South Africa opposition pledges to tackle corruption

26 Feb 19

The South African opposition has promised to tackle corruption in a bid to take on the country’s ruling administration in the May elections.

The Democratic Alliance, which controls municipalities in the capital Pretoria and the economic hub of Johannesburg, warned politicians found to be corrupt under its rule could “expect to spend 15 years in jail”.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane told supporters at the manifesto launch in Johannesburg this weekend: “The South Africa I want to build will have no place for corruption and corrupt politicians.

“Our [current] leaders realised they could make money out of every job, out of every contract. It meant a better life for some… and they forgot about the rest of us.”

The African National Congress has won every parliamentary election since 1994 when it swept to power under Nelson Mandela.

Corruption remains a major weakness for the government, following years of rule by Jacob Zuma, who was removed in 2018 after years of corruption probes.

Under current president Cyril Ramaphosa, the party has won back some of its support after he promised to root out corruption and boost the economy.

The DA’s manifesto also outlined how it would create jobs by offering tax incentives to encourage new business and maximise the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors to boost the economy.

Even 25 years after the apartheid, South Africa remains a racially divided country, with white citizens enjoying high life standards and 63% of black citizens living below the poverty line, struggling to access health, healthcare and other public services.

The opposition party won 22% in the 2014 election, picking up 89 seats in the 400-seat parliament, against the ANC’s 249.

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