COURTNEY TINK, REBECCA WOODROW, AND HUVASAN REDDY

Over the last month the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) released their respective local government election manifestos in the build-up to the municipal elections on 3 August. These three parties represent the majority of the seats in the National Assembly (NA): the ANC holds 249 seats, the DA holds 67 seats, and the EFF holds 25 seats. The NA has a total of 400 seats. Perdeby looks at each party’s election manifesto and how students may benefit from each party’s policies.

ANC

The ANC manifesto, titled “Together advancing people’s power in every community”, was launched at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 16 April. The manifesto is based on improving projects that were previously completed or are in the process of being completed, such as road maintenance and transportation. Special focus is given to improving sanitation, housing and water services available to communities. The ANC also plans on funding projects that focus on sustainable living and remaining consistently successful within changing climate conditions. The manifesto also places emphasis on creating better accountability for ward councillors, and the prevention and investigation of fraud and corruption.

DA

The DA launched its manifesto at the Rand Stadium in Rosettenville, Johannesburg on 23 April. The focus of their manifesto is to secure the Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay municipalities in the elections this August. The DA’s manifesto, titled “Change that moves South Africa forward again”, includes overall community improvement in safety, service delivery, and job creation. The manifesto features the party’s local government successes and infographics comparing DA-run municipalities with ANC-run municipalities. The DA will offer free public transport to all registered jobseekers, and exclude politicians and public representatives from recruiting for the Department of Public Works.

EFF

The EFF launched their local government election manifesto, titled “Our last hope for jobs and service delivery”, on 30 April at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The EFF put forward some unique propositions, such as providing municipally-owned theatres and recording studios with support to build up aspiring artists. Their manifesto includes abolishing tenders, CCTV cameras in crime hotspots, waiving debts for the unemployed and social grant recipients, municipal driving schools with all matriculants being provided with driving lessons, and the expropriation of land through the amendment of municipal by-laws.

How can students benefit from each party?

All three of the parties have promised easily accessible, free Wi-Fi, with the EFF promising the widest implementation, offering free Wi-Fi at schools, clinics, parks, taxi ranks and other public spaces. The EFF promise of municipal-owned theatres and recording studios could be an attractive proposition to young artists.

The DA’s promise of free public transportation for registered jobseekers will assist those who have left university and entered the job market.

According to the ANC manifesto, in the last five years 600 young graduates and apprentices have been placed in municipalities. In their plans for boosting local economies, the ANC claims that they will set aside 60% of jobs for the youth.

How did Tshwane vote in the last municipal elections?

According to census data compiled and processed by Wazimap, in the 2011 municipal elections there were 1 330 475 people registered to vote in the City of Tshwane in the municipal elections, of which 55.3% voted. The ANC claimed 55% of the votes, while the DA claimed 39%. The University of Pretoria is situated in Ward 56 of the City of Tshwane. According to Wazimap, in 2011 the population in the ward was 19 381, with 12 414 people registered to vote in the 2011 municipal elections. In Ward 56 the DA won the majority of votes in the 2011 municipal elections with 81% of the votes. The ANC won 14% of the votes.

Image: Shen Scott