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SA’s economic future: Analysing ANC and DA manifestos

Sameera Casmod |
23 May 2024 | 12:06 p.m. SAST
2-minute read

Image: The Chronicle

The Institute for Race Relations’ (IRR) evaluation of the ANC’s and DA’s plans to boost economic growth is based on the rationale that the success of a country depends on a flourishing economy.

The reports, titled Growth prospects for the ANC and DA manifestos, respectively, analyse the economic proposals put forward by the parties. While the ANC prioritises continuity over economic growth, the DA recognises the harms of state control and prioritises free enterprise.

The author of the reports, Ivo Vegter, spoke to Radio Islam International earlier this morning, saying that the ANC manifesto contains similar state-led solutions that it has offered in the past.

“The ANC manifesto promises continuity… It offers more of the same state-led solutions that we’ve all seen before: work opportunities in the public sector, more industrial master plans. The thing is, South Africa doesn’t really need continuity,” Vegter said.

One of the key ideas for economic growth as presented by the ANC is that of localisation, which refers to the process of reducing imports and promoting domestic production to boost economic growth—an idea that is archaic in Vegter’s view.

Another element contained in the ANC manifesto that has shortcomings is that of public sector work opportunities, which are essentially “unproductive jobs” or “part-time gigs that pay less than the minimum wage, and are paid for by taxpayers,”  Vegter says.

Vegter cited the results of surveys that showed many South Africans indicated no improvement in their lives in the previous 5 years, as well as the impression that the country is headed in the wrong direction. This shows that “we need change, not continuity. [The ANC] manifesto contains a well-intended promise, but their credibility is kind of undermined by the ANC’s failure to fulfil identical promises from past manifestos,” Vegter said.

The DA posits building a capable state that will free the private sector economy to create employment and growth, Vegter reported

One drawback that Vegter identified is the DA’s failure to prioritise rapid growth and set a specific target of up to 8% for economic growth.

Vegter acknowledges the challenges that the DA faces in implementing its plans, including overcoming the civil service wage bill and corruption without incidental protest action.

Regarding a coalition government post-election, Vegter said it is likely that the ANC will form an alliance with a clutch of smaller parties or with the EFF. A positive outcome, in his opinion, is a resultant coalition between the ANC and DA.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Muallimah Annisa Essack here.


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