UDM Rally in Virginia Stadium, Free State statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (19 April 2009)

This is an area renowned for containing some major resources in this Country, mainly mining. Mining for years has been a source of employment for the unskilled in this Country as well as for neighbouring countries.

But of late, it is no longer a reliable source of job creation due to the international competition and the economic turbulences taking places within the last couple of years.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that the raw material produced in South Africa is almost 100% exported, and there is therefore a need for a paradigm shift in thinking among investors in this industry, with a view to focus on beneficiation programmes, in that way will generate revenue for the Country through job creation. These beneficiation programmes in our mining will not take off on their own, instead government and the private sector need to form a partnership to do research and start with the implementation of such programmes.

In the same vein this province has been endowed with agricultural fertile soil. Indeed it has produced well respected farming communities and in the process has for many years created jobs for many people.

It is unfortunate that the current government withdrew the incentives for Agriculture in this Country, which resulted in job loss. The reason advanced for this at the time was, that the Country needed to be in line with globalisation, but it turns out that the very architects of globalisation e.g.: US and European Union never withdrew incentives for textile and other related industries.

It is for this reason that the UDM has been consistent in calling for the Government to do more in the economy of this Country. It is unfair to expect South African companies to compete in the market against heavily subsidised products from the other countries. There is a saying that you can’t throw bath water with a baby, in other words not all the policies which were applied by Apartheid government were bad. Is it not ironic that today the developed countries are nationalising their banks as a result of the economic meltdown? The majority citizens of this country have endured this economic meltdown for ages and they are looking for a government which will rescue them.