The ACDP believes that the existence of a welfare society results from the breakdown of the family, as the supporting block in society.
We also believe that civil Government has wrongly shouldered the responsibility of welfare. This is a function that churches, NGOs and civil society should fulfil, in the form of assistance towards self-sufficiency and not handouts.
We are therefore committed to restoring the traditional nuclear family as the primary provider of discipline, charity, respect and values in our society. This restoration will then expand to the extended families and then the community.
As the Government we would also support cultural, community and religious structures in their support role, enabling them to promote self-sufficiency.
In addition, we would explore the possibility of privatising or delegating welfare services.
The ACDP believes that the welfare policy of a country is linked to a responsible economic policy. The policy of a developing country must commit itself to the growth in social investment of that nation.
The objective of our social policy is to engage the economic policy to reduce poverty and social risk factors.
A free market principle within a stable social environment will facilitate the building up of a healthy social environment; that is that the free market economy must provide for the protection of our environment, fair living costs for labour provided in business and social ethic.
As a party we are also aware of the enormous implications of the escalating problems with regard to AIDS orphans and the enormous responsibility that they will bring to bear on the welfare services of the country.
When addressing the welfare needs of the country we would make this one of the priorities, as we believe that the children of this nation are our most valuable assets.
With regard to a welfare policy, the ACDP will have the following three-point policy plan to tackle problems surrounding our national quality of life:
Policy of war on poverty
Economic growth is no longer perceived as the only key factor in the fight against poverty. Factors like political stability, ability, good health, secure environment etc. are equally important.
Strategies for reducing poverty, whether absolute and relative, must address themselves to all economic, social, cultural and political dimensions.
Poverty reduction strategies should be conceived within the framework of sustainable development objectives.
Sustainable development objectives:
- We need to develop a process to build micro-economic programmes into our societies so as to address the faltering value of family units. We intend to develop community facilitation infrastructures that will generate self-sufficient projects for the benefit of the local infrastructure.
- The macro-economic programmes will contribute to the general values and parameters determined within the sustainable developmental model to address the problems of society at a national scale.
Policy on family rights propagation
The ACDP believes that the family is a creation ordinance, providing a setting for parents and children to live together as a basic unit in society.
The family home, as such, is therefore in a very real sense the root from which the whole family tree of human society draws its vital nourishment.
However, the home in recent times has lost its central place in society. It is no longer the master key to culture that it once was.
The ACDP will promulgate the establishment of a Commissioner for children, such as that included in the Western Cape Constitution, in KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislation and that is now before the NCOP for national legislation.
The Commissioner will assist Provincial Government in protecting and promoting the interests of children with regards to issues relating to:
- Schooling and education: especially to promote a good quality educational infrastructure where the child is enjoying learning opportunities in a safe, secure and enabling environment.
- Welfare service: especially to ensure that issues like maintenance, child abuse and other child care services are adequately monitored and controlled.
- Interdepartmental liaison: this ensures that responsibility for the care of children in crisis is not divided or stalled by confused interdepartmental responsibility.
- Register of paedophile offenders. This confidential register will be accessible to persons and institutions that are engaged in the care or development of children.
- The rehabilitation and restoration of juveniles at risk.
Street and marginalised children
The Commissioner must assist in reducing the number of homeless children in our streets and ensure that they are settled into shelters of care and enablement.
The Commissioner will co-ordinate all relevant stakeholders, as well as local government, to ensure that the needs of street children are appropriately addressed.
Other areas of focus that the Commissioner is to address are:
- To promote nutritional health services for needy children at schools, and promote the protection and development of children’s health institutions within society; and
- To ensure that local government creates spaces for recreation and sport for child developmental needs.
Greater parental responsibilities from both spouses will be required to produce a reasonably well functioning family unit. For instance: Both parents may be held responsible where it is found that the parents, together with a schooling authority, have been negligent and have not ensured proper school attendance by the child.
Both parents may also be held liable for fines should a child, as a result of family neglect, be charged with certain criminal activities. These are some examples of parent’s responsibilities.
In today’s society pressures are bought to bear on mothers to contribute to the livelihood of the family by working outside of their homes.
The ACDP will encourage and facilitate mothers so that they may regain their role in child rearing.
In addition, family businesses and husband and wife partnerships in business will be encouraged.
The divorce rate
The ACDP believes that the growing divorce rate is detrimental to the family and should therefore be discouraged.
Divorce laws will be reformed to promote:
- Less convenience and accessibility;
- Premarital and marital counselling;
- Reconciliation through the use of specialist family counsellors; and
- Marriage and life skills classes in schools.
The disabled person
The ACDP will address the desperate situation faced by the majority of disabled people in South Africa. Problems of discrimination and disempowerment will be aggressively tackled.
We will aim to set up an ad hoc committee to promote and protect both the rights and interests of disabled persons.
Legislation will be framed to encourage the introduction of special facilities in the workplace as well as public places.
There are no relevant legislative provisions for our ageing population and every effort should be employed to provide greater protection for the rights and interests of the elderly.
It will predominantly be the responsibility of the family to make provision to take care of its elderly.
The state will intervene to ensure that all communities are capable of providing their own infrastructures to address the needs of the elderly.
The neglect or abuse of an elderly person will constitute a crime.
The ACDP will aim to reduce health costs of the elderly where the need for this exists. We will also ensure, where applicable, that the elderly pensioner is given reduced rates on essential goods to balance pensioners budgets.
Policy on community-orientated welfare
It is our responsibility to encourage a culture of entrepreneurialism in an interdependent self-sufficient co-operative model, which takes into account the moral obligation of individuals to charitably assist in the development of the neighbourhood within which they live.
Part of the vision for a community orientated welfare infrastructure is to encourage small community organisations to develop commercially. They would be structured in small cell units to allow people to feel more closely connected together, thus building the community through good neighbourliness.
An approach to welfare services in this manner will give the community greater freedom and flexibility to deal with issues that directly affect them.
The role of the state in this regard will be to provide strategic services to facilitate this process so that it can evolve to its highest possible level and output.
Domestic violence is defined as the controlling or abusive behaviour that harms a family member’s health, safety or well being. The violation of a family member’s right to security and human dignity should be seen as an assault against the sanctity of family life.
Any violent onslaught, in whatever form, must be adequately dealt with.
We believe that appropriate discipline, in the form of corporal punishment, judiciously and correctly applied by a parent does not constitute domestic violence. This does not include excessive and inappropriate violence against a child.
The police services must immediately respond to a victim’s request for intervention in a violent or abusive situation. The nature of domestic violence is such that the victim is constantly in fear. Delays to an application for restraining measures are often catastrophic.
It is the civil duty of the community to protect the victim and may include the application for a protection order on behalf of the victim where it is necessary.
The role of the courts in granting a protection order, without notice to the offender, should be employed where this is deemed appropriate.
Definitive action from the police is required in the seizure of arms and dangerous weapons in order to minimise the risk to life.
It is the court’s prerogative to enforce this law by ordering the police, without hesitation, to seize any weapon in a family dispute.