Policy discussions at the ANC's conference this week served more as a “proxy for the internal fighting” for party leadership rather than tackling the issue of job creation, the DA said on Friday.
“Political divisions in the ANC have trumped the interests of the country and its people once again,” said Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane in a statement.
“Far from being a substantive debate on how to get our economy working, many of the ANC’s proposals actually go further towards destroying jobs and increasing unemployment.”
He said the 50 percent resource rent tax on mining was a problem.
“This proposal will seriously undermine the profitability of the mining industry and will inevitably lead to mine closures, disinvestment and job cuts in the mining industry,” said Maimane.
“The increased revenue for government will be short lived, and cannot hope to offset the economic and social impact of thousands more unemployed people.”
The ANC has released a discussion document - “Maximising the developmental impact of the people's mineral assets: state intervention in the minerals sector” - known as Sims.
Sims is based on an extensive study commissioned by the ANC to discover how best to leverage South Africa's mineral wealth to grow the economy and create more jobs.
The study proposes state control through the introduction of a 50 percent resource rent tax, or a super tax, which kicks in only when an investor has made a reasonable return, so as not to deter investors. Resource rents refer to surplus revenues after the payment of all exploration, development, and extraction costs.
The DA said it was also concerned about other second transition proposals and suggestions including an “intention” to control the fluctuations in the value of the rand.
“As a small, open economy we simply do not have the foreign currency reserves to intervene sustainably into the currency market,” said Maimane.
“If we want to participate in the global economy, enjoy monetary policy autonomy, and remain open to international capital flows, we have to accept that our currency will have to float freely.”
Another ANC proposal to centralise human resource planning was absurd, said the opposition.
“The state has proven to be highly ineffective at managing human resources.”
On security, the DA said the suggestion of creating a single police force could have consequences for the economy if it undermined crime fighting.
On education, Maimane said there was no mention of teacher accountability at the conference.
“The ANC policy documents do not deal directly with improving the quality and performance of our teachers,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that education outcomes will be improved significantly if we hold teachers and principals accountable for their performance.”
The DA said no further details were provided on the youth wage subsidy or the NHI.
“The ANC have spoken at length this week about restructuring our economy and achieving a more equal society,” said Maimane.
“Despite these noble intentions, they have unfortunately only come up with proposals that will make South Africa less competitive, kill economic growth and kill jobs.” - Sapa