Kroonstad - The DA is still claiming that the SA Reserve Bank has modelled and endorsed the opposition party’s economic policies, despite the bank and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan rejecting the claims months ago.
The party is running adverts on radio that repeat the false claims, even though DA leaders are careful in public to attribute the endorsement of the DA manifesto to “a Reserve Bank consultant”.
Zille told several hundred people at a mini-rally in Seeisoville, outside Kroonstad in the Free State, on Monday that a consultant for the Reserve Bank “did an economic model of the DA’s policies and said it would lead to 8 percent growth and 6 million real, sustainable jobs”.
However, her stance is contradicted by official DA campaign ads.
At least one Gauteng radio station, Kaya FM, was still flighting ads with the Reserve Bank claim on Monday.
The ad, heard by Independent Newspapers, claimed the bank “agrees” that the DA’s economic plan would lead to 8 percent growth and create “6 million real jobs”.
These claims contradict the statement of the central bank following the DA’s manifesto launch that it did not model the party’s economic policy.
Gordhan said in February that a working paper that models a scenario of 8 percent annual economic growth for South Africa was not verified by the Reserve Bank.
The bank called the claim a “misuse of the Reserve Bank’s name”, and said it demonstrated a “disregard of the independence and the integrity of the Reserve Bank”.
When Zille and the party were challenged on their claims in February, they back-tracked and said the models were carried out by consultants, and not officially by the bank – but this has not stopped the party from continuing to repeat the claims in election adverts.
On Monday, Zille said the DA was the only party with a plan for jobs.
“The only party which has a policy for jobs is the Democratic Alliance. A vote for the DA is a vote for jobs,” she said to cheers.
Preaching equitable economic growth, she said it must benefit “all the people”.
If people wanted to “honour the past and the struggle for freedom” and “to vote for future generations”, she said the “only way of owning the future” was to vote for “the blue team”.
Earlier, the DA leader led hundreds of supporters wearing party T-shirts through the township, in what the party likes to call “the blue wave”.
Zille was joined in the march by DA Free State premier candidate Patricia Kopane.
A provincial party official, speaking off the record, said they were confident of increasing their share of the vote in the province to between 25 and 30 percent.
The DA got 12 percent of the provincial vote in the Free State in 2009.
Zille’s Free State visit on Monday ended off a whirlwind tour of the country in which she first traversed the Western Cape covering the Overberg and Bredasdorp, Manenberg and Mitchells Plain.
She spent Easter Sunday at the Zion Christian Church on its most important day of the year, addressing the millions who make the pilgrimage to the church in Moria, Limpopo, each year.
“In every corner I go to, it is turning blue,” Zille said.
“The DA is not a party for black people, brown people, white people or Indian people.
“It is a party for blue people.
“Blue people have… a beautiful heart.”