The latest job numbers show the DA’s approach to job creation works and works well

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – DA Federal Leader
03 Mar 2023 in News

Of the 169 000 jobs created in South Africa in the fourth quarter of last year, 167 000 were created in DA-run Western Cape. The net total of jobs created during those three months in the eight ANC-run provinces was just 2000. That means the only DA-run province contributed 99% of the new jobs created while the eight ANC-run provinces together contributed just 1%.

This data comes from StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey that was released this week. And this is not an isolated success story for DA-led job creation. This is just the latest piece of evidence showing that the DA’s approach since we took over the Western Cape and City of Cape Town with outright majorities in 2009 and 2011 respectively is the one the whole country should take.

And think how many more jobs could have been created if the Province and City were not battling the multitude of obstacles constantly thrown up by the national government, such as ongoing high-stage load shedding, a dysfunctional SAPS, and inflexible labour legislation.

The DA difference

The DA’s approach to job creation is distinct from the ANC’s. We believe government’s role is to create an enabling environment for private economic activity to flourish. It is then up to private players (businesses and consumers) to decide on where to invest, how much to produce, and what to purchase.

This means DA governments focus on getting the basics right, such as delivering quality basic services, roads, public transport, education, health and law enforcement. They achieve this through two main mechanisms. First, by spending public money on the public, as seen by consistent clean audits in the province and city. Second, through merit-based appointments to the public service – in other words, by choosing public servants based primarily on their ability to deliver to the public.

This is source of the DA difference. It is rooted in our core principles for organizing society, which are a commitment to a market economy, a capable state that delivers to all, the rule of law, and nonracialism.

The DA’s approach fosters an environment in which entrepreneurs and businesses are confident enough in the future to make long-term job-creating investments. Building projects, for example, are booming in the Western Cape. Building plans involving almost R35bn were passed between January and November last year, and the province accounted for 40% of the total value of buildings completed over this period.

The DA difference also attracts skilled people to the Western Cape, who then create jobs for unskilled people.

The ANC’s approach, on the other hand, is to create a large number of government jobs and fill many of them with deployed cadres, regardless of whether the people in these jobs are actually adding any value to the public.

This has led to bloated bureaucracies and state-owned entities that can’t deliver services. Eskom, for example, is crippled under the weight of a large wage bill while still unable to deliver on its mandate of generating affordable electricity at scale and transmitting it to municipalities for distribution. It is clearly an unsustainable approach.

Cadre deployment has also enabled corruption on a grand-scale, which further deters job-creating investment.

A widening gap

The DA difference has produced the widening gap in job creation outcomes between DA- and ANC-run governments as seen in the recent job numbers. And evidence of this widening gap is emerging in every sphere of socioeconomic outcomes, not just job creation.

Credible option

The DA difference should bring a real sense of hope to South Africa in these dark days of load-shedding and water-shedding, with grant-shedding now on the horizon too. The ANC has had 30 years to prove their model of job creation, and the results are clear for all to see. In 2024, voters can choose the DA difference for the whole country.

Voting for the DA in 2024 is now about pragmatically choosing the only credible party that has shown it can tackle the unemployment crisis. It’s about getting the whole country onto the road to dignity and prosperity.