The ANC’s economic mismanagement and its bad policies are to blame for SA’s economic woes‚ DA leader Mmusi Maimane says.
SA slid into a technical recession last week after two quarters of contraction.
Responding to the contraction at a media briefing, Maimane criticised the ANC and said the recession was not a result of global economic conditions but was home-grown.
The rising cost of living‚ as seen in petrol price increases‚ the VAT increase‚ the sugar tax and income tax, was money demanded by an inefficient‚ corrupt and captured state and was not spent on productive investment, he said.
The DA believed scrapping the ANC’s economic policies‚ which it claimed were eroding investor confidence‚ such as the proposed nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank and expropriation of land without compensation‚ could be among the interventions needed to get the economy growing.
The DA also wants the privatisation or part-privatisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) like SAA and the splitting up of Eskom into separate power‚ production and distribution businesses.
"These SOEs pose an existential financial risk to our country," Maimane said.
"They are bottomless pits into which billions of rands of public money is poured never to be seen again‚ on top of the higher prices the public must pay for often shoddy services. Privatising or part-privatising our SOEs would introduce competition in key industries like power production and transport.
"This will very quickly reduce the cost of these goods‚ which alone will be a major growth boost to our economy‚" he said.
The DA also believed that cutting the size of the cabinet to about 15 ministries would bring much needed relief to government spending.
Maimane said a healthy‚ growing economy would be able to collect the taxes required to fund better education and healthcare systems‚ a compassionate welfare programme‚ effective land reform and restitution programmes‚ and an effective police service‚ trained‚ resourced and equipped to be able to maintain law and order and keep people safe.
"Without growth‚ revenues slide and none of this is possible," he said.