IMPROVING poverty-stricken households in the African Transformation Movement’s (ATM) most pressing concern heading towards the national local elections this year.
Party leader Vuyo Zungula launched the manifesto in Mthatha over the weekend where scores of people went in heavy rain to listen to Zungula.
Zungula told cheering audiences that ATM, known for its traditional and religious links, was clear that indigenous African churches and traditional leadership would be given stature and the role of biblically sound and moral leadership was going to be the order of the day.
“We are going into every house to give them hope. Not just to promise them housing but to show them the love of God. Housing and sanitation for the poor is a human right. We don’t want to give people T-shirts and then never see them again. We want to restore their human dignity. That’s why the poor will vote for ATM,” Zungula said.
The party made waves last year when they called on society to “Put South Africa first”, a movement that called for prioritising South Africans and called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to unseal his controversial CR17 campaign documents.
In their manifesto the party says it believes in mechanisms for housing as pointers for sustainable communities.
The party is adamant that in their nine point plan is a precursor to solving many of the issues plaguing the country.
Adding to their housing theme the party said it will focus on municipalities understanding that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of this right, a right of proper accommodation.
“The demand for housing in South Africa requires a high level of government intervention and investment. South Africa faces a challenge regarding the acceleration of housing delivery,” added Zungula
Zungula said the current South African Government has failed to meet the many challenges facing the nation, such as the housing backlogs and social and economic segregation.
“Societal inequality is a chronic problem in our country. South Africa has an inclusive Constitution that protects the rights of all, accompanied with a statutory and policy architecture for gender empowerment and equality,” he said.
“Any society that cares for its citizens needs to support and empower these groups economically and socially so they participate in the economy and governance of the country meaningfully. Women were previously marginalised by the apartheid government and sometimes by our own societal norms and standards, yet they are the majority of our population. When you empower women, you empower the nation,” Zungula added.
In building a better tomorrow, ATM said it puts communities first by committing to transform municipalities into peaceful, ethically-governed and economically viable.
For local government the party said it will ensure that municipalities are tolerant, competent and consultative, thereby giving power to its citizens and place poverty reduction, research and development, innovation and socio-economic transformation at the forefront of local government policy priorities by designing instruments to implement effective public policies to achieve these objectives.
Political analyst Thando Dotyeni said ATM’s manifesto was so far the most practical in dealing with land, housing and municipal issues. “The party’s manifesto was not a castle in the sky. It wasn’t sloganeering or the making of promises. It was a practical glance at how they would resolve challenges given to us. Ideally manifestos should do just that,” Dotyeni said.
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