25 years have passed since the dawn of South Africa’s democratic dispensation with its promises of a better future for all of us.
Yet today we still face glaring injustices and inequality, and many of us still live below the poverty line with little hope of finding meaningful employment. We know that most South Africans feel unsafe; afraid of becoming the target of opportunistic criminals who do not fear the law. Racial divisions between us have been deepened, often by uncaring politicians who would rather see us hate and fear one another than be united in common purpose, respect and love.
The African Christian Democratic Party is built on a strong Biblical foundation that seeks to honour God and put you and your needs at the centre of its policies. We are here to serve you and help you fully realise the South Africa you deserve and are proud to call home; a safe South Africa that is ripe with opportunities to help you and your family truly flourish and grow. It’s time we enjoyed genuine change and renewal in our country that is built on the pillars of integrity, justice, competence, honour and respect. Let’s choose to heal and unite our beautiful country, build together and grow.
The ACDP has identified 7 giants we believe stand in the way of national unity, building our infrastructure and economy, and experiencing growth, happiness and well-being:
High unemployment and too few job opportunities
To build a South Africa where jobs and opportunities are in abundance and everyone – especially our young people – benefit, the ACDP will:
- Create an enabling environment through infrastructure development, a professional and streamlined public service, good education and vocational training relevant to global trends and technological advances;
- Encourage beneficiation and global branding;
- Promote investment in innovation, research and development; and
- Foster a culture of entrepreneurship by funding education and training, as well as small business incubators.
We will focus on curbing youth unemployment by:
- Linking business needs and education, and ensuring that young people have the relevant skills by funding degrees and diplomas that are needed;
- Reinstating the apprenticeship model; and
- Expanding the Employment Tax Incentive for businesses and encourage businesses to provide paid internships for young people.
Poor economic growth
We all want a South Africa with a vibrant, healthy economy; where jobs and opportunities are in abundance, and where everyone is able to benefit. The ACDP supports an open market economy with a social conscience, and will:
- Protect property rights within existing Constitutional provisions;
- Ensure ease of starting business by reducing unnecessary red tape and quickly and efficiently processing applications by having dedicated one-stop business registration centres;
- Enable unskilled labour and youth to more easily enter the job market without compromising the health, safety and well-being of workers within a framework of fair labour practices;
- Remove policy uncertainty, such as that relating to land, which deters foreign direct investment;
- Promote and develop industries where there is a competitive advantage, such as tourism, mining and related industries; and
- Focus on further developing agriculture by helping commercial and subsistence farmers to be more profitable, better trained and resourced.
Substandard education and skills development
Everyone should have access to quality basic education in safe, well maintained facilities; where parents are central to the education of their children; where quality tertiary education is accessible to all who have achieved entrance requirements and where skills training is linked to market needs and career opportunities.
For this reason, the ACDP will:
- Adopt a world-class education system such as the Cambridge system;
- Protect freedom of religion within schools;
- Introduce career-focused education;
- Re-open and equip training colleges and re-introduce school inspectors;
- Ensure teacher salaries are competitive and fair, and that an educator teaches no more than 25 pupils per class;
- Introduce training programmes in schools to promote reading and support after-school initiatives;
- Provide for special education needs through ‘special’ and mainstream schools;
- Strengthen and support school governing bodies and their independence;
- Restrict union activities that hinder the effective education of our children, and in certain areas, unfairly influence the appointment and promotion of educators and principals;
- Place children’s health and safety first in terms of school infrastructure, nutrition and transport;
- Deal decisively with gangsterism, firearms and drugs in our schools;
- Ensure Grade R is available at all schools and Early Childhood Development facilities are available in all areas;
- Facilitate age appropriate sex education workshops for both parents and their children;
- Build more higher education institutions;
- Improve the quality of technical and higher education institutions; and
Encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the application of these fields in manufacturing;
- Introduce computer coding as a subject at schools in addition to the existing Information Technology (IT) subject for grades 10 to 12; and
- Encourage tertiary institutions to increase the availability of inter-disciplinary degrees to cover financial innovation, information systems and information technology, big data analysis and innovation technology.
Inadequate health service
To enjoy a South Africa where good health and well-being is the norm, and where access to quality health care and relevant social services are readily available to all, the ACDP will:
- Ensure that proper sanitation and clean water are provided to all;
- Maintain the private sector and regulate anti-competition practices;
- Oppose government’s proposed nationalisation of private health care;
- Ensure that public awareness campaigns promote abstinence and fidelity;
- Budget for hospital revitalisation;
- Invest more in medical innovation, research and development;
- Improve management and accountability in government hospitals and clinics by having medical business specialists review systems and organisation;
- Support public/private health initiatives such as contracting the private sector to supply services and hospital beds;
- Reduce queues and waiting times in hospitals and clinics through better management, and by boosting the number of nurses and medical staff;
- Improve access to digital and telemedicine, especially in rural areas;
- Make sure that orders for medicine, supply and budget are well managed to avoid shortages at public clinics and hospitals;
- Increase numbers of trained community-based primary health care workers;
- Ensure referrals for mental health services are followed up and that patients are treated with care and respect;
- Support initiatives that promote healthy diet and lifestyles, and physical exercise; and
- Amend laws and policies that undermine family values, such as those that grant access to contraceptives and abortion for young girls without parental consent, teach inappropriate sex education in schools, attempt to ban moderate parental chastisement, and legalise prostitution, pornography and abortion-on-demand.
We all want to live in a South Africa where we feel safe; whether it is in our homes or playing in recreational spaces; going to work or school; or surfing the Internet.
To achieve this, the ACDP will:
- Implement a comprehensive anti-crime strategy to ensure that criminals are swiftly arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced;
- Review political appointments, promotions and qualifications in police, the NPA, the Hawks and other law enforcement agencies, and expedite outstanding disciplinary and criminal proceedings;
- Reintroduce specialised police units and improve the training of police officers to ensure that investigations result in successful convictions;
- Increase the number of specialised courts, such as Sexual Offences Courts, and services for victims of sexual offences, domestic violence and human trafficking, particularly those involving vulnerable women and children;
- Ensure that police stations, forensic laboratories and courts are well-equipped and staffed with skilled and trained personnel;
- Shut down organised crime, including drug and human trafficking syndicates;
- Increase the number of law enforcement officers and sniffer dogs at all ports of entry into South Africa and in police operations to prevent the influx of drugs and other contraband;
- Ensure heavier minimum sentences are imposed for more serious crimes;
- Review the parole system and deny bail for murder, rape, armed robbery, human trafficking and car hijacking accused;
- Implement restorative justice programmes for those who commit minor offenses;
- Broaden prison labour programmes which help develop skills and provide opportunities for prisoners to contribute towards the costs of their incarceration;
- Build relationships of trust in communities, encourage community participation in crime prevention and strengthen community police forums;
- Review the National Rural Safety Plan to improve the protection all rural dwellers, farmers and their workers; and
- Create public awareness for individuals and businesses to adopt good cybersecurity practices and train and source skilled technicians and engineers to fully implement the Cybercrimes Bill.
Corruption within the public and private sector
Corruption will only be eradicated when South Africa has competent, trustworthy, servant leaders, who take seriously the stewardship of state resources and are passionate about improving the lives of all South Africans. We want to feel safe in the knowledge that our taxes are being used transparently, economically, effectively and efficiently so that we can realise our dream of a shared future for all.
For this reason, the ACDP will:
- Strengthen investigation and prosecution capacity and increase the number of courts to deal with crime in general, and corruption in particular;
- Strengthen the Special Investigations Unit, Auditor-General, Public Protector and similar institutions, with both funding and enabling legislation and ensure that they are protected from political interference;
- Ensure that swift action is taken to freeze assets and recover stolen state funds and assets as well as ensure that they are returned to the organisations and individuals from which they were stolen;
- Ensure private sector offenders such as those implicated in the Steinhoff and VBS Mutual bank scandals are held criminally and civilly accountable, and that illicit capital flows out of the country are reversed;
- Take decisive action to stop state capture and root out corruption in state departments and state-owned companies (SOCs);
- Make sure that auditing is not compromised and ensure efficient oversight by professional umbrella organisations;
- Ensure that whistleblowers are better protected, by ensuring that current laws are fully implemented;
- Implement life-style audits for senior public servants and employees of SOCs, and prohibit them and elected politicians from conducting business with the state or SOCs; and
- In addition to hefty sentences of imprisonment, ban politicians who are found guilty of bribery and corruption from standing as candidates in any subsequent election.
The threat to property rights and rural development
To realise a South Africa in which food is affordable and in abundant supply; where land reform benefits people and addresses past injustices; where title deeds are in the hands of those who live on their land; and just compensation is paid where expropriation is needed, the ACDP will:
- Protect all property rights and ensure that just and equitable compensation is paid for any land that is expropriated;
- Strengthen access to security of tenure as well as the freedom to acquire, utilise, rent and sell property, including land;
- Conduct a comprehensive land audit of all land;
- Ensure that state land that is not being fully utilised is allocated for the residential and agricultural needs of communities;
- Ensure that the ownership of tribal or trust land is negotiated between the relevant traditional authority and the community in order to extend land ownership for the benefit of everyone connected to the land. Where citizens wish to remain within a tribal community land regime, they will have the right to do so;
- Guided by principles such as fairness and equity, finalise outstanding land restitution claims as the process whereby a land owner who was illegally dispossessed of their land, is compensated or has their land restored to them;
- Provide to the rural poor, labour tenants and entrepreneurial farm workers an opportunity to access land through a system facilitated by government’s own land assets and that of other willing land owners;
- Protect the rule of law by ensuring that law enforcement agencies stop illegal land invasions. The availability and usage of land will enjoy high priority to prevent the necessity for land grabs;
- Prioritise agricultural development and food security and assist small and emerging farmers to become commercially viable by having better access to finance and markets; and
- Promote rural development through incentives for industries to relocate to rural areas and the building of better infrastructure, roads, housing, schools, recreational facilities.
The ACDP is committed to implementing these policies to ensure that, together, we can all enjoy a safe, healthy and prosperous South Africa.