Economic reform strategy should be implemented ASAP – GHL

DA MP welcomes Treasury paper, says proposed reforms are pro-growth and pro-jobs

Economic reform strategy welcomed

28 August 2019

The DA welcomes the economic strategy paper released by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, which sets out practical proposals for reforms needed to get the economy growing.

The proposed reforms are pro-growth and pro-jobs, and should be implemented as soon as possible. The opponents of inclusive market-based policies in the ANC will now work to smother this reform. The Minister must not be intimated by the enemies of growth in his own party. Now is the time to stare down the radical forces destroying the country’s prosperity, and he will have our support in doing so.

The proposals are sure to be opposed and undermined at every turn by the radical left of the ANC, a faction that is bent on ever-more state control over every aspect of the economy, to facilitate looting and to protect incumbents.

The proposed reforms centre on the understanding that only a growing economy can deliver real prosperity and more revenue for the state to spend on social services. The paper also recognises that in order to grow, the economy must rely less on state control, that fiscal discipline is a virtue, and that government must welcome competition with existing state monopolies. There is also a focus on global competitiveness and making it easier to run a small business. All of this is welcome.

In different times, this set of reforms may be criticised as being too modest or insufficiently ambitious. Certainly, the DA would encourage the Minister to be even bolder in his reform agenda, to include explicit commitments to privatisation, a greater focus on competition rather than on administered prices, and a commitment to allow functioning local governments to take over rail networks. Nevertheless, any move towards inclusive market based reforms is to be supported.

Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 28 August 2019