It has become clear that the economic reforms needed in South Africa cannot come from an African National Congress government stuck in the past and committed to a worldview long abandoned by the rest of the world, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.
“The ANC government’s idea of sweeping state control and state-led growth belongs in a time long gone,” he said at the DA’s Freedom Day celebrations in Johannesburg, during which the party also launched its proposed “Jobs Act”.
“We must step into the future with an economy geared for the future. The private sector is not the enemy. They are, in fact, the heroes of job creation, and we must treat them as valued partners in this critical task.
“We will start with the parliamentary act we are launching here today [Saturday] – the Jobs Act. This act will focus on two key areas critical to our economic recovery – foreign investment and SMMEs,” Maimane said.
The act provided for special tax incentives and property allowances for foreign companies that met certain socio-economic empowerment goals. “We will also legislate a wide range of incentives for foreign companies, which will include key areas such as industrial projects, enterprise investment, critical infrastructure, research & development, agri-businesses, and film and TV production.”
In short, foreign investors would know that under a DA government South Africa would be open for business. They would find here an investment environment that was flexible and mutually beneficial.
The act also addressed many concerns that foreign investors had around the resolution of disputes in South Africa, and would give them far more peace of mind about bringing their money here.
Regarding SMMEs, the Jobs Act would protect and support this crucial sector of the economy by ensuring greater flexibility in the labour market through minimum wage exemption for businesses that fell into certain classifications. This would keep the doors open to thousands of small businesses and protect the jobs of hundreds of thousands of employees, Maimane said.
The act also looked at doing away with all unnecessary red tape that small businesses still had to comply with, as well as the creation of a special forum for dispute resolution specifically for SMMEs.
This Jobs Act would go a long way towards making South Africa not only a far more attractive and safe investment destination, but also a much easier place to start and run a small business. – The Citizen (African News Agency)