The Economic Freedom Fighters has on Friday lambasted President Ramaphosa’s stimulus package saying it has nothing to do with the overall structural changes of the economy, but based sorely on the preservation of white monopoly interests.
This was after Ramaphosa announced that the government would establish an infrastructure fund and municipal infrastructure improvement package as part of measures to reignite growth, stimulate economic recovery and secure confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency.
“The promise of radical economic transformation which he made noises about prior to being elected President has been compromised at the table of cosmetic changes to an economy whose essence is the marginalisation of the black majority from the country’s wealth,” said the EFF in a statement.
The party said that Ramaphosa has announced nothing new…. “but an attempt to repackage old neoliberal economic plans that have proven futile; they have failed to grow the economy and create sustainable jobs.”
“The South African private sector has proven in the last 20 years that even with growth enhancing policies such as GEAR, AsgiSA and the recent NDP, they prioritise profits at the expense of creating sustainable jobs and resolving the growing inequality. A recent example is the youth employment tax incentive that Ramaphosa has now extended to 10 years. Since it was announced, more than R6.3 billion was claimed mainly by labour brokers yet youth unemployment between the age of 15 – 24 has skyrocketed from 62.6% to now 67.1%.”
According to the EFF the growth enhancing economic reform did not make any concrete mention of the strategic role of the state in the productive sectors of the economy, instead, the state continues to be positioned as a consumer that must continue to procure services from the private sector, including in areas that could leverage its buying power to develop industries.
The party further stated that the two-economic sectors that Ramaphosa thinks will lead to job creation, mainly mining and agriculture, have consistently lost jobs mainly because of mechanisation.
“There were more than 50 000 fewer jobs in the mining sector in 2017 than in 2008, and more than 140 000 jobs have been lost since 1994. Any attempt to revitalise the mining sector in its current form of ownership and business model will only increase shareholder returns on undeserved profit.”
“Even effort to withdraw the MPRDA is nothing but an attempt to please white monopoly captains of industry not to benefit workers or for South Africans to share in the mineral resources.”
The EFF said that this stimulus package is going to focus on reprioritisation because for many years now government has been doing that… “taking money from one program to the other.”
“Any attempt to reprioritise within the budget without consideration of the failing, corruption embattled and not stainable procurement model is doomed to fail. Government spent R7 billion in private security services, R1.5 billion in cleaning services and half a billion in gardening services amongst other services which are outsourced at an inflated price”.
According to the movement the first form of reprioritisation should have been to insource all these workers, create sustainable employment that will cut the fat in the budget and to also establish an infrastructure fund without a state-owned construction company that will have the responsibility to build all the infrastructure required is not new and is not sustainable.
“Any stimulus package which fail to address structural long-term changes to the apartheid economy is nothing but a gift of more profits to those who continue to benefit from the economy while poverty, inequality and unemployment deepens. These include politically connected business people who, together with ANC politicians prefer to keep the tendering system for selfish self-enrichment.”
“The supposition that a stimulus economic package will succeed under capitalist economic relations is illusionary. The ANC has not cogent and clear ideas and plan on growing the economy. Pampering Private Capital will never be the solution to South Africa’s economic stagnation.”
“Capitalism has failed to uplift majority of South Africans and anything done within its logic will not bring about any stability to the people of South Africa.”