FIN24 / 16 JANUARY 2019 - 07.36 / KHULEKANI MAGUBANE
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has likened President Cyril Ramaphosa's position and policies as leader of the African National Congress to economic exclusion ahead of the elections.
Speaking to the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday afternoon, Maimane did not hesitate to compare what he called this "wall" of economic exclusion to the wall that United States President Donald Trump has fought to erect along that country's southern border to Mexico.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane
However, where Trump claims his wall is intended to curb illegal immigration and "security threats" he believes migrants bring, Maimane says Ramaphosa's wall seeks to create a hyper-elite class of political insiders at the expense of the South African masses.
In particular, Maimane took exception to policies like expropriation of land without compensation, the national minimum wage, broad-based black economic empowerment and the ANC government's insistence on keeping Eskom intact despite its many financial troubles.
Maimane said there was no difference between Ramaphosa and former President Jacob Zuma; saying both made grand promises of economic transformation which only became quick paths to wealth for the politically connected few.
"If President Trump wants to build a wall, I believe Ramaphosa is on the way to building one which keeps outsiders disenfranchised and insiders in," said Maimane.
Maimane said Ramaphosa was at a loss to make concrete promises to the unemployed youth of SA and, instead, rehashed pledges from summits and conference of the past year.
"All we can hope for after Saturday is that we might break even on jobs. That will leave taking 35 years to bring about any meaningful economic inclusion," Maimane said.
Maimane did not hide the DA's apprehension with the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters' recent remarks on expropriation without compensation, saying: "I battle to understand why so many parties are asking that government own the land and not the people of this country".
Maimane said the ANC was following the same path of other African liberation movements which failed in government, using liberation rhetoric to woo voters and later, in desperation, opting for "nationalism".
"The manifesto failed to talk to us about Eskom, but simply showed that the ANC knows nothing and does nothing and wants to use expropriation as a silver bullet," said Maimane.
He advocated for breaking Eskom down into two entities: one which handles power generation and the other which distributes it.
He condemned what he called transformation rhetoric for political expediency, saying: "We have to break down the wall between insiders and outsiders".
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER