DA announces ground-breaking new economic policy to rescue South Africans from unemployment

26 Apr 2024 in News

Unemployment is the single greatest crisis facing South Africa.

The fact that over 70 out of every 100 young people aged between 18 and 24, as well as 42 out of every 100 work seekers overall, cannot find a job to feed their families and build a better future, is the original sin of the incumbent ANC government.

Even on the narrow definition of unemployment – which excludes those people who have given up on ever finding a job – the number of jobless South Africans of working age has increased from 20% in 1994 to nearly 33% today.

This unemployment crisis, created by the ANC, is a crime against the people of South Africa.

The DA is here today to tell the people of our country that it does not have to be this way.

South Africa can be rescued from the unemployment crisis that has robbed millions of citizens of the brighter future we all dreamed of in 1994.

We do not have to accept the scale of joblessness in South Africa, because it is not a natural phenomenon.

It is not normal.

Viewed in the global context, a 33% unemployment rate is not normal. It is abnormal.

A 70% youth unemployment rate is not normal. It is abnormal.

The fact that ten million people cannot find work in this country, is not the result of a force of nature.

That South Africa today has one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire world, is an entirely man-made disaster.

It is a disaster designed and executed at the hands of the men and women in the ANC.

It is because of the deliberate choices of the men and women inside the ANC, that 309 000 manufacturing jobs were destroyed over the past 16 years.

It is because of the deliberate choices of the people inside the ANC, that South Africa’s tax base has not only shrunk, but now also bears one of the highest tax burdens in the world – with a tax-to-GDP ratio of 25.5%.

It is because of the deliberate choices of the people inside the ANC, that South Africa’s tax base has not only shrunk, but now also bears one of the highest tax burdens in the world – with a tax-to-GDP ratio of 25.5%.

It is because of the deliberate choices of the ANC, that we have been plunged into a fiscal crisis, where R1 out of every R5 collected from taxpayers is now used just to pay down our R5.2 trillion debt bill, leaving less money every year for investment in job-creating infrastructure.

And it is because of the deliberate choices of the ANC, that over 30 million citizens now live in desperate poverty.

However, the fact that the lack of jobs in this country is a man-made crisis, also means that the South African people have the power to fix this crisis.

It is because of human choices that we sit with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world today.

Which means that, through different choices, we have the power to turn the situation around.

I am proud to launch the DA’s new economic policy today.

This policy is built upon the simple yet fundamental truth that the wrong choices made by the wrong people have created our unemployment crisis, and that better choices made by the right people can solve this crisis.

Our plan to unleash enterprise, grow the economy and create jobs spells out what these better choices are, and confirms that the DA are the right people to rescue South African from our man-made unemployment disaster.

This is a historic moment for our party, and for South Africa.

This detailed policy, developed in consultation with some of the best economic thinkers in the world and built on global examples of best practice, presents the most compelling and exciting economic offer South Africans have seen in a generation.

It introduces a clean break from the destructive statist policies of the ANC that created our unemployment crisis, and sets South Africa down a new path to growth based on modern, pragmatic and fit-for-purpose policies.

At the DA’s national manifesto launch in February, I announced that our first and most important pledge in this election is to deliver two million new jobs, and to lay the foundation for a new, rapidly growing and modern economy.

The policy we launch today, shows why this is a credible, achievable and urgent pledge that a DA national government will deliver on.

It is all built on getting the right people into government, so that we can make better choices.

The policy sets out how we will improve the ease of doing business, which alone will unlock between 350 000 and 400 000 new jobs.

Through making better fiscal choices, we will generate another 350 000 to 450 000 new jobs.

Reforming labour policies through better choices, including our introduction of a new Youth Employment Opportunity Certificate, will unleash hundreds of thousands more jobs for young people.

Coupled with making better choices on collective bargaining to expand representation and exempt small, medium and micro enterprises from agreements they cannot afford, this will ignite the creation of a further 700 000 to 1 000 000 new jobs.

Add to this the better choices we will make on industrial policy, that will generate between 400 000 and 500 000 new jobs, as well as better choices on trade policy, which will add another 100 000 to 150 000 jobs.

Unlike other political parties that are thumb-sucking jobs promises, every single pledge contained in the DA’s economic policy is the product of thorough costing and cutting-edge research.

The DA knows exactly where we will create jobs, what choices we need to make, and what the trade-offs and costs are.

Policy Area Number of Jobs Created Over a 5-Year Period
Ease of Doing Business 350 000 – 400 000
Fiscal Policy 350 000 – 450 000
Labour Policy 700 000 – 1 000 000
Industrial Policy 400 000 – 500 000
Trade Policy 100 000 – 150 000
Total 1 900 000 – 2 500 000

The policy we announce today, is an inflection point for our party.

For the DA, it signifies that we have fully ascended to the level required to govern a country.

After decades of growth through governing dozens of municipalities and a major province, of learning, and of internal reform, the DA steps up today more confident, more prepared and more determined than we have ever been to rescue the whole of South Africa from unemployment.

The adoption of this policy announces to the world that the DA has fully embraced the responsibility we have towards the people of South Africa to provide a credible alternative government that will solve the most urgent crises that plague our society.

And there is no crisis more urgent than unemployment, which we tackle head-on from today.

This policy is the signal of a DA that is mature, that knows the ANC is set to lose its majority in a little over a month’s time, and that is fully prepared to take over government as the anchor tenant in a new government.

We launch this policy today because the DA’s time has come, and because we are prepared to what will be demanded of us in national government.

But, more importantly, this policy is also an inflection point for South Africa.

Meticulously researched, it is built upon only the cold, hard facts of what works to grow business and employment all around the world.

With the election now a little more than a month away, the DA’s historic new economic policy provides voters with a detailed roadmap of how we will rescue South Africa from unemployment.

Every single voter who wants a brighter future, who wants to find a job in a growing economy, and who wants to put food on the table, will see in this plan the most riveting and hopeful opportunity in thirty years.

In this election, a vote for the DA is a vote for a strong, experienced party with a proven track record of delivery, that will carry this plan into coalition negotiations and the formation of a new national government to deliver two million jobs over the next five years – and to lay the foundation for a future where every single South African can find work to build a better life.

As in life, politics is about choices.

With the launch of this policy today, the DA announces that we have made the courageous choice to step up like we have never done before, to address the single most urgent crisis facing the future of South Africa.

We now call upon the people of South Africa to equally act with boldness in making a new choice for a better future, by voting the DA into government on 29 May.

For thirty years, we have elected the wrong people, who have made the wrong choices for our us and our families.

On 29 May, let us elect the right people, who will make the right choices to restore the hope and dignity of every South African, that only a secure job can ever provide.

Download the DA’s Economic Policy.

Download pictures hereherehere and here.