Promises & manifestos: A political wrap one month before elections

08 April 2019 - 09:45 By Cebelihle Bhengu
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Who will you be voting for on election day?
Who will you be voting for on election day?
Image: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP

It's exactly one month until South Africans take to the polls, electing their preferred political party at the 2019 general elections.

In the past months political parties have been hard at work, pulling out all the stops to ensure that they get South Africans to vote for them.

Here is a wrap of promises made, spats between parties, and the issues that took centre stage during the elections manifestos.


Political leaders have been campaigning hard in an effort to secure votes for their parties. Here's a glimpse of what the largest parties have been doing.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has been hitting the campaign trail, making several appearances during door-to-door campaigns. The party grabbed headlines when he was due to meet with residents in Sandton. Ramaphosa received major backlash from the public after an invitation was sent out stating that the meeting was between the ANC and the party’s ‘white counterparts’. The name of the meeting was later changed to 'building bridges' and the president discussed Eskom and state capture.


Land, jobs creation and a minimum wage higher than R3,500 are some of the promises that have dominated the EFF’s elections manifestos. On Sunday the party was in Modimolle settlement in Limpopo, where they installed a water borehole.

During the party’s election campaigns and manifestos party leader Julius Malema has been outspoken about the importance of uniting of black people, condemning the recent xenophobic attacks in Durban.


DA leader Mmusi Maimane and Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga addressed thousands of DA supporters who filled Gauteng's Rand Stadium to capacity during the party’s manifesto launch in February.

The party’s leadership, including Phumzile van Damme, have been going out in their numbers in Johannesburg, handing out memorandums of demands about issues including the state of the Metro rail trains, crime and policing in stations like Honeydew and Yeoville.


As election season nears its peak, politicians have been taking to social media to call out what they say is inadequate leadership on the part of their opponents.

Fikile Mbalula vs Herman Mashaba

The recent service delivery protests in Alexandra township saw politicians blame each other on who is to be held accountable for the state the area is in.

ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to say the city’s mayor, Herman Mashaba (DA) must address the protesting community and take responsability.

Mashaba shot back that he would only account for the two years his party has been in power, while the ANC should account for more that two decades of failure. 

Julius Malema vs ANC

EFF leader Julius Malema accused the governing party of having forgotten the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, after the party tabled a motion before parliament to include her name in the list of options to be considered for the Cape Town International airport name change.

The motion was shot down by the ANC, which said the proposals were misplaced as the ANC did not have any authority on the airport’s name change.

Manifestos and promises


"A job in every home" has been the DA’s slogan throughout their campaign across the country. Maimane said his party would ensure that they do away with unemployment for the majority of South Africans.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has been on a mission to assure voters that ANC members who have been implicated in state capture are dealt with. Ramaphosa has on many occasions said he will ensure that South Africa never again has to witness corruption by lawmakers who continue to go unpunished.


Land has been at the very centre of the EFF’s promises. The party has promised that black people will not be alienated in land and property ownership should the EFF take power of the country. 


Good founder Patricia de Lille said her party would ensure a non-racial and inclusive South Africa. During the party’s manifesto launch in February, De Lille said politics alienate South Africans from their identity and her party will work hard to put a stop to this. She emphasised the importance of residents living as a unity despite their diversity, and to tackle racism head on. 

Talking points


Eskom has dominated discussions and parliamentary debates. The power utility has been regularly rolling out power cuts since February, citing ageing infrastructure and lack of funds. During his State of the Nation address in February, President Ramaphosa said the utility would be separated into three entities, which would see to the generation, transmission and distribution of power.

State capture

The evidence presented before judge Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture has seen scores of politicians, including Nomvula Mokonyane and Gwede Mantashe, implicated in corruption. These politicians have been linked with receiving large amounts of money from controversial company Bosasa. 

Ace Magashule

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has been defending his reputation since the release of Pieter Louis-Myburgh's book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's web of capture.

The book alleges that "Mr 10%" diverted millions of funding while he was Free State premier, exaggerated his struggle credentials and that he too was involved with the Gupta family. Magashule has vehemently denied the claims.

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