MEC Maile found wanting on basic economic facts

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Economic Development

Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, today had to backtrack on his assertion that “five white families own 80% of the South African economy.”

The MEC first made this statement during his budget speech on 22 July 2014, reinforcing it by stating “this is a fact” and has repeated it on several occasions in oversight committees and public speeches.

However, when confronted with an oral question asking him to name these families and if the department makes policy based on this statement, the MEC backtracked and stated that he was just speaking in broad strokes about the nature of the South African economy, and wanted to emphasize structural problems.

The MEC is prone to making irrational statements that scare off investment and deter economic growth.

While attacking “white monopoly capital” as the fundamental problem in the economy in various public forums, the MEC ignores the real problems with the South African economy.

To date, the MEC has failed to acknowledge the facts that too many people are unemployed, that the school system is not providing learners with skills to participate in the economy, as well as the barriers to entry for smaller business.

So too has he failed to acknowledge that the ANC’s policies have resulted in massive tender fraud and a closed crony ANC-linked elite that seeks to replace the old one.

The MEC’s race-baiting and avoidance of all facts relating to the Gauteng economy is clearly a response to the ANCs declining electoral support in Gauteng.

The DA will continue to challenge the MEC on his empty, race-baiting rhetoric devoid of facts, and table real proposals to create jobs and grow the economy through small business development, skills development, attracting investment and lowering barriers to entry.