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DA vows to offer workable solutions to poverty, job creation


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DA vows to offer workable solutions to poverty, job creation

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23rd May 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Finance Dr Dion George noted on Thursday that while the African National Congress (ANC) government obscures the true extent of the economic hardship South Africans face, the DA’s statistical tool Misery Index cuts through the confusion.

George was briefing the media on the new index tracking the ANC’s economic failures, which he said debunked what the ANC had said in its election manifesto about “30 glorious years” since the party came to power, with ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa boasting about economic growth on the campaign trail.


“…yet 12-million South Africans are unemployed, 81% of households skip at least one meal a day, and 5-million children are currently starving.

“…the infamous 2007 ANC conference marked a destructive turning point. Progress halted and we collectively entered a steady decline, which intensified when President Ramaphosa took office in 2017,” he explained.


He explained that poor policy decisions, rampant corruption, and a focus on centralising power had choked the country’s once-thriving economy.

Unemployment had soared, the fiscal environment had deteriorated, and the social fabric of South Africa had been frayed, he added.

“The true crisis is evident in the desperate eyes of shoppers, drivers overpaying for fuel, and the desolate homes where even necessities are unaffordable luxuries. The daily struggle for survival, ignored by those in power, reveals a country in distress,” said George.

He explained that through its Misery Index, the DA vowed to deliver a “workable” alternative to the economic hardship South Africans faced. The DA said it had solutions needed to lift six-million people out of poverty and create two-million jobs.

The DA has expanded on the original Misery Index, that tracks economic distress, to reflect the challenges of the country’s economy, while also providing a clear and visual representation of the economic pain felt by millions.

He said the Misery Index offered a tangible and easily understood gauge of the distress caused by the ANC government.

The party’s index looks at unemployment, inflation, GDP per capita, prime lending rate, the rand’s depreciation, the debt-to-GDP ratio, and fuel and electricity tariffs.

George explained that these eight standardised components could theoretically deteriorate without bound.

“No modern economy can hope to achieve growth in such an environment. But the ANC does not care. It does not need to be this way,” he said.

He noted that a DA government could deliver a “workable alternative,” saying it was the only party which could attract the necessary foreign capital, encourage domestic savings, change the model for State-owned enterprises and fix the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

It will also enhance labour market participation, while also bolstering corruption-busting institutions, and facilitating the expansion of small and large businesses.

He said the DA had delivered alternative budgets, tabled numerous private members’ Bills and recently launched its economic policy.  

“This is why a DA-led government will adopt ruthless and targeted growth-focused reforms, that put the wellbeing of South African households first,” he said.


Misery Index attached. 


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