Monday, February 16, 2009

ACDP Manifesto Elections 2009

ACDP MANIFESTO ELECTIONS 2009

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) brings to South Africa hope for a strong, healthy and prosperous nation by recognising family values as the building block of society. Our hope lies in God Almighty and in our Christian Democratic value system. The ACDP will focus on addressing the critical challenges such as Poverty and Unemployment, Education, Housing, Health, Justice and Crime, and Moral Regeneration and Integrity.

Poverty and Unemployment

The ACDP will reduce poverty and unemployment with sound economic policies.  Due to South Africa’s legacy of inequality and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, much-needed social grants are necessary in the short-term.

The ACDP thus supports the concept of targeted social interventions designed to reduce poverty for the most vulnerable. We need to ensure that the elderly, particularly the impoverished, who have contributed so much to building our nation, are properly cared for through state pensions and social grants.  Annual increases to state pensions and grants should cater for increases in the costs of living and should not be below inflation.

We will extend child support grants to the age of 18 (in the form of vouchers) linked to specific criteria, such as school attendance, and provide nutritional programmes at schools from pre-school to grade 12.  We will also implement a developmental programme in order to reduce long term dependence on social grants. This programme will include an emphasis on entrepreneurship, skills development and job creation.

The ACDP will:

  • Support small business development by facilitating access to financial assistance and mentorship programmes;
  • Encourage privatisation and labour-intensive initiatives;
  • Streamline labour legislation to remove obstructions to growth within the framework of fair labour practices;
  • Increase public sector investment in infrastructure to address the power crisis, ports, roads, public transportation, water and sanitation systems;
  • Encourage the development of a culture of savings, investment, patient building of capital and hard work;
  • Ensure that economic empowerment results in broader socio-economic upliftment instead of the current culture of entitlement and the enrichment of a small group;
  • Encourage training and development within industry through grants and tax incentives for apprenticeships, appropriate skills, and labour-intensive practices;
  • Promote agricultural development to ensure food security, including making small and subsistence farmers commercially viable;
  • Help South Africa become more competitive in the global economy and encourage fair trade internationally; and
  • Promote stricter standards of international financial governance to address the devastating affects of the global financial meltdown and ensure that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are more democratic and transparent.

Education

Education develops a nation’s character and determines its future prosperity.  According to a World Economic Forum report (2007), South Africa has one of the worst educational systems in the world. There are still too many disadvantaged children because of failing or under-achieving schools. The gap between the poorer and middle-class public schools has not narrowed sufficiently.

The ACDP is committed to providing quality education and re-establishing the central role of parents in the education of their children.  The development of the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual virtues of our nation will be the primary focus. The ACDP will scrap Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) and implement a Value-Based Education (VBE) system.

The ACDP will:

  • Focus on basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy;
  • Protect freedom of religion within schools;
  • Prioritise access to early childhood development facilities from 0-7 years;
  • Provide free education to learners in certain schools and subsidies to ensure access to education for all learners;
  • Increase subsidies for tertiary education;
  • Attract and retain skilled and experienced teachers through better remuneration packages, working conditions and career opportunities;
  • Re-open and properly equip training colleges and promote teaching as a profession;
  • Reintroduce school inspectors to monitor the standard of teaching;
  • Review and improve adult education and provide communities with a range of family and learning services including drama, dance, music, sport and languages; 
  • Provide for special education needs through suitably resourced special and mainstream schools;
  • Empower educators to deal with undisciplined and disruptive children through inter alia corporal correction; 
  • Remove gangsterism, weapons, drugs and alcohol from schools; and
  • Strengthen school governing bodies.

Housing

The ACDP respects property ownership and is committed to extend this to as many citizens as possible. The ACDP will incrementally provide access to adequate housing for all.

The ACDP will:

  • Promote the development of affordable housing through the provision of community-owned self-help schemes;
  • Ensure the use of cost–effective technology to provide better quality housing;
  • Encourage the development of sustainable housing communities with amenities and services such as health, education, socio-economic and recreational facilities;
  • Focus on rural development to address the problems resulting in urban migration through incentives for industries to relocate to rural areas; and
  • Review and establish a comprehensive data-base of persons on waiting lists for housing.

Health

Approximately 5,5 million South Africans are infected with HIV and hundreds of deaths every day are Aids-related.  Government-funded HIV education programmes provide mixed messages about sex that are counter-productive.  The ACDP will intensify the fight against HIV/Aids by declaring it a notifiable disease and ensuring routine testing.

The ACDP will ensure that primary and tertiary health care will be accessible and of an excellent standard.

The ACDP will:

  • Ensure the provision of clean water and proper sanitation and that basic health and hygiene is taught from primary school level upwards;
  • Extend the roll-out of antiretroviral treatment and the prevention of mother to child transmission programmes;
  • Prioritise public awareness campaigns to promote abstinence and fidelity;
  • Focus on efforts to contain and eliminate tuberculosis (TB) with a particular emphasis on extreme and multi-drug resistant TB;
  • Improve public hospital services and ensure better equipped and properly remunerated medical staff;
  • By facilitating public-private partnerships ensure that hospital revitalisation is a top priority;
  • Intervene to significantly reduce maternal and child mortality; and
  • Provide access to medical aid through a national health scheme which will broaden access to health services.

Our physical wellbeing is also largely dependent on what we eat, drink and breathe.  The ACDP therefore supports alternative, renewable sources of energy, adherence to global environmental standards and clean technology.

Justice and Crime

The ACDP will ensure justice for all.  We are committed to a constitutional democracy that upholds the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. All laws should be measured against Biblical law which is objectively true and binding.

The main role of government is to protect its citizens and to wield the sword of justice; yet there is hardly a person in South Africa who has not had his/her life affected by crime. The ACDP believes that the most effective deterrent to crime is when criminals know they will be swiftly apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced.

In the case of minor offences, the ACDP’s victim-centred policy of restorative justice will play a crucial role in maintaining the balance between punishment and individual responsibility on the one hand, and restoration of both the victim and offender on the other. Criminals in this case will be held accountable for their actions by the payment of restitution to victims or through community service.

The ACDP will:

  • Implement a zero-tolerance anti-crime strategy;
  • Fight corruption by re-establishing the Scorpions and strengthening the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority and other anti-corruption units;
  • Increase salaries and benefits of law enforcement officers;
  • Provide more police stations, forensic laboratories, courts and better trained and equipped personnel;
  • Ensure an integrated law-enforcement approach for Metropolitan Police, the South African Police Services and private security companies; 
  • Provide access to pre-trial services, including victim and witness support;
  • Ensure that stiffer sentences are imposed with minimum sentences for certain crimes;
  • Review the parole system and deny bail for certain categories of crime such as murder, rape, armed robbery and car hijacking;
  • Introduce capital punishment for serious offences such as premeditated murder; and
  • Broaden prison labour programmes whereby prisoners will learn various skills and contribute to the costs of their board and lodging.

Moral Regeneration and Integrity

This election must reset our moral compass — the call to integrity is the internal compass we must all carry.

South Africa needs leaders of integrity.  The ACDP will root out corruption in the public service and ensure honesty, accountability and transparency in government at all levels.

The ACDP will accelerate moral regeneration by amending liberal and humanistic policies and legislation that have systematically undermined family values.

Some examples of these include:

  • Access to contraceptives and abortion by children as young as 12 years (without parental consent);
  • The banning of corporal correction in schools and efforts to criminalise corporal correction by parents in their own homes;
  • Inappropriate sex education in schools;
  • The reduction in the age of sexual consent in certain cases;
  • Attempts to legalise prostitution; and
  • Legalising pornography, gambling, same-sex marriage and abortion-on-demand.

The ACDP is committed to implement these policies to ensure a safe, healthy and prosperous nation.

We stand for Christian principles, freedom of religion, a free market economy with a social conscience, family values, community empowerment and human rights in a federal system.


I would just like to make a comment on the last section in the manifesto above.

The paragraph just above the bullet points says:

“The ACDP will accelerate moral regeneration by amending liberal and humanistic policies and legislation that have systematically undermined family values.”

IMHO, this paragraph which then leads into the bullet points makes the bullet points seem a bit ambiguous. I have had some comebacks from people I emailed the manifesto to on this very section. They wanted clarity on this because they seemed to think that the ACDP supported the bullet points and that the bullet points are the amendments suggested.

Let me clarify that issue… The ACDP would want to repeal the laws pointed to by the bullet points. Those are laws currently in existence, and the ACDP feels that those laws are immoral and should be changed.

Therefore, I wrote to the ACDP on Friday suggesting that the sentence from the manifesto I quoted should’ve read:

“The ACDP will accelerate moral regeneration by repealing liberal and humanistic policies and legislation that have systematically undermined family values.”

Anyhow, there is the manifesto of the ACDP.

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