Steps to address economic crisis - statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (27 May 2009)

The UDM is deeply concerned about the state of the economy. The latest economic data confirms what South Africans have been experiencing for many months already; that the economy is in serious trouble.

The fact that South Africa is officially in a recession should motivate Government and the rest of society to join forces to stimulate and expand the economy.

We need a national conversation on matters such as the Reserve Bank's inflation target. In the past number of years, when the rest of the world slashed interest rates, ours was continuously raised. The effect was to keep many South Africans on the fringes of the economy at a time of growth. What is required now is for the Reserve Bank to make a drastic cut in the interest rate to kick-start the economy. High interest rates are frustrating the attempt to create jobs.

One thing is sure, the country can't be held to ransom by Mr Mboweni and a small team of people who depend on statistics that have at times been exposed as inaccurate.

This crisis confirms that now is the time for a national economic indaba - so that we can interrogate these matters and develop a strategy that has the support and approval of all South Africans.