Johannesburg, 21 September 2018 – Government’s fiscal stimulus package will not provide long-term solutions to South Africa’s ailing economy, instead Government needs to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs in the private sector to grow their businesses and, subsequently, grow the economy, so said Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.
Delivering the closing address at the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, in Sandton this afternoon, Maimane said President Ramaphosa’s stimulus package, launched today, could not address all the challenges, including decrease in investment, decrease in ease of doing business, decreasing value of the rand and constantly rising fuel and food prices, currently facing the country.
“I genuinely do not believe that a fiscal stimulus package will have a sustained positive effect in the absence of sensible economic reform. South Africa needs to take a fundamentally different approach to our economy,” said Maimane.
He said that the State was the main thing standing in the way of South Africa’s economic growth.
“Our economy is suffering from an extreme case of state intervention. The State needs to get out of the way, it needs to step aside so that all the pent-up energy and ideas and creativity and dynamism in our nation can burst forth and create wealth.”
He added that the role of the State was not to create wealth or jobs. Instead its role was to create a fertile environment for economic activity to flourish.
“Not only would getting the State out of the way free entrepreneurs up to create wealth and jobs but it would also free it (the State) up to do its job, which is to step in where the markets fail.
“There is so much that our State could and should be doing to help people become better educated, healthier and safer. To have better access to clean water, affordable electricity, reliable transport and easy communications.”
He said South Africa was crying out for these things but the State was far too busy meddling in the economy, bossing entrepreneurs around and trying to run businesses.
“Instead of meddling in the economy, the State should build a capable state committed to delivering services to all its citizens and the essential prerequisite for a capable state is to appoint people on merit, on their knowledge and experience and not on their political affiliation.”
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