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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


ANC makes the same promises 30 years on

ANC forgets the mandate it was given by electorate – expert.


ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech at the party’s manifesto launch appears to be a re-hash of its previous speeches over the years, according to analysts. Ramaphosa was speaking to thousands of ANC supporters at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday. The ANC, he said, planned to focus on six priorities which were critical to transform the economy and create jobs. “Our jobs plan; building our industries to include an inclusive economy; tackling the high cost of living; investing in people; defending democracy; advancing freedom and building a better Africa and world,” he said. “By renewing the mandate of…

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech at the party’s manifesto launch appears to be a re-hash of its previous speeches over the years, according to analysts.

Ramaphosa was speaking to thousands of ANC supporters at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday. The ANC, he said, planned to focus on six priorities which were critical to transform the economy and create jobs.

“Our jobs plan; building our industries to include an inclusive economy; tackling the high cost of living; investing in people; defending democracy; advancing freedom and building a better Africa and world,” he said.

“By renewing the mandate of the ANC, we will build on the foundations of 30 years of freedom, and continue the journey to the next 30 years to build a better life with opportunities for current and future generations alike.”

Over the next five years, Ramaphosa said the ANC would implement a jobs plan by creating and sustaining “2.5 million work opportunities delivering public goods and services in communities”. He added that the party would strengthen the health services and implement the National Health Insurance to make health care affordable for all.

ALSO READ: ANC says it will create 2.5 million work opportunities in next five years

ANC manifesto ‘still no different’

North-West University Prof André Duvenhage said when one looked at the ANC’s policy statements in the past, it was important to have continuity, and although the manifesto was addressing the main issues which were affecting citizens, it was still no different.

“The different time is the question – if people are still believing in the ANC’s ability to do what they say,” he said.

“I have read some of the formulations, and the formulations are sometimes technical.

“They won’t say they will create 2.5 million jobs but rather say they create 2.5 million job opportunities, and there’s a difference.

“So, they create opportunity but they put the emphasis on you as an individual to make use of the opportunity.”

Duvenhage said regarding National Health Insurance, from any point of view, it was absolutely impossible for them to attain their goal.

“I am prepared to say, not in the near future and not even in the far future is this going to be possible,” he said – for many reasons, such as financial.

“There aren’t finances. If they are going to get further on the existing shrinking tax base, it’s going to implode or it’s going to just disintegrate.

“You can tax a person until a certain point and then if you [make taxes even higher], you are getting even less money out, and we are already at that critical point.

“Secondly, from a capacity point of view, it’s going to be impossible. Where are we going to get the medical doctors? We have a shortage, and our best talent in many cases is leaving South Africa.

“I know of many private practices that say they would rather close the practice than work for the state. They are not prepared to be part of the ANC.”

Ramaphosa pointed out that former president Nelson Mandela in his first State of the Nation Address in 1994, announced Reconstruction and Development Programme priorities such as “free health care for pregnant women and children under five, free housing for the poor, and a massive roll-out of water, sanitation and electricity for those previously excluded” and Ramaphosa said, the ANC, 30 years later, had “met” those basic needs.

“Thirty years later, South Africa has achieved remarkable progress in providing a social wage and universal basic services across the country,” he said. “We will do more to consolidate, advance and modernise our basic services to leave no-one behind. “We will further improve education and health outcomes to overcome inequality and build the capabilities of all.”

‘ANC stopped making commitments and not honouring them’

Nelson Mandela University’s director of the Centre for Security, Peace and Conflict Resolution Prof Ntsikelelo Breakfast said the ANC had stopped making commitments and not honouring them. The things which were outlined in the manifesto had been pitched to the audience such as growing the economy, addressing the issue of power and fighting corruption, but the ANC tended to forget about the mandate which was given by the electorate.

“They have taken the voters for granted,” he said. “The ANC has been in power since 1994, and the election cycle is like a routine that ‘no matter what, we are going to win the elections’, but now people are having none of it because of the national consequences of this uncaring attitude of the ANC,” he said. “The last straw was the crisis at Eskom and the crisis of water. “They are trying their level best to hold on to power but unfortunately their efforts will be in vain.”

– lungas@citizen.co.za

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