The DA leader said that if there is a real commitment to “picking up” the rand and turning the economy to growth, then it is time for real choices. Picture: Reuters/Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane shared his thoughts on how the ANC views the South African economy on Wednesday evening.

He maintained that the ruling party is the main reason why South Africa is in a recession. 

“What lies at the very heart of our country’s crisis is the ANC. The fact is this: The ANC doesn’t accept responsibility for causing this recession, and it has no plan to get us out of recession. This administration is only seven months old, but it is already stumbling around in the dark looking for excuses, instead of facing up to hard truths, Maimane said.

Maimane made his comments during a debate on ways to mitigate the economic recession in Parliament.

WHAT IS HIS PLAN?

The DA leader said that if there is a real commitment to “picking up” the rand and turning the economy to growth, then it is time for real choices. 

He believes that hard but necessary choices that will restore investor confidence in SA and get the country out of the red.

Maimane then introduced his financial recovery plan. 

Number 1: SA must cut loose the SOE’s that are dragging the sate under. This means the privatisation – or at least part-privatisation – of South African Airways, and splitting Eskom into two separate businesses, one for power production and one for power distribution.

Number 2: SA must put an end to the “stifling Eskom monopoly”, by allowing cities to purchase electricity directly from independent power producers.

Number 3: The state has to curb spending and stabilise our national debt at 50% of GDP by introducing a fiscal austerity package. All revenue shortfalls must be covered by cutting waste, and not by increasing taxes.

Number 4: SA must trim our Cabinet by more than half. “Our massive executive with its double ministers for each portfolio is a direct result of patronage politics. We simply can’t afford this.”

Number 5: South Africa must exempt small businesses from complying with unworkable labour legislation. Those employing less than 250 people must be given every chance of success, and the only labour laws they should have to adhere to are the Basic Conditions of Employment.

Number 6: The state must immediately settle all budgeted-for invoices that are owed to small businesses by National and Provincial governments. This alone will add a R28 billion boost to the SMME sector, according to the DA leader.

Number 7: Maimane believes that we need to scrap the “reckless populist policies that are destroying investor confidence in our country and have sent business confidence to an all-time low”.

THE LAND ISSUE

Maimane did not shy away from discussing the land issue. 

“Abandon your irresponsible and reckless plunge towards Expropriation Without Compensation. Let’s reform the land and keep our Constitution intact”

The DA leader went on to add that this doesn’t mean land reform and restitution must be delayed. He argued that it must be sped up, and it must involve the transfer of full title. But for him, this cannot be done at the expense of property rights and the rule of law.

Maimane also called for the independence of the central bank.

“Stand up for the independence of the Reserve Bank, instead of trying to nationalise it. Protect and defend our excellent Governor; stop undermining him. If we can implement these changes right away, we can undo much of the damage caused over the past decade.”

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE