The DA has a 5-point plan for economic growth that requires South Africa to stay on the path of constitutional democracy in a market economy.
This path leads to Vision 2029, our picture of what South Africa would look like after 10 years of DA government. It is based on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity enshrined in our Constitution.
Firstly, the DA would invest in the critical energy, transport and communications infrastructure required for growth. The primary concern in this regard is the need to solve the energy crisis by breaking the Eskom monopoly and opening the market up to independent power suppliers.
The solution to our electricity woes does not lie in an unaffordable nuclear deal with Russia that does nothing to solve the crisis in the short term.
Secondly, we would improve the quality of basic education by introducing compulsory competency testing for teachers and school principals, and regular skills assessments for learners.
At a tertiary level the DA would increase the available funding to ensure that all qualifying students can afford higher education or training.
Thirdly, the DA would aggressively promote incentives for job creation, such as the implementation of a real youth wage subsidy to encourage companies to employ new entrants to the jobs market, since of the greatest challenges of first time job seekers is their lack of experience.
Fourthly, we would repeal those sections of the Labour Relations Act that give unions disproportionate power over businesses. Essentially, workers must be given more choice and employers more flexibility.
The DA supports a fair labour market that balances workers’ rights with the need to increase job opportunities.
Finally, the DA would promote a culture of entrepreneurship by making it easier to establish new businesses. Small and micro enterprises can be the driving force behind job creation, but not as long as they are mired in red tape and bureaucracy.
This approach will boost confidence in the economy and thus stimulate the investment we so badly need. It will enable an economy in which more people participate. And it is this participation, this inclusion in the economy, which will transform our society.
These policies of providing quality infrastructure and a skilled labour force are only possible when there is public money to be spent on them and competent professionals to implement them.
Which requires clean government and a professional, meritocratic, non-partisan civil service. Which in turn requires a vibrant, constitutional, multi-party democracy.