Worker's Day message - statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (30 April 2009)

The UDM wishes all workers well on Workers Day.

Unfortunately we celebrate this day in the midst of an international financial crisis that may now be deepened by threat of a global flu epidemic.

In such times we cannot continue with an economic policy approach that amounts to folding our arms whilst massive job losses occur.

Now is the time to remove any doubt about our economic direction and the commitment of Government to protecting South African jobs and businesses. We can't afford another economic policy experiment by the new government, nor can we tolerate more of the same because they have presided over 15 years of jobless growth when the international economy was expanding. In the last 15 years the ruling tripartite alliance has been wedded to the revolutionary rhetoric of old in the streets by talking "left" but in the boardrooms and Parliament they acted "right". Even the BEE flagship which was expected to empower the majority of citizens is failing to meet that objective. There has been almost zero progress in terms of black people gaining ownership and control within the economy. In the meantime the gap between the rich and poor is escalating on a daily basis, resulting in high levels of poverty.
The majority of citizens urgently require a genuine economic liberation, not the current BEE which is merely distributing some of the existing wealth among the new elite whilst the masses continue to receive only crumbs.

The UDM calls once more for an urgent economic indaba - on the scale of CODESA - where the nation can find consensus on basic economic principles and direction.

Such an economic indaba can define the roles of all the economic actors, specifically the role of the state in the economy. The UDM remains convinced that Government must do more.