To recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

To recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

ACDP says to recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

As South Africa moves into Alert Level 1, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) urges all to work towards rebuilding our economy. The economy has been decimated and another 3 million people added to the ranks of the unemployed, as a consequence of one of the harshest lockdowns in the world.

The past six months have changed the lives of many forever. The country has gone through a paradigm shift and the ugly heads of inequality and corruption have once again been revealed. However, South Africans are resilient. We are a strong, courageous people and we have a shared future to care for.

In order to recover from this pandemic, the nation needs a leadership that is willing to put people first, root out corruption and address the systemic injustices that prevail in South African communities.

The ACDP is dedicated to rebuilding communities and bringing opportunities at local community level. The hard lockdown, in April, showed how weak or close to nonexistence local economies are in South Africa. Instead of having close access to food and social services, community members were still driving out of neighbourhoods, or using public transport to access food and other services. This needs to change. Our communities need to become thriving economic nodes that bring sustainable opportunities and job creation.

South Africa needs to rebuild by ensuring that local businesses are capacitated and resourced with skills and opportunities to funding.

For the rebuilding process to take root, it’s critical for people to get involved in the decision-making process. Rebuilding should focus on long-term planning which helps citizens come back stronger by rethinking and repurposing new systems and innovations that make wholesome individuals and entire communities more resilient and successful.

This can only happen if government planning and spending processes are transparent and participatory, which is not the case. South Africans are not represented meaningfully when it comes to governance issues, but often are merely informed of the government’s plans. This needs to change, and policy interventions and programmes should be representative of what people and communities see as priorities for them and their families.

The South African education system is still vastly unequal, with millions of children falling behind due to a lack of access to internet services. The Coronavirus not only exacerbated inequalities but also brought service delivery gaps to the fore. What is required is a new and willing leadership to drive the necessary change forward.

The ACDP is committed to putting communities first by providing ethical and transparent leadership and governance that is not marred by party squabbles or factions. I believe that South Africans are ready to receive a leadership that represents their core value system, one which puts families and lives first.