STELLENBOSCH – The new economic policy of the Democratic Alliance has come under fire from Stellenbosch youth leaders a day after its launch.
The Democratic Alliance launched its new economic policy, The Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014, on Monday. Local youth leaders are in disagreement as to how the new policy will impact the economic development of Stellenbosch.
At the launch of The Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014 the leader of the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, lashed out the ANC and said the party has “given up” on creating jobs. Zille said the poor leadership of President Jacob Zuma has contributed to the 1.4million South Africans that have become unemployed since he took office.
The new economic policy of the Democratic Alliance aims to encourage economic growth and to increase opportunities for South Africans to take part in the economy. The new policy is also aimed at supporting small businesses, providing economic leadership and ensuring favorable trade agreements, specifically with neighboring countries.
Zille says that if the Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014 is implemented, it will create 6 million jobs and stimulate an annual economic growth rate of 8%.
The chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Student Organization of Stellenbosch University, Mynhardt Joe Kruger, believes the new economic policy of the DA will benefit all residents of Stellenbosch. Kruger says it is important for students to have a sense of employment security when they graduate; “unemployment should not be an option”.
Kruger says it is “extremely hard to believe that a town can only flourish on tourism” and that the Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014 will be able to address unemployment and “improve living conditions” of all Stellenbosch residents.
“The economic policy of the Democratic Alliance lacks tactical structure and meaning,” says a local ANC activist and former ANCYL leader of Stellenbosch, Tinkyiko Khoza. According to Khoza the creation of 6 million jobs will not mean much if people are not trained and educated to fill those positions.
Khoza says many residents of Stellenbosch are not educated and have not had any skills development training either. Khoza says the “economy cannot grow if the people do not grow with it”.
An executive member of SASCO Stellenbosch, Seth Motswaledi Jnr, says it is unrealistic for the Democratic Alliance to expect an annual 8% economic growth rate while the global economy is still recovering from a recession.
Motswaledi does not believe that The Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014 will do anything to address the inequality of Stellenbosch. He says the “white minority will keep on flourishing while the black majority will keep on perishing!”