Lacking depth & not resonating with voters - analysts weigh in on manifestos

While this year’s campaigning has been a much more muted affair due to the COVID-19 regulations, South Africans have been urged to use the manifestos as social contracts to hold parties accountable for the next five years.

The Democratic Alliance will be launching its manifesto on 25 September 2021. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - With the municipal elections fast approaching, political analysts said some parties’ election manifestos lacked depth in terms of speaking to specific issues facing South Africans.

This weekend was the battle of manifestos as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters rallied up to sell their election promises to potential voters.

This follows Action SA and the Good Party’s pledges last week.

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While this year’s campaigning has been a much more muted affair due to the COVID-19 regulations, South Africans have been urged to use the manifestos as social contracts to hold parties accountable for the next five years.

This long weekend, two of the biggest political parties kicked off their campaigns with manifesto launches.

Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said election manifestos should, however, be more than an excuse for political parties to have a big bash, and distribute t-shirts.

“It's all about the experience of the ANC in local government and the general grounded narrative going into this election. I think given the circumstances as well, this election is controversial,” he said.

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However, analyst Sanusha Naidu said when unpacking the manifestos of parties contesting the 2021 local elections, it’s hard not to come away feeling a bit underwhelmed especially for young voters.

“What people want is accountability right now, it's such a contestation and so the election manifestos may be there, but it's really what suits the role,” she said.

With just five weeks to go before South Africans casts their ballots, the ANC will be the last of the three biggest political parties in the country to present their manifesto to the public. on Monday.

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