in the use of nuclear energy up until the year 2030.
The DA has no principled objection to the use of nuclear power when executed safely and as part of an appropriate energy mix. However, the current government’s plans for nuclear to date have been hobbled by serious allegations of corruption and would completely bankrupt our economy. In addition, the relatively slow lead time required to bring nuclear online means that South Africa will have to wait a decade, at best, to benefit from a new nuclear programme.
While there is no quick-fix solution to the electricity crisis, there are a number of policy decisions which can and should be taken immediately. Failing to take these decisions will cripple our economy even further and hurt the poor and disadvantaged in our country the most.
We must immediately increase the diversity of energy production in South Africa. A DA national government will:
- Support all viable renewable options including wind power, where applicable; and concentrated solar power and PV solar power projects in our deserts and built above the water surface of selected dams.
- Explore safe and sustainable gas fracking in certain areas of the country which will also boost the economy and create jobs in fracking and downstream industries.
- Allow for offshore oil drilling to be conducted, where it is safe to do so and subject to stringent safety measures.
- Make all oil and gas exploration and extraction operations subject to independent and accredited environmental impact assessment reports.
- Fund CSIR research and development into sustainable battery use for mass electricity storage.
- Ensure that planning related to transmission infrastructure is a core component of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Opening up the Industry
The Eskom monopoly on electricity generation and distribution has been crippling our economy for years. It is vital that we open up the market and allow the private sector to invest and inject efficiency into the system.
The first step in this regard will be the long overdue passing of the Independent Systems and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill. The DA has revived this bill, with amendments, as a Private Members Bill, to be introduced back to Parliament. This is discussed in more detail in the section on Eskom covered under our plan for SOEs.
A DA national government will pass the amended version of the ISMO Bill allowing for:
- Eskom to be split into a generating entity that can be slowly privatised and a state entity that will manage, own and operate the grid and its transmission.
- The expansion and updating of the grid, which will allow more Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to connect and begin contributing to generating capacity. This is one of the biggest pitfalls to the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) – new projects have been unable to connect to the grid in certain places.
- The initiation of immediate pre-emptive maintenance programmes on the existing transmission grid. These should aim to prevent the kind of plant failures which have so disastrously affected generating plants.
Electricity Generation and Supply Governance
Governance at Eskom must urgently be turned around to ensure that Eskom provides a detailed report on backlogged maintenance at all power plants as well as instituting international best practice measures in a number of areas. This must be done with the aim to give an accurate depiction of the electricity crisis to the public for the sake of transparency and to motivate power saving practices in households and businesses.
- Management bonuses and salaries, at every level, should be linked to the achievement of tangible key performance indicators (KPIs).
- This allows the portfolio oversight committee, government and the public in general an opportunity to become more involved in holding the utility to account during on-site visits, with regard to current maintenance.
- Furthermore, government must impress upon Eskom the necessity of making reports on plant failures available to the public as a means of providing further accountability.
- The DA will further call for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to have some kind of mediating and/or explanatory role in the release of this information. This involvement on the part of NERSA is key, given the lack of trust the public has in Eskom.
- Under a DA government, the municipal debt burden owed to Eskom will be tackled head-on. With over R13 billion owed, an inter-departmental task team will need to be formed to incorporate CoGTA and Energy. A review of all pay-back terms and agreements will be conducted.
For too long South Africans have been left at the mercy of an uncaring and dysfunctional state.
This has seen too many South Africans killed through negligence, inaction or worse. Under a DA government the state will provide quality basic services, provide social assistance to those who need it, build a healthcare system that meets the needs of citizens, provide access to life-changing educational opportunities for all South Africans, and eliminate the scourge of gender-based inequalities.
Our plan for building a caring, opportunity-rich South Africa contains the following core elements:
- Expanding access to quality basic services for all by:
- expanding access to housing to create a home for all South Africans; and
- expanding access to water, sanitation and electricity.
- Building a caring social assistance system.
- Creating a health system that works.
- Basic education: creating an opportunity ladder for all South Africans.
- Eliminating gender-based inequalities.
Expanding Access to Quality Basic Services for All
Expanding access to housing: A home for all South Africans
Millions of South Africans continue to live in appalling conditions with no safe place to call home. South Africa currently does not have adequate housing to meet the needs of our citizens and many are left
to live in informal settings where there is little, but often no, access to basic services like water and sanitation.
Far from being one nation for all South Africans, our history has meant our society was first divided by race and then by a policy of building free-standing top-structures far away from economic activities and opportunities following apartheid spatial planning.
There is no single solution that will eradicate the housing backlog, but what is essential is a basket of solutions which can address the issue and give South Africans more choice and a better quality of life when it comes to finding a place to call home.
The reality of years of government corruption and waste is that the resources to give every family a house do not exist. Government can no longer follow the narrow strategy as outlined initially by the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and then Breaking New Ground (BNG)
programmes for addressing the housing backlog as these have patently failed. Firstly, because many South Africans still do not have houses, but also because this approach has not worked to create integrated cities and towns.
New approaches that achieve the following aims are needed:
- Giving more South Africans safe and dignified living spaces.
- Creating more diverse and inclusive cities and towns.
- Bringing more people closer to economic and educational activities.
- Densifying existing towns and cities to avoid urban sprawl.
- Providing more options that allow South Africans greater choice when it comes to housing.
To do this, the DA national government will:
- Give recipients of RDP and BNG houses ownership of the land they live on by giving them title deeds. Too many people live in homes that they have not been given title to and this must be rectified.
- Create a single national housing database which each province and local government will have to cross-reference to prevent beneficiaries from benefitting more than once, to prevent corrupt queue jumping, and to ensure that beneficiaries meet all the requirements for housing assistance i.e. South African citizenship and the right income level.
- Launch a national housing audit to verify the current ownership of RDP and BNG houses to identify where houses have been allocated through corruption or have been sold illegally.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Commitment to providing housing in Local B municipalities
The Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela, launched the Transhex Catalytic Housing Project on 7 December 2017 in Worcester. The R2.2 billion housing project will comprise a mix-use development, consisting of various types of housing opportunities; including Breaking New Ground, the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, and affordable housing and rental accommodation. The project is estimated to be completed in 2022 and will yield over 8000 housing opportunities.
On 18 October 2018 the multi-million Bredasdorp Site F Housing Project was launched. The project will see the construction of 490 housing opportunities and is an integrated mixed development targeting backyard dwellers, Zwelisha residents and the most deserving beneficiaries registered on the housing demand database. The project is worth R64 million and the anticipated completion date is the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.
Phase one of the Thembalethu Housing Project commenced on the 27th of February 2017 and was completed on 30th of April 2018, with 150 houses being built and handed over. The second phase of the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) housing project in Thembalethu commenced on the 19th of January 2018 and will see 251 houses built.
In May 2018 the Kouga Municipality appointed contractors to work on a project to build 1500 subsidised houses at Ocean View. The R46 million project will take an estimated 24 months to complete and includes the installation of roads, water and sewer connections.
On the 31st of August 2018, Langeberg Municipality received a Govan Mbeki Award for the Best Integrated Residential Development Programme. The Municipality’s McGregor Housing Project provides easy access to transport nodes, has a central business district and places of employment. A total of 26 houses in this project were adapted to accommodate disabled beneficiaries. During the civil services phase, 33 people from the local community were employed, and during the top structure phase, 11 local community members and up to 28 local sub-contractors were employed.
On the 23rd of January 2019 Matzikama launched a R50 million housing project. The project consists of two multimillion housing projects in Lutzville and Vredendal in the Matzikama Municipality.
The Vredendal project of almost 400 units commenced in September 2018 and is expected to be completed in August 2019. The Lutzville project’s commencement date is still to be announced by the MEC and will yield over 300 houses.
Continued Informal Settlement Upgrades
As many resources as possible will be put toward providing all qualifying South African households on the national list with their choice of housing solution but it is also important to recognise that informal settlements and informality will remain a challenge over the coming years. Because of this, the DA will continue to make resources available to ensure that basic services and upgrades are rolled out for those who live in informal areas.
This means that while those who qualify for one of the housing solutions below wait on the fair housing list, they will not go without access to water, sanitation, electricity or refuse removal. For more information see the offer for improved basic services.
New housing solutions
To provide people with quality housing and more choice we will give people who earn less than R15 000 a month three broad options to get housing. This will be achieved by making as many of the opportunities listed below as possible available each year, within the constraints of the human settlements budget, and subject to the new list process:
Option 1: BNG-type housing
Those South African households who earn less than R4000 per month can opt to remain on their local or provincial housing list for an RDP/BNG type home (important to remember: local lists will be cross-referenced with the national list to ensure that beneficiaries only benefit once and that housing opportunities occur fairly). As more people take advantage of the multitude of housing options available the list for housing will decrease.
Option 2: Sign up for the Home Voucher Scheme
- Those South African households who earn below R15 000 a month will qualify for a housing voucher.
- Households earning less than R4000 a month will qualify for a voucher of between R130 000 and R150 000.
- Households earning above R4000 and below R10 000 will qualify for 60% of the full voucher amount.
- While households that earn above R10 000 and below R15 000 will qualify for 40% of the full voucher amount (this income tier are more able to access GAP initiatives meaning they will already receive a part subsidy).
The vouchers can be used as follows:
- Build your own home on a government-provided service site (already connected to water and electricity). These vouchers will be worth R130 000 and the serviced sites will also receive other services like area/neighbourhood cleaning and refuse removal.
- Use a R150 000 voucher paid directly to the bank or financer as a deposit towards buying an already-existing house.
- Use a R150 000 voucher paid directly to the bank or financer as a deposit towards buying land to build your own home (with the option to have part paid out for a building voucher too).
- Use a R150 000 voucher paid directly to the bank or financer as a deposit towards building or upgrading a structure on land you already own.
Option 3: Choose to live in the city (inner city)
The above solutions work well for those who want to live in new growing urban neighbourhoods, but limit those who seek to live closer to central business districts where there are more opportunities. A DA national government will work hard to ensure that there are many more options for low and middle- income households to live in our cities. These options will include:
- Increased social housing units (low-rent units) in mixed income developments.
- Increased rent-to-buy units in mixed income developments where beneficiaries will pay in rent but towards eventual ownership of their homes.
- More affordable units to be sold on the housing market, made available by leveraging bulk rights to ensure developers add at least 25% additional low-cost units when they develop new or existing buildings (this will mean more housing options available to those people who qualify for the housing voucher but want to buy housing in our inner cities).
WHERE WE GOVERN
Inner City housing in the City of Johannesburg
84 properties have been released by Council to the private sector for development through public- private partnerships to deliver an estimated 4000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and even more affordable accommodation for some of our poorest residents.
Between 80 and 100 buildings will be released this year from the 500 properties that have been identified as ‘bad’ buildings for which expropriation processes have been initiated. The rejuvenation of these buildings can truly change Johannesburg’s skyline. This process has culminated in the awarding of Vannin Court and Beaconsfield Court, and vacant land at 82 Gwigwi Mrwebi Street, Newtown, to EGC Properties and Johannesburg Housing Company. The developers have committed a proposed total investment of just over R204 million. Both Hillbrow properties and their associated buildings earmarked for refurbishment are expected to be completed in the next twelve months, availing 384 units for the residents of Johannesburg.
Western Cape Government housing opportunities
Since 2009, we have completed 212 967 housing projects. 105 500 housing projects are due for completion in the Western Cape by 2022.
To significantly reduce the costs of buying a first home, a DA national government would:
- Work on eliminating transfer duties on all first-time home purchases less than R1,75 million in value. Transfer duties can be considered a regressive tax for South Africans when purchasing assets.
To create more broad-based wealth more people need to own more property. Home owners are already subjected to a number of taxes through rates, utilities and in sectional titles, levies.
- Revise the transfer duty brackets with the aim of making home ownership more affordable and within the reach of more South Africans. The new brackets would be:
- 0 - 1 500 000: No transfer duty
- 1 500 001 - 2 500 000: 2% of value
- 2 500 001 - 5 000 000: 3% of value
- 5 000 001 - 10 000 000: 5% of value
- 10 000 01 and above: 10% of value
- Work with banks to include in the bond the value of the bond registration costs and bank initiation fees, if the customer so chooses, and only for first-time home purchases.
- Engage the Law Society to drastically reduce conveyancing fees for first-time home purchasers to a flat fee of R5000 only, with this lower cost to be cross-subsidised by small increases in costs on homes above R1.5 million and repeat-home buyers.
The above proposals would save tens of thousands in terms of the cost of buying a first property, making it much easier for first-time buyers to enter the housing market. We want every South African to be an asset owner, to be able to build long-term generational wealth, and to break the cycle of inter- generational poverty. While other parties propose to seize people’s hard-earned assets, we want to make it easier for more people to become asset owners. For the vast majority of people, a home and a pension represent the greatest portion of their life savings. But in South Africa, hundreds of thousands of people cannot buy their first home because the costs are prohibitive.
Banks require deposits (usually 10% of the purchase price), and the upfront fees and taxes are frankly extortionate. They are far in excess of the costs involved in buying any other asset.
It is entirely consistent with our aims and values to try to help young people get on to the property ownership ladder.
In addition, the biggest beneficiaries of such a policy would be young black professionals, who are for reasons well known, still largely excluded from so much economic opportunity, and in most cases will not have the family support necessary to buy a first home.
Youth job-seeker rental subsidy
Finally, we cannot forget our country’s youth, specifically those aged between 20 and 25, who have just qualified from tertiary education and are looking to build their careers and lives by moving to cities and towns to look for jobs. It can be difficult for these young people to find good accommodation at a reasonable price and this can often lead to living in unsafe and informal housing.
The DA will pilot a special youth job-seeker rental subsidy voucher for these young South Africans. This rental voucher subsidy will be aimed at graduates whose skills are in demand in cities, but do not have the means to access the city. The voucher would be capped at one year and will only be valid for a period of two months after the beneficiary gains employment.
This will enable young people access to a variety of housing options, given that landlords are willing to sign up for the voucher programme. Therefore, graduates will not have to wait to get spaces in social housing initiatives for which they often do not qualify.
Expanding access to water, sanitation and electricity
People who live in informal settlements in South Africa are disproportionately affected by socio- economic problems such as ill health, violence and unemployment. This is unsurprising when considering the social determinants of health in relation to the reality of living conditions in the majority of informal settlements in the country. The lack of basic services – such as water, sanitation and electricity – leads to higher prevalence rates for disease, sickness and disasters such as shack fires and flooding which are particularly prevalent due to a lack of planning and design of settlements.
Despite informal settlements being part of our country’s urban landscape for decades, the current government has made very little progress in terms of improving basic services to these communities.
Informal settlements are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Large-scale rural urban migration and the backlog from years of neglect will mean even the best human settlements policy implemented soundly will take a number of years to significantly reduce the population of these settlements. In order to reduce the burdens of poverty, which people living in informal areas suffer, it is vital to provide more immediate solutions which raise their standard of living and enables all individuals to enjoy basic human and constitutional rights. While sustainable improvement requires more than just in-situ upgrading (for instance job creation, economic growth, improvement in access to education), it is an important step towards achieving fairness and an important step in building One South Africa for All.
To improve the quality of access to basic services, a DA national government will:
- Continue to support the roll-out of incremental in-situ upgrading (which will provide water, sanitation, electricity, waste removal and also proper area planning) of well-located informal settlements with the aim of formalising these areas over time. This will be done by:
- Utilising reblocking methodology to re-design informal settlements so that dwellings are organised using spatial planning best practice. This methodology can provide significant safety and service improvements by, for example, creating space for roads wide enough to allow emergency and waste vehicles to properly service the settlement.
- Creating a new hybrid grant that will be used to upgrade informal settlements. The grant will be funded through reassessing the Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG), Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and equitable share and channelling funds into the new grant to address issues which these two grants do not adequately cover (such as data collection and the re-blocking processes). This grant will ultimately aim to cover all the costs of turning an informal settlement into a well-planned and fully serviced neighbourhood over time.
- Initiating a programme of data collection which will seek to audit all of our country’s informal settlements, gathering a myriad of data including: the number of households living in informal settlements, information on the household heads, community structure and leadership, interaction methods with the government, and detailed information on the land the settlement is situated on.
- Developing an informal settlement index similar to India’s “slum index”, which ranks informal settlements on both qualitative and quantitative data. This index would provide a greater range of measurable effects by making it easier to assess the starting points of projects, the effect of projects on the living conditions of people living in informality and the changes in community dynamics.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Basic services in the City of Cape Town
According to the National Department of Water and Sanitation Masterplan (March 2018), the current access to sanitation services is around 80% nationally. The report however states that ‘delivery is uneven and, in some municipalities, only 50% of residents have access to adequate sanitation facilities.’
The City of Cape Town has achieved almost 100% access to adequate sanitation in existing informal settlements despite rapid urbanisation.
National Government statistics, as communicated recently by the Financial and Fiscal Commission, indicate that Cape Town provides the highest percentage of full-flush toilets and weekly refuse removal in the country. Around 93.8% of households in the city, including informal settlement households, have access to a flush toilet, the highest level in the country; and 87.8% of households receive weekly refuse removal services.
The City of Cape Town meets and exceeds national benchmarks for service provision and has developed its own service standards for basic service provision which sets far more enhanced/higher service ratios within informal settlements than the current national service standards.
On the upgrading of informal settlements as well as the installation of taps and toilets, and the repairs, maintenance and servicing of toilets and the City’s unique janitorial programme, more than R1.8 billion is earmarked in the medium term. The City also pioneered a janitorial service to clean the toilets in informal settlements. This programme has seen the creation of thousands of job opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). These janitors also monitor infrastructure and inform the depots of where maintenance is required.
Last year (2017/2018 financial year) over 90% of the budget for the informal settlements and backyarder department was spent.
Building a Caring Social Assistance System
The DA is committed to building One South Africa for All and a fundamental step to achieving this is building a social assistance system which, as part of a package of policies, is able to deal with the challenges posed by increasing levels of economic inequality and income poverty.
Our country needs a better social assistance system for those people who do not have a sustainable income and have very little or no prospect of being able to earn one in the future. Grants protect families from falling into abject poverty and homelessness. They are an economic investment in poor and unemployed South Africans and serve to unlock opportunities.
Currently the majority of South Africans have to make ends meet with less than R1000 a month. This results in people having short, unfulfilling lives characterised by hunger, malnutrition and violence. For babies and toddlers, the developmental damage that results from this deprivation is permanent. The stunting levels in boys and girls under the age of five has increased to 30% and 25% respectively. This has devastating educational, health and economic consequences but also less obvious social ones such as aggressive behaviour and violence.
The new social assistance system envisioned by the DA aims to set a basic income floor with the initial focus on children. The system will be expanded over time to ensure that every South African can enjoy their rights and live a life of dignity as envisioned in our Constitution.
Almost 10 million South Africans are now unemployed. The truth is that long-term, mass unemployment has become a fixed condition in South Africa under the current government. Very few unemployed people are able to access the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), as they have simply never made prior contributions to the fund, and only a small number of elderly people are able to draw from a private pension fund. In the meantime, the grant system makes no provision for able-bodied persons of working age. This situation puts enormous strain on the old-age, disability and child grants which are inevitably used to support entire households.
To make matters worse the financial value of the child grant, which constitutes the majority of grants, is no longer aligned to an objective measure of what it actually costs to feed a child.
Every day in South Africa children are dying because of severe acute malnutrition, a situation which can be completely avoided.
If we don’t address these realities, the most profound and direct consequences will be an increase in the number of children dying every day from severe acute malnutrition and stuntedness amongst children. Unseen will be the increased levels of stress and trauma experienced by women who are forced to make impossible choices and who have to sacrifice their own bodies to feed their children, and men who feel they have no worth because they cannot provide. This toxic mix is keeping our highly unequal and extremely violent society firmly intact.
It is simply not true that we cannot grow the economy, providing more people with work, while at the same time, ensuring that parents who do not yet have work can feed themselves and their children.
These are complementary strategies. If done correctly, as part of a package of policies that promotes competitiveness and economic growth, social assistance can be a strategic productive investment and low-cost way of accelerating economic growth.
The first step in this process is to realign the child grant to an objective measure of what it costs to feed a child, realigning the grant with its original intention – nutritional support for children because of the widely recognised importance of an appropriate diet for their development. It further curbs the discretionary power of the state in determining the financial values of grants and implicitly also recognises the importance of “capabilities”. In order to make use of opportunities, such as school, children in particular have to have the capability to make use of these – which is impossible if their development is stunted through a lack of access to basic nutritious food in early years.
It is also necessary to ensure a 100% uptake of the child grant for qualifying children from the moment they are born. Currently the uptake rate for infants is extremely low, in part because of the all the paperwork, long queues, waiting times, incorrect information, repeat visits and transport difficulties that are often part and parcel of a visit to government facilities.
To eradicate the tragic occurrence and consequences of child malnutrition the DA national government will:
- Increase the child grant to the food poverty line as an initial increase (considering the extremely constrained fiscal environment). The food poverty line was R547 in April 2018 prices. We have already proposed amendments in Parliament to the Appropriations Bill to make this a reality, but the proposal was opposed by the ANC. The proposed amendments were budget neutral and would have been funded by reprioritising less than 1% of the Appropriations Budget mainly through spending freezes and spending cuts on what were considered non-essential items.
- Ensure a 100% uptake of the child grant from birth to maximise its positive impact by allowing pregnant moms to complete the bulk of the administrative requirements for the child grant before birth so that when the baby is born, the grant is simply activated.
- Adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the misuse of the child grant by parents or guardians by:
- increasing the number of social workers servicing families and ensuring they assist with social grant abuse cases at magistrate’s courts; and
- improving staffing and resourcing of magistrate’s courts where people can apply to have child support and foster grants either transferred to the person taking care of the child, if the child’s primary caregiver is abusing the grant and another adult is paying for the child’s needs, or alternatively have the grant converted to vouchers. The aim of the voucher would be to limit the spending ability of the caregiver found guilty by a court of abusing the grant.
It is important to remember that grants are also vital for other South Africans who have no other dependable source of income or the prospect of earning an income in the future.
To make sure that there is adequate social protection for everyone, a DA national government will:
- Develop a system to monitor and evaluate disability grants to ensure that all disabled South Africans can easily access the grant.
- Make the review process for the disability grant easier – including making sure that there is advanced warning of pending reviews and beneficiaries are well informed of the steps they must take to renew their grants.
- Limit the regulatory burden for persons with severe and permanent disabilities by exempting certain categories of disability from the review process.
- Increase the number of social workers by providing more opportunities for completion of vocational training.
- Continue to support all existing grants and, where possible, as the fiscus stabilises, increase their value in line with inflation.
Promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities by:
- Ensuring that state-funded schooling options are available for learners with a wide range of special needs.
- Providing transport subsidies to organisations in the disability sector to help persons with disabilities access services and support.
- Continuing to promote the accessibility of buildings, public services, transport and other facilities for persons with disabilities.
- Promoting employment and skills development opportunities for all persons with disabilities through the DA’s simplified and reimagined broad-based empowerment scorecard.
Creating a Health System that Works
As with education, South Africa has two types of healthcare. Excellent, indeed, world-class, private healthcare but poor, inadequate and sometimes even dangerous public healthcare.
Tragedies like Life Esidimeni and the fact that in three of our provinces the Health Departments have had to be put under administration in recent years all point to just how broken public healthcare is in South Africa.
Currently, the majority of South Africans cannot afford private healthcare and are being failed by public sector health which is facing numerous serious challenges. If we want to build One South Africa for All we must ensure that Section 27 of the Constitution is realised and that each and every South African can confidently access reliable and excellent health services.
The first step to fixing our poor public health system is to address challenges in terms of primary healthcare – in other words, to make our clinics work and build more where needed. South Africa has a ratio of 1 clinic to 16 971 people, as opposed to the guideline of 1:10 000. South Africa also has a ratio of
0.7 doctors to every 100 000 people, well below the average of OECD or BRICS nations.
In terms of addressing primary healthcare and access to life-saving medicine, a DA national government will:
- Build at least 50 more primary healthcare clinics through our Expanded Clinic Building Programme in under-served areas nationwide by allocating an additional R2 billion as a cross-subsidy for building and staffing. These clinics would target communities which have either:
- not had a clinic before and where community members have had to travel far distances to access healthcare (especially in rural areas); or
- already have a clinic(s) but where there are too many patients for the existing healthcare to safely serve.
- Increase the number of staff at clinics by making a further R2 billion available, part of which would be used to grow medical school placements for multiple skills including, doctors, specialist nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and public health specialists.
- Extend the hours of primary healthcare clinics after conducting feasibility studies for underserved areas in order to provide people with healthcare when it is convenient for them to access it – including in the evenings after work and during the weekends.
- Ensure support from the rest of government (such as transport, infrastructure and police) for the extension of hours at public healthcare clinics to make sure that community members can easily reach clinics and are safe if they need to visit after hours.
- Provide mobile clinics for existing settlements which are not yet formalised and exist beyond a 5km radius of existing public health facilities. Regular visits from mobile clinics can ensure that those communities who have not previously had access to healthcare can benefit from a wide range of life-saving primary healthcare without having to budget for transport money.
- Utilise technological innovation to improve healthcare and efficiency in the health system, including:
- the digitisation of records and improvement of information systems; and
- the introduction of the one-patient unique identifier and one-patient record.
The current NHI model proposed by the ANC government is entirely unfeasible and places the stability of the national fiscus at risk. The DA believes our alternative to the NHI can provide quality healthcare without bankrupting our country.
Instead of the NHI, a DA national government will:
- Work with private healthcare insurance companies to extend the insurance coverage range in a manner which would improve affordability of options for the lower- and middle-class, with the aim of having more than 50% of citizens covered by private healthcare providers. This means more South Africans will be able to afford private healthcare because new types of medical aid and medical insurance will be made available at lower prices. This initiative will give South Africans far greater choices when it comes to their healthcare.
- Develop a new government healthcare funding mechanism which would see healthcare coverage provided for the remaining citizens who are not covered by private medical insurance – no South African will be left without medical care.
- Embark on a programme of revitalising public healthcare facilities, with a significant portion of the resources dedicated to improving and updating infrastructure and technology at primary healthcare facilities.
- Ensure that there is an introduction of a funding mechanism to provide for appropriate and accessible emergency medical services for all. No one should ever be denied quality healthcare in an emergency situation.
- Revisit the equitable share allocation to make sure that there is enough money in the urban areas to build enough hospitals/clinics where there is most demand.
- Ensure that all young medical professionals are immediately and efficiently placed.
- Remove racial quotas as they apply to access to medical school with the aim of increasing the cohort of doctors and nurses each year – while still ensuring diversity.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Health in the Western Cape
Life expectancy in the Western Cape is the highest in the country, supported by a functional public healthcare system. Since 2009, life expectancy for men has increased from 59 years to a projected 66 years for the period 2016-2021, and for women from 64 years to a projected 72 years over the same period.
We’ve spent R3.8 billion on capital infrastructure since 2009, and an additional R1.8 billion on maintenance of infrastructure assets. This includes major new district hospitals in Khayelitsha (330 beds) and Mitchells Plain (391); an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data centre to the value of R250 million; 10 emergency centres replaced or upgraded; 14 new primary healthcare facilities completed, and 11 new ambulance stations built.
We launched the Chronic Distribution Unit (CDU) along with 6000 alternate sites (other than health facilities) where patients can collect medication. An average of 380 000 patients receive parcels from the CDU per month. Over 4 560 000 medicine parcels are distributed per year on average.
Access to healthcare
The Western Cape has the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of their nearest health facility, at 91.5%, according to Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) General Household Survey 2016. To ensure rural access to healthcare, our HealthNet patient transport system operates at around 230 pick-up points across the province. Every year, over 150 000 patients are transported to healthcare facilities, through this R90 million service. This system is unique to the Western Cape.
Western Cape Government Health has a unique system to ensure no stock-outs of medicines for which the Province is responsible for supplying. Supply is managed through a central depot, delivering to large facilities, that deliver to smaller facilities.
We are the only province to digitalise patient records in public healthcare. This is remarkable as the digital records span 54 hospitals; around 300 primary healthcare facilities; more than 100 pharmacies; the National Health Laboratory Service laboratories (+- 30 in the province); and currently hosts about 13 million patients, spanning more than 25 years, as no records are deleted or archived from the system.
Basic Education: Creating an Opportunity Ladder for All South Africans
Basic education is another example of how South Africa remains unequal with some having access to truly world-class basic education while others have little or no chance of gaining a decent education.
Those without it are destined to remain excluded from opportunities and are dependent on others or the government to survive. South Africa urgently needs quality education and training for all children from all communities if we are to create One South Africa for All.
There are a number of challenges in our basic education system but studies show that the quality of teaching (and the management of teachers via principals) is the main determinant of whether a learner will succeed at school or not.
Research from countries around the world consistently shows that high-quality teaching is the single most important school-based factor in a learner’s academic performance. In South Africa, however, research reports show that 1 out of 5 educators are considered to be unqualified for teaching.
While there are many excellent and dedicated teachers in South Africa, there are currently over 8 million children attending dysfunctional schools where the quality of teaching, in general, is not up to standard.
As a result, a large number of learners drop out of school between grade 10 and 12, many of those who write the National Senior Certificate (matric) fail. There are simply too many learners who write matric and pass but leave secondary school without a bachelor’s and diploma pass and therefore cannot access university education.
We must confront a shocking truth: the real matric pass rate is extremely low, only 37.6% if you include the number of 2016 Grade 10s who actually went on to pass Grade 12 in 2018.
This is why our proposals to reform basic education are centred on radically improving teaching performance, the standard of education, school management, providing safer learning environments using technology to teach and learn, as well as making sure ALL children have a safe and conducive learning environment. These initiatives are crucial if we want ALL children to be able to access quality education.
It is vital to recognise the role played by early childhood development and the impact it can have on success or failure in primary and secondary education. The DA recognises the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in providing this foundation – access to quality ECDs are the vital first rung of the opportunity ladder and open up access to further opportunity later in life.
To ensure that learners are appropriately prepared to enter the foundation phase of their schooling, a DA national government will:
- Implement a per-child Grade R subsidy from the state to all public schools, allowing fee-free access to Grade R at fee-free schools.
- Develop a more formalised curriculum for Grade R teaching, based on a thoroughly researched understanding of the cognitive development required to prepare a child for success in Grade 1 and beyond.
- Improve collaboration between the departments of Basic Education and Social Development to develop a national network of early childhood education centres for children aged 0 to 4.
To radically improve the quality of basic education in South Africa a DA national government will improve the performance and quality of teachers by:
- Introducing specialist Teacher Training Colleges for primary school educators in every province.
- Establishing the National Education Evaluation Inspectorate (NEEI) as a Chapter 9 institution to evaluate and inspect school facilities, principals, school management teams and governing bodies, and the quality of teaching at all schools. It will also include an incentives system to improve teaching and set thresholds for quality instruction and facilitation.
- Ensuring that all underqualified teachers receive professional development or are removed from the system – “matric only” teachers will not be tolerated.
- Ensuring teachers in each school receive professional development in terms of the use of computers and Internet facilities and teaching methods to facilitate computer use by learners.
- Requiring an online continuous education programme for all teachers.
Improve the standard of education and learning environment by:
- Internationally benchmarking grades 3, 6 and 9 to give learners education comparable to international standards. Other continuous testing will be limited to only what is necessary.
- Reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it equips learners for participation in a competitive, global knowledge economy by including subject-like coding and programming which will help school children prepare for an economy shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- Introducing world-class comprehensive sex education as part of Life Orientation classes.
Make sure that the standards and management of schools are higher by:
- Supporting low-fee independent schools and converting struggling public schools to ‘collaboration schools’ to improve management and teaching at these schools.
- Providing greater autonomy to schools and school governing bodies, and declare principals as ‘essential services’ at all schools (to ensure that the rights and safety of our children are protected during strike action).
- Ensure principals are properly trained, professionally developed and supported on an ongoing basis so they can manage schools well and make sure there are good teaching standards.
- Through the education inspectorate we will ensure that there are performance-related incentives for school management, based on:
a. excellence in education outcomes as measured through national assessments; and
b. improvement in education outcomes over time.
- Poor-performing principals will be demoted or fired by the school governing body (where appropriate) or the provincial education department if they fail to improve their performance after assistance is provided and with approval from the inspectorate and the provincial Head of Department (HOD).
Make schools and school environments safer for learners and teachers, as well as provide safe after- school spaces by:
- Introducing after-school programmes building on the successes in the Western Cape.
- Ensuring ALL schools have sufficient taps and toilets and eradicating all remaining mud/asbestos schools and pit toilets in South Africa, as well as classrooms or facilities containing asbestos. This will be achieved by:
a. reversing the current government’s slashing of the school infrastructure budget;
b. taking out the ‘dodgy’ middle-men – provincial governments must not use ‘Implementing Agents’ with bad track records and corruption; and
c. no longer blocking donors who want to fund or companies willing to build schools at no, or cut, costs from working with the department to deliver schools (subject to strict quality controls).
- Progressively implementing a number of initiatives to ensure that no child ever walks more than 5 kilometres to school. This will require a number of interventions which could include an increase in public boarding schools (aiming to serve rural communities where learners live a significant distance from their nearest schools) and a revision of the equitable share to increase the funding available to scholar transport programmes.
- Paying special attention to school safety and security – with security guards; CCTV cameras; and welded burglar bars and metal detectors, where necessary and affordable, in crime hotspots. Learners will be randomly searched for weapons, drugs and alcohol on school premises, especially in crime hotspots, and police will be expected to assist with security on and around school property when requested to do so.
- Maintaining an up-to-date register of sexual offences, based on accurate court records and making it a criminal offence to employ any educator on the register or found guilty of violent crimes. Any educator found guilty of a sexual offence with a learner will be immediately dismissed.
- Teaching road safety and ensuring it is practiced in and around school property as South Africa has one of the highest incidents of pedestrian road fatalities in the world.
Use technology to improve teaching and learning by:
- Rolling out online and digital learning platforms to under-resourced schools – these will include computer facilities that are connected to the Internet for teaching and learning purposes so that children and youth are prepared for work in a modern economy.
Make sure children have the best possible chance to learn and grow in our schools by ensuring:
- All children without sufficient nutrition at home will receive both morning and lunch meals.
- Principals, deputy principals, school cleaning staff and employed feeding scheme staff will be declared an ‘essential service’ at schools and are unable to strike without prior notification.
- Stocking each and every school library, and ensuring access to basic sporting facilities and, where appropriate, extending the school day for sporting and cultural activities.
Improve the employability of all matriculants by:
- Partnering with licenced private sector driving schools to provide a set number of driving lessons to all matric students as part of their Life Orientation curriculum.
- Waiving the licencing fee for first-applications for leaner’s and driver’s licences to make it easier for people to access job opportunities which require a driver’s licence.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Education in the Western Cape
Performance in international tests
The Western Cape was the only province to achieve more than 600 points for both reading (627.6) and mathematics (654.5), according to the wide-ranging SACMEQ 4 report. Our reading and math scores were in fact higher than the national averages of all African states included in the study. The results indicate that the Western Cape achieved 72.7% in advanced reading, compared to 36.1% nationally. This is well ahead of the 2nd ranked province – Gauteng - at 54%.
Improving school accountability and the School Evaluation Authority (SEA)
The Western Cape has uniquely established a Schools Evaluation Authority (SEA) to deepen accountability in public education. In time, the SEA will independently evaluate every school in the province, with a focus on teaching and learning in the classroom. The reports will be published online for parents to see how a school is performing. Through the Transforming School Accountability programme, we have also been using data to create useful management tools for Western Cape Education Department (WCED) staff.
During this term, we have connected 1244 schools to high-speed broadband, refreshed 700 computer labs, delivered over 32 000 devices, created an online portal with 11 000 resources, trained teachers to a point where 70% are improving at eTeaching, and we plan to invest R1.2 billion into eLearning over the next 5 years.
We have built, on average, 14 schools and 265 new classrooms for every year in office since 2009. This amounts to 131 schools and close to 2400 classrooms over two terms. Between 2004 and 2009, just 42 schools were built – a 36% slower rate of infrastructure rollout.
Between 2009 and 2017: the matric pass rate increased from 75.7% to 82.8%; the bachelor’s pass rate went up from 31.9% to 39.1%; the proportion of bachelor’s passes in quintiles 1-3 more than doubled; the Maths pass rate increased from 64.9% to 78.1%; and the Science pass rate increased from 52.9% to 73% in 2017.
Pro-poor education priorities
40% of all Western Cape schools are no-fee schools, with the WCED assisting a further 218 Quintile 4 schools to become no fee, out of our provincial funds. The WCED budgeted R53 million in 2018/19 for fee exemption to assist poor learners to attend fee-paying schools, far exceeding any other province in this pro-poor policy.
We have attracted R150 million in private funding for schools in disadvantaged communities by establishing 10 collaboration schools in the Western Cape as part of a pilot project. This involves a genuine partnership with the private sector, where private operating partners enter into contracts with
Eliminating Gender-based Inequalities
Gender-based violence prevention is failing, and abuse and violence towards women, children and LGBTI+ individuals continues unabated in our country. These crimes often manifest as result of women and men holding an unequal status in society.
The personal and human cost of these crimes is incalculable and the cost to our economy is in the billions of Rands every year. South Africa urgently needs a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to the prevention of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) – it is unacceptable that women and children in South Africa are assaulted, raped and killed by criminals and those close to them.
We believe that there needs to be a focus on primary prevention of abuse, violence and murder rather than a sole reliance on the use of the criminal justice system. It is essential that our police and courts are effective, efficient and adequately resourced to discourage violence and femicide.
An empathetic and targeted response to gender-based violence can and will ensure women are free, independent and are able to contribute more to their families and communities as they are no longer controlled and abused by intimate partners, family members or colleagues. We must also be cognisant that men and boy-children also suffer from domestic and sexual violence and that our criminal, health and justice systems must assist these victims with the same care and empathy that female victims receive.
Women and men should be freely able to safely report abusers before they commit child abuse, rape or murder.
It is clear that the ANC government is not serious about tackling this promise and their empty promises have been shown for what they are by the inaction of government in dealing decisively with woman and child abuse.
Various interventions are required to overcome and eradicate gender-based violence – these include better police, prosecutors, victim support and rehabilitation, and support to civil society organisations. It is also vital that this policy is not read as a standalone section. The emphasis of this manifesto is about making opportunity more freely available to South Africans and this must include women, especially in poor households. Evidence shows women need access, not only to jobs, but to leadership positions too in order to break the cycle of abuse as they empower their whole family, and extended family.
Until we are all safe, regardless of gender or age, we will not be able to build a united One South Africa for All. Young South Africans should be taught to not tolerate abuse and violence, and ensure men and women are treated equally in all contexts. Much can be done to prevent, combat and eradicate gender- based violence.
A DA government will ensure compliance and improve reporting of gender-based violence by:
- Ensuring police report all cases of domestic abuse and comply with processes and procedures with cases of ongoing domestic abuse of women, children and the elderly, and making it illegal not to do so. No victim should approach the police and be turned away.
- Ensuring 100% of police stations comply with existing and new laws, and regulations that favour protection, fairness and empathetic care for survivors and reporters of domestic abuse, assault, and rape. We will ensure all police stations accurately report on all cases especially those which pose a risk of becoming cases of assault, rape or murder.
- Implement an electronic tracking system for domestic violence complaints to enable the tracking of perpetrators and victims across police station boundaries.
- Ensuring police serve protection orders within one month and comply with current and new legislation and regulations for police stations in terms of resources and training to combat abuse.
- Ensure that SAPS and Stats SA work together on improving data collection and reporting so that evidence-based decision making is possible to promote fair allocation of resources to areas most affected by these heinous crimes.
- Establishing of a Femicide Watch, which would release a report every year, detailing the number of gender-related killings per year, desegregated by the age and sex of the perpetrators, as well as the relationship between perpetrator and victim.
A DA government will make sure that the laws of our country and its institutions keep pace with the challenges and demands posed by gender-based and child violence in order to improve conviction rates and reporting by:
- Establishing the National Council on Gender-Based Violence with representation from government, the private sector and civil society, and ensuring that the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill is implemented within a coherent policy framework that involves social development and the criminal justice system.
- Scrapping the ineffective and toothless Ministry for Women under the Presidency and diverting its funding to the Commission for Gender Equality and the newly established National Council on Gender-Based Violence.
- Enacting the effective implementation of section 66 of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act (SORMA).
- Stringently vetting those registering for firearms and ensuring they have not been previously convicted of criminal activity, domestic abuse, assault or have protection orders instituted against them or be registered as a sex offender.
Improving public policing, investigation and prosecution to prevent crime from happening and increasing convictions when it does by:
- Implementing an urban crime prevention strategy that involves the training and development of police and community patrols who prevent violent crime and the rape of women in public places.
- Expanding the number of sexual offences courts and increasing their capacity, and learning and development, regarding the treatment of victims and perpetrators.
- Fully resourcing and training the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit (SOCA) and the Task Team on LGBTI+ and Gender-Based Violence as well as Specialised Sex Crimes Prosecution.
- Training and developing detectives, and SAPS and metro police special task teams to specifically target serial rapists and acts of femicide.
- Ensuring the full-scale roll-out and correct use of efficient DNA testing and finger print scanning in all relevant cases.
Combat discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community and promote the community’s rights by:
- Creating safe and non-discriminative environments and ensuring government makes opportunities for dialogues on identities and sexuality.
- Providing LGBTIQ+ sensitisation training in government services, schools and communities.
- Enforce a more strident stance on corrective rape and LGBTIQ+ related hate crimes by viewing these as aggravating circumstances when considering sentencing.
- Promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Africa and around the world.
- Implementing specific education programmes to tackle bullying and harassment in schools as LGBTIQ+ youth are not adequately protected by anti-bullying initiatives.
- Ending the discriminatory treatment of LGBTIQ+ families in adoptions and protect LGBTIQ+ elders against discrimination.
We will stop gender-based violence by educating all South Africans through:
- Establishing a National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence (NSPGBV) to provide for better service delivery for victims of violence.
- Rolling out campaigns similar to the One Man Can campaign whereby travelling workshops can engage with men from different industries and socio-economic backgrounds to determine the causes of GBV and educate men on how to prevent GBV in South African homes and streets.
- Implementing Life Orientation classes at school which deal with issues surrounding gender-based violence and sexuality.
- Establishing an e-learning My Life My Choice campaign which will be aimed at empowering young South African learners with a deeper understanding of bodily rights, privacy and the role of their school, community and police in addressing gender-based violence, sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence.
We will ensure counselling and rehabilitation for all victims of abuse, kidnapping, trafficking and rape by:
- Building and supporting Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) and establishing more Khuseleka One Stop Centres and White Door Safety Houses to house abused mothers and children whilst they recover, recuperate and begin looking for work and family support.
- Increasing and improving the quality of victim rooms at police stations.
- Ensuring female officers take statements from female rape survivors, except in exceptional circumstances – female and male rape survivors should be afforded the choice of a male or female officer to report the case.
- Ensuring properly funded post-assault counselling at various serviced sites including police stations, extended-hour clinics and hospitals.
- Increasing funding for rape-related NGOs that provide various forms of support for rape survivors.
- Improving the roll-out of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and improve the general treatment of rape survivors at extended-hour clinics and hospitals.
- Implementing the Victim Empowerment Support Services Bill.
The DA will combat the sexual assault and murder of sex workers by:
- Exploring possible legal models around sex work and adopting an alternative legal framework that will reduce exploitation, abuse and rape of young women and men.
- Creating close relations between them, and the criminal justice system and civil society organisations that represent sex workers and their clients, to understand and apply the rights of sex workers.
- Test and Treat programmes will be rolled-out to all willing sex workers to prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS and other STIs by testing and then treating all sex workers.
- Training police officers, social workers, prosecutors and counsellors to treat sex workers well when these workers report crimes against them by ensuring a single e-learning course on addressing the needs of sex workers is undertaken by all the stakeholders involved.
Creating the Capable State
The state in South Africa serves ANC factional interests and not the hopes, needs and aspirations of citizens. Through fundamental mismanagement the state has become bloated, inefficient and corrupt. In addition, our hard-won constitutional freedoms, which are the bedrock of our democracy, have never been under more threat. The DA in national government will strengthen accountability, transparency and the rule of law as well as the supremacy of the Constitution. We will build a lean, efficient and capable state that will be resilient enough to respond to internal and external shocks, root out corruption, secure our borders, ensure the safety and security of all citizens, protect our environment, defend our national interests, and ensure that we are a responsible actor in foreign affairs.
Our plan for creating the capable state contains the following core elements:
- Building resilience.
- Protecting and promoting justice and constitutionalism.
- Eliminating corruption and State Capture.
- Ensuring all South Africans are safe and secure.
- Immigration: securing our borders.
- Streamlining government and maximising delivery.
- Foreign policy: balancing national interest with a rights-based agenda.
- Preserving the environment.
- Building a modern defence force for the 21st century.
Resilience can be defined as the ability of a place, such as a country, to respond to shocks and stresses. Shocks are short-term crises or emergencies that may have far-ranging effects, such as a devastating fire or flood, while stresses are longer-term pressures such as the lingering effects of a drought or the weakness of social systems to deal with the needs of citizens. Building resilience means building a more durable system that can not only anticipate these shocks and stresses but work to resolve and improve them, and respond tenaciously when they occur to ensure that the country continues to thrive and emerge stronger because of the experience.
This manifesto deals elsewhere with specific types of responses to a variety of stresses and shocks. This section seeks to address the construction of broader institutional responses to generic shocks and stresses as part of building a capable state.
As a point of departure, a DA government would focus on the resilience threats of energy and water security, economic competitiveness, crime, and cyber-security.
To improve our country’s response to stressors and shocks, a DA national government will:
- Create a ring-fenced ‘resilience fund’ to finance emergencies which occur during the financial year, but which have not been budgeted for.
- Build a joint resilience command in the Presidency to coordinate a unified command to respond to any manner of shocks which may arise. While there is theoretically in existence a joint-operational command, this lacks the specialised skill needed for the effective immediacy of response and direction that an emergency demands. This requires a full-time unified command that has the delegated authority to assess national risks and the powers to direct coordinating agencies and departments accordingly. It is not helpful, when responding to a near-provincial fire such as those experienced in the Western Cape recently, to wonder whether the emergency response team has authority over the military and infrastructure departments in responding.
- Conduct an annual risk assessment to interrogate system risks and weaknesses in the system, and design effective responses to them. Further, this assessment could inform the budget process. Its key operating determinants would be the identification of long-term risks and the factoring-in of building flexibility and redundancy in catering for such stresses while seeking to ameliorate the most critical system weaknesses.
- Implement an annual barometer of performance as part of this resilience assessment, with performance assessments of how well agencies and departments responded to the previous year’s directions. A failure of performance would trigger a special set of parliamentary hearings to understand why the relevant department had failed to meet its objectives or initiate plans to deal with the level of risk identified.
Protecting and Promoting Justice and Constitutionalism
The DA is deeply committed to creating a just society. A just society is a fair society. Fairness is one of the core values that informs everything we stand for. The DA believes that for South Africa to be a fair society, the law must be applied to everyone in a consistent, fair, and impartial manner. For this, we need an independent justice system.
A truly independent justice system means “no fear, no favour”.
The DA believes that nobody should ever be above the law. For too long, South Africans have had to stand by and watch as the politically connected and the wealthy operate in a consequence-free world.
The DA also believes that nobody must ever be beyond the protection that our Constitution and laws offer. In a fair society, with an independent justice system showing no fear and no favour, justice should long since have been forthcoming for the victims of Marikana and Esidimeni, amongst many other tragedies.
In order to reform our justice system, the DA believes in following a whole-system approach. Reform needs to start at the first point of call – whether that be at the police station or local magistrate’s court – and address all of the institutions and processes along the way until arriving at the eventual just conclusion.
New Corruption Unit
The officers investigating crimes have to be fearless and incorruptible. The institutions they serve must also be free of undue influence or control from government or politicians. In addition to the measures aimed at countering corruption, the DA will also, in line with the Glenister Judgements, establish a new unit to replace the Hawks with the requisite specialisation, training, independence, resources and security of tenure as demanded by the Constitutional Court. The structure of this new unit should be based on the erstwhile Office for Serious Economic Offences, with cognisance of the Serious Fraud Office in the UK and the Singapore model. The unit should comprise of investigatory arm, staffed and led by SAPS members and a prosecutorial arm, staffed and led by specialist NPA members. The reporting lines for the head of each arm should be to the police commissioner and the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), respectively. The unit as a whole should be answerable, through the NDPP, to Parliament.
The current Specialised Commercial Crime Unit within the NPA could very easily be tweaked to accommodate such a structure. It already has some prosecutorial expertise in this specialised field. It already co-operates with the Commercial Branch of the SAPS in the investigation of this genre of cases. Additionally, until such a time as the requisite specialisation is achieved, forensic consultancy services could be procured by the unit to expedite priority cases.
The new unit should, as far as is possible, have an independent budgetary process and be removed from executive control.
A just society has to be built on the solid foundation of a professional police force with investigators that are absolute expert in their respective fields. For more detail on how a DA national government would professionalise policing, see the Safety section of this manifesto. Below are some key interventions in terms of policing which will further the ends of justice.
A DA national government would:
- Restore the SAPS as employers of first choice for highly experienced or skilled specialist investigators and retain promising recruits by:
- providing police officers with the means and the opportunity to further their studies or to undergo advanced training through initiatives like comprehensive bursary schemes, mentorship programmes, adequate study leave, and further education and training opportunities; and
- ensuring adequate recognition of skills and experience when determining compensation of officers or deciding upon appointments and promotions.
The last decade has seen several captured NPA heads come and go. Each of them did their bit to prevent anybody in the ANC from being charged for the lengthily list of crimes, including selling off our country, bit by bit, to the highest bidder.
The DA will ensure that constitutional amendments are put forward which remove the President’s power to be the sole decision maker in the process of hiring and firing an NDPP by:
- Requiring that a new NDPP be appointed by a resolution of Parliament that is arrived at after a thorough and intense vetting, interviewing and debating process.
- Allowing for the removal of an NDPP by a resolution of Parliament passed with a two thirds majority, only on the grounds of misconduct, incompetence or incapacity, so that no NDPP ever again has to serve only so long as it pleases the president.
A DA national government will further:
- Provide for a Victim’s Right of Review (VRR) that would allow the victims of crime to challenge decisions to stop prosecutions or not charge suspects.
- Subject prosecutors to annual performance assessments aimed at improving conviction rates and ensuring impartiality.
- Ensure that there are more prosecutors and magistrates working a set number of hours with the aim of speeding up the resolution of cases, decluttering court rolls and eradicating backlogs by implementing a mandatory minimum amount of court hours per prosecutor/magistrate.
Balancing the scales of justice
The DA believes that in order for a justice system to function effectively, everybody should have access to quality legal assistance. Those accused of a crime must be able to put forward their best possible defence, while in civil matters the ordinary man should never find that he is out-litigated by those with far deeper pockets.
To this end, a DA national government will:
- Strengthen the resources of Legal Aid South Africa to provide litigation support to poor South Africans including exploring incentive packages to attract the best and brightest in the legal field to work for Legal Aid.
- Make litigation in the Small Claims Court mandatory for claims that fall within its jurisdiction and impose heavy cost penalties on parties that choose to litigate in higher courts where a lower court has jurisdiction.
- Ensure that every South African is able to access justice in the language he or she is most comfortable litigating in. This would involve ensuring that a pool of excellent court interpreters and intermediaries is maintained, and providing them with continuous training and professional support to improve their skills and help them balance their workload.
- Continue to support the speedy roll-out of specialised courts, including courts for sexual offences, child justice, and domestic violence.
Over a decade ago, the DA took the decision to engage in strategic litigation to establish a body of legal precedent establishing the meaning of certain constitutional and legislative provisions. Since then, the DA has had enormous success utilising the resources provided by the law to hold government to account.
The DA cares about establishing a government that is serious about being transparent and accountable. To this end a DA national government would:
- Continue to support measures to strengthen institutional independence of the judiciary.
- Ensure the independence of Chapter 9 institutions particularly by taking steps to strengthen their financial and administrative independence.
- Improve accountability by:
- extending our current performance monitoring system to cabinet members and senior ministerial staff, and make the results publicly available; and
- increasing the resources available to the public protector.
Eliminating Corruption and State Capture
The ANC has no genuine intention of fighting corruption. It is not a political party, it is a patronage system or sophisticated racketeering syndicate. This system has enriched cronies at the top of the party at the expense of millions of South Africans who continue to live in abject poverty.
A well-documented State Capture project has been undertaken by the Guptas, the Zuma family, numerous ministers and government officials, SOE executives and Gupta-linked lieutenants. It has hollowed out our SOEs and destroyed corporate governance. Billions of Rands have been looted from these entities through a shadow network of procurement irregularities, BEE fronting, inflated contract prices, middleman service fees and kickbacks.
Recent evidence now shows that the Gupta family were not the only ones taking advantage of the ANC’s willingness to put themselves and their government up for sale – there are others that were equally eager to take up the ANC on their offer. Non-state actors other than the Guptas had been controlling the levers of government in the past few years. The recent revelations concerning the cosy relationship between Bosasa and very senior public office bearers – including President Ramaphosa and his son – shows that the problem of State Capture did not begin or end with Zuma and the Guptas. It is part and parcel of the culture of the failing ANC government.
The ANC government is not capable of fighting corruption because it is rotten to its core. What is needed is a party that has a solid record of fighting corruption, being accountable, transparent and clean where it governs.
The DA is the only party that can offer South Africans a corruption-free future.
Under a DA national government anybody found guilty of corruption, where either of the parties to the corrupt relationship was a government official or public office bearer and where public money in excess of R10 000 was involved, will be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The DA national government will:
- Introduce a minimum sentence of fifteen years for anybody found guilty of corruption in a case where either of the parties were a government official or public office bearer, and where public money in excess of R10 000 was used. This would mean an automatic fifteen-year prison sentence unless sufficient evidence is placed before the court that there are grounds for a shorter sentence.
- Ensure the payment of all public money is done in a transparent fashion by:
- placing key information about tender processes – such as bid specifications, names of companies submitting tenders, names of selection panel members, scores given by the selection panel and so forth – online;
- digitising government records and declaring certain classes of documents automatically publicly available online, particularly documents relating to supply chain management; and
- requiring government departments to publish monthly financial reports detailing, amongst other things, contracts entered into and tenders awarded.
- Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable.
- Implementing lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials above a certain level, or suspected of fraud and/or corruption, as well as doing annual lifestyle audits for government officials selected randomly, by a similar process as that through which SARS identifies taxpayers for auditing.
- Ensuring that officials found guilty of financial misconduct or mismanagement are placed on a register that disbars them from working in procurement of supply chain management.
- Protecting and encouraging ‘whistle-blowers’ who identify and report corrupt activities by implementing measures such as:
- introducing penalties or offences for revealing the identity of a whistle-blower or for the content of their submission, where relevant; and
- automatic threat assessments conducted whenever whistle-blowers come forward, to determine if any protective measures (including extremes such as witness protection) should be taken in order to ensure the safety of the whistle-blower.
State Capture has destroyed SOE credibility in the market along with reducing the sovereign and SOE ratings. Corporate governance and the financial stability of the SOEs has also been severely affected.
Swift action is needed to charge and prosecute all those implicated in this network which has been raised in the inquiries on numerous occasions.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Building trust in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
In 2018, the then DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality was the only city in the country that managed to improve its score on the South African Customer Satisfaction Index, increasing from 59% to almost 62%. This makes it the second most trusted city government in South Africa after the City of Cape Town, another DA-led municipality.
Fighting corruption in the City of Johannesburg
To address corruption, the mayor created an enhanced forensic internal investigation unit.
The number of cases received by the Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) for the financial year 16/17 amounted to 1920 and, for 17/18 amounted to 3415. These cases related to fraud and corruption, theft of city assets and maladministration, as well as hijacked properties. To date, the total value of investigations amounts to R23.6 billion.
During the 2017/18 financial year, of the 3415 cases reported 2455 were investigated resulting in 92 criminal cases being registered, 362 arrests, 15 suspensions and 27 dismissals; bid adjudication processes are now held in rooms open to the public and the media; and our government initiated a skills audit to ensure that every manager in the City is in their position because of what they know, instead of who they know.
Our DA-led government audited the housing list, with the final number coming to 152 000, and made that list available to the public for transparency, while detailing over 3000 housing units that required work to enable people to take occupation.
And 25 hijacked properties have been returned to their owners.
City of Tshwane and GladAfrica: Fighting against the odds for transparent, accountable government
The City of Tshwane procured project and contract management consultation services from a company called GladAfrica using Municipal Supply Chain Management (SCM) regulation 32 in 2017. The mayor was first made aware that a service provider, or service providers (unnamed at the time), had been appointed to assist the City’s Project Management Unit in November 2017. The three-year tender was supposed to help with the roll-out of infrastructure projects valued at up R12 billion.
In March 2018, the mayor, after receiving accounts from whistle-blowers, asked his legal adviser to investigate how the tender was awarded. By the time these allegations also surfaced in the Sunday
Times in August 2018, the mayor had already issued the city manager with a set of detailed questions, as part of his investigation, about the procurement process and the legal and financial risks posed by the contract.
When it became apparent that there was sufficient reason to believe that something had been irregular in the awarding of the tender, the mayor then brought the issue to Council asking for a forensic investigation into the matter. He also asked for a precautionary suspension of the city manager to prevent him from interfering in the investigation. The investigation was approved, the law firm, Bowmans, was appointed but the ANC and EFF worked together to prevent the precautionary suspension.
When Bowman’s finished their preliminary report at the end of 2018, the city manager approached the Labour Court to prevent it from being tabled in Council. At the same time, the mayor again approached Council to call for the suspension of the city manager for violating the Code of Conduct of Municipal Staff. The ANC and EFF again protected the city manager by refusing to suspend him. The ANC and EFF caucuses also worked together and passed a resolution to prevent the independent Bowmans investigation from continuing.
In the mean-time the auditor general had also been investigating the GladAfrica contract. Their investigations confirmed that the awarding of the tender was indeed irregular. The main points the auditor general noted were that the conclusion of the contract is in violation of the Constitution, the Public Audit Act and numerous other pieces of legislation. The report further noted that it is highly irregular that the city manager was the initiator, evaluator and approver of the GladAfrica contract.
Despite the attempts by the ANC and EFF to block the mayor from carrying out his oversight duties the GladAfrica contract has now officially been taken on review. The mayor took the matter to the Mayoral Committee who agreed that there is more than sufficient evidence to have the contract reviewed. This shows that the DA in government will always work tirelessly to make sure government is accountable and no corruption or irregular activity is allowed to go unchecked, even against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Ensuring All South Africans are Safe and Secure
Crime continues to plague all communities in South Africa. Almost every South African has been impacted by serious or violent crime, whether directly or through a family member or friend who has been a victim. And while the impact of crime is almost universal it goes without saying that there remain many crime hotspots in our country, mostly in rural and informal areas, where the risk of being a victim of crime is particularly heightened. This is often because of South African Police Service (SAPS) under-resourcing of these areas.
The fact is that violent and organised crime, including gangsterism and crimes related to drugs, continue to worsen and are strong contributing factors to the epidemic of murder which has long reached crisis point. Sadly, the SAPS has been losing the fight. At the same time that crime is rising the SAPS is increasingly riddled with corruption and maladministration.
We recognise that the SAPS itself is in crisis, facing chronic under-training, under-staffing, under- resourcing and under-equipping (what we can refer to as the ‘Four Us’), combined with crime intelligence-in-crisis and detectives-in-distress. These issues combined mean that the SAPS is unable to tackle the range of crime, from organised crime and syndicates through to petty crime perpetrated by individual criminals. Across all crimes the SAPS lack a strong, skilled investigative capacity to ensure high detection and conviction rates.
We know that we cannot rely on the ANC to fix the problems which have only gotten worse according to the yearly crime statistics. Unfortunately, when it comes to fighting crime the ANC has done little but offer empty promises for years.
The DA is committed to seeing violent crime rooted out in each and every community. We stand with every person who has been targeted by crime.
Every life lost because of crime is a national tragedy and is one life too many.
The DA will make South Africa a safer place for all our people. We are committed to building a united, safe South Africa for all who call this country home and we are determined to ensure that crime hot spots, which have been forgotten by the ANC government, are turned into safe and thriving communities.
Only a DA government has the political will to fix the fundamentals in the police force to truly tackle crime for the benefit of all the people of this country. We will overhaul the SAPS to create an honest and professional organisation that actually serves and protects South Africans.
A DA national government will:
- Allow provinces, that can prove that they are up to the task, to take on responsibility for policing in that province.
Carry out a complete overhaul of SAPS which addresses the Four Us by:
- Retraining police officers to serve and protect with pride by increasing the time and intensity of police training, ensuring ongoing investigative and firearm training, and ensuring counselling is available for all officers and detectives.
- Ensuring high crime areas (in both rural and urban areas) are prioritised in terms of police resourcing and equipment and that police have the right firearms, vehicles and other equipment or tools needed to prevent and combat crime.
- Making sure all police stations are secure, safe and accessible for all citizens, police officers and SAPS staff, with empathetic and efficient service at all police stations.
- Working to train and develop police officers, increase the number of specialist officers and detectives, and improve service at police stations, and for all community policing forums.
- Move procurement of goods and services to provincial level, with strict financial control measures in place to prevent corruption, in order to allow faster turn-around times and greater flexibility in the selection of suppliers. This will ensure police can get the resources they need quicker and grow local economies.
- Increasing the budget available to crucial policing functions by dramatically decreasing the amount allocated to VIP protection.
- Providing funding to CPFs on the basis of pre-determined action plans allowing them to implement community projects.
- Fighting for the right of legal, responsible gun ownership while taking a zero-tolerance approach to illegal gun possession, ensuring these are removed from the hands of criminals.
- Exploring public-private partnerships to staff Victim Empowerment Centres with properly trained trauma debriefing counsellors who themselves are properly monitored and debriefed.
- Devolving part of the policing budget to police station level to address specific needs and bring in line with the move to devolve the competency, where appropriate on a provincial level.
- Providing funding to CPF’s on the basis of pre-determined action plans allowing them to implement community projects.
Ensure that our police force is professional, honest and serves our country by:
- Fighting corruption within the police by implementing mandatory lifestyle audits for senior police management and spot check, or as-needed, lifestyle audits for police officers seemingly living above their means.
- Only hiring people with a passion for policing and ensuring new recruits undergo extensive training.
- Implementing a new promotions policy to make sure that the best and most dedicated policemen are promoted, not political cadres.
- Replicating the DA-led Western Cape’s model of an office of Police Ombud which can independently investigate complaints of poor police service and act as an important bridge between the police and community, in the case of a breakdown of relationships.
- Increasing the mental health support for SAPS members.
- Creating specialised anti-crime units and officer-level positions aimed at eradicating organised crime, sexual offences, missing persons and promoting rural safety (among other specialities). This will be part of a drive to create specialised and professional streams of work within the police force so that we have officers who are dedicated solely to single issue areas of crime.
- Instituting an effective and semi-independent drug-busting force within the SAPS which can target gangs and drug-related crimes. This force will be deployed to those communities who currently live in gang and drug ‘war zones’ to provide communities with protection and to root out and arrest the criminals responsible.
- Allocating a ring-fenced budget to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), separate from the control of the police minister, to be used for the investigation of high-priority and politically sensitive crimes. IPID could not finish their investigations at Scene 2 at Marikana because of lack of funds and this is a miscarriage of justice which should never be repeated.
The DA will make sure that SAPS works with communities and other law-enforcement agencies to reach maximum effectiveness by:
- Ensuring that there is an active and well-supported community police forum along with neighbourhood watch patrols and ‘walking buses’ for school children walking home.
- Ensuring that police officers and detectives work closely with communities, Metro Police and private security, to prevent and stop criminal activity and organised crime.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Safety in our Local B municipalities
Drakenstein Municipality: Drakenstein Smart Safety Network
In the 2018/2019 financial year the Municipality started implementing the first phase of the Drakenstein Smart Safety Network (DSSN). The DSSN is a partnership project between the Municipality and
the Western Cape Provincial Department of Community Safety, the SAPS, community-based safety organisations (neighbourhood and farm watches) and the private sector (security companies). The Municipality launched the control room for the DSSN in 2018 and it is housed in the Drakenstein Fire Station. The DSSN provides a platform for municipal law enforcement, the SAPS, neighbourhood and farm watches and private security companies to work together and share information on safety and security incidents, and threats in real time.
Breede Valley Municipality: CCTV and control room
Breede Valley Municipality has joined forces with the Worcester Business Improvement District (WBID) to install CCTV cameras in the Worcester central business district. The CCTV cameras have been installed as a deterrent against crime and criminal activity. The control room is manned 24-hours a day by a private security company which alerts the police and other patrol vehicles in the event that any incidents of crime are seen on the monitors.
Stellenbosch Municipality: Stellenbosch Safety Initiative
The Stellenbosch Safety Initiative (SSI) is a partnership between the SAPS, the Stellenbosch Municipality (law enforcement, Stellenbosch traffic and the fire brigade), the University of Stellenbosch (campus security) and private security companies. The initiative was created in 2014 to support the local SAPS in the fight against crime by employing young people to increase patrolling and promote proactive crime prevention. The SSI established a centralised radio communication network that links all the partners in the SSI network – such as the Stellenbosch Watch, private security companies, neighbourhood watches and local law enforcement – to enable the fast flow of information and speed up response times.
Knysna Municipality: Walking Bus
In October 2016, the Municipality launched its walking bus initiative where school children are accompanied by parents and other adults/volunteers in the area. The children are accompanied on their journey to and from school every day to ensure that they get to and from school safely.
The DA recognises that the safety and security of rural communities has been severely compromised under ANC rule. Rural areas are not only inhabited by farmers, but comprise farm workers, traditional communities and individuals living in isolated hamlets and settlements. The DA acknowledges that every person in South Africa is entitled to a safe and secure environment, regardless of where they live. It has become obvious that current policing strategies for rural areas are failing some of the most isolated and vulnerable communities in the country. To halt the scourge of crime in rural areas, a DA-led government will:
- Establish rural policing units staffed by specially trained and equipped members of the SAPS that will fulfil a rapid response function as well as liaise and coordinate with other specialist units in the SAPS.
- Tackle rural crime through a variety of policing interventions, carried out by the specialised units, including:
- undercover operations;
- road blocks and observation posts;
- search and seizure operations (targeting among other crimes, stock theft); and
- rapid response capability to respond to violent attacks.
- Establish specific rural policing sectors in such a manner as to ensure that such sectors exist for the entirety of rural South Africa.
- Establish rural community policing units for every police station that serves at least one rural district.
- Allow members of rural communities to join a local rural community policing unit as special rural reservists.
- Provide for several categories of rural reservists, each with special admission requirements, to ensure that all who wish to contribute to the safety of their community will be allowed to do so in accordance to their own ability.
- Attend to the establishment of an extensive citizen band radio network by subsidising mobile and fixed radio sets that will connect community members, rural community policing units and local police stations.
- Require that the SAPS actively and constantly educate rural communities on the best safety practices in their area.
- Integrate existing community policing forums into the rural community policing model to ensure the optimal execution of a unified rural policing strategy.
- Establish a drone capacity for the active and reactive policing of rural areas.
- Establish dedicated provincial rural safety directorates that will draft, implement and monitor province-specific rural safety strategies.
- Establish a rural crime intelligence division to keep separate statistics on rural crime categories, like stock theft, and establish a well-integrated crime intelligence network in rural areas.
The proposed new rural safety model will focus on combatting and preventing all crime in rural communities. Notwithstanding this, the DA recognises that there are certain crimes that place a heavy burden on the livelihoods of farmers specifically. Whether they are commercial, small-scale or subsistence farmers, these issues are universal.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Giving Nelson Mandela Bay its own metro police
The DA brought a metropolitan police service to Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time. While the City’s Metro Police system was established in 2012, it still had only one employee – the police chief who was being paid over R1 million a year. For four years – from 2012 through 2016 – not one officer was appointed, not one vehicle was procured, and not one arrest was made. When the DA administration came to office it had initiated the force within months. The Service started off with 119 members and two satellite offices in the City’s most crime affected northern areas. We also deployed ShotSpotter technology in Helenvale, reducing the number of gun shots in this area by 90% in the first 90 days and proving pivotal in gang-activity related arrests.
Safety in the City of Cape Town
The future economic success of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town depends heavily on a stable and sustainable rail network, and that begins with enhanced safety. So, in response to the appalling conditions rail commuters were being subjected to, the City through an intergovernmental partnership with the Western Cape Provincial Government, signed a memorandum with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to jointly fund a specialised Rail Enforcement Unit (REU).
The unit provides an additional 100 law enforcement officers to the existing security personnel in meeting Metrorail’s security challenges. These include sustained attacks on rail infrastructure and rolling stock assets, the sabotage of the urban rail network, and criminals targeting commuters and rail employees. In just two months, the REU had already made successful steps in ensuring the security of commuters, including:
- 36 arrests on a range of charges including assault, possession of drugs and stolen property, malicious damage to property, and theft;
- the confiscation of 379.5 metres of cable and 800kg’s of railway signal cable;
- the confiscation of contraband and suspected stolen goods that include 21 cell phones, two laptops, drugs, and alcohol;
- the issuing of 67 Section 56 notices, with the assailants to appear in court.
- the issuing of 97 Section 341 notices; and
- a total of 332 inspections of crime hotspots and scrapyards.
The City has also embraced smarter ways of crime solving through ShotSpotter technology which helps the City convict criminals. This is a cutting-edge technological service that is able to detect gunfire and identify the exact location in crime-ridden spots across the City. Cooperation between the City and SAPS has led to convictions of up to 12 months.
New budget allocation
In addition to this, the City has committed an additional R165 million in funding for Safety and Security through the 2018/19 adjustment budget. This money will increase the visible police presence in crime- vulnerable communities and supplement the investment in fire stations.
Immigration: Securing Our Borders
The ANC government is incapable of upholding law and order in our country. One of the areas where this is most visible is the complete lack of security and lawful migration at our borders. Another is the state of the Department of Home Affairs which is riddled with corruption and disorganisation and has caused an immigration system failure, followed by violence and tragedy.
This state of affairs is not what we were promised, and it is not what our residents, South African and foreign alike, deserve.
Currently, South Africa hosts an unknown number of undocumented migrants; our country has a massive service delivery backlog.; and thousands of communities still live without adequate access to even basic services. Undocumented migration poses two challenges in relation to this. Firstly, it is impossible for any government to adequately plan service delivery for an unknown number of community members. Secondly, state resources have to stretch further which can breed resentment among South Africans who have been deprived for a very long time. It is the latter reality which can create significant tensions in communities, especially when the issue of scarce state resources is exponentially compounded by ANC government corruption and maladministration which has failed to deliver services nearly 25 years after democracy.
More worryingly, those who are seeking legitimate asylum in our country are largely unprotected by the ANC government, with countless examples of the gross exploitation of refugees and asylum seekers by Home Affairs officials who seek bribes. It is disgusting that those who need and deserve our protection are revictimized by a system that should be protecting them.
The lack of security at our borders also leads to significant cross-border crime with syndicates (which include both South African- and foreign-run syndicates) trafficking drugs; stolen goods; and, most concerningly, people (including women and children vulnerable to being exploited in various ways, including sex-trafficking).
Issues around undocumented migration have led to severe instances of violence and xenophobia in South Africa. The DA is the only party which is willing to tackle the challenge head on and provide leadership on this difficult and indeed emotive issue.
We believe that the only way to create cohesive and united communities, in the spirit of One South Africa for All, is to make sure that migration occurs legally. We believe that the knowledge that borders are properly policed and that Home Affairs is organised and corruption-free will go a long way to improving the relationships between foreign residents and their South African counterparts in all our communities – indeed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has stated that one of the most important ways to create social cohesion and deal with xenophobia is to improve law and order, and the perception that government is in control of orderly migration .
It must be emphatically stated that the DA by no means believes that migration into South Africa is a bad thing. Far from that, South Africa desperately needs skills and is, and should continue to be, a cosmopolitan country with residents from across the globe and the African continent. But this migration must happen in a legal manner.
We need leadership and change capable of dealing with these challenges that restores law and order and ensures that migration and border control in South Africa occurs in a legal and ordered manner.
Only the DA can fix the rot at Home Affairs by eliminating corruption, inefficiency, poor leadership and policy uncertainty. We will offer more care for asylum seekers and refugees, and assist them with empathetic and well-trained officials, staff and immigration supervisors from Home Affairs, along with police officers who know how to treat undocumented immigrants fairly and according to the law.
Skilled immigrants, traders and business people will be welcome in our country – we will attract highly skilled immigrants and those with low-level scarce skills to fill our skills gaps and allow them to work, teach, trade, build businesses and create jobs. We will ensure that border management results in a significant reduction in cross-border crime by working with neighbouring states.
Our immigration policy will seek to enhance, and not hamper, economic integration and social unity in Africa. Our migration policy will be based upon preventing irregular migration and incentivising regular migration to grow our economy, the region and Africa as a whole.
When in government the DA will root out corruption and professionalise Home Affairs by:
- Implementing a programme at Home Affairs to audit and properly record, and where appropriate, regularise all undocumented foreign nationals already in the country.
- Implementing a programme at Home Affairs to make legal entry and residence easier for skilled immigrants and businesses from all countries, especially from within Africa. The process will be simple and transparent, leaving no room for corruption.
- Building a more capable migration governance that helps South Africans to travel and do business, and assists those wanting to live, work and trade in South Africa legally.
A DA national government will meaningfully extend rights to all who live in our country and those who visit, as well as enforce our laws by:
- Fostering sustainable solutions for those foreign nationals who currently live in the country undocumented, especially parentless children and those who have a record of contributing to our society.
- Fairly, efficiently and legally deporting those who have entered the country’s borders, harbours and airports illegally (particularly repeat offenders and those convicted of criminal offences) and returning them safely to their home countries.
- Actively assisting, supporting and caring for asylum seekers, and protecting and hosting refugees and those who have been trafficked, smuggled or abused within or across our borders.
- Ensuring that traders who enter the country to do business and receive supplies are regularised and/or receive specialised trading permits to ensure continued business in both ‘country of origin’ and ‘country of business’.
- Rolling out a programme of action to educate all our communities about the benefits of integration and social cohesion with those from other countries, and about the measures being taken to ensure that all migration occurs legally and that borders are being properly policed to exhibit that the rule of law is being restored.
A DA national government will improve border management and control by:
- Reviewing the number and size of border posts and their management to increase the number of points of legal entry and exit. The increased number of border posts with heightened policing will also serve to prevent criminal activity, illicit trade, poaching and stock theft, and enable and improve the efficiency of ongoing inter-border and transregional trade and investment to build businesses and create jobs.
- Ensuring effective, efficient and coordinated border security and border control through increased policing capacity at our border posts and along our borders.
- Increasing the 15 SANDF companies protecting South Africa’s borders to the required 22 companies, and ensure that they are properly resourced and trained.
- Making use of crime intelligence and combatting all forms of crime and corruption, irrespective of whether it is committed by foreign nationals or South Africans, to prevent bribery and corruption by Home Affairs, SAPS and SARS officials or staff.
- Decisively dealing with the poor border management and weak implementation of migration policy through the use of research and data from a well-capacitated Stats SA.
The DA is committed to enhancing global mobility into South Africa and will ensure that we prioritise the following in government:
- Ensure the ability to apply online and receive an e-Visa before travel.
- Enable the extension and change from a tourist visa to another visa status while remaining in the country, if you meet the requisite criteria.
- Make it easier for families with children to visit South Africa as tourists.
- Overhaul and modernise Home Affairs.
- Attract critical skills through immigration, considering that many South African professionals have moved abroad to pursue more favourable labour market conditions. A DA national government resolves to run a campaign to encourage all South Africans living abroad to return home and contribute to the new South Africa under a DA government.
- Amend Section 6(1) (a) of the South African Citizenship Act (88 of 1995) to ensure that no South Africans are being unlawfully stripped of their right to citizenship when voluntarily applying for citizenship of another country. The current legislation that results in the loss of citizenship is unconstitutional. The DA is already challenging this in court.
- Improve consular services for South Africans abroad – the minimum wait time for a passport and ID renewal or other Home Affairs documentation, such as birth certificates, is six months. This can have an impact on their access to work and healthcare and impacts greatly on those trying to return home at short notice to care for ill or dying loved ones.
This election is about your future. Use your vote to ensure a strong DA because only the DA can secure our borders, enforce the rule of law, protect the rights of all those who live in our country, ensure that trade continues to grow and create jobs, and build an efficient and capable Home Affairs.
Streamlining Government and Maximising Delivery
The DA believes that governance and government in South Africa can be better. We believe government can be more responsive to the needs of the people, we believe it can be more transparent and accountable to those it serves, and we believe that is can be more efficient in delivering services.
We believe that government can do more to create an enabling environment for growth and development.
However, for this to happen we must radically rethink the shape and function of government, from the top down. An essential first step in this process is reconfiguring government to create a nimble, cost- effective Executive designed to maximise service delivery and tackle head-on South Africa’s primary challenges: unemployment and poverty.
The unrestrained growth in the size of the Executive has delivered little benefit, if any, to South Africans as the huge increase in ministers and deputy ministers has not improved the performance of government. Rather, ministerial posts and all the accompanying benefits have been used primarily for patronage and rewarding political loyalty. Indeed, approximately one in four ANC MPs are now also members of the Executive!
The DA has a plan to reduce the size of government to only 15 ministries, saving nearly R5 billion a year without sacrificing any of the capacity needed to run government effectively.
It is important to recognise that reducing the number of ministries in South Africa does not mean that we do away with essential departments or government entities. Rather, it means that we do away with unnecessary ministries which, at least in principle, were created to exercise political oversight and leadership, but have failed to do so.
Our proposal will see 15 ministries carefully and purposefully designed to direct government spending towards the right mix of priorities, which will in turn lead to economic growth.
A DA national government will have the following 15 ministries:
1. Employment and Enterprise
2. Economic Infrastructure
4. Basic Education
5. Further Education, Skills and Innovation
6. Health and Social Development
7. Integrated Planning and Service Delivery
9. Local and Provincial Government
10. Home Affairs
11. Agriculture and Land Reform
12. Justice and Correctional Services
14. Foreign Affairs
Reducing the size of the Executive will not only reduce the unproductive spending in the public sector, along with the inexcusable spending on VIP protection, ministerial mansions and perks, it will dismantle the huge patronage network the ANC constructed and all its associated ills. The full details of how we would minimise cabinet can be found in our position paper: Maximising Service Delivery by Minimising Cabinet. To further maximise the gains from a leaner government we will implement a new stringent ministerial handbook which will cut the perks available to ministers to make sure that there is no room for the abuse of public resources.
A small, streamlined government will not only contain public spending, it will promote clean, accountable, efficient, responsive and citizen-oriented governance.
Another important aspect of streamlining government will be the review of the necessity of district municipalities. District municipalities have few competencies and require substantial funding relative to the services they provide. The DA national government will review the feasibility of doing away with district municipalities in a manner which will not compromise service delivery to the residents of local governments.
Foreign Policy: Balancing National Interest with a Rights-based Agenda
The Democratic Alliance believes in the principle of human rights-based foreign policy. In 1994 Nelson Mandela said that “human rights will be the light which guides our foreign policy”. Our core constitutional principles of equality, human dignity and respect for human rights will guide a DA government’s foreign policy and strategies.
We must also be cognisant of our country’s economic and security interests. These must always be given appropriate weight when considering foreign policy decisions.
We will seek to build the pillars of a just society everywhere – to promote democratic governments and states characterised by accountable institutions, independent judiciaries, free media and vibrant civil societies.
By doing so, South Africa will become a responsible and reliable/consistent international stakeholder and improve our standing in the world community. Such a position will allow us to use our moral weight far more effectively while also building strong diplomatic and trade ties.
Under DA leadership, the South African government will:
- Play a key role in conflict prevention and resolution efforts, peace-keeping, peace-building and post-conflict resolution and reconstruction (with the support and funding of multi-lateral institutions).
- Ensure the process of regional integration regains its momentum – particularly the regional economic programme of SADC which provides for policy coordination and convergence, sectorial cooperation and market integration which will enhance trade and create more jobs.
- Promote trade through BRICS on the basis of the potential for better trade access into and out of the member countries and strengthen and deepen our trade ties with our existing trade partners, such as the EU.
- Increase the amount of trade, investment and tourism attracted to our country through well-trained and professional staff and diplomats at all of our embassies located around the world.
- Support the United Nations and other important multilateral organisations, although we recognise the need for the reform of these bodies in their decision-making councils in order to both reflect the new power relationships in the world and to give emerging countries, particularly Africa, a greater voice.
- Continue to recognise the importance of multilateralism and a rules-based international system governed by international law which includes reiterating our commitment to the International Criminal Court.
Preserving the Environment
Protection of the environment goes beyond conservation and must include the maintenance of environmental quality. A healthy environment – most notably the availability of ample clean water, clean energy and clean air – is critical for creating One South Africa for All. A healthy environment is essential for citizens to seize opportunities to create sustainable livelihoods.
Our history of forced human migration, settlement and bloody conflict has left a legacy of disturbance. In many cases the most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens have been forced to live in the most degraded environments. Further, access to leisure opportunities, most notably in our protected areas and along our coastline, has been largely inaccessible to a significant portion of our population. The DA will thus pursue policies that break down barriers that deny South Africans the use and enjoyment of our environment. All South Africans must be able to experience and take pride in our unique history and environment.
Protection of the environment can and should go hand in hand with economic development which is sustainable. Opportunities for new jobs in the ‘green economy’ are numerous provided an enabling environment is created.
South Africa must prepare to respond to climate change, improve our resilience to environmental shocks and stressors and contribute to the global effort to reduce carbon outputs in order to make our country more resilient to climate change. If managed correctly, our response can create the opportunity for the development and introduction of new technologies, the stimulation of demand for new products, and the associated creation of new jobs.
Our response to climate change must be based on creating new opportunities for South Africans to benefit from reducing emissions, and must be based on fairness and openness with all the relevant stakeholders.
The DA supports the creation of a national registry of mitigation actions. The registry will allow government and stakeholders to have an overview of the contribution of actions toward reaching certain mitigation targets. This registry should form the basis for submission of mitigation actions to any registry maintained by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The DA would build a registry of mitigation actions focusing on a number of projects, programmes and policies, these would include:
- Energy efficiency: Mandatory energy efficiency labelling for appliances and machines; improved energy efficiency standards for buildings and additions to existing buildings.
- Sectoral targets: Establishment of mitigation targets in specific sectors in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
- Renewable energy: Up-scaling the installation of renewable energy projects around South Africa by creating an enabling environment for investment by independent power producers (see the DA energy policy for more information); and incentives for private households to install solar PV and solar water geysers.
- Transport: Improved public transport.
- Carbon capture and storage: Develop a comprehensive geological atlas that identifies appropriate areas for sequestration and introduce the required regulations and incentives to attract private sector investment and agriculture.
The DA would focus on building climate resilience through a number of projects, programmes and policies, these would include:
- Disaster management: Establishment of well-resourced disaster management centres around the country, improved early warning systems, and greater public awareness campaigns.
- Agriculture: Increased use of agriculture extension workers to help vulnerable communities to develop appropriate responses to farming under changing climatic conditions, as well as better planning for drought and other climate-related challenges.
- Planning: Improved planning and building regulations that, along with rigorous environmental authorisations, minimise the risks from extreme weather events.
- Coastal management: Establishment of coastal management lines to better guide development along coastal areas.
- Insurance: Engage with the private sector to develop new insurance products that protect particularly vulnerable communities from extreme weather events.
- Water: Increased investment and maintenance of water infrastructure, along with the augmentation of supply from new sources (see more below in the Water section).
- Indigenous knowledge: Not only relying on technical and engineering adaptation options but also recognising, assessing and appropriately implementing a wide range of adaptation options that ensure the incorporation of indigenous knowledge.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Kouga climate partnership
In 2017, the Municipality initiated a partnership with Ilsfeld to combat climate change. The German partner sent a delegation from Ilsfeld to Kouga municipality in January 2019 to meet with their South African counterparts and local stakeholders. The focus of the partnership is on renewable energy, waste management and water security.
Overberg District Municipality climate change response framework
In 2016, Overberg District Municipality developed a Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF) that is being used as a guiding document to give effect to the project of addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.
This CCRF is meant to give a strategic overview of climate change responses that is relevant for the Overberg Region; accordingly, not all the responses identified in this document will be implementable by the District and local municipalities alone. This document is therefore not only aimed at the District and local municipalities, but also at civil society – including the private sector and NGOs, as well as national and provincial government – and is intended to guide a wider Overberg climate change response informed by local knowledge.
The environment and energy demands
We need to take a long-term approach to energy planning. This should include gas. The exploitation of shale gas in South Africa, if it is to be pursued, is a long-term project. It cannot be rushed and needs to be informed by best-practice, stringent regulations, and continuous opportunities for public participation
Hydraulic fracturing and marine offshore seismic exploration must be subject to responsible and appropriate control measures in order to govern and regulate all actions and decisions. These measures should:
- Promote transparency about the use of chemicals in the process.
- Clearly outline the safety and other rules applying to companies participating in exploration and production.
- Specify how transgressions of the rules will be dealt with.
- Include sufficient consideration for the protection of environmental resources in all decisions with regard to hydraulic fracturing. An appropriate balance must be found between doing what is right for the environment and what is right for unemployed people who could benefit from fracking.
A DA national government would ensure that adequate measures are put in place to ensure that:
- Corruption is avoided and fracking does not become characterised by rent-seeking by the politically connected.
- Fracking is done in accordance with land-use planning by local and provincial authorities.
- Water exiting drill shafts is collected and cleaned so as not to pollute surface or ground water resources.
- Public infrastructure damaged by prospecting or extraction operations be repaired or paid for by the companies involved.
- There is public disclosure by companies of all contraventions of regulations and/or legislation.
- There are tough penalties for any contravention of the control measures.
In terms of the Green Economy and national ecological management a national government DA would:
- Implement regular National Ecosystem Assessments to provide the data that can be used to determine the value of natural capital assets and the costs associated with their depletion.
- Improve transparency in the business sector by regulating to improve the reporting requirements of businesses in regard to their impacts on natural capital.
- Implement more programmes that incentivise behaviours that are environmentally friendly and improve resource efficiency, for example, replicating the City of Cape Town’s electricity bill rebate system for households that install solar water heaters.
- Wherever feasible, money collected from environmental taxes should be used to incentivise other actions that contribute to growing the ‘Green Economy’.
- Improved product and technical standards will be used to drive investments and innovation in products that are less carbon intensive.
- Ensure all environmental assessment practitioners are registered on a central database with a professional body which has a peer-review mechanism that removes the accreditation of assessors that are deemed to have acted unethically.
- Urgently increase the number of ‘Blue Scorpions’ in all the regional offices of the Department of Water and in the Catchment Management Agencies and increase the number of enforcement officials responsible for environment issues in the Department of Mineral Resources.
- Regulate to allow enforcement officials in the Department of Environmental Affairs to also enforce the various water laws in order to supplement the enforcement capacity of the Department of Water.
In terms of waste management, a DA national government would, among other things:
- Ensure that all landfills are properly licenced and regularly inspected by enforcement officials and improve capacity at the municipal level to produce and implement local waste management plans.
- Increase public awareness campaigns about the importance of recycling in particular, but good waste management practices in general.
- Ensure that compulsory refunds exist for certain products, including glass bottles, to ensure that the economic value motivates the user to return them for re-use or recycling.
- Ensure that opportunities exist in the private sector for the unique recycling requirements of household hazardous waste such as CFLs, batteries and electronic goods.
- Ensure that the Department of Health is adequately capacitated to handle the awarding of contracts to healthcare risk waste service providers to ensure sufficient treatment and disposal facilities are available – government hospitals must be able to conduct thorough due diligence audits to ensure that service providers are capable of legally treating and disposing medical waste.
- Launch a national clean-up campaign modelled on the successful Tswelopele and AreSebetseng programmes our governments in Tshwane and Johannesburg have initiated, respectively.
- Ensure support to small and informal businesses that focus on recycling. Informal waste recyclers play an under-stated role in recycling and assist significantly in waste diversion while also creating economic opportunities.
WHERE WE GOVERN
Stellenbosch Swop Shop
A swop shop was established in the Municipality in 2016, the project is geared towards teaching the community the benefits of recycling and keeping their community clean. The Municipality sets up the shop, stocking it with coffee, sugar, tea, soap, toilet paper, fruit, clothes and shoes. Residents then bring their sorted recyclables to the swop shop in standard-size clear plastic bags and they are given coupons based on the items and the size of the plastic bags. They then use the coupons to trade the goods in the swop shop.
Breede Valley’s mascot and swop shop
In a bid to encourage participation in its recycling programme, Breede Valley Municipality has tasked a mascot to visit all Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs) and primary schools to educate young children about the benefits of recycling. The recycling project also includes stationing big recycling bins outside of schools. Bin-Bin then comes along and gives a demonstration on which recyclables go in which bin. After visiting schools, the students are given different coloured recycling bags which they can take home. After filling these bags with recyclables, they then bring them back to school where they are given vouchers for their efforts. With these vouchers, they will be able to buy stationery items such as books, pens and other school essentials.
Wildlife management and conservation
The DA believes that trans-boundary parks are important vehicles for promoting regional tourism and integration, but that far more attention needs to be paid to their conservation imperatives.
A DA national government would:
- Improve coordination between the various organisations in the state security cluster, including the SAPS, the SANDF, the NPA and the SSA, particularly with regard to intelligence gathering related to poaching activities.
- Improve the training of magistrates and prosecutors on the relevant wildlife crime legislation.
- Increase the deployment of SANDF personnel in areas where protected areas border neighbouring countries.
- Increase the deployment of rangers in protected areas, while ensuring that the entire cohort of rangers are properly vetted and well equipped to perform their assigned tasks.
- Provide significant state support for the extension of the rhino DNA database.
In terms of fishing quotas, a DA national government will ensure that:
- Fishing quotas are allocated to individuals to avoid fronting and abuse. However, should a fishing community wish to have quotas amalgamated into a co-operative, this should also be recognised.
- Fishing quotas are allocated to persons who fish their own quotas.
- Small-scale fishers must be allocated quotas in the vicinity where they live based on the internationally accepted Territorial User Rights Fishing (TURF) system so as to encourage responsible fishing and to reduce poaching.
- Small-scale fishing quotas must be allocated for long term periods in accordance with TURF so as to encourage ‘ownership’ of fish stocks, thus reducing uncertainty.
- The state pays for the scrapping of unnecessary fishing capacity and must consider implementing a fishing right ‘buy-back’ programme to support the recovery of nearshore fish stocks; and
- Levies for the nearshore lobster fishery are reviewed and reduced as these cannot be same as for the offshore lobster sector.
- Fishing quotas to industrial quota holders be substantially more freely tradable. Right holders must be allowed to sell and manage their fishing quotas once allocated in order to maximise efficiencies provided that this is done in a socially and ecologically responsible manner. This would be achieved through a review the uncompetitive Transfer of Fishing Rights Policy.
We believe proper water management and access to clean and reliable water supplies should be a constant feature for all communities. A DA national government will:
- Ensure that a competent professional is appointed as the DG of the Department of Water, and that all other senior management positions are similarly filled with qualified people to turn water governance around in South Africa.
- Ensure that both the Department of Water and Water Trading Entity receive clean audits and that their governance is improved.
- Improve the accounting system so that all users of bulk water are properly invoiced, and that revenue is subsequently collected.
- Ensure that audits on the state of bulk infrastructure and its maintenance needs are regularly concluded in order to properly inform the long-term planning processes of the Department.
- Improve storage capacity, through dam and reservoir building, in areas of the country where this capacity is under-developed.
- Ensure all municipalities have water services development plans, and that these plans are regularly updated.
- Provide assistance to municipalities to ensure that they attain and then maintain Green and Blue Drop certification.
- Scale up the war on leaks to ensure a substantial decrease in non-revenue water.
- Continue with current “Working for Water” programmes that use labour from local communities to remove intrusive alien species that add pressure to water reserves.
- Use stricter enforcement protocols, including criminal charges, against municipalities that discharge untreated waste water in water courses. This would be supplemented by implementation of a waste discharge charge system to encourage municipalities to achieve the required effluent standards.
We will grow the mining industry while also ensuring close regulation to protect ecosystems, our natural heritage and surrounding communities. A DA national government will:
- User stricter enforcement protocols, including criminal charges, against mines that discharge untreated mine water into water courses;
- Work to create a sustainable solution to the historic acid mine drainage problem;
- Ensure that existing mines that wish to close are properly rehabilitated before final closure is permitted.
- Declare areas of significant biodiversity importance and areas which are under significant water stress off-limits to mining using the relevant sections of the MPRDA.
- Subject mines to stringent enforcement of the relevant environment and water legislation.
A Modern Defence Force for the 21st Century
The DA is of the belief that the primary focus of a national defence force should be to keep South Africans safe. We currently have far too few troops deployed on our national borders. Thus, as a first priority a DA national government will:
- Increase the 15 companies protecting South Africa’s borders to the required 22 companies and ensure that they are properly resourced and trained.
The size of our defence force is relatively small and because of this we believe we it is necessary to be strategic about how and where we use our troops mindful that South Africa has an important role to play on the continent and in the SADC region.
A DA national government will:
- Ensure that participation in foreign peacekeeping is only undertaken to secure the region, and missions will only be undertaken further afield when:
- mandated to do so by the United Nations or African Union; and
- the mission is funded in concert with multi-laterals.
The South African military also needs to be modernised. In this regard a DA national government will:
- Undertake a full audit of equipment and personnel available to determine procurement priorities and assets that can be sold or re-purposed.
- Subject all defence procurement to strict regulations in order to prevent corruption.
- Reduce the wage bill by retiring medically unfit and elderly members. This will have the added effect of reducing the average troop age in addition to bringing our budget allocation in line with the 2014 Defence Review. The amount by which the wage bill is reduced will be re-allocated to the maintenance of military equipment which has been neglected under the ANC government.