DA Celebrates Worker’s Day: NDP “Battle Plan” Against Joblessness

Mike Moriarty MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance This is an extract from a speech delivered by DA Gauteng Finance Spokesperson Mike Moriarty MPL during the Worker’s Day debate in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. Workers are an indispensable part of our society. Our constitution gives all of us rights to dignity and various other rights that afford opportunity to get a job, that is education and a dispensation within which there are economic conditions wherein there would be more work available. To me a worker is anyone who is able to work and needs to work. Workers are not just those in jobs, they are not just those who are in a union that is federated and allied to a particular political party. The most important action of a government is to create opportunities for all people to be employed in increasing number and quality. The job of government is to make all people able to become workers; to make a society where job opportunities abound more and more. The DA wants all people needing work to get a job. Jobs bring dignity. The best thing a government can do for its workers is to create more and more opportunities for work. Indeed, the job of government is to make all people able to become workers; to make a society where job opportunities abound more and more. So the challenge of government is to find those policies and interventions that are appropriate and are bound to make more opportunities. It makes more sense to create an economic environment where there is more demand for workers than we can supply. That is why the DA promotes an 8% growth policy strategy. In an economy where the growth exceeds 8% there will be a greater demand for workers. In such an economy you will get not just jobs, but you also get that Holy Grail which we call ‘decent’ jobs. In South Africa our enemy is unemployment. Unemployment is a destroyer of dignity. Unemployment is the creator of poverty. Unemployment fuels a rampant crime dispensation, which is violent. Are we not in war? We ought to be! There needs to be a declaration of war against joblessness. If we were in a war in the physical sense there would be a national call to arms. All citizens would be called upon to bear upon the enemy. Trevor Manuel’s National Planning Commission is just such a call to arms. I understand the National Development Plan to be nothing less than a battle plan against the enemy of low growth and unemployment. That’s why the DA is an ardent supporter. In the NDP you find appropriate interventions such as the youth wage subsidy, which does not deprive existing workers of jobs. No company will dismiss experienced people. Instead the youth wage subsidy allows the company to expand capacity. It can then create more and sell more. As companies expand they employ even more. As more people earn more they spend more. As they spend more companies make even more and then there are more and more people who become Workers. It’s such a pity that we seem to be now questioning the NDP. It’s lamentable that we are governed by individuals who are content with a growth rate of less than 3%. There is no urgency. But there ought to be! And who are the people who suffer? Workers! Then Minister Rob Davies launches the third round of IPAP. While we agree with the principle of targeting sectors for intervention strategies, although we can debate what those sectors are. However the real problem with IPAP3 is new laws imposed on business. Here is a warning: such a strategy leads to less freedom. Where there is less freedom there are less jobs. We dare not go down that road. The job of government is to make all people able to become workers; to make a society where job opportunities abound more and more.

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