The ANC seems "intent on driving investment away" with its 2019 election manifesto unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the DA said. Picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward

Cape Town - The African National Congress seems "intent on driving investment away" from South Africa with its 2019 election manifesto unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban this weekend, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA would ask Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for details of the ANC election manifesto statements that the party intends to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) as well as prescribe to financial institutions where they should invest the money they hold in trust on behalf of bank depositors, pension and retirement fund contributors, pensioners, and insurance policyholders, DA spokesman Alf Lees said.

"The imposition of prescribed assets is exactly what the apartheid regime resorted to in desperation when they could not raise capital in the international markets. Now the ANC is to resort to the same annexation of private funds as international markets hold back on making capital available to South Africa," he said.

Instead of announcing bold new initiatives to stimulate economic growth and job creation, the ANC had decided to simply “expropriate” ordinary South Africans’ savings to try to save bloated and corrupt state-owned entities such as South African Airways (SAA) and Eskom.

"Clearly, President Cyril Ramaphosa has not had the backbone to stand up to the SACP/Cosatu [SA Communist Party/Congress of SA Trade Unions] and has capitulated to their demands for these changes to the SARB mandate and to imposing a prescribed asset regime," Lees said.

These changes would undoubtedly make the SARB a battleground as the destructive forces in the ANC and "its ally" the Economic Freedom Fighters pushed the agenda to change the SARB mandate.

"We urge the SARB governor to withstand the coming onslaught and to continue to focus on the existing SARB mandate," he said.

The changes would also result in further downgrades by international rating agencies no matter how much charm and spin Ramaphosa put on these economically destructive changes, and also drive away foreign direct investment.

These "very foolish moves by the ANC" would create more unemployment and misery for the majority of South Africans. There could be little doubt that unemployment numbers in 2019 would skyrocket way beyond the 10 million mark, Lees said.

African News Agency (ANA)