The main drivers of South Africa’ economic burdens are political, not money related, Democratic Alliance pioneer Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.
“Without doubt, the single most pressing issue facing our country today is our catatonic economy, which is failing to halt runaway unemployment and taxing to death a dwindling tax base,” Maimane told journalists in Johannesburg following the DA’s first federal council meeting after the May 8 general elections.
Since May 8, unemployment had hit a record high of 38 percent, with 9.9 million people without a job. This was compounded by economic growth contracting by 3.2 percent during the first months of this year – the biggest decline in a decade.
”In addition to this, there is a sustained attack on the independence and the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). South Africa is running out of money, and the proposed solution is to print more money through ‘quantitative easing’. This is a disastrous policy, and we need look no further than our northern neighbours Zimbabwe for evidence of this. Federal council was unanimous that the independence of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct. The root causes of the country’s economic woes are not monetary, they are political,” Maimane said.
South Africa’s economic stalemate could not be ignored for one more day. Without a vibrant, growing economy, millions more would join the ranks of the unemployed, inequality would broaden, and all South Africans would become poorer and poorer. The country needed complete reform, and the DA had an agenda for reform which would be its focus over the coming 100 days and beyond.
This would include tabling the DA’s Jobs Bill and Cheaper Energy Bill, fighting for labour legislation reform, opposing any changes to the Reserve Bank independence and mandate, proposing alternatives to the current state-owned entity (SoE) ownership framework, proposing alternatives to the current Mining Charter, opposing threats to the economy and fiscus such as National Health Insurance and expropriation of property and land without compensation, and championing a focus on city-led economic growth, Maimane said.