Opinionista Solly Malatsi 12 March 2019

A response to Faiez Jacobs: ANC claims are unsubstantiated drivel

Responding to the ANC Provincial Secretary in the Western Cape, I must state from the outset that I have not read such incoherent, unsubstantiated drivel in a number of years. It is a clear reflection of the desperation of a party that is struggling for support countrywide, has factional splits the size of the Grand Canyon and represents a failed Western Cape team.

This article is a response to a column by ANC provincial secretary in the Western Cape, Faiez Jacobs

Faiez Jacobs claims that the Western Cape as a province that has failed to diversify or grow under the DA’s watch. He says the statistics show that Gauteng and KZN are at higher levels of BBBEE than the Western Cape, yet fails to back it up with any actual statistics. The truth is that there isn’t such evidence.

He then makes an outlandish claim that the IDZ projects in the Western Cape will not favour any black, Indian or coloured businesses without, once again, substantiating these claims.

He also says that the DA has done little for the Western Cape on the investment front – another ridiculous claim. Finally, he states that the DA is not good for growing the country, which is as far from the truth as the ANC is far from offering the poor any hope.

The actual facts are far from his warped sense of reality. Employment in the Western Cape grew by 24.8% between 2009 and 2018, ahead of Gauteng (18.6%) and KwaZulu-Natal (8.8%) (Q3 2009 – Q4 2018). With this job creation, the Western Cape has South Africa’s lowest unemployment rate at 14% percentage points lower than the national average (expanded definition) across all races. A major indicator of diversity is that our youth unemployment in the Western Cape is the lowest in the country. On top of this, our rural unemployment rate is the lowest in SA at 15.7%. This was made possible by our focused economic strategy – Project Khulisa.

Putting the numbers down, a total of 508,000 jobs were created for all races in the Western Cape since we took office.

Development is happening faster in the Western Cape than anywhere else in the country. In 2018, we were South Africa’s most successful province for building plans approved per square metre. This is a key indicator of economic growth, with R130-billion in new developments approved in our region since 2009.

We have created an enabling environment for investment to drive economic growth, with R100-billion in Foreign Direct Investment deals secured, creating an estimated 19,000 jobs. Through our Investment agency, Wesgro, we have secured 299 direct investment projects since 2009.

This all points to a growing and diversifying environment under the DA which is creating jobs for all South Africans.

Where are the statistics about Gauteng and KZN BBBEE being at level 4.0 and 5.0 yet Western Cape is at BBBEE 2.0? He drones on and on about the Western Cape being stuck in 2.0 while every other province where the ANC governs has flourished.

There is also no confusion over the DA policy on BBBEE as Jacobs purports. The DA believes that race is a proxy for disadvantage but not the only proxy. There is a growing black middle class which is well-evidenced and thus race cannot be the only determinant going forward, one also needs to look at other social-economic factors beyond race.

The current ANC system of BBBEE is a top-down approach which looks to benefit those elites and connected individuals at the top, creating a small pool of enriched individuals. The DA believes, and thus is diametrically opposed to, the current system, in a bottom-up approach which sets us apart from the ANC.

A bottom-up approach needs to focus on education and skills, from a primary level to the tertiary level. It also needs to focus on rapidly increasing employment and equity schemes that can benefit hundreds of thousands and not a few individuals. It needs to nurture, train and support individuals to start their own businesses.

The DA thus unequivocally rejects the ANC’s version of redress which operates to enrich and re-enrich the connected elite. Our offer is truly broad-based in that it seeks to break down the wall that exists been the “haves” and the “have nots”.

The DA supports a much-simplified BBBEE verification system that measures real empowerment. Our approach would see the current BBBEE scorecard vastly simplified with the inclusion of time frames for initiatives in the scorecards (to help business plan for the medium and long-term).

Just to round off an utterly incompetent piece of writing, he makes another bizarre claim that coloured millionaires are a representation of middle-class growth and asks where they are? Millionaires are not a reflection of middle-class growth but represent the wealthy. His piece is confused and erratic and his writing reflects that.

The DA is the only party that offers credible and diverse growth policies backed up with actual governance experience. We are working hard to build one South Africa for all. Bring on the 2019 elections. DM

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