Local Government Elections Manifesto
24 August, 1995
A better South Africa
Last year, we, the people of South Africa, gained our freedom. We laid a strong foundation for equality and human rights for all citizens. We turned our backs on the division and conflict of apartheid, and we set the nation irreversibly on the path of change.
The majority of South Africans chose the ANC to lead the country. They did so because the ANC represents the hopes of the nation and has a plan to improve people`s lives. The people showed their trust in the ANC because of its proud history of struggle for freedom and its record of non-racialism and nation-building.
A start has been made
Since the elections of April 1994 the ANC has been working hard to introduce the changes people want.
The ANC-led Government of National Unity has started free health care for pregnant women and young children; school feeding for children in need; bringing clean water and electricity to communities who never had them; getting land for rural communities. At last our country has a single education system. We are phasing in free education, and children are actually back in their classrooms.
The economy has been put on a sound footing. For the first time in years there is real economic growth.
Under the leadership of President Nelson Mandela we have managed to bring together the people of our country; and we are now truly building a South African nation. Everywhere the new spirit of democracy and respect for people`s rights, which the ANC struggled for over years, is becoming a reality. A new rainbow nation is being born. A remarkable partnership across the old divisions of race, life-style and religion is being built. Together we South Africans are building a great future for ourselves.
We are proud of our achievements, but the ANC is honest enough to acknowledge that we could have done more. Official red tape slowed down progress in some cases. Communities have not always been fully involved. Government structures needed to implement projects were sometimes not ready.
The local government elections give us the chance to put these things right.
Democracy where we live
The people brought about change
Last year`s elections brought democratic government to the nation and the provinces, but not at local level. We need democratic local authorities which can make things happen where we live.
The old local councils were divided on apartheid lines, serving the interests of a few. Communities fought the apartheid councils and in so doing laid the basis for the coming elections. Community structures achieved much during the years of struggle. Now we can achieve much more with local governments that work with the people instead of holding them back.
Real people`s power
By voting in the November elections, every local community will get an additional voice in government. Each community will have the power to work with the ANC-led national government to make the RDP work for them.
Through democratic local councils, communities can make their areas better places to live in. Through them we will decide on delivery of water to our houses; where new electricity supplies and sanitation will be put in; where streets will be laid; where schools, clinics and houses will be built; and how rubbish will be removed from streets and public areas. They will make sure that there is a system of fair rents and services for everyone. Together we can break down the barriers that have kept us apart for so long and build truly South African communities in the cities, towns and villages.
Where problems cannot be solved locally, the councils will make the national and provincial government work for the changes and improvements that all of us need.
You can rely on the ANC
Community leaders with a track record
The councillors you elect in the local government elections will become the main agents of change in your communities. When you choose your candidates, they should be people you can rely on.
They must be people who understand your problems, care about your future and know how to listen to the people.
ANC candidates are people from your area, who have always worked and sacrificed for a better life for the people in your community. As ANC councilors, they will make sure that the resources of local government are used to benefit all the people. They will report back to you and be answerable to you.
Our candidates are representatives of the people. They come from all walks of life and bring a wide range of skills and experience to local government. We have more women candidates than any other party, because we recognise that women are important in building a better community.
Our candidates will work together with you to implement the ANC`s plans for development in your community. In the past these leaders led the fight against apartheid. Today as ANC candidates they are bringing communities together to make the RDP work for their communities.
At the local level the ANC has fought for the kind of boundaries which will help do away with the divisions of the past. We seek to unite all sectors of the population so that none should live in fear of one another. We work together with young and old; urban and rural communities; workers, employers; religious leaders; students; professionals; traditional leaders – all as partners of change.
Don`t waste your vote on those with no clear plans for the future. The ANC unites people, and will bring change rather than slowing it down.
Together we will build a better life
The ANC recognises that communities are ready to take control over their own lives, to share with government the responsibility to bring about change and manage their daily lives. The spirit of Masakhane has been welcomed far and wide because we all want to do something to improve our lives.
Community involvement is the key to ensuring more security, and building stable and orderly communities. Together, we will tackle the poverty, crime and disease that has undermined our community values and brought fear and insecurity. Through the ANC you can bring new strength and determination to solve these problems.
The ANC stands for community involvement through elected and effective councils which will bring progress in housing programmes and provision of services. Elected councils will give communities the means to take responsibility for these matters. Reliable services and well-managed housing will ensure more funds for addressing the plight of the homeless.
In rural areas we will ensure that democratic local government deals with the basic needs of all our people. This will be done with sensitivity for local traditions and structures. For the first time rural communities will participate fully in determining their destiny by greater involvement in managing their own affairs. With ANC representatives they will play a critical role in programmes to supply water and electricity, to avail land for farming, to create jobs and run community based development programmes. Rural women, silent workers for decades and the back-bone of their communities, will gain their rightful place as local government representatives.
Let`s make it happen
Last year you voted for a better life for all South Africans. The ANC now says that together we must make a success of the local government elections, knowing that your organisation must continue to work with you and carry out your wishes.
The plans that we have started to implement come from you. Together we have started to change South Africa for the better. If we all continue doing our bit, we can make these plans succeed, we can build a better life where we live.
We must start now to improve things in our communities. Let us come together as communities to fight crime and co-operate with the police to root out this evil. Let us come together to identify the urgent things that we need; and make proposals to our ANC government about what must be done. Let us come together, to improve the way development projects are run.
- Together we have the power to reconstruct and develop our country.
- Together we can build a better life where we live.
- Together let us bring happiness into our homes.
- Let`s make it happen here.
- Vote ANC.
A Solemn Pledge
The ANC`s history of grassroots community involvement, our track record of bringing people together and working with them, and our vision of a better life for all, will be our guiding principles as we work in local government.
ANC councilors will work closely with communities. We shall be true to the people`s aspirations; living among them and working with them. The arrogance of unrepresentative apartheid structures will be buried forever. Ours is a people`s government.
This is our solemn pledge as an organisation; as candidates for local government; and as the representatives you chose in last year`s elections for provincial and national government.