Election 2019 should be all about jobs. South Africa’s core problem is our unnaturally high unemployment rate. Poverty, inequality, crime – all these will remain dangerously high while there are 9.8 million (mostly young) adults without a job in South Africa. Conversely, poverty, inequality and crime will come down if we can shift millions more people into the productive economy.
A DA national government would aim to put a job in every home in South Africa. Our track record in DA-run Western Cape Province suggests we can do this.
Over half (95 000) of the 188 000 new jobs created in SA in the past year were created in the Western Cape. This was achieved despite the hostile regulatory environment imposed by the ANC national government and a crippling drought in the area.
The Western Cape accounts for only one-eighth of SA’s population. Just think how many jobs could be created if the entire country were DA-run! (Note that the DA does not claim to create jobs. Rather, our approach is to create an environment which fosters job-creating entrepreneurship and investment, and which extends opportunities to all.)
By comparison, the ANC’s 2019 manifesto can be summarized in one sentence: South Africa’s unemployment rate will remain unnaturally high if the ANC remains in government. Their manifesto promises to create 275 000 new jobs each year. Frankly, everything else it says is just noise.
Numbers speak louder than words and this number is telling us all we need to know about our future prospects under an ANC government.
Let’s be charitable and assume the ANC breaks with tradition and keeps this promise. (Only 188 000 new jobs were created in SA in the past year, so this is not a forgone conclusion. Unfortunately, the total number of people needing jobs increased by 525 000 in the same period, meaning another 337 000 people joined the ranks of the jobless.)
If only 275 000 new jobs are added to the economy each year, joblessness will continue to go up and soon it will breach 10 million and be headed for 11 million. South Africa will know no peace, stability or prosperity under these conditions.
At 275 000 new jobs per year, it would take 35 years just to produce jobs for the current 9.8 million people who need them. But since the job market grows by an additional 550 000 people each year, there’ll be no clawing back of that number.
So, it is fair to say the ANC’s manifesto is a blueprint for the status quo of unnaturally high unemployment, poverty, inequality and crime. It is an admission of defeat.
This is the crux of the difference between the DA and the ANC’s approach in government.
The ANC’s focus is on creating a black elite, even at the expense of improving the lives of the black majority. This approach has divided our country into two South Africas – the haves and the have-nots. The ANC’s approach has essentially created an insider/outsider economy. Insiders – those with jobs and connections – are protected and enriched (through policies such as highly restrictive labour legislation, national minimum wages and BBBEE) at the expense of outsiders who are locked out of opportunities, with little prospect of ever entering the economy.
The DA’s approach builds one South Africa for all by breaking down the barriers that keep people locked out of the economy and by extending opportunities to all. This is the only approach that will bring down South Africa’s unemployment rate and effectively fight poverty, inequality and crime.
The upcoming election is the most crucial our nation has faced since 1994. Election 2019 is a chance to bring real change to SA. If you want to support the DA’s job-creating approach and our vision of one South Africa for all, please check that you are registered to vote by going tocheck.da.org.za.
This weekend 26-27 January is the final registration weekend. If you are a first-time voter or are not yet registered, please make sure you visit your nearest voting station between 8am and 5pm on either the Saturday or the Sunday, with either your green ID book, your smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.
Please use your vote to support job creation and build one South Africa for all.