OPINION

On our relationship with the IMF & World Bank - David Maynier

DA MP says debate on this matter is an irrelevance, sort thing one would expect in Venezuela

SA’s relationship with the IMF and the World Bank 

Note to editors: The following is a speech extract as delivered by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, in Parliament today. 

1. Introduction

The fact that we are here today to debate a motion entitled “Reviewing South Africa’s relationship with the IMF and the World Bank” is testament to the irrelevance of AgangSA.

We are in deep economic trouble: 

- economic growth has been revised down to 0.5%; 

- inflation is outside the “target range” at 6.1%; 

- national debt exceeds R2 trillion; 

- ratings agencies are circling us like sharks; and 

- 8.9 million people do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa. 

(And that’s not to mention the fact that National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, recently whipped out his pea-shooter, took careful aim, fired, and promptly shot himself – and the economy – in the foot.)

And yet the best the honourable member can do is to call for a debate on South Africa’s relationship with the IMF and the World Bank, which is the kind of debate one would expect in Venezuela.

2. Boardroom Communists

It’s the kind of debate “boardroom communists” like Buti Manamela, who effortlessly glides between the politburo and the boardroom with a copy of Das Kapital in one hand and a Havana cigar in the other hand, dressed in Gucci suits and sporting mandatory red power ties, relish.

And it’s the kind of debate “red directors” like “Smokestack” Rob Davies, who is still fighting “structural adjustment”, CIA plots and the Cold War, relish.

But it’s not the kind of debate that is going to do anything to help the 8.9 million people who do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.

(And while I’m dealing with the “boardroom communists”, let me remind people out there who are struggling to put food on the table, that those two ministers, disgracefully, helped themselves to approximately R3.7 million to buy new ministerial cars.)

3. The “R” in BRICS

However, the motion does give us an opportunity to think about our place in the world.

You see, President Jacob Zuma has chosen to look to the BRICS, most importantly to the “R” in BRICS, which stands for his favourite “managed democracy”, Russia.

And that is because it has an economic model which holds so much appeal for President Jacob Zuma. 

It’s the economics of who you know, rather than what you know, and it’s the economics of the backroom deal, rather than open competition, which appeals so much to President Jacob Zuma.

Whatever the case, what we should be reviewing is our relationship with the “R” in BRICS, which survives through the politics of intimidation, the fear of the knock-on-the-door at midnight, and the Gulag.

4. Conclusion

But in the end, what we should really be debating is the complete lack of leadership on the economy coming from President Jacob Zuma. 

Which in a large part explains why 8.9 million people do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.

The fact is: 

- fiscal expansion is not an option, with a gross loan debt of R2.23 trillion, or 50.9% of GDP, in 2016/17; 

- monetary policy easing is not an option, with inflation outside the “target range” at 6.1% ; and

- although implementing structural reform is an option, implementation of the structural reform necessary to boost economic growth and create jobs has stalled in South Africa.

And that is because the politics is killing the economics in South Africa.

Because, the truth is that the President Jacob Zuma and the band of suck-ups, opportunists, deal-makers, thieves and rent-seekers who surround him, are killing the economy in South Africa.

And so if you do not have a job, or you have given up looking for a job, know this: 

President Jacob Zuma cares so little about your struggle to find a job that he fell asleep in the middle of the medium-term budget policy statement; and

President Jacob Zuma knows so little about how to help you in your struggle to find a job that he cannot even remember the nine points in his own nine-point plan to, we are told, ignite economic growth and create jobs in South Africa.

That is why, if you want a job, you have to ensure that President Jacob Zuma does not have a job. 

Because, as long as President Jacob Zuma has a job, you will never have a job in South Africa.

That is the truth.

It’s up to you.

Issued by the DA, 1 November 2016