South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election
South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has unveiled its manifesto ahead of the crucial May 29 election. The manifesto launch took place in Durban, with President Cyril Ramaphosa outlining the party’s six priority areas for the future.

In his speech, President Ramaphosa highlighted the successes of the past three decades and expressed a commitment to resolve the pressing challenges facing the country, including high unemployment, crime, and poverty. He emphasized that the ANC would build on the progress made thus far and work towards a better future for all South Africans.

However, recent polls suggest that the ANC is at risk of losing its parliamentary majority for the first time since Nelson Mandela led the country through its first democratic elections after the fall of apartheid 30 years ago. This puts pressure on the party to secure a decisive victory in the upcoming election.

South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election
South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

President Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term as president is not without hurdles. The ANC-led government has faced criticism for low economic growth, rising unemployment, and a series of corruption scandals over the past 15 years. The country’s most industrialized economy has struggled to expand, with an average growth rate of only 0.8% since 2012.

Despite coming to power on a platform of renewal and recovery following the removal of Jacob Zuma in 2018, President Ramaphosa has faced difficulties in delivering meaningful improvements in areas such as crime, corruption, and economic growth. This has led to a sense of disillusionment among some voters who had hoped for significant change under his leadership.

South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election
South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

Addressing a crowd of over 75,000 party members and supporters at the manifesto launch, President Ramaphosa acknowledged the need to do more and better in order to ensure continued progress for South Africa. He called for unity and collaboration, urging all South Africans to work together towards a brighter future for the country.

During his tenure, unemployment in South Africa rose significantly, reaching 32.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 29.1% four years earlier. This increase in joblessness has caused much concern among the population. Additionally, the country has been plagued by frequent and severe blackouts due to the struggling state-owned power utility, Eskom. The aging coal-fired fleet has posed challenges for Eskom in maintaining a reliable power supply.

South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election
South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

Despite these challenges, Ramaphosa highlighted some of the achievements of his party, the ANC, over the past three decades. He emphasized the country’s progressive constitution, which promotes inclusivity and strives for a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic society. These milestones have been praised as positive steps towards a more equal and fair country.

As the ANC prepares for upcoming elections, they have outlined key priorities that address the concerns of the population. One of these priorities is implementing an employment program to combat the high rates of unemployment. By leveraging various industries, they aim to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities for the citizens. Additionally, they plan to tackle the high cost of living by improving access to subsidised basic services.

South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election
South Africa: ANC unveils manifesto ahead of crucial May 29 election

Despite these plans, South Africans have grown disillusioned with the ANC and Ramaphosa acknowledged that mistakes have been made. The party is aware of the need for change and has committed to a rigorous vetting process for newly elected leaders, should they win convincingly in the polls. This signifies a recognition of the importance of accountability and integrity within the party’s leadership.

Overall, while facing various challenges such as rising unemployment and power outages, Ramaphosa and the ANC are determined to address these issues and bring about positive change for the country.

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