A Multi-Party Charter for South Africa

Aug 17, 2023 | Press Releases

Whereas the parties to this agreement agree to contest the 2024 National and Provincial Elections as autonomous individual parties.

And whereas the lived reality of South Africans has become more difficult with unemployment, slow economic growth, crime, corruption, load shedding, infrastructure
collapse, failed education and many other challenges limiting the potential and freedoms of the South African people.

And whereas the parties recognise that the ANC will fall below 50% in the 2024 elections, both nationally and in a number of provinces, enabling their removal from national and provincial government and replacement with effective and stable multi-party coalitions.

And whereas the parties recognise that they share common ground in respect of many of the solutions needed to address the most pressing challenges facing South Africans today and wish to record and publicise the terms of this agreement to offer a compelling new direction through a multi-party platform that can win the support of a majority of South Africans.

NOW WHEREFORE the parties agree as follows:

PREAMBLE TO THE MULTI-PARTY CHARTER

We, the undersigned political parties, come together at a time when South Africans are desperate for hope that can only come from a new political direction for our young democracy.

The pain and suffering of South Africans grow daily, with rising unemployment, spreading poverty, deepening inequality, spiraling crime and a stagnant economy.

Sacred freedoms that the founding fathers of our nation sought to guarantee in our Constitution have been undermined by an uncaring government which has believed that it will rule with impunity forever. Until now.

South Africans love their country, hate what has been done to it, and are tired of being told what they already know – that they have been failed.

We acknowledge our mission can no longer be to commentate on these challenges or apportion political blame. Our patriotic duty requires us to place South Africa on a new path that unleashes the potential of the South African people. A path to broad prosperity, peace and unity.

To fulfil this mission, we have come together to form a multi-party agreement that we will present to the South African people. This agreement is not defined by what we stand against, but rather by a new compelling vision that shows South Africans how we stand for them.

This vision will take shape through our shared understanding of the priority issues we will have to address in a new government, the principles that will guide our governance of South Africa, and the solutions that will get South Africa moving forward again.

As political parties we undertake to present this agreement to the South African people in the cities, towns, villages and rural settlements across our country until every South African knows our offer and witnesses that our parties can work together for their benefit.

While we will contest elections as individual parties, South Africans will see that we are greater than the sum of our parts. By offering the electorate a credible  alternative, we will inspire those who have given up on politics, give hope to those who believe their vote makes no difference, and give voters real power to change the direction of their country.

We will work to win a collective majority in these elections because the challenges facing South Africans cannot be resolved from the opposition benches. This agreement will lay a foundation of rock on which we will build broad society support for a new government for South Africa.

It is time for all South Africans to come together in the knowledge that we are better together.

1. The Identity of this Agreement

1.1. The name of this agreement is the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa, and shall be represented as such at all times by the signatories to this agreement.

1.2. The signatory parties to this agreement agree to reference the signatory parties to this agreement, where reasonably practical, when speaking publicly of the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa.

2. Nature of this Agreement

2.1. This agreement takes the form of a pre-election agreement that will be publicised and made available on the digital platforms of signatory parties.

2.2. Signatory political parties to this agreement will contest elections as individual political parties that will present their unique offerings to the South African people.

2.3. It is acknowledged that while signatory political parties form part of this Multi-Party Charter For South Africa, each party is an autonomous decision-making entity.

3. Vision for South Africa

3.1. A new government to build a just, inclusive and prosperous South Africa based on opportunity, freedom and security for all of its citizens.

4. Priorities for our new Government

4.1. The signatories to this agreement record the following as the priority issues for a new government to address the greatest challenges confronting South Africans:

4.1.1. Growing the economy and creating jobs;

4.1.2. Ending loadshedding and achieving energy security;

4.1.3. Achieving law and order that combats crime, corruption and drugs;

4.1.4. Ensuring quality education that delivers opportunities for all;

4.1.5. Delivering basic services to all through high quality infrastructure;

4.1.6. Building a professional public service that delivers to all, and ending cadre deployment;

4.1.7. Ensuring quality healthcare for all within a caring healthcare system; and

4.1.8. Building a social relief framework for South African households living in poverty.

5. Shared Governing Principles

5.1. Central to achieving the Vision and Priorities of our new government, is the need to ensure that governance is underpinned by an ethos that seeks to promote
South Africa’s long-term best interest. We undertake to govern in accordance with our Shared Governing Principles, which are a commitment to:

5.1.1.1. The South African Constitution, the rule of law, and equality before the law;

5.1.1.2. Decentralising power to the lowest effective level of government;

5.1.1.3. Accountable, transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption;

5.1.1.4. Capable government that spends public money efficiently to deliver quality services to all;

5.1.1.5. Caring government that puts people first and prioritises the poor;

5.1.1.6. An open market economy;

5.1.1.7. Policies guided by evidence that they produce positive results for society; and

5.1.1.8. Redress our unjust past by promoting non-racialism and unity in our diversity.

6. Common Ground on Shared Solutions to Challenges Facing South Africans

6.1. Signatory political parties to this agreement acknowledge that the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa must be based upon shared solutions to address the
greatest challenges facing South Africans.

6.2. We understand that effective and stable coalition governments must arise from a jointly-owned programme of action that deepens the principles of co-governance
and power-sharing.

6.3. The Multi-Party Charter For South Africa has agreed to the following high-level intentions underpinning the shared solutions to South Africa’s greatest challenges, which will be further developed through a comprehensive multi-party policy process:

6.3.1. Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs
Our top priority is to achieve an inclusive, growing economy. We are committed to get our nation working, to alleviate poverty, redress inequality, empower families, and enable people to fulfil their aspirations and achieve their full potential.

6.3.2. Achieving Energy Security
We will end load-shedding by dramatically expanding electricity generation while restoring the long-term financial and technical sustainability of our energy grid, including by opening the energy market to private generation.

6.3.3. Law and Order that Combats Crime, Corruption and Drugs
We will promote law and order to ensure safe communities protect people, property, and infrastructure; combat corruption and state capture; and deter anti-social behaviour such as drug-dealing and drug-trafficking. We will be tough on crime and tougher on the causes of crime. We will rapidly develop and implement an anti-corruption framework to address corruption in the public sector.

6.3.4. Quality Education That Delivers Opportunity to All
We will fundamentally overhaul South Africa’s education system, focusing our efforts on improving reading for meaning and basic numeracy outcomes. We will start by depoliticising the basic education administration and reintroducing fit-for-purpose performance management systems.

6.3.5. Basic Services to All Through High Quality Infrastructure
We will produce a national infrastructure plan that aligns unprecedented levels of budget allocations to new infrastructure and to renewing aging infrastructure to ensure that South Africans enjoy better services and that services are delivered to those who have lived without the dignity of such services.

6.3.6. A Professional Public Service that Delivers for All
We will build a capable state that delivers to all, especially the poorest, and that can withstand any form of political instability, with professional civil servants who are appointed on merit.

6.3.7. Quality Healthcare for All Within a Caring Healthcare System
We will uphold the constitutional right to universal healthcare through improving ratios of healthcare workers to patients, professionalizing the management of healthcare services, and reducing time to travel and wait for healthcare.

6.3.8. Building A Social Relief Framework for South African Households
We are strongly committed to ending poverty and hunger in South Africa. We will achieve this by implementing immediate measures to alleviate suffering, coupled with longer term measures to pull people out of poverty and into prosperity.

7. Declaration of Intent

7.1. Signatory parties to the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa commit to South Africans, and to one another, that:

7.1.1. we are unequivocal about our commitment to the vision, priorities, principles and common programme of the Charter.

7.1.2. therefore, we will not entertain any working arrangement or co-governing agreements with the ANC, EFF or any rival formations, and we will not vote for any office bearers of the ANC and EFF – nominated either directly or indirectly – at any inaugural meetings of the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces, and Provincial Legislatures.

7.1.3. Our mission is to unseat the ANC, keep out the EFF, and usher in a multiparty government following the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

8. Principles of Sharing Public Power

8.1. Signatory political parties to this agreement recognise that stable and effective coalition arrangements must arise, at least in part, from the following principles of
power sharing:

8.1.1. Coalitions cannot be stable if power-sharing is purely dealt with on the level of dividing up positions between coalition partners.

8.1.2. Long-term coalition stability can only arise when power-sharing transcends the superficiality of a focus on positions and achieves the principle of cogovernance – a system of coalition which results in a genuinely multi-lateral programme of government.

8.1.3. A collective manifesto must be drawn up, combining the detailed policy positions of each party, that would be the policy input into a revised national development plan which would need to translate into a 5-year term of office national or provincial plan, annual budgets and departmental business plans.

8.1.4. A system of monitoring and evaluation framework must be developed to ensure that departmental key performance areas are identified, made public, tracked and publicly reported upon regularly.

8.1.5. In determining the sharing of positions, the following principles must be balanced:

8.1.5.1. Representation approximately proportional to election results;

8.1.5.2. Merit-based consideration as to which party has the best candidate for a position;

8.1.5.3. A diversity of parties must be represented in leadership positions and the principle of separation of powers should be observed within the coalition.

8.1.5.4. The collective cabinet or executive committee must reflect the diversity of the South African people.

8.1.6. There is no requirement that the leader of the largest party is de facto to be nominated for the position of President.

8.1.7. The largest party in a coalition in the National Assembly that arises from this agreement, and that does not hold the position of President of the Republic, will hold the position of Leader of Government Business.

8.1.8. Any candidate to be put forward for election as an office bearer, either nationally or provincially, must undergo an independent lifestyle audit, the results of which to be considered prior to any resolution to support their candidature. The outcomes of the lifestyle audit must then be made public.

8.1.9. A fundamental and wholesale review of the Ministerial Handbook be initiated to ensure that a cabinet of a new multi-party coalition government reflects the need to redirect budget resources to address the pressing needs of South Africans.

9. Duration of this Agreement

9.1. Signatory parties to this agreement confirm that this agreement, and the terms and provisions contained therein:

9.1.1. Commence on the date of the founding parties affixing their signatures to this document.

9.1.2. May only be amended by consensus.

9.1.3. Concludes for a political party only if they provide written notice of their exit from the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa or if they are removed from the agreement by a consensus decision of the other signatory parties.

9.1.4. Will only cease to exist by unanimous resolution of the signatory parties or upon the adoption of a multi-party coalition agreement being agreed after the 2024 national and provincial elections.

We the undersigned leaders commit ourselves and our political parties to the terms of this Multi-Party Charter For South Africa.

Democratic Alliance, Hon. John Steenhuisen
Inkatha Freedom Party, Hon. VF Hlabisa
Freedom Front Plus, Dr Pieter Groenewald
ActionSA, Mr Herman Mashaba
United Independent Movement, Mr Neil de Beer
Spectrum National Party, Mr Christopher Claassen
Independent South African National Civic Organisation, Dr Zukile Luyenge

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