Public critical of ANC

JOBURG- The ANC’s election manifesto makes several hefty promises to voters but the ruling party’s history peppered with accusations of maladministration and poor service delivery has left the public critical of the party and its campaign.

The manifesto was the party’s pledge to move South Africa forward in the next five years by focusing on job creation, rural development, land reform, food security, education, health and fighting crime and corruption.

According to the ANC’s manifesto, the party promises to create six million state-driven jobs opportunities, predominantly for the country’s youth, and build one million houses by 2019.

The ruling party also intends looking into the introduction of a national minimum wage as one of the key tools to reduce income inequality.

The ANC promises to address education challenges by building 1 000 new schools and establishing 12 further education and training college across the country.

On healthcare, the party plans to construct 213 new clinics and community health centres and 43 hospitals under National Health Insurance as well as double the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment by 2016.

Senior political analyst at Political Analysis South Africa, Mzoxolo Mpolase described the manifesto as “limited”.

“[The manifesto] builds on the party’s priorities of 2009, and appears to spell, albeit in limited terms, what will be done, in contrast to the 2009 manifesto, which simply glossed over the issues, and in the main relied on the resolutions and policies of 52nd ANC National Conference in 2007,” Mpolase said.

Mpolase said due to the varying interests and expectations of the public and international stakeholders there were differing reactions to the party’s manifesto.

However, he added, “South Africa’s main problems are an inadequately educated workforce, stringent labour regulations, an inefficient government bureaucracy and of course corruption. Any policy document or plan that does not adequately deal with these problems would obviously have not met its mark.”

While the ANC’s manifesto promised to tackle corruption, Mpolase expressed his concerns about the country’s inadequate administration, “which includes among other things, favouritism in decisions of government officials, wastefulness of government spending and irregular payments and bribes”, it fell short to outline measures to address and curb issues of efficiency or lack thereof in government.

Mpolase said the ANC’s move to choose Zuma as its presidential candidate was placed the party in a “precarious position” as the issue of corruption to the mind of the voter was epitomized by the Nkandla debacle.

“Our own polling suggests that most of the issues raised by voters, particularly those who identify themselves as ANC supporters and members, seem to identify Jacob Zuma as a bane to the achievement of the ANC government’s stated objectives and service delivery at large,” he said.

Meanwhile, debate regarding the ruling party erupted on Twitter as some believed that Zuma was merely one facet of the ANC and his actions should not impact the entire party.

@uNonto tweeted: “People are so blinded by Zuma’s stupidity that they think the whole of ANC is full of stupid people. Low level of thinking, adding in a later tweet that “the ANC is bigger than Zuma.”

However, many others believed that Zuma as the ANC’s leader discredited the party.

@nto_kie tweeted: “Zuma may not be the ANC but he is the leader and a candidate for being SA’s president… That’s where the problem is… ”

@SimplyKayGee tweeted: “I don’t mind ANC leading but I do mind the leadership leading the ANC and that is the reason why I will not vote for them.”

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