Appointment of new Deputy-Minister of Finance: UDM suggest introduction of a basic income grant statement by the UDM President (6 November 2008)

The United Democratic Movement wishes to congratulate Mr Nhlanhla Nene on his appointment as Deputy-Minister of Finance. He comes along with his wealth of knowledge of finance and economic related matters and his experience in the Portfolio Committee of Finance. Mr Nene should be able to participate in sound decision-making and ensure that his Department is well managed. However he has come at a time when the economy of this Country has over the years been characterised by jobless growth and retrenchments - furthermore the global economic turmoil is affecting our economy.

The UDM's economic policy can be described in one sentence: "Government must do do more". There is a tendency to label people as 'leftist' when they call for Government to do more for the people of this country. But when the Afrikaners were uplifted by their Government, it wasn't called 'leftist'. When the developed countries of the world subsidise their local agriculture and industry with trillions of dollars it is not called 'leftist'. Just recently the governments of the USA and Europe have intervened in their economies to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue private banks, but they have not been labelled 'leftist'. It is ridiculous to suggest that our Government should fold its arms when millions of South Africans are wallowing in poverty, because to uplift them would be so-called 'leftist'.

The gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' is widening on a daily basis, we therefore call upon the Deputy-Minister to pilot the introduction of a basic income grant. This will help the many people of this Country who don't know where their next meal will come from. The neo-liberal economic policy of Minister Manuel and Governor Mboweni seems not to be responsive to the daily suffering of poor South Africans.