'We haven't always done our best, but we will do better': ANC manifesto launch

The ANC launched its 2021 local government election manifesto in Pretoria on Monday, delivered by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa launches the party's election manifesto in Tshwane on 27 September 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress delivered its 2021 local government election manifesto on Monday night in Church Square, Tshwane.

The launch featured speakers from its groups and alliance partners; including the ANC Women's League, ANC Youth League, Young Communist League and Congress of South African Trade Unions; to speak on the ANC's successes and express support for the party to carry out manifesto promises.

The manifesto was delivered by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is what the ANC's manifesto promises.

WATER, SANITATION, SEWERAGE AND ROADS
• Maintain and develop water and sewerage infrastructure and drastically reduce water leaks.
• Increase the number of boreholes and water tanks in communities.
• Rehabilitate water pump stations and wastewater equipment and improve reticulation.
• Increase local production of components used in tackling the water and sanitation backlog to expand employment.
• Fix roads, potholes, sewage spillages and broken water pipes.
• Increase the number of skilled personnel like engineers, process controllers and shift workers to maintain water, sanitation, and road infrastructure.
• Ensure all poor households receive the free water allocations they are entitled to.

ELECTRICITY
• Secure the operational and financial stabilisation of Eskom.
• Significantly increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country’s energy mix through a diversification of energy sources, and a just energy transition that creates new economic opportunities for workers and communities.
• Ensure safe and reliable electricity supply in this process.
• Oversee the retirement of aging coal-powered power stations to improve air quality for communities and reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
• Ensure all poor households receive the amount of free electricity allocations that they are entitled to.
• Invest in public renewable and cleaner power-generating capacity, and electricity transmission infrastructure to expand and strengthen the grid to accommodate new generation capacity and entrants, enabling municipalities to supply electricity to homes and businesses.
• New energy generation will provide opportunities for public employment programmes in solar energy space, etc.
• At present, people especially in rural areas wait for six months to one year or more after applying for household electricity connection. We will reduce this waiting period to not more than 90 days.
• Implement the Framework Agreement of the Social Compact on supporting Eskom for inclusive economic growth.
• Reduce the current timeframes for mining licences by 50% and support efforts to invest in green jobs.

LAND AND HOUSING
• Fast track land reform and rural development
• Continue to upgrade informal settlements and counter urban sprawl as it increases the amount of time and cost of travelling.
• Ensure communities are located on well-situated land.
• Change current land-use approaches, including municipal land-use zoning, so that they can accommodate the better integration of housing, recreation facilities, and economic activities.
• Link rural areas to urban markets and non-farm sectors, including making land available for co-operative communal food gardens, with municipal support where possible.
• Amend and repeal restrictive municipal by-laws on trading, land-use, urban production of crops, etc.

FOOD SECURITY
• The ANC government will continue to ensure school feeding schemes and soup kitchens deliver as they should.
• Food prices will be closely monitored and food’s affordability tracked for the majority of people.
• Ensure the unrestricted development of urban and pavement gardens where crops can be planted to increase food security.
• Ensure support for community and co-operative food gardens, making municipal land available for such projects, to support schools and support programmes for the impoverished.
• Link food production to support small-scale farmers and local procurement.
• Integrate community food garden projects into the Community Work Programme.

FIGHT CORRUPTION AND END WASTAGE
• Deal decisively and immediately with corruption, mismanagement, waste, and under-performance.
• Ensure ANC-led municipalities are run by ethical leaders, managers, and workers.
• Remove from office those who fail to do what they are paid to do.
• Implementing the ‘step aside’ rule for those in the ANC that have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes.
• Institute determined and resolute implementation of the Anti-corruption Strategy under the Justice and Crime Prevention Cluster, SARS Anti-Corruption Unit.
• Focus on ethics and corruption risk management and stronger protection of whistle-blowers.
• Insource functions that can be better performed by municipalities.
• End the practice of labour broking in municipalities and support the creation of sustainable jobs.
• Overhaul government procurement to make it transparent and free of corruption and use it more effectively to promote the development of black- and women-owned businesses and cooperatives.
• Act speedily against officials conducting business with municipalities and against those implicated in maladministration.
• Reaffirm the ANC’s respect and support for collective bargaining, and engage with Organised Labour at the Public Service Central Bargaining Council and the South African Local Government Association’s Bargaining Council on matters of collective bargaining.

MAKE MUNICIPALITIES FINANCIALLY VIABLE
• Strengthen measures to generate revenue and improve revenue collection.
• Increase and ring-fence money for the maintenance of infrastructure.
• Reaffirm the progressivity of equitable share spending, so that poorer communities receive higher allocations in terms of free basic services and prioritisation in capital spending.
• Reduce unfunded mandates in municipalities as a matter of urgency, and link provincial and national transfers to the adoption of funded budgets by municipalities.
• Strengthen the municipal finance recovery service function and simplify financial recovery plans in municipalities.
• Maintain a dedicated focus on the interdependence between asset management, revenue management and service delivery.
• Find a long-term solution to the restructuring of historical uncollectable debts and write-offs that have been on municipal debt books for a long time.
• Amend all relevant legislation and rules so that no public representative or state employee may be in municipal arrears for more than three months.
• Undertake effective campaigns to deal with the culture of non-payment for services, but ensure we are delivering the necessary free basic services.

SAFER COMMUNITIES AND FIGHTING CRIME, DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE
• Levels of violence remain too high in our society and people do not feel safe.
• Deal urgently with the unacceptable levels of drug and alcohol abuse in many communities, especially among the youth.
• Put in more lighting to make townships and inner-city areas safer.
• Rebuild sports facilities that have fallen into disrepair.
• Revitalise arts and culture facilities and create opportunities in these sectors, especially for women and the youth.
• Revitalise safety committees that can accompany women and children when walking from one area to another, in safety.
• The police must patrol and work in partnership with community structures to make communities and public spaces safer.

JOBS, EDUCATION, TRAINING AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
• Youth not in employment, education, or Training (NEET) are much higher than the general unemployment rate and they make up a higher percentage of those committing crime or abusing drugs and alcohol.
• Youth also have lower participation rates in elections and the affairs of communities.
• We must create more jobs for them as first-time entrants into the job market.
• We have introduced internships, learnerships, bursaries for the youth, but they must be upscaled.
• Skills must be unceasingly upgraded, including skills aligned to job opportunities and sustainable economic development.
• Sports and cultural centres must be maintained and upgraded for leisure activities.
• The ANC must have a high number of youth candidates among its municipal candidates.

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
• Defeat the toxic culture of patriarchy.
• Make sure our homes, public spaces, and places of work are safer for women and children.
• Work with the multi-sectoral co-ordinating structure inclusive of all key stakeholders that has been created to deal with the plague of GBV in our society.
• Remain committed to dealing with the root causes of disempowerment of women and gender-based violence in all areas of society.
• Discourage and act to tackle hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community.
• Ensure that programmes of infrastructure development, basic services, housing, and local economic development address the specific needs of women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.
• Move with speed to implement the three pieces of Gender-Based Violence Legislation and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 190 on Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

GENDER EQUALITY
• We must do more to achieve parity in gender representation, and appreciation of the role women play in society and communities.
• Programmes of infrastructure development, basic services, housing, and local economic development must address the specific needs of women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.

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