United Democratic Movement (UDM)

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption. Holomisa, a former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party Cabinet minister, to form a new party. Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.

The UDM sees itself as a contender for power with the ANC. Holomisa says his party is aiming to become an alternative government. His party campaigns around issues which it believes the government is handling badly.

At a media briefing on Monday, 24 February 2014, Holomisa announced that former ANC/ Cope strongman, Mbhazima Shilowa and some of his supporters had thrown their weight behind the UDM.

The party held its Fifth National Congress at the University of Free State, Bloemfontein on 11 - 13 December 2015. At the event, the party also launched its manifesto for the 2016 Local Government Elections.

Harrington Bantubonke Holomisa was born the son of Tembu Chief Bazindlovu Holomisa on 25 July 1955 in the Mqanduli district of Transkei.
He has served as the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism of South Africa in the Government of National Unity (elected in 1994).
Holomisa co-founded the United Democratic Movement in 1997 with Roelf Meyer and currently serves as its President.
In 1999, within twenty months of the formation of the party, he together with thirteen other members of the party were elected to Parliament.

Previously, he was the Commander of the Transkei Defence Force and Head of the Transkei government.
Holomisa also led the Transkei delegation to the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) negotiations.

He was chosen by the ANC Election Committee to campaign nationwide alongside Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Cyril Ramaphosa, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the late Joe Slovo and Steve Tshwete during the democratic election in 1994.

In 1996, he was expelled from the ANC after testifying to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about Transkei activities concerning Transkei issues.
The party's new national leadership was elected at its 5th National Congress in December 2015.

President: Bantu Holomisa

Deputy President: Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala

Chairperson: Zolisa Lavisa

Having won 14 seats in the National Assembly in 1999, the UDM won only 9 seats in 2004. It further lost seats due to floor crossing, and managed to win only 4 seats in 2009. It maintained the four seats in 2014.

The UDM launched its 2016 elections manifesto at its 5th National Congress in December 2015.

This is a summary of the main points:
• The party's 2016 LGE tagline is Put Community First!

• The party says it will do this by 'prioritisng service delivery' and 'removing politicians and parties that stand in the way of that'

• In a pledge signed by party president Bantu Holomisa, the party affirms that 'ultimately your UDM councillor is your voice in local government; a person that consults with the community to determine your needs, and then champions your cause in the council'

• The UDM's manifesto is further sub-divided into two broad sections: Put community first with SERVICE DELIVERY and Put community first with GOOD GOVERNANCE

• Under Put community first with SERVICE DELIVERY, the UDM commits to promoting economic development, instituting sustainable development councils, ensuring consultation with communities, promoting adequate health services and hygiene, access to water and sanitation, ensuring access to reliable electricity, fighting for decent housing, work towards proper roads, ensuring community safety, promoting fair valuation of municipal property rates, ensuring accurate billing, fighting for access to basic services for the poor, improving rural development; and the promotion of a clean environment.

• Under Put community first with GOOD GOVERNANCE, the UDM says it will fight to end corruption and nepotism, ensure proper financial management, institute improved management and skills development, improve consultation and accountability, ensure the proper inclusion of traditional leadership; and ensuring co-ordination with provincial and national services.

UDM-Manifesto2016 (PDF)

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