Health Systems

Political parties respond to People’s Health Manifesto

On March 6 and 7 the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) sent out our “People’s Health Manifesto” with 11 questions to 20 political parties. The manifesto and questions were informed by TAC’s experiences in the communities where we work and were developed in consultation with community members and partner organisations. Through the manifesto we aimed to put the critical problems experienced by users of the public healthcare system onto the political agenda. With the 11 questions we aimed to get political parties to make clear policy commitments on the key problems in our health system. The manifesto can be downloaded here:

We asked political parties to respond to the 11 questions in the People’s Health Manifesto by March 14. On request from political parties we extended the deadline to 12 noon on March 18. By this deadline eight of the twenty political parties had responded. A ninth party, the African National Congress (ANC), responded on the 19th.

We have combined the responses from the nine parties in a single document that can be downloaded below (This document will be updated as we receive more responses.)

We thank the following nine parties for engaging with the People’s Health Manifesto and responding to our questions:

  •    African National Congress
  •    AgangSA
  •    Azanian People’s Organisation
  •    Democratic Alliance
  •    Freedom Front Plus
  •    Inkatha Freedom Party
  •    Pan Africanist Movement
  •    Patriotic Alliance
  •    United Democratic Movement

We are disappointed that high profile parties like the Congress of the People (COPE) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) did not respond to the People’s Health Manifesto. We engaged extensively with these parties, both telephonically and by email, to try and get them to respond. They have had sufficient opportunity and appear not to have considered our request to demonstrate commitment and political will to face our healthcare problems to be of high enough priority.

While COPE indicated a willingness to respond, they failed to do so by the extended deadline. By the morning of the 20th we still have not received their responses. The EFF initially indicated a willingness to respond, but then claimed not to have heard about the manifesto.

Should any parties still want to respond to our 11 questions our doors remain open. Parties can e-mail their responses to

We will publish a detailed  analysis of the responses we have received within the next two weeks. For now we are publishing the full responses from those political parties that have responded to enable  voters to make up their own minds about these parties’ commitment to fixing South Africa’s health system.

TAC is independent of all political parties and does not campaign for or against any parties. We believe that through this People’s Health Manifesto and its 11 questions, we have managed to get parties to present their strategy for addressing  many of the critical problems facing people using the public health system. We hope that by  demanding greater accountability from politicians, we can move toward a democracy that is more responsive to the needs of the people.

For media comment please contact TAC national chairperson Anele Yawa on 073 555 8849.