The GOOD party has announced its 2019 election manifesto, promising action on all the trending topics in the country.
Patricia de Lille launched the party following an acrimonious departure from the Democratic Alliance, having faced accusations of corruption and maladministration during her time as executive mayor of the Mother City.
De Lille has repeatedly denied all allegations against her, saying that the DA had launched an unfounded vendetta against her. She resigned from her role as mayor, and from the DA in October 2018, announcing the formation of GOOD, weeks later.
Chances at the polls
With the 2019 elections being GOOD’s debut on the roll, there is no indication or historic data to determine how the party could perform in the elections, in May.
An Ipsos poll does not have GOOD capturing any significant share among younger voters.
Sentiment among analysts is mixed, with some forecasts suggesting that the party is unlikely to make an impact in 2019, but may in the future, while others see the party at the very least causing the DA some trouble in the Western Cape.
Historically, political parties to launch with big names – Mamphela Ramphele’s Agang, and Mosiuoa Lekota’s COPE – drew initial success, but then struggled in subsequent elections.
COPE’s first national elections (2009) saw it capture 7.42% of the vote – however this declined to less than a percent (0.67%). Agang contested the elections in 2014, but only secured 0.28% of the vote.
South Africa does have an example of a new political party growing, however, in the EFF, which first contested the elections in 2014 and secured 6.35% of the vote. The party’s support base has grown, and polls predict that it will secure as much as 11% of the vote in 2019.
For a political party to secure a seat in parliament, it needs to secure 0.25% of the national vote.
GOOD launched its manifesto on Tuesday under the banner of #FixSA, proposing to “turn government on its head” through its policies.
As with most election manifestos, the party is thin on any real details, focusing more on the “what” rather than the “how”. Despite this, the manifesto outlines the party’s general position on e-tolls, Eskom, and land expropriation.
The leadership of the party, who will contest the 2019 elections, will be revealed later this week. GOOD’s members include several politicians who left the DA and the city of Cape Town with de Lille.
Below are the party’s election promises:
Land expropriation and housing
GOOD said it believes that the Section 25 change to the Constitution for land expropriation without compensation is unnecessary.
“Government already expropriates land, and Section 25 already allows for zero compensation where appropriate,” it said.
Instead, the party wants the government to use the land it already has for redress and growth. It wants cities to have a bigger say in what happens to the land they own, and for land restitution cases to be dealt with in five years.
Further, the party wants to develop higher density housing in urban areas – moving away from the costly low-cost housing on the outskirts of cities.
Splitting Eskom and focusing on renewable energy
GOOD said it would split Eskom into two companies, and open up the market to competition.
This includes allowing cities to procure or generate their own power.
It would also prioritise renewable energy – especially wind and solar power.
Scrapping e-tolls and reworking public transport
GOOD said it would scrap the e-toll system.
It would then integrate rail, busses and taxis into a one-system, one-ticket format.
More fibre and lower data prices
Without going into any detail, GOOD promises to accelerate the rolling out of fibre networks, and to bring down data costs.
This would be prioritised to low-income areas and schools.
More teachers and move to e-learning
On education, GOOD said that it would address the desperate need for teachers by reopening teaching colleges.
It would also promote e-learning, and physical activity in schools.
Room for national healthcare and private healthcare
GOOD said that it believes in universal access to basic healthcare, and said that such a programme should work in conjunction with private healthcare.
It insists that citizens have a right to seek additional care above what is provided nationally.
To combat the jobs crisis, GOOD said it would create jobs by encouraging investment through policy certainty, building the needed infrastructure and support businesses, towns and cities.
Key to this, would be to focus on growth strategies that provide jobs for semi-skilled or unskilled workers who are currently unemployed, the party said.
Corruption and government
GOOD said that it would stop corruption and cadre deployment, wasteful expenditure and unaffordable projects.
It would prosecute corrupt officials – and most importantly, shrink cabinet to no more than 15 minister.
South Africans will head to the polls some time in May, with president Cyril Ramaphosa yet to declare a set date.