The Congress of the People welcomes the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of government’s recovery and stimulus plan.
However, what came out clear is that this plan was cobbled together not from a position of strength but from a position of weakness in the face of self-made constraints – including that of limited fiscal space.
Much of the reforms announced refer to ‘own goals’ scored by the poor and corrupted governance of the state by the ANC.
The visa debacle that impacted negatively on tourism and those wishing to bring their skills to our economy was a self-made crisis created by the ANC.
The same applies to our crumbling health and education sectors. It is bad and corrupted governance that have brought these sectors to their knees.
Likewise, it is the ANC that created uncertainty in our agricultural sector and created conditions in which our mining and manufacturing sectors shrank and shed jobs.
It is government through its mismanagement of ESKOM that created the energy crisis and the dramatic rise in electricity costs – and now government wants to reduce the cost of doing business.
Much of what has been announced today is aimed at undoing wrongs committed by and damage done to the state and our economy by the ANC itself.
As Daniel Silke put it, this stimulus package ‘requires a reprioritisation of the wastage of resources & ideologically moribund philosophies towards investor-friendly initiatives & meaningful social-upliftment projects within a positive-sentiment environment’.
In other words, this stimulus package attempts to turn the ANC’s trajectory of the governance of the country and its economy completely around from the current damaging direction.
However, state capture seriously weakened the state, reduced business and investor confidence, caused policy uncertainty, and undermined levels of state legitimacy to compact with private sector. This has in turn weakened its capacity to grow output and jobs.
COPE questions whether our state will have the capabilities to give effect to this plan.
Issued by Congress of the People (COPE).