The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the ANC’s biggest threat in Madibeng. With the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) slowly solintering and ‘converting’ like-minded leftist ANC members, it means the rest is ‘up for grabs’ by the DA. The DA is doing front-line campaign work and door-to-door visits in rural townships to the extent that the majority of the membership has ‘blackened.’
Their policies are as follows; “We are not yet free… We have merely achieved the freedom to be free” – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1995) – this is the DA’s point of argument. For too many South Africans, the political freedom achieved in 1994 has not been matched with economic freedom (sounds very EEF-like does it not? Who is cannibalising whom here?) The fact that one out of every four South Africans does not have a job is the clearest and most devastating expression of this lack of economic freedom. This is where the DA payoff line comes in – jobs!
The unemployed are unfree. And so we need to prioritise jobs as a passport to freedom. Unemployment fuels poverty and inequality. Currently, more than four out of every ten South Africans live below the poverty line. Ours remains one of the most unequal societies in the world.
Yet, even in spite of the legacy of apartheid, we should be much further down the road towards economic freedom. Since 1994, one of the biggest obstacles in our way has been the failure of the economy to create enough jobs. High levels of unemployment fuel poverty and inequality. In fact, they are the root cause of almost all of our overlapping economic, social and political problems.
According to the Centre for Development and Enterprise, by some measures, South Africa’s unemployment crisis is the deepest in the world. Almost no other country in the world is as bad at creating jobs as South Africa. In developing countries like India and Mexico, on average, 60% of adults are employed. In South Africa, the figure is around 40%.
Our unemployment rate is 26% under the “narrow” definition of those actively looking for work, and 36% under the “expanded” definition that includes discouraged jobseekers. This is extremely high by international standards. Youth are the worst affected.
No country can create jobs or include more people in the economy without economic growth. This insight informs The DA’s Plan for Growth and Jobs, first published in July 2012, and updated in 2014.
Our Plan aims to create the conditions for the South African economy to grow at 8% by:
- Providing policy direction and coherence on the economy;
- Managing public money better;
- Increasing investment and savings;
- Supporting redress measures to broaden participation in the economy; and,
- Boosting trade with other countries, especially our African neighbours, so that businesses can grow and create jobs.
With MP Basson and representative Eddie Barlow, they are fighting on the forefront in Madibeng for job-creation, against Mayor Mothibe’s rule of corruption, as they have many times said on interviews (Radio 702 was the nail in the coffin), and they wish to weaken ANC rule in North-West.