Cape Town - The ANC under President Jacob Zuma has "given up" on creating jobs, and is interested only in enriching itself and those connected to it, DA leader Helen Zille said on Monday.
"This has contributed to the fact that 1.4 million South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed since the day President Zuma took office," she said in a statement.
The statement was issued at the launch of a new Democratic Alliance economic policy, titled The Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014.
Zille said one in four South Africans was currently unemployed.
"Around four out of every ten live below the poverty line."
The country remained one of the most unequal societies in the world and was not achieving the levels of economic growth needed to change this situation, she said.
There were many constraints to growth.
"But underpinning them all is the fact that too many of our people are left out of the economy and are unable to make a contribution to driving growth because they can't find work; they can't access skills; they can't start businesses; and, they lack capital assets," she said.
The DA's new plan would, if implemented, break down the barriers between these insiders and outsiders.
"In contrast, the ANC under Jacob Zuma has given up on jobs for everyone and is only interested in enriching themselves and their friends. In the Zuma ANC jobs and opportunities go to people with connections."
Zille said the number of people becoming unemployed every year was now five times higher than under Thabo Mbeki's presidency.
Among other things, the DA's new economic plan would accelerate economic growth by expanding opportunities for South Africans to participate in the economy and for businesses to invest, grow and trade - more particularly with the rest of Africa.