South Africa is lagging behind. Twenty years of poor economic leadership has led to middling growth and insufficient job creation meaning we are not delivering the promise of freedom to our citizens.
Economically, we are at a crossroads and if we don’t change course now, we risk robbing South Africa of its full potential and robbing every man, woman and child of their rightful future.
We need to build an economy that works for all South Africans, not just the previously advantaged, the powerful or the well-connected. We need to restore the promise of South Africa we all felt after apartheid to encourage a spirit of growth and opportunity that will fuel our economy.
To boost our economy and job creation, we must make decisions based on what’s best for the next generation and the future of South Africa, not short-term political gain.
Our country is at a crossroads: the government;s mismanagement of our education system is robbing our youth of their rightful future as well as handicapping the prospects of our country.
Central to our struggle was that all South Africans have a right to a quality education to lift them from poverty and undo the injustices of the past. We must make good on that core principle of the struggle.
We need to rapidly and dramatically change course. The problems in our education system are clear. What we need is a government with the will and urgency to tackle them.
- Our schools are failing our children on a massive scale.
- 745,000 (66%) students who enrolled in grade 1 in 2001 did not pass matric in 2012
- In 20 years the government has not adequately addressed the biggest issue: poor teacher quality and training. Just 38% of grade 6 maths teachers could answer questions from a grade 6 test.
- Corruption and mismanagement mean after 20 years we do not have proper learning environments:
- We have a second-class system that accepts second-rate results. 30% or 40% is not a pass. No one wants a nurse, teacher or plumber who only knows 40% of the requirements in their field.
- AIM HIGH: We will aim to be a top 10 education system globally and make decisions accordingly. Incremental change will no longer be accepted. We will also immediately make our pass rate 50%.
- PUT STUDENTS FIRST: We will conduct subject-specific competency tests of all teachers; provide intensive teacher training and link pay increases to competency/qualifications; introduce minimum standards for new teacher hires with an eventual goal of all teachers having bachelor degrees.
- FILL TEACHER VACANCIES: We will hire 15,000 more teachers with a focus on unemployed youth with bachelor degrees; provide allowances for working in rural areas and scarce skills (e.g., maths).
- UPGRADE INFRASTRUCTURE: We will eradicate mud schools, fix basic infrastructure and build libraries to provide our youth with proper learning environments.
- SET MINIMUM STANDARDS: We will define minimum standards for all elements of the education system so parents know what they should expect from government and can hold it accountable.
- TOP-UP SOCIAL GRANTS FOR EDUCATION RESULTS: We will provide additional social grant money to families for students who achieve a 70% pass in any year and for matriculation.
Years of mismanagement have created a healthcare system that is failing our citizens. Health outcomes are dismal and in many cases have gotten worse, human resources are in insufficient and clinics and hospitals cannot even count on basic supplies and infrastructure being available.
Yet while most South Africans are suffering, our politicians do not. They and their families use the world class private sector system that more than 80% of South Africans can only dream of accessing.
Our two tier healthcare system is a betrayal of our values. Every South African has a right to quality healthcare irrespective of where they live, their employment status or level of income.
We must make urgent changes to put our healthcare system on track.
- Unacceptable outcomes: In the past 20 years life expectancy has decreased; HIV sky rocketed and was slow to be addressed; in many other areas like TB, infant and maternal mortality, our outcomes are more like the poorest countries than our middle income peers.
- Two systems: we have a healthcare system for the rich and a healthcare system for the poor with very different levels of quality and service.
- Public sector system is in critical condition: it is starved of health professionals; the district health and primary care system does not work; hospitals are mismanaged; patients and staff can’t count on drugs and supplies to be available; and patients suffer long waits and poor service.
- Private sector is at risk: it provides exceptional quality and service but costs are increasing uncontrollably and its outstanding skills and practices are only benefiting a select few.
- INCREASE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: expand public and private training places, re-open nursing colleges and recruit and rapidly accredit foreign professionals
- EXPAND LOCAL CONTROL: stop central government bureaucracy handcuffing the system and allow provincial and local institutions more authority as they show themselves capable
- Strengthen district health systems and build a functioning primary care system by supporting integrating and capacitation of local public, private and civil society actors
- Make public hospitals non-profit entities; help them raise donations and let them enter into contracts so they don’t rely on slow government for basic maintenance, order processing, etc.
- Use the private sector to run our supply chains to stop corruption and ensure drugs and supplies are available in our clinics and hospitals
- MAKE PERFORMANCE TRANSPARENT: define a comprehensive performance framework and publish performance down to institutions so the public can hold all levels of government accountable
- INCREASE PRIVATE SECTOR ACCESS: contract certain services for public patients, provide tax incentives for private providers to work in public sector; let private sector run some public assets
- TURN AROUND HEALTH OUTCOMES: expand the war on HIV; aggressively tackle neglected areas of TB, as well as maternal and child mortality.
Our country is at a crossroads: corruption is rampant, accountability is non-existent and ordinary South Africans are being robbed of their future because of it. South Africans have a right to know what kind of business dealings are taking place between government officials, their families and the government whose job it is to serve us. To ensure the accountability, we will guarantee transparency and openness on and any and all financial dealings of officials, elected and appointed.
We must and we will have a government where there is zero tolerance for corrupt, unethical officials who abuse and violate the public trust. We cannot afford corrupt officials enriching themselves when millions of South Africans can’t find good jobs or don’t have decent homes and millions of children go without school books.
- Corruption is rampant: Only 22% of government institutions received clean audits in 2012.
- Public services are being stolen: R33 billion was misspent through unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure in the 2011/12 financial year. This is enough money to solve most of the shortages facing our public services. With R33bn we could fund annual salaries for 15 000 teachers, 15 000 doctors, 45 000 nurses and build a fully stocked and staffed library in 20,000 schools.
- Government officials are using their influence to get government contracts that line their pockets and enrich their families: Each year government officials secure hundreds of millions for themselves and their families, paid for by ordinary South Africans.
- There is no accountability: Government officials that have been found guilty of corruption are allowed to hold office in a different capacity.
- CONFLICT OF INTEREST LAW: Ban government officials and their families from conducting business with the state
- WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS: Pass a whistleblower law that rewards and protects those who expose corruption.
- BEEF UP WATCHDOGS: Increase the budgets of the Auditor General and Public Protector to enable them to do their work effectively.
- ONE STRIKE AND YOU’RE OUT: Bar officials found guilty of corruption from running for office, holding government positions or receiving government contracts for 5 years.
- TRANSPARENCY: Create a culture of transparency in government by requiring MPs and their families to disclose their financial interests to the public.
- TRAINING: Train all government officials and employees in anticorruption requirements and measures so there are no excuses for non-compliance. And mandate that government officials and employees sign a code of conduct that spells out dismissal for infractions.
Safety and Security
Our country is at a crossroads: we are crippled by rampant crime. Citizens live in fear, many flee the country. The costs of crime make business more expensive or drive it away entirely.
South Africans have a right to safe and secure living environments where we can walk the streets without fear and businesses can flourish. And they have a right to leaders who defend that right, not ones that allow corruption, incompetence or brutality to flourish.
We must and we will have a justice system that works. A professional, respected police service must protect citizens and criminals must know they will be caught and punished.
- South Africa has one of the highest violent crime rates in the world: We do not feel safe and secure in our own homes fearing murder, house robberies and rape. And our global reputation is of violence deterring job creation from business investment and tourism.
- Despite one of the world’s highest crime rates, government hasn’t invested enough in our police: our police face massive shortages of equipment and specialized skills (e.g., weapons, vehicles, radios, detectives, labs, etc.) and receive insufficient training
- The government’s response is force: the police have been re-militarised and told to ‘shoot to kill.’ There were 932 deaths in police custody in 2011 and 2012 – reminiscent of our apartheid past.
- Criminals aren’t afraid: under-resourced and under-trained police equals insufficient investigative capacity, lost or mismanaged evidence and ultimately few convictions.
- HIRE MORE POLICE: We will boost the size of the SAPS to 250,000 members, 60,000 more than current government targets
- INVESTMENT DRIVE: We will upscale equipment and resources at the disposal of our police so they have what they need to do their job
- DE-MILITARISE THE POLICE: We will return the police to a police service and implement a zero tolerance policy for police brutality
- TRAINING: We will introduce minimum standards and entrance exams and completely re-design police training for new recruits, existing officers and police service managers.
- WHOLE SOCIETY APPROACH: We will ensure police, communities and private security companies work more closely together to promote a more active approach to policing.
- TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE MANAGEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY: We will create a national database to track crime and manage cases. It will serve as the basis for police resource deployment, investment and management so we can win the war on crime. Data will also be shared with the public to provide transparency on crime hotspots and police performance.