The ANC will not plunder the pockets of South Africans to realise the ambitious goals set out in its election manifesto, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday.

The “bolder goals” include a 7 percent to 10 percent drop in the crime rate, an extension in the child support grant for an additional four years up to the age of 18 and more investment in support for black farmers after land claims.

“The point that I wanted to emphasise… is that anything that is going to be in the manifesto of the ANC is something that would have been costed and something that is going to be on budget,” Radebe said. “I can assure you that the ANC has no intention of bankrupting the coffers of the South African people.”

He was briefing reporters in Johannesburg on the outcome of the African National Congress election manifesto policy conference at the weekend.

The goals contained in the manifesto have raised questions on how their realisation would be funded.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the extension of the child support grant alone could add R10 billion to the existing social welfare budget of R100 billion.

“On the issue of social security… we are going to expand on the existing social security system in our country and one of the things we have done is, to extend the child grant to about 18,” said Radebe. “The extension of the child grant is something that has been incorporated already into the programme of the department of social development, so I think we are going to be seeing more action on this front going forward.”

Asked whether the ANC would consider raising taxes to get more funds, Radebe replied: “The issue of the taxes is also a National Treasury issue, I cannot comment, but as far as the ANC is concerned, our economy is being managed in a very prudent manner.”

Radebe said the ANC had “no intention” to deviate from “the plans that are there in the National Treasury.”

The manifesto conference re-affirmed five key priorities already identified by the ANC.

They are creating “decent work” and improved education and health services, including “reducing the number of new infections”.

On crime, the ANC said: “We will aim to bring the levels of contact crime down by 7 percent to 10 percent per year.”

Radebe said there would be no change in the black economic empowerment policy of the government.

“On the BEE policy, black economic empowerment has provided much needed assistance to our people…. we have no intention as the ANC to change this policy.. rather, we need to widen the net.”

Turning to the ANC’s fifth priority, rural development, Radebe said it would focus on better support for black farmers at the conclusion of land claims.

He said a change in the deadline date for land claims was not discussed at the conference.

“One of the analysis that has been done thus far, indicates that when a land reform programme has been implemented, as a government we have not been aggressive in order to support all these post-settlement plans.

“So part of the area of improving rural development and these land reform programmes is to ensure that we give support to all those people… so that they can be able to utilise the land more productively,” said Radebe.

“There’s a dire need for vast improvement in the lives of our people, especially in rural areas.”

The election manifesto will be launched on January 10.