On the ANC's 2014 election manifesto - Jacob Zuma

President says that while all priorities are equally important, the creation of jobs, especially for the youth remains critical



13 JANUARY 2014

SABC and New Age management,
ANC Officials
Premier David Mabuza,
Ministers, Deputy Ministers and all representatives of government,
Captains of commerce and industry
Fellow South Africans

On Saturday we presented the ANC election manifesto to the nation.

We dedicate the Manifesto to the founding President of our young democracy and former ANC President, Isithwalandwe Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

We draw inspiration from Madiba and all founding leaders of our movement who set the direction that this organization should take in building a better life for all its people, especially the poor and the workers.

Our Manifesto is a pledge to work with the people of our country to move South Africa forward.

The manifesto is the result of a wide consultation process within the Alliance and also communities and key sectors of society including workers, business, religious, youth and women's organisations and several academics. We will continue to consult as we embark on its implementation.

In our 2009 Manifesto we called for united action and said working together we can do more to build our country.

Indeed the people responded.

Working together we have scored enormous achievements in the five priorities we had identified - health, education, rural development and land reform, creating decent work and the fight against crime. Great strides have been scored in other areas too.

We mark 20 years of freedom this year, and are truly proud that South Africa is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994, and that the past five years have advanced change further.

Thousands more of our people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, we have created more jobs than before, expanded social grants, housing, water, electricity and other basic services to our people, and further improved access to better education and health care. The 2011 Census outlined progress in these areas.

We have however also stated that despite the progress made, the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment persist.

We must now implement radical socio-economic transformation to meaningfully address this triple challenge. That is what our Manifesto talks about.

We have decided to retain our focus on five priorities; education, health, rural development and land reform, creating decent work and the fight against crime and corruption.

There are other areas that we will focus on more intensively as well such as human settlements, housing and basic services.

While all priorities are equally important, the creation of jobs, especially for the youth remains critical. This is one of the primary focus areas in our Manifesto.

One of the key achievements of the past five years has been the development of the National Development Plan.

The NDP proposes that the unemployment rate should fall from the current rate of about 25 percent to 14 percent by 2020 and to 6 percent by 2030. This, states the Plan, requires an additional 11 million jobs.  We should all be mindful of the fact that such growth will require an average annual GDP growth of 5.4 percent.

Everybody will need to work hard and play their part, to move South Africa forward and ensure that we achieve the prosperous society we all desire.

The time for sitting on the fence and pointing fingers will need to stop.  We have a country to build, together. That is the spirit of our Manifesto - united action to move South Africa forward.

We have adopted a good plan, the National Development Plan. There is sufficient consensus on the Plan. It is supported by an overwhelming majority of stakeholders.

We reiterate that the NDP is a living document, which is why we agreed at the last Alliance economic summit that Alliance partners, COSATU and the SACP can still make inputs on the economic chapter on matters they wished to engage further on.
Within the NDP vision, we have some critical policy instruments that will continue to drive government's policy agenda.

These include the New Growth Path, which amongst other things identifies six job drivers - infrastructure development, Agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism.  

There is also Industrial Policy Action Plan, which supports the re-industrialisation of the economy.

Beyond this we are also looking into expanding the Public Works and Community Work programmes. These programmes have created five million work opportunities for unemployed people since 1994, and 40% of these were young people.

In our Manifesto we have set ourselves a target of 6 million work opportunities in five years, through expanding existing programmes such as the Community Work Programme.

Through this, we aim to provide initial exposure to a work opportunity to at least four million young people.

Some activities within the community works programme include the Mass Literacy Campaign and the National Rural Youth Services Corp, home based care, early childhood development, working for water and other environmental programmes.

We are also looking to the infrastructure programme, which creates both decent jobs and work opportunities during the building or refurbishment of dams, schools, universities, clinics, roads and other infrastructure.

We propose that in the infrastructure programmes, 60% of jobs on new infrastructure projects should be set aside for young people.
We also state that public agencies responsible for co-operatives and small enterprise development will be required to develop special programmes targeting youth co-operatives and youth enterprises.

We encourage the private sector to make use of youth employment incentive schemes to employ young people.

Old workers should under no circumstances be made to feel insecure due the youth employment incentive scheme.  

We will introduce new regulations to ensure there is no displacement of unsubsidised workers to avoid a multi-tiered labour market within the same sector in respect of both wage categories. All relevant stakeholders will be consulted in implementation.
The impact of the employment incentive scheme will be evaluated within two years.

Amongst our job creation programmes is the promotion of local manufacturing and procurement.

The state must buy at least 75% of its goods and services from South African producers.

The state's buying power will support small enterprises, co-operatives and broad-based black economic empowerment.

We will ensure that large public entities such as Eskom and Transnet buy specified goods for the infrastructure build programme locally.

We have stated that we will intensify the fight against corruption and that public servants and public representatives will be prohibited from doing business with the state.

We said that all corrupt officials will be made individually liable for all losses incurred as a result of their corrupt actions.

The Manifesto also states unambiguously that any ANC member or ANC public representative found guilty by a court of law will be expected to step down from any leadership position in the ANC, government and society and that where this has not happened, the ANC will take firm action in line with the provisions of the ANC constitution.

To further prevent corruption, tender processes will be centralised under a central tender board. We believe that this systemic change will bring about a lot of benefit for the country.

Let me emphasise as well that corruption must be eradicated in the private sector as well, not only within government.

We will thus pursue action against companies involved in bid rigging, price fixing and corruption in past and current infrastructure build programmes.

We will do this using the competition authorities, through taking up civil claims, and calling on the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate criminally-liable behaviour.

Ladies and gentlemen

One of the key traits of our movement is its rich history of internal democracy, tolerance for opposing political views and peaceful coexistence with other political parties. The ANC recommits to free political activity in all parts of the country, during this election period and beyond.

We fought against no-go areas and will be the first party to defend the right of other parties to campaign wherever they wish.

We thus wish all political parties well with their election campaigns. Their existence serves to deepen and strengthen our multiparty democracy.

Ladies and gentlemen

There are many other aspects of our Manifesto dealing with various aspects of socio-economic development. We urge all stakeholders to familiarize themselves with it and engage on it, so that we can prepare to move South Africa forward together.

In the 2009 Manifesto we said something which remains relevant even today.

We said;

"In the period ahead South Africa will need a government with both experience and political will, a government that fully understands what needs to be done to address our apartheid past, a government that puts people first (batho pele) and builds a participatory democracy.

"The ANC, working together with the people, can form such a government''.
Indeed, we are ready to form such a government after the 2014 elections.

I thank you.

Issued by the ANC, January 13 2014

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