IFP wants to double defence budget – manifesto

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The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), in its elections manifesto, recognises the importance of defence and would like to more than double the defence budget to reengineer the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

At present, South Africa’s defence budget stands at about .7% of GDP, but the IFP would like to increase this to meet the international norm of 2% of GDP, invest in Defence Force recruitment drives, and reengineer and professionalise the SANDF’s institutional structure.

The IFP “13-point manifesto plan” introduced by party leader, Velenkosini Hlabisa, is a 40-page document containing specifics on the national defence force and border security the KwaZulu-Natal headquartered party will implement, if elected.

On the SANDF, the IFP will increase resources and equipment, improve training, establish effective intelligence gathering, combat corruption and criminal activity and improve the welfare of military veterans.

The party will also ensure the SANDF is skilled and prepared for traditional, biological, cyber or electronic warfare; and deploy the SANDF to communities where social ills, crime and gangsterism are rife.

On illegal foreigners, the IFP believes that the failure of the State to manage migration has led to a national crisis. The IFP’s position is that, while fairness is necessary, illegal migrants are lawbreakers who pose a threat to the safety and security of the State, while placing a heavy strain on South Africa’s resources.

Asking voters to trust the IFP because it puts South Africa first, the manifesto states the SANDF will “immediately” deploy to ports of entry and borders, “fortifying” them by way of “border walls”. At the same time the party will invest in state-of-the-art border control technology, including drone technology, while resourcing border management to prevent illegal migration, human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism and other cross-border criminal activities.

An IFP government will also invest in a stand-alone, capacitated National Immigration Inspectorate; impose stricter controls at ports of entry, including holding facilities; ensure effective deportation; ban the operation of businesses found to be employing illegal migrants, for a stipulated time-period as fines have not proven to be a deterrent; ensure that harsh sentences are imposed on any Home Affairs’ official caught selling South African documents; revamp the Department of Home Affairs; and implement a permit review process, amongst others.

Regarding crime, corruption, and gender-based violence, the IFP believes that immediate and radical reform is required to strengthen the justice system, security, military, and intelligence services.

An IFP government pledges to work with communities to end crime by working closely with community policing forums and providing safe channels for citizens to report criminal activity; support traditional courts; open a national debate on the reinstatement of the death penalty to deter violent crimes; ensure that special courts to deal with Corruption and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) are fully operational; and ensure that dedicated SAPS officers are specially trained to deal with GBVF and are stationed at all police stations where GBVF is rampant.

For the South African Police Service, the IFP will intensify training and support, and increase resources, for SAPS officers; enhance existing SAPS infrastructure, equipment and technology so that SAPS personnel are fully capacitated to carry out their mandate; create a culture of accountability, professionalism and ethical conduct; and implement and enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, including the prompt dismissal and prosecution of corrupt officials irrespective of rank or political affiliation.

The IFP’s manifesto also says it will ensure a strong, capable, capacitated and funded National Prosecuting Authority, and support restorative justice as an effective alternative to traditional punitive measures.