Zille: ANC extending economic apartheid

Pretoria - The ANC has been extending economic apartheid by maintaining "the wall" between haves and have nots, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.

"The ANC government has been extending this wall. Together with their friends they have been dividing South Africa's too small pie of wealth and jobs amongst themselves," said Zille at the launch of the DA's Jobs Campaign in Freedom Park, Pretoria.

"They are satisfied with lower growth and fewer jobs. As long as they keep these to themselves."

She accused the African National Congress and its allies in "some businesses and unions" of "shutting down your freedom".

Zille argued the economy was separated between "insiders and outsiders".

Growth

"The insiders are those who have jobs, homes and the prospect of earning more and building a better future," Zille said.

"The outsiders are the millions of poor South Africans who don't have a fair chance to make it. Their schools don't work, the poor don't have jobs and they can't start on the road to a better life."

She said the DA planned to improve this divide by making it easier to invest, grow and develop businesses, hire more workers and expand foreign trade, particularly with other African nations.

"For this plan to succeed we need a healthy growing economy," Zille said.

"No country has ever beaten unemployment and poverty, without a strong and growing economy."

She said the example of other developing nations had shown that the South African economy would need 8% of annual growth - a target she admitted was high. She said South Africa had a rate of growth of 3.6% a year.

"We are aiming high - but we have to. The millions of unemployed South Africans require it. And it is in their power to choose it at the next election."

Youth wage subsidy

Zille said the DA's "Plan for Growth" would improve public education so every learner left the system able to find a job or start a business. She said schools would be held accountable for their shortcomings, with schools to be built or repaired as needed.

The plan would also emphasise small businesses, arguing that such businesses were where most jobs are created.

"We've got to make it easier and cheaper to start a business. We will cut red tape for small businesses and reimburse them for the training they give workers," Zille said.

She added that the plan would make it "easier to hire more people".

Zille spoke on implementation of the youth wage subsidy, and maintained that it had already been shown to work in Western Cape, where she is premier.

"But we need to implement it throughout the country so that it can benefit over 400 000 young people."

She also proposed an "opportunity voucher" for young people to be used to pay for their education, start a business or build capital.

Zille said infrastructure development was also key to the DA plan as it would both encourage foreign companies to come to SA but also put people to work.

"There are thousands of workers sitting at home, ready to work on projects like these. They shouldn't need to wait any longer."

Zille also proposed the creation of "job zones" for companies to create jobs locally instead of overseas. She said the DA would create laws to make it easier for employees to own shares in the companies they work for.

"The DA's plan for growth and jobs is not some imaginary wish list. It is our blueprint for a brighter economic future for every South African," she said.
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