ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has promised voters his party will prioritise service delivery, fight corruption and deliver pro-poor governance if elected into power in the upcoming municipal elections.
Mashaba on Wednesday launched ActionSA’s inaugural local government elections manifesto in Newtown, Johannesburg, ahead of the 1 November polls.
The new political entrants have set their sights on contesting municipalities in Gauteng’s Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. In KwaZulu-Natal, the party is vying for power in eThekwini, Newcastle and KwaDukuza.
Mashaba told thousands of his party’s supporters that ActionSA would show South Africans that failing governments can be removed and replaced in these municipalities, and that services can be delivered to all citizens.
“It is from these cities that we will go to every South African across our country. We will ignite the hope that will see the change of government in 2024. It is from these cities that will start the process of fixing South Africa,” he said.
Mashaba is standing as ActionSA’s mayoral candidate for the City of Johannesburg after his three-year stint as the metro’s mayor for the Democratic Alliance (DA).
ActionSA has set itself six priorities for fixing local government that include, among others, quality and reliable service delivery, appointing ethical and competent officials, safety and security, as well as addressing illegal immigration.
Here is a brief summary of ActionSA’s elections manifesto:
Improving municipalities’ finances
On the financial challenges plaguing most municipalities, ActionSA is promising voters to actively work towards achieving unqualified audits through sound financial management practices.
This includes maximising municipalities’ revenue and cutting operational costs not directly related to service delivery.
“We will ensure residents receive accurate bills and improve the ease of making payments. When queries do arise, we will ensure they are dealt with efficiently.”
Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke revealed in July only 27 municipalities out of 257 nationwide had received clean audits in the 2019-2020 municipal audit outcomes report.
Free basic services
When it comes to other service delivery-related issues, ActionSA has promised indigent households their allocation of free basic services would be “as generous as possible”.
The party said it would lobby national government for a greater share of the national revenue to provide free basic services sustainably.
Extended operating hours
The party has promised the electorate improved access to social services in lower-income areas such as clinics, libraries and recreational facilities. This also included extended operating hours at municipal facilities.
ActionSA also wants to provide sanitation, water, electricity, and regular refuse collection to more informal settlements and work toward universal access to basic services.
On addressing South Africa’s stubborn youth unemployment rate, ActionSA said it had plans to launch paid internships for recent university graduates and business and investment support.
“We will launch paid internships for recent university graduates in fields such as chartered accounting, engineering, financial management, law, and public management.
“These internships will provide the opportunity for young graduates to gain meaningful employment experience and
contribute to the professionalisation of the public sector.”
When it comes to law enforcement, the party promised to work with the Department of Home Affairs and police to combat illegal immigration.
“We will work with the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Service to combat illegal immigration while ensuring that legitimate asylum-seekers, refugees, and skilled migrants can legally and fully enjoy access to municipal services.”
ActionSA also wants increased visibility of municipal law-enforcement officers and the enforcement of by-laws.
“We will increase the number of municipal law-enforcement offcers on the ground in communities. We will ultimately strive to have a minimum of one municipal law-enforcement officer for every 1,000 residents in our municipalities.”