The Running Commentary

ANC Manifesto for the “poor”


I, as many of you probably, was amazed to see the release of the ANC’s manifesto with “a focus on the poor”. Not that they should not be focusing on the poor, and job creation, but just that I thought that this had always been their focus. Not so long ago (the last elections) the poster ads read “jobs for all”

While I feel the message is still relevant I am concerned about the lack of detail in terms of how they are going to go about achieving the required results. As it is, their track record in terms of implementation has been very poor. As you will no doubt recall from previous posts on the state of spending in this country by the government departments, there is certainly no lack of money. Simply put the manner it which it is expended, or not as was the case with Health and Education, shows that the ruling party battles with execution.

One only hopes that there is a major shift in the will of the office bearers tasked with the execution of these policies, a shift to ensuring that the money is expended correctly. Equally we need to ensure that whatever policies are implemented that they ensure that the country remains competitive, on a global scale. We cannot see policy implementation that hurts the competitive ability of South Africa. This is going to become even more relevant as the global markets move through the credit crunch phase and adopt a stance of “shopping for the best deal”.

One of the more worrying things for me is that the ruling party is apparently moving away from service delivery. Which was always a key component of their strategy to win votes. Does this mean that they are acknowledging that they have not come up to expectations in this arena, or is it that they feel they have met their goals. I am sure one their arguments will be that they focusing on the immediate security of their supporters. I am convinced that they have their finger on the pulse of their voters, hence the focus on jobs. I am not, however, convinced that they have the genuine will to change the landscape of the country. Rather let me restate this, I do not believe that the current office bearers “down the line” have the will or ability (or both) to deliver on these goals.

I understand that this this quite a harsh statement, but unless there is a radical focus on getting those tasked with implementation and execution, to do their jobs, then this manifesto will amount to nothing more than another bag of wind.

I genuinely hope that we will see increased accountability in terms of the office bearers, and a focused, measured approach in terms of the way forward.  

As for the rest of the political parties, let’s see you bring this accountability by uniting in a common focus on highlighting poor or marginal delivery. While doing this make sure that you are also able to offer viable alternatives to those put forward. If not alternatives, then how you would better execute in order to meet and exceed the expectations of the voters.

ANCcompetitiveCOPEDAIDjob creationManifestoservice delivery

Mike • January 12, 2009

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