Agang SA Manifesto: Valid, Viable and Needed
Independent analysts declare Agang SA manifesto and turnaround plan for South Africa to be economically viable and achievable in a 3 – 5 year time frame
Agang SA manifesto includes the following initiatives:
Free education up to and including tertiary level
Increasing school pass mark to 50%
Filling teacher vacancies
Replacing SETA’s with inter alia, artisan training centres
Eliminating overlaps in entrepreneurship support and finance institutions and locating hubs in townships
Disbursement of state-owned land to encourage home ownership, entrepreneurship and industrialization
Linking public servant pay with performance
Professionalising the public service, including police
Streamlining government and reducing red tape
Creating a more flexible labour market
Independent analysts have verified that Agang SA’s election manifesto is economically viable and can be achieved in a 3-5 year time frame.
Their analysis concluded that everything that can be costed in the Agang SA Election Manifesto would require an extra R324,1 billion spend per annum which is an almost 30% increase on the current budget, but that this amount would be offset by the efficiencies Agang SA is calling for.
Ian Cruickshanks, one of the independent analyst who carried out the research says, “There are a number of areas in the Agang SA election manifesto that are not possible to cost and some areas where there are no cost implications of policy as it is already part of the budget, but Agang SA’s approach is to use the existing budget differently and make different allocations to ensure its goals are met.”
“On that basis, Agang SA’s manifesto is very much achievable in terms of budget allocation,” says Cruickshanks.
“We at Agang SA have said all along that we live in a wealthy country and that such budget items as free education are possible. We have also said that what was missing in our management of the economy was the political will and leadership that says ‘let government get out of the way and let us free citizens from their dependency on us,'” says Agang SA leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele.
“Among the efficiencies we will bring to government are cutting down on the number of government departments, particularly those that have brought no value to citizens. It is an outrage when you consider South Africa has more than twice the number of government departments as the United States of America – which has a population six times the size. Another is to scrap the STA system and save almost R9 billion. And then of course, there are steps to be taken to save the R30 billion on average a year that goes missing from the national coffers,” says Ramphele.
“Almost a third of the budget (31,8%) was spent on personnel in 20092010 and that is set to increase – equating to about R333 million a year,” says Agang SA Treasurer Garth Towell. “It is no surprise when you consider that 10% of the country’s eligible workforce is in public office.”
“A key driver for Agang’s policy is not increased spend, but more efficient and effective spend as well as public-private partnerships,” says Towell.
“There does not need to be an increase in input, but the output needs to be higher quality to meet the needs of the citizens of SA. In short, we need to derive more value from the national budget other than spending unnecessary amounts on government salaries and ministries.”
A key platform of the Agang SA Election Manifesto is education which under the party’s plan would see expenditure rise from 23% to 27% of the government’s total budget and include free education from grade 0-12, free tertiary education, and bursaries for students achieving 70% or higher grades.
“We believe our budget must be steered away from creating bureaucracy which serves at the end as a feeding trough for African National Congress cadres and hangers-on, to better serve the citizens of this country and to help them take control of their future. We do not need to create more national income to do this, just the political will, imagination, and determination to put the country and its citizens first. We have proved that our election promises are doable, affordable, and necessary if we are to build a winning South Africa,” says Ramphele.
Source : Agang South Africa