Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing mounting pressure to fix the country’s ailing economy ahead of his special address to Parliament on Thursday where he will table the economic recovery plan.
But economists and political parties yesterday warned the country does not need a new plan as it already has many policies in place which the government needs to implement.
The Cabinet will meet on Wednesday to finalise the plan before Ramaphosa announces it in Parliament the next day.
Mike Schussler, the chief economist at Economist.co.za, said there was no need for a new plan.
He maintained that the government would have to cut spending and stop living beyond its means.
“We don’t need any more plans. We have plans, we need to implement them,” Schussler said.
He added: “We have got to bring spending under control because we don’t have the tax base. We don’t have money to save every SOE (state-owned entity), we don’t have money for that. We have got to think about every cent we spend. The government must stop spending, it has got to live within its means.”
The DA, IFP and UDM also weighed in on the matter and called on Ramaphosa to enact the existing plans.
DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis concurred saying the country does not need any new additional plans to revive the economy.
“The issue is that we don’t need any more plans. We don’t need plans,” he said.
“The issue is clarity inside the ANC. The ANC cannot agree on economic plans like the SOEs, mining and the spectrum. The ANC cannot agree on the economic reforms. A genuine political will would see these things through,” he said.
IFP chief whip Narend Singh indicated that they don’t want to hear the same old song from Ramaphosa that business will create more jobs.
“If we want to see economic recovery it is to see how people in the street have some income in their pocket,” he said, adding this would be done through extending the safety net.
“I don’t think any industry will halve the unemployment rate. We need to create the safety net so that money will get reploughed into the economy,” said Singh.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the plan must not be based on a crisis.
“I am sceptical about a policy built in a crisis, there’ll be no thorough plan. That is where the looting will happen,” said Holomisa.
He said he did not expect much because it was the same story. He said the government must extend infrastructure plans to rural provinces.