President will have our full support if... – Mmusi Mamaine

DA leader says Ramaphosa must be genuine about economic reform

Let’s build One SA for All

25 May 2019

The DA congratulates Cyril Ramaphosa on his swearing in as President of South Africa. This marks the possibility of change that builds One SA for All in the country and I wish him well.

If the President does what is in the interest of South Africa and is genuine about economic reform, he will have the full support of the DA. Key cabinet changes that would signal a commitment to reform include:

- The economic cluster should be reduced to three key ministries to enable more coherent economic policy: finance, state-owned entities and jobs;

- The Minister of Finance must be committed and authorized to set a debt ceiling and the public enterprises minister must be willing to privatise non-strategic SOEs such as SAA, and to restructure Eskom to enable a private-sector-led transition to cheaper, cleaner energy sources;

- Entrepreneurs are the solution not the problem, and labour legislation, especially that which restricts small business, must be significantly liberalised by the new Minister of Jobs;

- The Jobs Minister must be commuted to visa reform to boost tourism and investment so it is easier for critical skills and foreign currency to enter South Africa;

- The President must appoint a Basic Education Minister who is committed and strong enough to stand up to SADTU and teachers need to be properly assessed, trained and incentivised;

- The Sports Ministry should be merged with Basic Education, to achieve bottom-up transformation in sport, while Science and Technology should be merged with Higher Education to better foster innovation;

- Rather than implementing unaffordable National Health Insurance, we should concentrate on fixing our public hospitals, expanding access to primary healthcare clinics, and on leveraging the private health sector for maximum public benefit;

- Provinces must be empowered to administer their own police forces because crime-fighting needs urgent localised knowledge and intelligence on the ground;

- South Africa needs a Minister of Local Government who pushes for more devolution of power to cities, be it to run their own railways or to purchase their own electricity directly from suppliers;

- State Security must have a minister who can professionalise the department and get it focused on ensuring the nation’s security and fighting corruption rather than on waging factional battles;

- President Ramaphosa needs to use the opportunity to be honest with the nation about and explain to people why populist solutions, no matter how attractive they may appear, will ultimately lead to South Africa’s downfall, as they have done in Zimbabwe, Venezuela and elsewhere; and

- Ramaphosa should convene a summit on race and reconciliation so we can find each other and start working together as one nation with one shared future.

Where the DA governs, lifestyle audits have already been instituted and we continue to lead governments that are free of corruption. The party firmly believes in protecting the constitution so more citizens can own land going forward.

President Ramaphosa will have my full support when he prioritises the national interest over his party’s interest. Beginning with these reforms would be a huge step in the right direction. We wish the president well.

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 26 May 2019