The United Democratic Movement (UDM) stated that its philosophy in terms of the economy was illustrated by its slogan – ‘Government should do more’.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa stated that government had a duty to invest in and promote the South African economy.
“Government must do more to ensure that our economy grows and that our businesses flourish, because that is the only way that we can create the jobs that most South Africans are so concerned about.”
Holomisa added that when the economy thrived, everyone benefited, however, when the economy sank, it was the poor, those in shallow water, that were stranded first.
“One of the areas that need attention is the unemployed, who do not have a formal structure representing them. We do not believe that organised labour is representing the views and the needs of the jobless. There is a need to create a council for the unemployed, which will raise their views. Such a council could also act as a civil society watchdog in provincial and local government, as well as private companies.”
He added that the UDM manifesto spoke about various priorities that needed to be pursued in this regard. Among other, was specific focus on skills development and youth employment. “It is totally unacceptable that thousands of our matriculants and graduates are loitering in the streets. They have a right, and indeed a duty to be productive members of society.”
The UDM proposed that far more needed to be done to unleash the power of small business, as these were the engines of job creation. “It remains a nightmare to start a small business.”
Holomisa further stated that agriculture and other industries would require subsidy support. “They are competing against trading partners who subsidise their industries heavily. We cannot fold our arms while the US and Europe spends trillions of dollars on subsidies, while our businesses and jobs are destroyed.”
He stated that the party was not suggesting to reward unviable enterprises, but was concerned about protecting South African jobs during the current international financial crisis.
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