The Inkatha Freedom Party has published its election manifesto, presenting its promises for the 2019 national election.
While the IFP’s support has diminished in each election since 1994, the party remains the fourth most widely supported party in the country after the ANC, DA and EFF.
In the 2014 national elections, the IFP secured only 2.4% of the national vote, but managed to improve its positioning in the 2016 municipal elections, where its support increased to 4.2% of the vote.
In 2019, the party hopes to leverage its support base in KwaZulu Natal (which make up the bulk of its supporters) to make further gains.
The IFP positions itself against the ANC, which it says has created dysfunctional systems, overseen corruption and finds itself in a leadership crisis.
According to 90-year-old IFP leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthalezi, there is growing frustration and anger in South Africa, particularly among the youth, who he believes has been sold a false dream.
“That anger is justified; but anger won’t create the solution. We have reached a point where all our energy must be channelled into bringing change for good,” he said.
The IFP’s manifesto, he said, is the party’s starting point to rebuilding social cohesion, to “get everyone on the same side” to pull South Africa back.
This is how the IFP promises to tackle the country’s biggest issues:
The IFP wants to build an inclusive economy that focuses on SMME development and unemployment.
It wants a particular focus on youth unemployment with a special department created to create jobs for the youth.
Other plans include private-public partnerships with SOEs; the creation of a state-owned bank; and an unemployment register in every municipality.
The party supports land expropriation without compensation.
It says it will allocate all unused state land to assist the poor, with specific support for modern agricultural initiatives. It also wants training infrastructure for agriculture, including introducing agricultural science at a school level.
In areas with limited space, it favours high-rise residential development. Communal land in the hands of the people, under custodianship of traditional leaders.
The party also wants to introduce subsidised housing for people earning between R3,500 and R15,000 a month.
The IFP says that the cost of medicine needs to be brought down, but makes no mention of universal healthcare like the NHI.
Instead, focus is placed on establishing provincial centres for medical research, and providing more training and capacity for healthcare professionals.
Accessibility to complimentary and traditional medicines would also be improved.
Crime and safety
The party wants to reprioritise the budget to ‘professionalise’ the SAPS, while decentralising their powers from national to provincial and local authorities.
It also wants to establish specialised courts to deal with corruption, sexual violence, gangs and drugs.
Notably, the party wants harsher punishment for criminals, with prison terms including hard labour, as well as re-opening the debate on bringing back the death penalty in South Africa.
The IFP supports free education, with the promise of free, quality ECD, Primary, Secondary and Higher education and training.
It wants teachers to be paid more, and for schools to have free transport for scholars, along with better nutrition schemes, higher security and future-ready skills development.
Energy and the environment
The party wants to ensure that renewable energy sources are fully developed as part of the country’s energy mix.
For the environment, it wants a ban on all single use plastics – and wants canned hunting to be done away with.
Read more on party manifestos: