Economic policy consensus required statement by the UDM President (20 October 2008)

It is clear to the UDM that there is confusion in the ANC. President Motlante is quoted in weekend papers as assuring international investors that no dramatic changes in policy will happen. Mr Zuma is on his way to his masters in America where he will sing the same tune. But the troika of Messrs Vavi, Nzimande and Cronin, who masquerade as ANC members but all serve in the central committee of the SACP, have made profound statements about future economic policy.

I told the Black Management Forum last week: Anybody who believes there will be no economic policy changes is living in a fool's paradise. I also said we need to look at the country's macro-economic policy that has produced jobless growth over a period of time.

What this SACP troika has told the media does not contain anything new as far as promises go. It reminds me of the 1994 election when the ANC ran with the slogan "jobs for all", in 2004 they had R400 billion to create jobs with. Today they promise to create 5 million jobs. This pre-election rhetoric and promises are not new, but after the elections there is no accounting of why the jobs don't materialise and how that money is spent.

There is no guarantee that the proposed new system will work. Will we test it for 15 years like the current one, before we realise that it isn't delivering?

The best thing we can do is to initiate a similar process to CODESA - focussing on the economy, so that the communists can bring their proposals, but the rest of us also have our say. Zuma and Motlante will bring the Mbeki policy which they have been saying is good for South Africa and won't be changed.

One thing is certain, the economic policy we have is not satisfying the needs of all South Africans, therefore there is a need to produce a blueprint/guide which would be used by any government irrespective of which party rules, to ensure that any shifts will be within the framework of consensus.

We are sick and tired of this rhetoric garbage where the ruling party plays on the sentiments of the poor but once they are in power they do not deliver. Let every South African have a say.

The UDM economic philosophy is:
"Government must do more", meaning Government must invest in the economy. It might not be acceptable to everybody, or it might, but we need to sit around a table and discuss these options. The Human Rights Commission would be a relevant body to host such a "CODESA on the economy".