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Martin Williams
3 minute read
16 Jan 2019
9:15 am

ANC promises jobs, while destroying what creates jobs

Martin Williams

The governing party is lying about what the role of a government should be in a healthy economy.

Former president Jacob Zuma arrives at the ANC manifesto launch at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Picture: Twitter.

You’d think that after 25 years of broken promises about job creation, the ANC would have learnt something.

For example, don’t commit to specific numbers. No democratic government can predict how many jobs will arise. Yet the ANC has repeatedly trotted out figures, albeit with increasing modesty as shown in this tweet by writer Tom Eaton: “2014: ANC promises 6 million jobs. 2015: ANC promises 5 million jobs by 2020. 2018: ANC promises 1 million jobs by 2021. Today: ANC promises 275 000 jobs per year. 2020: ANC promises 250 internships, as long as you pack your own lunch. 2021: Jobs? What’s jobs …?”

These promises are lies. It is not the role of government to “create” jobs.

Former president Jacob Zuma tried to do so artificially. Under him, the number of people on the public payroll, including his bloated Cabinet, expanded. So too did the staff complements at state-owned enterprise, most visibly Eskom. Expanding the number of people employed in this way, without increasing productivity, is economically ruinous.

Instead, government should foster an environment where employers feel confident about hiring. That is a message the ANC is ideologically incapable of understanding. The party says job creation and economic growth are at the heart of its manifesto. Yet three key pledges will have the opposite effect.

In the thrall of a job-destruction spiral, the ANC wants to force pension funds to bail out failing parastatals, nationalise the Reserve Bank and expropriate land without compensation.

The intent to steal pension money is couched in jargon: “Investigate the introduction of prescribed assets on financial institutions’ funds to mobilise funds within a regulatory framework for socially productive investments [including housing, infrastructure for social and economic development and township and village economy] and job creation while considering the risk profiles of the affected entities.”

Simply, they want to compel financial institutions to spend more on “development”.

Remember, this government blew nearly R80 billion on irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the last audited financial year. Now they want financial institutions to finance bailouts.

Your pension will become the gift that keeps on giving to SAA, SABC, Denel, Eskom, etc.

Expropriation without compensation (EWC) will destroy wealth by reducing the value of private property and destabilising banks. Who will invest in property if it can be taken away on a political whim? EWC and prescribed assets are almost as destructive as taking over the Reserve Bank.

Some ANC apologists have been trying to play this down, but ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was clear in a Sunday eNCA interview. Nationalisation of the Reserve Bank is a resolution of the 2017 ANC conference, and it will be carried out during the current party leadership’s five-year term.

The ANC shrouds all this, and the irrational adulation of Zuma, under the anesthetising mantra of party “unity”. This magical word dulls critical faculties. Reason flies out the window and an imaginary world is created.

Dream on, Ramaphiles. The African National Congress is fracturing.

Martin Williams, DA councillor.

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