ECOPEACE MANIFESTO-CONTRACT 2004
WE STAND FOR:
economic and environmental justice; universal health care; cancelling illegitimate
apartheid debts; providing reparations (for social, economic and ecological
injustices) and land reform. Economic instruments including progressive taxation
on excessive property accumulation have to be used to promote a more equitable
distribution. Human rights to services, water, electricity, shelter and land
ownership etc. - must be absolute. Labour intensive organic farming and Permaculture
must be vigorously promoted. A commitment to renewable energy use and production
will also create many millions of sustainable jobs and economic independence.
We say no to - military spending, unnecessary privatisation, cut-offs, unfair evictions, pollution etc. We are committed to eradicate unemployment, hunger, poverty and inequality. We oppose exclusive concentrations of wealth and power. We oppose unbalanced business influence over government. Anti-democratic decisions taken to support monopoly agendas and put profits before people cannot be considered as binding on South Africa. We the people of South Africa, and not the corporate and political elites, must shape our own destiny. We reject neo-liberal unregulated trade as embodied in NEPAD and GEAR - enabling the rich to grow ever more powerful while the poor remain hungry and homeless. We support full employment through socially and ecologically responsible fair trade.
We totally reject the use of race, sex, gender or adult sexual preference as exclusionary criteria - as well as other authoritarian methods of oppression. Apartheid style racial classification based affirmative action is racist and completely unacceptable. So-called "fair discrimination" is as abhorrent as the similar oxymoron "separate development". Class based affirmative action that will inevitably result in gender and racial equity can be used to empower the presently disadvantaged - without using obnoxious criteria. This must be applied rationally case by case through proactive support for those willing and capable to perform adequately to democratically acceptable standards - without degenerating into the present quota forced tokenism.
We will pursue the provision of infrastructure and capacity to deliver ecological, social and economic sustainability. We will build from real consent and commit to participatory democracy. We will work to achieve sustainable development, employment, economic independence and hope. We will work with individuals or groups on these issues - we invite all who agree to join us and campaign for ECOPEACE.
Participatory Democracy and Political Integrity
Everyone must have the right to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions that affect his or her life through individual participation in local level decision-making. A radical shift in political power is essential for personal responsibilities to precede local, provincial, national and international competences. Individual capacity building includes access to all relevant information and appropriate education. Grassroots institutions must be available that enable decisions to be made directly at the closest level by those affected. This involves systems that encourage civic vitality, voluntary action, community responsibility and youth involvement. Giving strong support to the voices of young people requires education, encouragement and assistance in every aspect of political life including their participation in all decision-making bodies.
Inequalities of wealth and power must not be allowed to inhibit political participation. Excessive deposits to contest elections are unfair – smaller deposits balanced with a larger number of signatures of support should suffice. Awarding taxpayers money to parties in parliament also creates an artificial barrier - especially to those who champion the poor. The electoral system must be publicly funded with strict limits on, and full transparency of, corporate and private donations. Limits must also be placed on the waste of resources through excessive numbers of posters and billboards. All elected representatives must be truthful and accountable in governance.
The limits of the representative system need to be recognised. Direct and participatory democracy must become the primary means to assure freedom, equality, peace, justice, sustainability, stability and security. Devolve powers to closest levels – review local, provincial and national competencies. Limit undemocratic powers of executive committees, cabinets, mayors, premiers, chairpersons, ministers and the president. Executive committees, and cabinet should be proportional in a manner that is as inclusive as possible. Cabinet and executive committee members must be answerable to their party. Provinces should devolve appropriate powers to regional council structures. Large municipalities should devolve appropriate powers to local sub-councils.
Give the public access to all levels of government through their local accountable ward councillor:
The parliamentary systems must conform to a bottom up system. Local parliaments and councillors must be easily able to forward proposals to provincial and national parliaments. Provincial parliaments and members must be able to refer proposals to national parliament with ease. Decisions at national level that cross provincial or local competencies must be acceptable to provincial and local parliaments respectively. Local municipal councils must accept decisions taken at provincial level that concern any local competencies for them to come into effect.
Double (or increase by more) the number of municipal wards and elect municipal councillors on a ward basis only. Select provincial parliament members on a proportional basis - according to the provincial aggregate of local elections. This must be changed if proportions alter due to by-elections. Halve (or decrease more) the number of members in the national parliament. Select national parliament members on an overall proportional basis – according to the national aggregate of local elections. This must be changed if proportions alter due to by-elections. Integrate the national council of provinces into a single national parliament.
The role of a second house of parliament should be taken by formal methods of direct and participatory democracy at local, provincial and national levels. This should include views from marginalized and disenfranchised sectors, e.g. children, immigrants, women, indigenous groups, homeless, landless, unemployed and the poor etc. Create structures to ensure true decision-making by the people as opposed to decision-making by elites. Expand the role of the Internet in collective decision making, allowing greater individual participation.
Create a continually updateable population register (births, deaths, migration, change of address, etc.) with automatic voter registration. Allow coalitions to pool votes. Party manifestos must be legally accountable contracts between their parliamentary members and their constituencies. Politicians could then sue to vote freely according to that contract or to leave their party without a by-election. A constituency could sue their representative or party for resignation or a by-election. No other ‘floor-crossing’ must be allowed. Further by-elections on the respective scale can be called by: 50% of local municipality councillors or 67% of provincial parliament members or 75% of national parliament members.
Anyone found guilty of an act of unnecessary violence or of a human rights abuse must forfeit his or her right to hold public office. Any political party whose official members instigated or participated in intimidation or violence against their political opponents must face restrictions on campaigning in the areas where that abuse took place. Anyone found guilty of an economic crime such as fraud or corruption must forfeit their right to hold public office for at least five years after completing their sentence.
Place limits on Politicians:
Politicians must fulfil the performance requirements of their community.
Politician's - finances must be transparent; they must disclose their income and assets.
Grant performance based remuneration as opposed to remuneration guaranteed positions; all politicians must receive a minimum "living wage"; allowance only, as a personal affirmation that political participation is but a means to a greater end, and not the end itself. Politicians must not receive any parliamentary payment that would increase their total income above that living wage standard. Until such time as this is the case, politicians must donate any parliamentary payment over and above that standard wage to their party, or to their community.
ECOPEACE councillors draw only a living wage, the rest of their pay helps fund community projects - YOUR VOTE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
of Human Rights
High rates of women's - participation require pre-school childcare, feeding and crèche facilities. An intense adult literacy program is a priority to achieve the protection of all basic human rights. Poor people must have basic needs met; food, water, clothing, affordable houses, fuel, electricity, sewers, refuse removal, a clean safe beautiful environment, cultural amenities, convenient public transport, basic health care, education and jobs. The government’s GEAR policy of globalisation and so-called economic growth does not increase employment or alleviate poverty. Instead we must have economic development, community self-reliance and food security:
Full Employment - MORE JOBS! Through skills improving labour intensive projects and tax breaks. Local Economic Trading Systems Replace the present militaristic arms based economy. Rates reform Rebates for recycling, saving resources - direct payment for services. Radical approach to combating the HIV/AIDS genocide Gender relationships must be honest. End the persecution of sex-workers In line with this Country’s Constitution. Debate methods to deal with drug abuse Fight the exploiters (dealers) not the exploited (users). Anti-corruption programme Protection and rewarding of whistle-blowers. Expose exploitation of the poor Shack dwellers on public land pay "rents" to self-appointed slumlords. Prison and Justice reforms Rehabilitation for economic crimes - restoration not retribution. See crime as a violation of a person by another, not against the State. Create urban community gardens Adequate land for food self-sufficiency for all.
1. Full protection of needs for a dignified existence. Adequate housing, water, electricity, food and services essential to sustain a decent livelihood and a healthy environment - as well as the right to work and job security - must be declared absolute human rights.
2. Services, such as water, health, education, transport, waste and the natural environment etc must not be treated merely as private marketable commodities for profit making.
3. True development must be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
4. Immediate prioritisation of ecological issues.
5. Universal social security provisions
6. Participatory, democratic, accountable and ethical governance, the right to recall elected and public officials to ensure ethically accountable, and people friendly public services.
7. Meaningful public participation in governance, full access to all information relevant to the public good and the end of unfair business influence over governance
8. Socialize the economy, placing people first and not profit. Decentralised local economic activities - rather than the unequal elitist concentration of wealth and political power, through corporate globalisation of industrial capital.
9. South Africa must produce import and export generic medicines as and when necessary.
10. Immediate rollout of a national HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, programme and provision of a universally affordable and accessible public health care system.
11. Business and corporate accountability, social responsibilities, and complete liability for the consequence of their actions and decisions - there must be satisfactory compensation for the ecological debts due to the environmental footprints of business and industry.
12. Application of the precautionary principle, to give preference to options that are known to cause no harm to people and their environments.
13. No patents on life and life-giving forms.
14. De-industrialisation of the agrarian sector.
15. No large dam constructions.
16. Universal access to clean sustainable energy and the rejection of nuclear fission options.
On Everyone To:
Unite in our dependence on Nature’s vitality, diversity and beauty.
Recognise that waste of natural materials, based on the dogma of economic growth at all cost, is the cause of environmental and social deterioration.
Acknowledge that elitism, inequality, injustice, racism, poverty, ignorance, corruption, crime, violence, armed conflict, militarisation and the search for maximum short term profit within narrow anthropocentric values has contributed to the degradation of environments and of human dignity and causes widespread human suffering.
Commit to equal rights for all in every sphere of social, economic, political and cultural life.
Recognise that without equality, no real democracy can be achieved.
Value the contributions of all indigenous peoples to our shared heritage.
Protect the rights of every person to their culture, religion, economic, and social lives.
Co-operate to ensure human rights to nutritious food, comfortable shelter, health care, education, fair labour practice, free speech, clean air, potable water, and an unspoilt natural environment.
Recognise that our environments ignore artificial human-made borders.
Promote a comprehensive practice of sustainability.
Protect and restore biodiversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
Acknowledge the interrelatedness of all ecological, social and economic processes.
Pursue the "common good" without undermining individual interests.
Achieve individual and collective responsibilities through choice and freedom.
Welcome unity of the diverse.
Ensure that the rights of future generations are not jeopardised by the actions of the present generation.
Affirm our interdependence on each other and on our ecosystems, and the dependence of future generations and the greater community of life on humanity’s choices.
We Commit To Act On The Following Interrelated Issues:
- RESPONSIBILITY - OBLIGATION - DUTY
We have a responsibility to nurture co-operation, caring and sharing - to repair communities that have been weakened or destroyed - to assist people to be custodians of the land and its natural materials - to develop a decentralised non-hierarchical society - to increase quality of life, personal freedom, fulfilment and spiritual growth - to encourage simplicity and moderation (rather than competition, limitless growth and accumulation). Sustainability is not possible while poverty persists. Local self-reliance must be encouraged. Environmentally sustainable technologies should be used. Education and health care must be accessible for all - women and men must have control over their fertility. An ethic of sustainability is key within youth culture.
Everyone has a responsibility to protect the rights of all human beings and a responsibility to following generations for the care of the Earth. We are all obliged to increase our knowledge in order to exercise choices that are environmentally friendly and people centred. It is our duty to act in an ethical and thoughtful manner. Everyone should consider the possible inhumane consequences of eating meat or using other animal products and recognise the intrinsic rights of animals, plants, ecosystems and natural materials. We must allow all ecosystems to evolve naturally, provided that any ecological, social and economically sustainable development maintains or promotes biodiversity. Animal use must be ecologically sustainable, of benefit to society and must not involve any undue harm to that animal. No one should abuse any being, species, ecosystem or natural materials. Redress and reversal of any such harm, neglect or exploitation must take place.
There must be no discrimination in education. No institute of learning may limit academic freedom. No one should be denied access to primary level instruction in his or her mother tongue. Everyone must have the right to instruction in an appropriate official language. Promote signing as a universal second language. Free education means state schools must enrol pupils with no charges for the full-range of academic activities. School uniforms cannot be made compulsory if this entails increased economic burden on impoverished parents. Prioritise early education and the provision of pre- and primary schools - providing an equitable material standard (classrooms and amenities including food, e.g. from Permaculture projects) and well-qualified teacher to pupil ratio that is acceptable nation-wide. Compulsory state, private or home educare should begin at an early an age as is reasonably possible.
Education-with-production and commercial schools should be prioritised at secondary education level. Set age and qualification limits for entering and leaving secondary education - e.g. any pupil who qualifies may, and all pupils over 12 must enter secondary school - any pupil who matriculates may, and all pupils over 16 must leave secondary school. Initiate a universal counselling programme for all school leavers to choose their career options. Tertiary education should aim to become essentially self-funding through the extension of existing loan finance to incorporate all students who wish to study. Greater opportunities should be provided through loans for tertiary study in non-university institutions such as industrial colleges and technikons. Students should be afforded the opportunity to repay study loans through working in decentralised public-works programmes countrywide or other rural provincial and local authority initiatives.
HIV - AIDS
It will take more than condoms to stop the HIV/AIDS genocide. Any organisation demanding its members follow a simple line - while stifling dissenting calls for a holistic multi-faceted approach balancing prevention, treatment and care - is culpable in the deaths of millions. Government’s responsibility is to ensure that all questions about HIV/AIDS are openly discussed and adequately answered by medical, scientific and legal authorities. Alternative approaches to HIV/AIDS must receive appropriate scientific consideration.
The female/male double standard, such as stigmatising multiple partners for women whilst glorifying this for men, must be changed. Women’s rights in all forms of partnerships must be protected. A prevalent culture of male privilege, violence and rape against women and children must end. To achieve healthy, well educated, non-violent, self-reliant communities, it is necessary to stop non-consensual sex and to start a revolution in social and personal relationships and identities. Honesty in sexual partnerships must be the norm. Everyone must practice safe ethical sex - there must be a legal obligation to notify your sexual partner(s) of your HIV status. HIV+ rapists must be prosecuted for attempted murder. Initiate a free universal counselling and accurate HIV testing program. HIV/AIDS must be notifiable to ensure accurate and up to date statistical research. This must not involve any lack of confidentiality.
Everyone needs comprehensive health insurance and an informed choice of treatments and prevention strategies. Provide universal access and choice to use ARVs. Offer all medical options, promoting natural treatment when possible. Offer alternatives and complementary treatments on the basis of informed consent with proper information about the risks, efficacy and toxicity of all treatment options. Allow the public access to whatever type of healthcare they choose. Everyone must have the right to be secure in, and control his or her own body. Make primary, preventative, nutritional and medicinal healthcare options available for everyone. Primary health care is dependent on the right to shelter, and basic amenities for adequate sanitation. Sanitary living conditions are a basic human right for everyone, together with nutritional diet and healthy lifestyle options. In the context of free basic services, everyone needs daily access to clean uncontaminated drinkable water, naturally grown organic fruits and vegetables, and animal produce from humanely treated free-range organic and naturally fed animals.
Integrate the many diverse health care approaches - no single approach has a monopoly on treatment or cure. Apply a holistic view of environmental, social and individual conditions for optimum physical, mental and spiritual health. Review pharmaceutical protocols - medicines should not be accepted without a significant advantage over and above placebo levels. Remove all intellectual property controls on medicines and licence local production of generics. Treat all drugs equally within the spectrum of the existing classification schedule. Consider the aspects of informed adult self-medication and recreational use. No one should be medicated without choice. Community health must not be used as an excuse to undermine individual adult or parental consent and rights to an informed decision. Introduce the following legislation:
Alternate and complimentary health practitioners who provide services that do not require medical training and credentials must not be allowed to:
Conduct surgery or any other procedure on another person that puncture the skin or harmfully invades the body;
Administer or prescribe x-ray radiation to another person;
Prescribe or administer scheduled drugs or controlled substances to another person;
Recommend the discontinuance of medicines or controlled substances prescribed by an appropriately licensed health practitioner;
Wilfully diagnose and treat a physical or mental condition of any person under circumstances or conditions that cause or create risk of bodily harm, physical or mental illness, or death;
Treat lacerations or abrasions through electro-therapy;
State, indicate, advertise or imply to a client or prospective client that he or she is a physician, a surgeon, or a physician and surgeon;
A person who
advertises any lawful health service must disclose in the advertisement whether
or not she or he is licensed as a healing arts practitioner.
Before providing lawful health services, the practitioner must do the following:
1. Disclose to the client in a written statement using plain language, in the language of the client's choice:
Whether or not she or he is a licensed physician;
Whether the treatment is alternative or complimentary to licensed healing arts services;
Whether or not the services to be provided are licensed by the state;
The nature of the services to be provided;
The theory of treatment upon which the services are based;
Her or his educational, training, experience and other qualifications regarding the services to be provided.
2. Obtain a written acknowledgement from the client stating that she or he has been provided with the information described in paragraph 1 above.
3. The client must be provided with a copy of the written acknowledgement, which must be maintained by the person providing the service for three years;
4. The information required in subdivision 3 above must be provided in a language that the client understands;
5. Nothing above may be construed to do the following:
Affect the scope of practice of licensed physicians and surgeons;
Limit the right of any person to seek redress of negligence or any other civil remedy against a person providing health services.
GE - GM
Ban all exploitative uses of Genetic Engineering, including: Patenting of life or life giving forms; Distributing terminator seeds; Evading the precautionary principle; Evading the polluter pays principle; Evading other legal responsibilities; Prosecuting natural dispersion of genetic materials; Lack of risk notification; Lack of labelling; Using and promoting unscientific methods. There must only be scientifically verified safe use of GE, including: Full determination of health risks - Full determination of genetic pollution risks to biodiversity - Full determination of economic risks. Proper legal and legislative procedures must be applied to GE. Until this is the case, sustained court actions must be pursued. We call on all religious organisations, NGOs, CBOs etc. to take a stand against the indiscriminate use of Genetic Engineering and help distribute appropriate public information – stating as simply as possible what is Genetic Engineering - drawing a clear distinction between unnatural Genetic Engineering and natural Biotechnology – and explaining how to avoid Genetically Engineered foods.
PERMACULTURE TRADE & DEBT
Hunger exists worldwide. Some 840 million people’s daily diets don’t meet the minimum nutritional standards of the UN-FAO (United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation). Malnutrition and famine are not inevitable – the planet does produce enough to feed everyone. Even conservative estimates calculate that enough food is produced around the globe for every person in the world to get 2 800 calories a day, about 20% above the standard set by the FAO. People are not hungry because food supplies are not available; they are hungry because they are poor. 80% of malnourished children live in countries that have enough food to feed their whole populations. The hungry go without because they are too poor to afford food.
Agricultural systems are not organised around feeding everyone. So when there isn’t enough to go around, people have to pay higher prices for food – or depend on aid – or go hungry. Free markets work according to supply and demand. Producers make what people buy – consumers ‘vote’ with their buying capacity and businesses compete to provide the products where consumers cast their ‘votes’. But what if you don’t have any money? Then you don’t get a ‘vote’ – and business won’t produce what you want. A priority is placed on making products to meet the needs of the rich – who have far more ‘votes’ than anyone else – rather than meeting the needs of the whole society. In 2003 the USA government spent $400 billion on the means to wage war, five times more than the $80 billion a year necessary to provide the most basic needs that go unmet around the world – for food, shelter, clean water, primary education, basic medical care – according to the UN Development Program. This is the madness of protecting and increasing the wealth of some people only. Society needs to meet the needs of every single person in it – be they poor or rich, socialist or capitalist, female or male, white or black – or suffering will increase, creating situations that lead to discontent and violence.
The onus is on international regulatory bodies and pressure groups including the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Economic Forum (WEF) to balance and compensate for inter- and intra-national inequalities. Their restructuring programs emphasise repayment of excessive onerous debts at the expense of social welfare and food security. Many countries may receive food aid while ironically attempting to raise currency with their own produce to merely service (pay interest) on those usurious debts – while also being denied access to lucrative markets due to subsidies in those markets that are at odds with the WB IMF WEF neo-liberal principles. Food-security needs to take priority over economic dogmas. Third-world debts should be reviewed, renegotiated or written off (ecological and social debts owing to third-world countries should also be quantified where possible). Agricultural systems must be geared towards sustainable optimising of nutritional requirements. Permaculture and organic agriculture enhance soil quality and can be labour intensive – an advantage in many countries with high and increasing un- and under-employment. Debt relief or cancellation can be tied to a country’s equality levels, sustainable agricultural practices and optimal nutritional production.
Access to sufficient nutritional food must be a human right before that food is used as a tradable commodity - or even as a financial weapon. Countries must be required to meet their domestic food requirements first – before distributing or trading in any excesses. Others should by all means meet their requirements as much as possible by their own food production – before receiving any food aid. Furthermore the onus on governments is to allow agriculture to develop in the context of fair trade. Subsidies should be limited to those essential to protect natural and cultivated environments and promote food security. It is also the duty of governments to maintain efficient, effective and equitable food distribution systems - especially to protect the poor and malnourished.
South Africa's government must have an unequivocal policy to clearly stand unselectively against all human rights abuses wherever and whenever they occur.
Hatred, aggression, domination, selfishness and polarisation characterise an unhealthy society. Violence and intimidation must be renounced. Lasting peace, justice, equality and freedom require constructive land re-distribution, community investment and sustainable job creation to destroy the endless cycle of poverty and crime. The social, economic, ecological, psychological and cultural aspects of conflict must be investigated. It is necessary to create trust, tolerance, understanding, individual empowerment, and respect of diversity. A prevalent culture of non-violence can only come through constructive efforts in every sphere of life - individual, social, economic and political. Expose prejudice and inequality and set up conflict resolution systems. A culture of peace and cooperation depends on a basis of individual skills, abilities and insights. Alternatives to our current patterns of violence need to be developed from the family and the street to countries and the world.
People must be allowed to defend themselves and others in a manner appropriate to manage and control whatever threat they face. However, citizen’s rights to bear arms must be qualified and monitored. Any violence or use of weapons beyond legitimate self-defence must be severely restricted at all levels. Production and distribution of all types of weapons and ammunition must be regulated. South Africa must renounce force as a means of dealing with disputes. All war potential must be diminished. Manufacture, transport and marketing of weapons of warfare must be severely restricted. Nuclear, biological and chemical arms, anti-personnel mines and depleted uranium weapons must be banned completely. Complete security in an uncertain world is a myth. The idea of sustainable military security is not credible within a competitive arena. Cooperation, economic and social development, environmental integrity and respect for human rights are the only viable alternatives.
The criminalization of alcohol in the USA caused a massive growth in crime and corruption. In South Africa the destructive effects of the criminalization of dagga has long merged with other symptoms of our history. Hemp (dagga) has an incredible array of uses. Its use has far reaching social, economic and environmental effects. Many rural families depend on this crop. Unfortunately its illegality has meant that policing has pushed farming into ecologically sensitive areas. The cost of dagga laws is high economically, environmentally and in human suffering - yet benefits to society, if any, are uncertain: Many people are arrested for possession - much time is served in prison. What has been the financial cost of such imprisonment, court time and police action? How many people so convicted as a first offence have later progressed to serious crime due to brutalisation in prison? This wide-ranging topic and related issues including substance abuse and other victimless crimes must be debated openly and rationally. Persecuting people for possession of dagga or for prostitution is a corrupting distraction for police and prison staff whose salaries are paid by the public in the hope of being protected from serious crime. ECOPEACE calls for a review of all victimless crimes.
Community Policing depends on appropriate training and decent salaries, but the underlying causes of crime must also be dealt with - our sense of justice must be sustained, changes in laws, procedures and mass amnesties outside the courts have altered perceptions. People who have abused human rights must be denied positions of power and privilege especially in public service. Political escape from justice means everyone expects the same - including those who still suffer from the effects of politically imposed poverty. Violent criminals should be isolated from mainstream society, not to be reintegrated before they are rehabilitated. They must be treated separately from those whose crimes are economic. We must never put a mere material value on human life - property rights must be ensured without violence or the undermining of basic living standards for all. It is the improvement of these living standards for all that is insurance against crime. People will affirm principle and ethics over corruption or violence when they perceive the benefits of the former. Only sustainable ecologically viable economics can be the foundation of health and prosperity for all.
Eradicate poverty & unemployment - Close the gap between the haves and have-nots. Nurture a culture of pro-active anti-violence - Respect & treasure Life - Promote positive role models - Create an Ethical Culture. Strengthen Community Policing - Budget for adequate Policing - Increase police presence and visibility - Deny access to illegal weapons. Increase Arrests + Increase Convictions + Initiate Justice Reforms - See crime as a violation of one person by another, not against the state – (restorative justice) – Allow victims input in sentencing. Reform Prisons - Restitution for economic crimes, not retribution. Deter Criminals - Stricter sentencing, for violent crimes and abuse of human rights (including rape and child abuse) - A life sentence with no release, for premeditated murder - Mandatory life sentences for all armed and violent crimes, until complete rehabilitation is proved.
with the Death Sentence
A 2/3rds majority is needed to change the constitution - The constitutional court can reject it (again) - The President could commute sentences - An innocent person can be convicted - Lengthy and costly appeals process - It does not respect life - It may not act as a deterrent; criminals already risk their lives, many do not think they will be caught and most do not believe they are doing something wrong - There are also low conviction and low arrest rates. However people might support the Death Penalty as a protest against crime. ECOPEACE supports debate and a referendum on the Death Sentence in order to gauge public anger at crime and violence.
- FREEDOM - EQUALITY - JUSTICE
All sentient beings must have legal protection from exploitation and undue harm. Recognise that we are but one of a multitude of beings on this planet. Support cultural, ethnic, language and religious diversity. Heal divisions through participatory democracy, justice, individual freedoms, rights and choices. Improve quality of life of all, and free the potential of each person. Protect the rights of all people to food, shelter, health-care and education. Everyone must have rights to the land they occupy and an environment supportive of their dignity, physical and mental health, and spiritual well-being. Indigenous peoples must have the rights to their means of cultural and economic survival, including self-determination - and acknowledgement of their contribution to the collective heritage of global culture. Equality in all spheres of social, economic, political and cultural life is essential. Youth culture should have a valuable contribution for society. Legislate for equality through pro-active, individual-empowerment. Class is a preferable to race or sex as the basis for "affirmative action", which otherwise degenerates into quota-based tokenism rather than "equal opportunity".
The inequitable exploitation of social and natural materials must be stopped to allow basic human needs to be met locally and to ensure that everyone has full opportunity for personal and social development. Usury must be outlawed. Unfair debt burdens must be reviewed, renegotiated or cancelled and positive procedures initiated that avoid any future economic and ecological imbalances. Labour, consumer and environmental practices must equally favour workers, companies, consumers and ecosystems. The eradication of exploitation, inequality, poverty and illiteracy is an ethical, social, economic and ecological imperative. This requires equal rights for all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health. Covering fundamental inequalities by promoting a black management elite will not seal the cracks destroying our society. We must deal honestly with the barriers between the haves and the have-nots; mega-projects like the arms deal are not the valid answers we desperately need. State assets that are required for meeting social needs must not be sold, either to the big corporations, or to an aspirant black bourgeoisie - a new elite absorbed in the enjoyment of the "spoils of office", corruption and self-enrichment through public office. Class hegemony and division of labour remain intact. Patriarchal institutions, customs and attitudes that treat men as inherently superior to women persist. The government confines the struggle for women’s emancipation to promotion, in the framework of race-defined ‘affirmative action’, of a new elite of black women. Government horizons are limited to social reform within the bounds of monopolistic capitalism.
The lot of South Africa’s poor majority has not improved, unemployment is increasing, poverty and a lack of adequate land or housing are still overwhelming issues and the HIV/AIDS genocide casts an even deeper shadow over all of these problems. Nationalist apartheid in South Africa is being transformed into its international version, ‘globalisation’. Ironically the government labels its critics racists - however, the neoliberal ideals of its GEAR and NEPAD policies are a continuation of the economics they and their tripartite alliance partners (SACP and COSATU) challenged as the basis of the apartheid policies of the past.
NATURAL FOOD AND HEALTH FOR ALL
Land ownership must be seen in the context of a universal human right to a decent amount of shared basic services - water, food, shelter, energy, health-care, transport, education, income etc. Until this is the case, we support peaceful protests and non-violent direct action to highlight those needs. Land reform can be achieved by preferential provision of subsidies and consecutive, small, unsecured, interest-free loans (for the development of state-owned land, purchase of leases of agricultural land, and infra-structural development of small farms of less than 10 acres) to individuals willing and committed to working full-time in sustainable foods and natural organic agricultural production. Conditions attached to the loan would be the demonstrable use of the land for sustainable agricultural production. State-owned land currently not in use should be allocated for lease or sale for natural organic agriculture, housing or fair enterprise development. Under-utilised state assets and buildings should be made available on a lease to non-profit groups to utilise for socially useful projects and activities. Interest-free loans and subsidies should be available equitably to all new homeowners whether for settlement in an urban, peri-urban or rural area whether or not tenure is held in terms of legal title deed or in terms of a community land trust or traditional communal land.
Establish democratically acceptable standards for housing – a tiny, single room building cannot be classed as a house. Ecologically sustainable projects must be initiated. All new buildings must adhere to energy conservation principles. Communities must become skilled in the tasks to accomplish their own development. Government must supply the relevant physical, social, ecological and economic infrastructures for this – and establish mechanisms to develop sufficient housing at all economic levels. Sub-economic housing today will only create the slum and crime capitals of tomorrow. Cities must be sustainable and comply with Action 21 (previously Agenda 21). Eco-Cities require planning to spatially concentrate multifunction buildings (work, recreation and residence) with safe, convenient, affordable public transport between these nodes. Ecological features are reintroduced such as streams, wetlands, parks etc. Walking and cycling are sufficient within the nodes.
SOCIAL PROTECTION (CSP)
South Africa is one of the most economically unequal societies in the world. The poorest 40% of the population spend less that 3% of national consumption, while the richest 10% have a 46% share of national consumption [UNDP Statistics]. Between 1999 and 2001 an additional four million people slipped into poverty. Policy is needed to protect the most vulnerable of our society until people earn a living through employment.
18 million people (almost half the population) live below the World Bank poverty line of $2 per day [Taylor]
The poorest 20% spend less than R100 per person per month on average.
About half the poor (the poorest 10%), have no access to social grants [Statistics South Africa]
Between 1995 and 2000, the poorest 50% of households share of income dropped from 11,3% to 9,7% and the poorest 20% dropped from 1,9% to 1,6%. The wealthiest 20% earned 65% of the national income.
Between 60-70% of children live in poverty and 25% of children under 9 have severe to moderate stunting.
In 1996, 33% of working age adults were unemployed. The rate by 2001 had risen to 37% and in 2002 to 41.8% [Labour Force Survey 2002].
Those who are most vulnerable are unable to access social assistance:
No support for poor children between age 12 and 18 including street children and child-headed households
No income support for poor adults between the ages of 18 and 60 years including those living with HIV/AIDS.
There is no general social assistance for households where no one is employed.
The unemployment insurance fund (UIF) covers less than 40% of the labour force at any given point in time and offers benefits to less than 6% of the unemployed.
Poor households typically spend more than 90% of their incomes on food, education, transportation and health care. Basic universal requirements must not be traded against each other. A poor parent should not have to choose between a proper level of income or sending their child to school - a common choice in reality. All South Africans should live above minimum acceptable standards.
The CSP includes a Basic Income Grant (BIG) calculated (we propose) on some measurable statistics – unemployment levels, cost of living, inflation rates etc. As the poverty gap is closed and employment is increased the BIG will be adjusted. A BIG provides a minimum income for everyone to eliminate destitution. A BIG will stimulate local economic development in poor and rural communities. The BIG is an integral part of an overall development strategy. The BIG needs to be aligned with appropriate socio-economic strategies to address poverty, including employment creation measures; asset redistribution; and access to affordable public services. Other poverty eradication mechanisms are necessary with a BIG to transform South Africa’s economy giving everyone a real stake in our future. Public works programmes and food cooperatives are also important components of a CSP; individual and community independence must be increased via various forms of land tenure and Permaculture. The CSP will change development strategies in government to progressive socio-economic principles. A Comprehensive and Integrated Social Protection Package (CSP) would be the most far-reaching and cost-effective initiative to combat poverty.
The Taylor Committee concluded that the CSP package is affordable; ‘No significant changes in the proportion of GDP allocated to social security are required if these scenarios are implemented. In particular, the implementation of a universal system of social assistance grants in key areas becomes both feasible and affordable.’ As the grant provides the basis for accelerated economic growth, the fiscal burden diminishes relative to the economy as a whole. The BIG is a critical investment whose longer-term returns more than justify the short-run costs.
Flourishing regional cultures should replace the dominant consumption oriented unsustainable imperialist monoculture. Empower people to become self-reliant. Local community self-determination can be reconciled with appropriate universal standards. Direct and participatory democracy devolves centralised power and decision-making responsibilities to individual levels.
We reject extremist economics reducing everything to market commodities to be bought, sold, managed and controlled. Elitist material wealth is not a measure of progress. Economic activities must benefit workers and local communities – and not only be profit motive for absentee owners and shareholders. No one must be denied a fair and equitable share of the Earth’s benefits. Our focus must be on quality of life not capacity for consumption. Economic growth cannot be unlimited in a world of finite resources, without jeopardising future generations. Market prices of goods and services must fully include their environmental costs. Tax and other mechanisms must: - Support sustainable development. - Support employee ownership and workplace democracy. - Promote full employment - Limit the size and power of monopoly conglomerates. - Regulate speculative financial flows. - Encourage energy efficiency and technological innovation. - Promote renewable energy supply and use. - Promote Permaculture and healthy eco-friendly labour intensive organic agriculture. - Redistribute wealth to reflect economic security created outside the formal economy - parenting, housekeeping, home-gardens, and community volunteer work, etc.
5% of the population own 80% of the wealth - this disparity must be addressed. A democratic society must continually redistribute wealth and property in order to counter the elite concentration of economic and political power, and especially to create and maintain equality in a finite world. It is necessary to adjust absolute limits to personal consumption and accumulation in terms of the Earth’s limited carrying capacity for a large population. In this regard we propose the following tax reforms:
Greed tax - exponential rates based on excessive annual average property values (land, buildings and vehicles) of individuals and others - with a zero rating for an acceptable basic amount. To replace personal income tax.
Inequality tax - proportional to the overall wage profile of a business - i.e. an equally paid worker collective would be zero-rated. Include a rebate/subsidy proportional to the number of directly employed permanent staff.
Monopoly tax - on shareholder dividend profits that companies receive from their subsidiaries - increasing with the percentage of shares, to discourage conglomerate concentration of wealth.
Pollution tax - exponential rates for all toxins and pollutants (solid, water, air, heat, noise, electromagnetic etc.)
Entropy tax - energy waste tariffs on thermodynamically expensive industries (e.g. overseas companies that use SA as a cheap energy provider or consumer of uneconomical substances). Characterise chemical industries by the change in the Gibbs Free Energy Function (G) of their processes, a scientific evaluation of their efficiency.
Unsustainability tax - to discourage the use of non-renewable resources. To replace VAT (value-added tax).
Disinvestment tax - excise duty on exports that are subsequently used in imported products - and on those imports that use South African materials and hence bypass investment within the country.
Speculation tax - on large transactions and large numbers of transactions to discourage currency speculation.
Tax revenues should be targeted for specific budget areas so that rates can be determined objectively and anticipated. There must also be participatory input into capital and operating budgets and tax rates.
A uniform rates basis for municipal ratepayers should be set on per capita usage of resources such as electricity, water, land, paved area. Higher use of these resources indicates higher use of other services, a better indication than just using property values. This should be calculated exponentially (i.e. sliding scale) so that higher users have an immediate rates reduction incentive to use less and invest in appropriate technologies such as solar energy. Wherever possible there should be direct payment for services - with rebates and active encouragement for waste reduction, recycling and job creation. Also, rebates if water-borne sewerage is not used.
apartheid's market dictatorship. The invasion and occupation of Iraq highlights
the lack of constraints on, illegal or immoral, actions for the benefit of
mainly USA based multinational corporations. A so-called ‘free market’
must not imply freedom to exploit, or freedom from responsibilities and obligations.
Greed-motivated monopolistic economies are synonymous with environmental destruction,
inequalities in consumption, rank, status and power - a hierarchy of entitlement
for the privileged few, based on money and possessions, accumulation of personal
property, minority economic control, and polarity between rich and poor. 25%
of the world's population consumes 75% of the world's wealth. Ever increasing
consumption is damaging and cannot be sustained. We must make life mean more
than affluence, influence and effluence.
Reject abusive relationships. Commercial activity that considers only the profit bottom line cannot be considered as ethical. It is necessary to use a triple bottom line of social, environmental and monetary gains. Fair trade means considering both the up and downstream ramifications of business activities, and internalised costing of external impacts. All commercial, industrial, military, agricultural, private and state entities must be entirely transparent and accountable, ecologically viable, sustainable and open to audit. Technologies must be safe. Any change over to sustainable methods must occur within a just transition.
Reform inaccessible insensitive official structures and personnel. State control requires service - not cumbersome bureaucracy, low quality products, production failures, shortages of food and other commodities - which indicates little concern for people or the environment. Decrease local authority management costs for increased coexistence with nature. Essentials to well being are; water, food, housing, clothing, fuel, electricity, health care, sewers and refuse removal, communication, education, a clean safe beautiful environment, and a spiritual cultural life. Support and encourage zero waste - reduce, reuse, recycle. Provide safe affordable accessible public transport and safe cycle paths.
PEOPLE FRIENDLY SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THIS AND FUTURE
GENERATIONS. Real Wealth includes all goods and services that contribute
to the satisfaction of human (and environmental) needs and the promotion of
human (and environmental) well-being. The measure of the real wealth of a
community is its ability to deliver goods and services, where and when required.
It therefore includes: - goods and services ready for consumption; unfinished
goods in process of manufacture; stocks, raw materials and natural resources;
surplus of imports over exports; productive capacity - both actual and potential;
transport - and similar services; person-power; skills; knowledge; educational
and cultural facilities - and so on. If an individual owns a house, free of
a mortgage etc. they may be said to be “in credit” to
the value of that property. Similarly, the community is always “in
credit” to the extent of its accumulated real wealth: The only parallel
“debt” is the simultaneous consumption of some of that
real wealth, which is obviously less than the total real wealth. The financial
situation of a community should always reflect this “credit”
position. Instead we find that almost all communities are in a position of
permanent and unrepayable debt.
Review orthodox accountancy - requiring that, wherever there is a credit, there must also be an equivalent debit. When applied to real wealth, this system does not reflect the physical facts. When a bank creates a loan, it creates money out of nothing! It balances its books by entering a credit and a debit, cancelled out against each other - yet the result is that now almost the whole of our present money stock consists of debt that grows continuously in order to pay for the ever-increasing interest. Debts of all kinds are growing at increasing speed - government (national, provincial and local), commercial, and individual. It cannot continue much longer. We have already seen the ‘Asian meltdown’ and the collapse of the Russian, Mexican and Argentine economies. Africa has been ‘bankrupt’, unable to pay massive increasing IMF debts and World Bank loans for many decades. USA still has debts of trillions of dollars ‘borrowed' from future income.
Initiate banking reforms. The function of a sustainable monetary system is to record the movement of real wealth. We can cooperate to use real wealth sustainably to meet everyone’s needs adequately and fairly - instead of competing to pay off bank created virtual debts, wasting resources, harming environments and communities. Government could print money rather than banks create it artificially through debt. If the government issued money (through grants, subsidies and interest-free loans, etc.) - ensuring that the supply matched society’s needs, to avoid inflation - then the ‘unnecessary’ debts due to the banking-debt system could be paid of rapidly.
Free human potential. Enrich the nature of work and shorten work times. Develop appropriate labour intensive technologies and self managed cooperatives. No taxation on labour or production. Interest and usury can be banned, as is the case in Islamic banking. It is necessary to promote community-based banking and LET (Local Economy Trading) Schemes. Extensive investment is required to repair the damaged natural environment, to develop re-skilling and retraining in socially- and environmentally-friendly production and services, and to maintain existing infrastructures (energy, transport, water, waste disposal etc).
Comprehensive environmental accounting procedures must play a significant role in this development. Particular emphasis must be laid on local community involvement in the decision-making process regarding development funding. Government initiated public orientated sustainable work programmes - depending on wage levels and how funding is applied, between purchase of materials, equipment and employment - could employ at least three to four million people.
Promote economic freedoms and independence. Universal land rights should be granted - according to sustainable ecological and social principles. Stop ‘privatisation’ (selling off public assets to a wealthy few). Restructure with genuine community and worker ownership. Minimise bureaucratic inefficiency with up to date practices. Decentralise control, decentralise political power. Change GEAR - reinstate the RDP - empower communities through local participatory forums. Give communities the information and resources to achieve their developmental goals through employment, interest-free loans or funding of sustainable projects. Redefine government employment and tendering practises, and taxation, to encourage labour-based work creation.
Oppose conglomerates, monopolies and exploitation. Only a handful of individuals direct all the larger companies. Anti-monopoly laws could force a firm to offer to buy all the other shares once it acquires 30% of the shares in another company. That would discourage companies from acquiring a controlling interest in other companies. The Competitions Board was set up to control the concentration of economic power - the government is not using these mechanisms. Require workers, consumers, and public representatives etc. to be board members. Tax the dividends (profits paid to shareholders) that companies receive from their subsidiary companies. Use the state’s consumer power selectively. Protect the conglomerates (e.g. against imports) in return for implementing development plans. Consider nationalisation of certain strategic areas of the economy.
All living things are interdependent and all political and social activity is interconnected. Human society is a part of nature not apart from nature. Life has value independent of its economic usefulness. Yet we pollute the Earth, we consume irreplaceable substances and we produce things we don't really need which wear out quickly and cannot be recycled. We constantly change the environment far beyond our needs until we now threaten our own survival and that of many other species. Global population growth is much higher than social and economic development. This inevitably leads to ecological and economic degradation, which in turn leads to bloody conflicts - reinforcing environmental destruction through dislocation of people to marginal lands or to towns and cities. Political change is needed or we face extinction. Violence and factionalism are obsolete. Force and material wealth must be dissociated from and replaced by new symbols of power. Ecological rehabilitation requires a change from income and possessions as measures of wealth to a concern for health and well being.
Everyone should experience our indigenous heritage, for personal and social growth, and to develop spiritually. Ecological education provides knowledge that is integrative, a holistic experience. Ecotourism requires rehabilitation, respect, integrity and diversity of biotic systems. This is also fundamental for eliminating poverty. Halting environmental degradation and loss of land, biomass and water resources is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Improvements in quality of life, vitality and well-being, and diversity of the natural environment are the foundations of future wealth. Trust and caring are needed for self reliance, cooperation, autonomy and responsibility. Nurture solidarity, self help, equity and organic relation to nature.
Our cities should be greened by the intensive growing of indigenous trees and adequate provision of natural areas to improve the living conditions and health of its inhabitants. Affordable public transport and safe cycle paths must be supplied. Management systems in harmony with nature require investment in long-term research and development, decreased management costs for increased coexistence with nature, and an economy within ecological limits. Management must be freed from selfish motives and not be carried out through slow and ineffectual cumbersome bureaucracies. We need to recognise and encourage ‘environmental achievements’ not views limited to a term of office. There is an ever-increasing moral imperative to adopt sustainable lifestyles.
Promote a sustainable balance between ecological, social and economic development - guarantee environmental and consumer protection - promote rehabilitation and conservation to protect the quality of the human and natural environments - protect indigenous cultures - prohibit activities that endanger the public or their environment. Agriculture and food production must enhance the quality of land, not sap it. Monocultures and chemical dependencies must be halted. Extensive mining is not sustainable and must decrease within a just transition. Our energy policy must be based on renewable materials and universal access to sustainable energy. Rates reforms must involve levies on high use of non renewable materials, and therefore encourage; rainwater collection, zero waste (reduce, reuse, recycle), solar power, new and appropriate technologies. Taxation must be based on pollution and consumption of resources. Put tariffs on thermodynamically expensive industries. Charge excise duties on exports that are subsequently used in imported products, and on imports that use South African materials, and hence deny investment within the country. Everyone must have the right to engage in legitimate, ecologically and socially sustainable, fair-trade based economic activity. This cannot preclude the protection and improvement of the environment and its ecosystems.
ACCESS TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Free renewable energy sources like solar, wind, waves, tidal, hydro etc., can serve large numbers of low-output as well as high-output installations. Concentrated power even for heavy industrial use and large cities is economically sustainable from renewable sources. Concentrated electrical outputs do not necessarily require concentrated power production sources. Sustainable energy is not only ideal in a household; it can also be used for a heavy industrial area. It is possible that government may not have to even partly finance such installations. Well-developed, abundant, sustainable, clean, zero waste, absolutely safe, labour intensive technologies are readily available. Households can invest in energy devices such as solar power and if encouraged with rates rebates, can become net energy suppliers. Those households carry the capital costs until their investments repay themselves, with no disadvantage to consumers and an overall savings in energy consumption.
Any gaps between electricity supply and demand must be mitigated by; demand management, supply efficiency management, commissioning of mothballed ‘white elephant’ power stations, developing fluidised bed and gas fired power stations and renewable energy. South Africa will continue to be oversupplied with electricity, and continue to export electricity - with no need for nuclear power. With deregulation, this would not require billions of public funding. Monopolized ratepayers should not subsidize nuclear energy when off-the-shelf renewable energy technologies are available that can be privately funded. Government must declare a moratorium on nuclear expenditure pending a democratic process to openly review decisions made to date.
The concepts of safety in the nuclear industry were manufactured to legitimise a process that is dirty and expensive. Once governments had made a decision to go for nuclear energy and weapons, they had to licence the industry, no matter what, or they would not have access to what they desired. We should not import these licence protocols from discredited backgrounds. NECSA (formerly AEC) and NNR (formerly CNS) must fully disclose and accurately account for all of their radioactive waste and weapons grade materials. There has to be complete agreement on the mechanism for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) in South Africa. Irradiated fuels have to be managed for many hundreds of thousands of years at least, if not for millions of years. Government must establish a strategy for HLRW disposal with adequate competence and capacity. National government has to accept responsibility - companies and utilities will come and go. In the geological time scale even nation states will appear and decline. Government must solve radioactive waste disposal problems today. Eskom might restructure or even ceases to exist before their nuclear installations have been shut down and decommissioned hence negating their responsibility. Eskom is producing HLRW at Koeberg with no final disposal or long-term safe containment mechanism, that is an unconstitutional infringement of environmental rights. To assume that our descendants will be more capable of dealing with our current problems than we are, is evading inter-generational responsibility.
The waste creator, taking into account interdependences among all steps in radioactive waste generation and management, must carry the full financial burdens. Proper consideration must be given to impacts arising from the extraction and processing of raw materials. It is necessary to include mining repercussions, external costs in terms of human health and life as well as economic costs. There must be caution where there is uncertainty. To keep radioactive waste to a minimum, one must ask if it is practical to avoid generating it. The answer is undoubtedly yes; by decommissioning Koeberg and investing in renewable resources rather than further developing nuclear power.
Nuclear fission technology is not sustainable, is not renewable, can never become a zero waste technology, is not clean, is capital not labour intensive, is not economically viable, and is of dubious political heritage. Control of strategic materials, routes, personnel and technologies dictates the outcomes of scenarios far removed from a sincere global consensus-seeking on issues of planetary survival. The PBMR project is a game-piece in the dream of an African Renaissance, where South Africa is imagined in a spearhead role. The new regime has given every sign of obedience to the rules of international finance. GEAR is premised on honouring debts and boosting investor confidence. This is justified in terms of the trickle-down theory in which economic growth (defined as more of the same urbanisation and industrialisation that has failed us up to now) - is the only hope of helping the poor. In ANC ranks, the R65 bn arms deal is justified in terms of being an investment in building investor confidence. The PBMR is likely to be defended on similar grounds.
There is no evidence of sufficient benefit to justify inevitable exposure of any individuals to radiation. Exposure can be as low as reasonably achievable (zero levels) by avoiding nuclear technologies all together, with no economic or social detriment.
for the government to order the appropriate institutions to do the following:
1. Decommission the Koeberg reactors.
2. Reverse the EIA RoD (Record of decision) for and halt the licensing of the PBMR, until a full detailed design is available, and the following points have been achieved:
3. Conduct a public review into nuclear licensing standards.
4. Promulgate and put into operation a National Policy for Radioactive Waste.
5. Finalise a national consensus on the future of Eskom.
6. Allow Independent Power Producers input to the national electricity grid, bring transparency to tariff structures and disclose cost and pricing information. Publish National Electricity Regulator (NER) approved tariffs for the purchase of co-generated and independently generated electricity on the basis of full avoided costs
7. Require any public funding (like Eskom and IDC backing of PBMRs) to include parallel funding of all appropriate technologies i.e. Rand-for-Rand expenditure with a public tender process for each of; wind, solar Photo-Voltaic, solar thermal, solar chimney, solar Stirling/Parabolic, wave, tidal, biomass etc., etc.
8. Complete an Integrated Energy Planning Process.
9. Establish firm targets and implementation plans for renewable energy generation.
10. Remove the inherent subsidies for non-renewable unsustainable fuel sources and barriers that currently penalise renewable sources.
11. Use Kyoto Protocol agreements to:
Promote and finance the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound climate-friendly technologies and scientific research.
Implement the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism).
Build capacity and promote public awareness, education and training with necessary funding from developed countries.
Access new and additional financial resources to meet the agreed full costs incurred in carrying out these commitments.
Any nuclear energy
EIA must include full life-cycle environmental costing, including mining impacts,
complete transport risks, and final HLRW disposal and management. Without
a program for final HLRW disposal and management the production of that Waste
amounts to an unconstitutional infringement of environmental rights. Without
full life-cycle environmental costing economic viability cannot be evaluated.
That EIA process must include equitable comparison with renewable energy options.
Without those comparisons there can be no suitable appraisal of the EIA.
The terms of the Energy White Paper must be fulfilled - The Energy White Paper states: "Energy production and distribution should be sustainable." "Energy is only useful when it is affordable and sustainable." and " . . . the electricity supply industry objectives must achieve environmental sustainability in both the short and long-term usage of our natural resources." Also "The electricity industry is an effective state monopoly, as is the nuclear industry." " . . . the state should ensure that energy production and utilization are done with maximum efficiency at all times." However, "Massive, skewed and uneconomical investments were made in the nuclear fuels chain. This legacy presents the sector with large and complex challenges, including a nuclear related industry which consumes two-thirds of the Department of Minerals and Energy's state budget." "On a pro rata basis South African public sector expenditure on non-nuclear energy research is much lower than that of countries at the same level of development, or in relation to the contribution or potential contribution of these technologies to the country's energy economy." "In developing policy on research, development and demonstration, government needs to address the following policy challenges;
correcting the skewed allocation of funds towards nuclear energy
providing clarity on national energy research strategies, including a focus on priority issues and the involvement of stakeholders
clarifying the roles of government, energy suppliers and the private sector in funding research and development."
". . . energy sources will not become scarce in the short or medium term." "Decisions on the role of nuclear power need to be taken within the context of an integrated resource planning process." "The integrated resource planning approach includes the evaluation of all candidate energy supply and demand resources in an unbiased manner." "The compulsory use of integrated resource planning methodologies will ensure that utilities avoid or delay electricity supply investments when it is economical to do so, by optimising the utilisation of existing capacity and increasing the efficiency of energy supply and consumption." " . . . more energy is used per unit of economic output than in many other countries." "Energy policy has not adequately addressed energy conservation." "There is great potential to stimulate energy demand management . . . Energy savings would free resources and delay the need for further investment." "It is estimated that greater energy efficiency could save between 10% and 20% of current consumption." "Although more than 484 000 m2 of solar water heater panels have been installed, this constitutes less than 1% of the potential market." "Follow a no-regrets approach on energy-environment decisions." "The integrated resource planning approach includes the systematic consideration of a full range of economic, environmental, social and technological factors and the consideration of risks and uncertainties posed by different resource portfolios and external factors." "Government policy is to remove distortions and encourage energy prices to be as cost-reflective as possible. To this end prices will increasingly include quantifiable externalities." "The complete nuclear fuel, nuclear fuel procurement and radioactive waste management will be investigated by the Department." " . . . develop a nuclear waste management policy and programme" "The Department of Minerals and Energy will investigate all aspects of the management of radioactive waste in South Africa and will make recommendations in regard to the safe management and disposal of such waste." "Improve the governance of the nuclear sector and ensure its integration into broader energy planning." "Whether new nuclear capacity will be an option will depend on the environmental and economic merits of various alternative energy sources relative to nuclear and its political and public acceptability." "In the light of the decisions that have to be taken with respect to future electricity demand, the debate about moth-balled power stations, existing power stations, Koeberg, non-utility generation and import of electricity will have to be formulised and completed." "Research has indicated that a technical potential of as much as 6 000 MW of non-utility generation could be exploited." "There is currently a national lack of renewable energy data, and information on renewable energy system applications, system specifications, system standards, installation and performance guides, technical and economic characteristics and many other related issues." "Government will provide support for the development, demonstration and implementation of renewable energy sources for both small and large-scale applications." "Government policy on renewable energy is concerned with meeting the following challenges;
ensuring that economically feasible technologies and applications are implemented,
ensuring that an equitable level of national resources is invested in renewable technologies given their potential and compared to investments in other energy supply options, and
addressing constraints on the development of renewable industry."
"Facilitate the monitoring, evaluation and demonstration of clean energy technologies." " Establish suitable renewable energy information, statistic and data base systems."
Forget your systems, forget your ideologies, forget your power, let us be concerned with human suffering, human needs, food, clothing and shelter. Think of the long-term future. Act responsibly for future generations. Focus on quality of life, not one-dimensional economic growth. Never allow activities that may cause irreversible damage to our environment. We are part of a global movement that seeks to secure ecological and economic sustainability through participatory democracy and by protecting human rights. Political change in South Africa can occur through the will of sufficient players. We will pursue relationships both within formal politics and within the broader communities, with groups or individuals who share our main objectives:
1. To stop GEAR (the so-called “growth, employment and reconstruction program) - the government's economic policy of privatisation and foreign investment through mega-projects has failed to create jobs and has not alleviated poverty.
2. To restart the RDP (reconstruction and development program) - the government abandoned this vehicle for community sized sustainable projects, yet it is just what South Africa needs.
3. To stop the Arms deal and militarist budget - irrespective of who in the government may or may not be guilty of corruption, South Africa faces no external military threat so it is immoral to waste billions that can be used to save lives threatened with HIV/AIDS and to fight crime.
Voicing these principles, which are shared by the vast majority, will continue to pressure the government and its alliances to progress towards the equality, prosperity and peace promised by our new democracy. Realignment of political groupings will accelerate this process. It is possible to gain the largest number of votes, but whatever happens it is important to honestly promote the peoples cause. Numerical superiority is not the only path to accomplish our aims - holding a balance of power can advance majority interests: When the larger groups do not hold a clear majority, even so-called smaller parties can hold their power in check.
This Document Is Open To Constructive Input - Your Views Are Important.