Beware of political parties promising you the world in their manifestos and campaign materials. Believe it or not politicians are quite flexible with both reality and the truth. With this in mind I started reading the Democratic Alliance’s manifesto for change.

The first line on the website reads, “The Manifesto for Change is our contract with South Africa should we be entrusted to govern“. That said something to me, it said that these are not pie-in-the-sky ideas, that these are not generalised waffling nothingnesses, that these are not bait-and-switch promises, that these are not unreliable expectations, that these are not lies and that these are not unrealizable goals.

It said, that in the event of the Democratic Alliance being entrusted to govern, that this manifesto (for change) is the Democratic Alliance’s contract with South Africa. Contract. It’s legally binding on the party asking for your vote. You can take them to civil court if they fail to implement the objectives of their manifesto. You know what you are getting with the Democratic Alliance, because it’s a contract not a vague set of empty promises.

Next, it says, “In our manifesto, we unpack how a DA-led government will put the South African people first and ensure a better future for our children. Led by a new generation of leaders, only the DA can bring real change now that builds One South Africa for All!” which because it is an audacious claim, begs the question of “How?“.

In answer to this, the Democratic Alliance has itemized its priorities, calling it “The Agenda for Change“, and according to this – their priorities are:

  • Fight Corruption
  • Honest, Professional Police
  • Fair Access to Jobs
  • Secure Our Borders
  • Speed Up Basic Service Delivery

To complement this, the Democratic Alliance has made a list of things that they will do to achieve these objectives, calling it, “How we’ll get things done“:

  • 15 years jail for corruption
  • Affordable housing in cities
  • Specialised units for gender-based violence
  • Accelerate urban land reform
  • Specialised units for drugs and gangs
  • Assist legitimate refugees and asylum seekers
  • Centres with free Internet for job-seekers
  • Eliminate corruption and bribes in SAPS
  • Eradicate corruption and inefficiency at Home Affairs
  • Fight Corruption
  • Full protection of ‘whistle-blowers’
  • A corruption-busting unit free of politicians
  • Honest, Professional Police
  • Fair Access to Jobs
  • Housing vouchers for build or financing costs
  • Increase border patrols from 15 to 22 companies
  • Informal settlement upgrades
  • Lifestyle audits for politicians and officials
  • More housing options for poor
  • No more ‘sex for jobs’
  • One year’s paid work experience for matriculants
  • No more ‘bribes for jobs’
  • Provinces to control and deploy police
  • Register all immigrants at Home Affairs
  • Welcome independent power producers
  • Attract those with special skills
  • Invest in TVET colleges
  • Retrain all police to serve with pride
  • Secure Our Borders
  • Specialised units for rural crimes
  • Speed Up Basic Service Delivery
  • A Job in Every Home
  • Efficient, quality student funding and accommodation
  • Driving lessons in LO
  • Extended clinic hours, and 50 more clinics
  • Increase the Child Grant
  • Let capable metros run the trains
  • Privatise failing SOEs
  • Break Eskom into two working companies

I’m going to read the full manifesto, critique each part and post each review of each part here on – I urge you to read the full manifesto yourself.

On the surface it seems that it is altogether an intelligent and measured manifesto, that won’t break the bank, that will solve problems and that will protect South Africa and the South African people.

So, this is a provisional endorsement which says that on the 8th May 2019: Choose Democratic Alliance, Choose Vote Democratic Alliance, Choose Vote for Democratic Alliance, Choose to Democratic Alliance, Choose to Vote Democratic Alliance and Choose to Vote for Democratic Alliance.

Click here to read The manifesto for change.


Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender is the Chief Political Officer of MicroGene.

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