A Snapshot Of ACDP Successes

A Snapshot Of ACDP Successes

Can a small party like the ACDP make a difference? Here we list a number of notable achievements of the party affecting the lives of South Africans in many different spheres.

β€œThe voice of the people of South Africa must not only be heard but beΒ seen to be heard β€” we in the ACDP have heard you and are grateful forΒ the opportunity to work with you in making South Africa an even moreΒ caring and humane society.” β€” Cheryllyn Dudley

The ACDP has over the years worked on legislation and oversight of theΒ implementation of that legislation β€” challenging offending clauses andΒ arguing for restraint and creative thinking on issues in many areas, including basic and higher education, safety and security, trade and industry, agriculture and land, minerals and energy, international relations, health, social development, finance, justice and constitutional affairs, private members’ bills, water and environmental affairs, public enterprises and much more.

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2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

Dear ACDP friends,
Greetings in the name of the Lord.

Most people agree that the year 2020 was not a great one. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some people lost their jobs and livelihoods, while others lost their loved ones.

If we look at things from a natural point of view, 2021 looks to be no better than 2020 because of what we see in our hospitals, and from what we hear from our Minister of Health, who tells us that the rate of Coronavirus infections are increasing.

For the first time, there were no celebrations to ring in the New Year. Churches were not allowed to have their traditional New Year cross-over services which left many very upset.

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Rail Infrastructure Damage Affects Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affects Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

The negative impact of ongoing damage to public rail infrastructure is costing commuters dearly. Millions of former train commuters now have to pay up to 500% more to travel to and from work by taxi.

Instead of Prasa safeguarding our public rail infrastructure, they have allowed vandals to strip train stations bare, and to put many commuter routes out of action. Workers that used to spend R7,90 on train-fare as an example, from Garankuwa to work in Pretoria, now have to pay R45 to get to work by taxi in the morning, and R45 to go back home. Those who used to spend R140 on a monthly train ticket to their place of work are now spending R960 a month to use taxis to the same work place. As a result of these high transport costs, these workers are now unable to meet all their financial obligations and the needs of their families. Those badly affected are now calling for trains to be brought back as a matter of urgency, as trains are the most affordable public transport for the poor.

There must be some serious consequences for those damaging and destroying public infrastructure. Without severe punishment for those who are destroying property, the problem we are debating today will continue unabated, and the poor and vulnerable will continue to be the ones who suffer the most.

Even before lockdown, Prasa was experiencing serious problems. Countrywide, Metrorail commuters dropped from 543 million in 2013 to 147 million in 2019, and between 2017 and 2019, almost a billion rands of damage was done to our rail infrastructure by vandals and arsonists – while guarded by a security company contracted to Prasa.

In April this year, however, our state-owned rail entity ended their security contract and put its own security guards in place. Vandals became bolder and plundered ticket office roofs, overhead lines, bricks, copper and whatever else they could lay their hands on.

On 20 November 2019, the President signed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act into law. The law provides for sentences of up to 20 years in prison for train arsonists, and to my knowledge, nobody so far has received such a sentence for destroying our infrastructure. The ACDP believes that government must take full responsibility for this sad state of affairs in our country because of their soft approach when dealing with criminals.

Government must have a political will to hunt down and punish criminals who destroy our infrastructure. Unless a clear message is sent that they will be punished severely, then criminals will continue doing it as they have no fear of punishment.

The ACDP demands to know when government is going to start implementing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. We therefore, call on government to show that they have the will to stop this destruction of our valuable infrastructure.

South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

The ACDP will support all efforts and workable plans to restore our economy to inclusive growth following the devastation caused by COVID-19 to the country’s economy. Sadly, because of the hard lockdown imposed by the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, our economy contracted sharply, businesses have closed, and approximately 3 million workers lost their jobs in the second quarter of this year.

The interventions introduced by President Ramaphosa this past week are not new but are a repeat of what the government said many times before. As always, the government has been good with new ideas on paper, but very weak with implementation.

News about the Infrastructure Fund that will provide R100 billion in catalytic finance over the next decade, leveraging as much as R1 trillion in new investment for strategic infrastructure projects are welcome, but we wonder whether corruption that is endemic in our country, will not derail the noble intentions that the President highlighted in this House.

The ACDP reiterates its call to focus more on recovering the more than R500 billion lost as a result of corruption. The Hawks, NPA, SARS, SIU and other law enforcement agencies, have wide powers to freeze bank accounts and attach assets worldwide, but we are not convinced that these powers are being used optimally to send a clear message to corrupt tenderpreneurs and looters that crime is not profitable. All fake millionaires enjoying their ill-gotten gains must pay back what they have stolen.

The ACDP would like to encourage the Hawks and the SIU in particular to accelerate their investigations of the 67% of companies that won tenders related to PPEs. It is scandalous that much of the R50 billion that was spent on PPEs went to companies that are politically connected such as the President’s spokesperson’s family who received a contract of R139 million.

To ensure that such an unfair practice is not repeated, the ACDP endorses a proposal by the SIU that a legislative amendment should be made to prohibit civil servants, public representatives, and their families, from doing business with the State. In addition, the ACDP proposes that the tender system be reviewed due to ongoing abuse that costs the country billions.

If the government is to succeed in their plans for economic reconstruction and recovery, they must be relentless in pursuing all those who have been implicated in corrupt dealings, including senior political officials and those in the House.

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.