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PDP May day statement

by George Mkhwanazi, Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity PDP South Africa
01 May 2017 at 15:19hrs | Views
Zimbabwe, like all progressive nations of the world, is celebrating the 1st of May as an International Workers' Day set aside to promote the welfare of the working class, improve their standards of living and advance the cause of their struggle against poverty, exploitation and joblessness. Ironically for Zimbabwe, the country has experienced the exact opposite since 1980, thanks to Zanu PF which has presided over a corrupt, kleptomaniac and tyrannical government.

Sadly, when workers in Zimbabwe are supposed to be celebrating an important day in the life of their toil, they have to face the grim reality of an economy that has shrunk to less than 5% of what it was at independence. The latest statistics on the country's economy indicate that the quality of life is worse off today than what it was 50 years ago.

When Robert Mugabe and his party took over the reins of power in Zimbabwe 37 years ago, even against the backdrop of a disruptive war, the country had a vibrant economy. People had jobs. They had food on the table. The country had its own national currency which was very competitive against other currencies. Industries were productive and the growth rate was positive and the country had revenue surplus.

Where do we stand today as a nation? 1.5 million people face acute starvation this year inspite of generous rains and the clueless Zanu PF government has no remedy to that except to rely on donations from abroad whose distribution is politicized. Unemployment levels are in excess of 90% with the majority of the population having been turned into vendors. Since 2015, over 100 000 people have lost their jobs due to company closures, including those controlled by government. In fact, over 200 companies have closed their doors since 2013. And the GDP has fallen from US$30 billion in 1997 to US$2 billion per annum in 2017.

Zimbabwe has become a country of people whose pride has been humiliated. It is a country whose people have been reduced to beggars across the globe. It is a country whose national ego has been eroded to point of shame. This is a country whose status as a food secure country has been destroyed through misguided and wrongly-headed policies.

PDP believes that another Zimbabwe is possible through its Holistic Programme for Economic Transformation (HOPE) policy based on the following thirteen Pillars:

Macroeconomic Stability

 - Repeal of the Indigenization and Empowerment Act

 - create an independent Financial Affairs Regulatory Authority that will carry out the supervision and surveillance of financial institutions to weed out corruption

 - Take away the function of banking supervision from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,

Job Creation and Formalization of the Economy

 - Convert the country's accumulation model from one based on extraction to one based on beneficiation.

Industrialization, value addition and beneficiation.

Foster employment creation through some of the following initiatives:

 - SME and cooperatives promotion and development,

 - Community-based service provision such as access to micro-credit;

 - Promoting the employment of young women and vulnerable groups.

 - Champion a rigorous infrastructure development program in five major target areas

 - Formalization and unionization of the informal sector.

 - Amendment of the Social Security Act to cover  workers in the informal sector .

 - The revival of industry throughout the country.

 - The operationalization of funds such as DIMAF and ZETREF

 - The creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and spatial development which will lead to industrial growth.

Infrastructure Development

 - The setting up of an Infrastructure Development Council (IDC) to coordinate the prioritization and funding of all infrastructure projects.

 - The IDC will prioritize the rehabilitation of roads and railways, energy generation equipment, aviation and water purification and distribution machinery.

 - The introduction of urban metro- systems, dualization of major roads, reopening of every city airport

 - The construction of a 2 000 MegaWatt Hydro – Power Station at Batoka Gorge, and E- Governance.

Mining and Value Addition

 - Creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund which will ensure that funds are available for community development and future investment.

 - The prioritization and the setting up of a mining exploration company that will take advantage of modern infrastructure and take stock of Zimbabwe's minerals.

 - The crafting of a standalone Diamond Act which will among other things  ensure the promotion of value addition and the proscription of exportation of unpolished or uncut diamonds .

 - Establishment of a clearly defined revenue sharing formula between the State and private investors.

Land and Food Security

 - Review the Land Reform Program

 - Restore the of the productivity agricultural sector.

 - Restore Property rights, security of ownership and tenure.

 - The setting up an impartial, independent, well-resourced, professional agency - the Land Commission.

 - Rationalize land redistribution, rectify multiple farm ownership and complete the compensation of white farmers.

 - Invest in rehabilitation and expansion of irrigation schemes and other agricultural equipment

Social Delivery and Social

 - The resuscitation of social service delivery system such as health, rural poverty, the education system and the introduction of an effective e-learning system.

 - Put to an end urban social service delivery woes amongst others refuse collection and clean running water.

Rural Development

 

- A PDP government will ensure that there are major transformations in Zimbabwe's rural areas such as Rural Housing.

- The creation of a National Rural Trust Fund (NRTF) aimed at attracting international and local capital to deal with the provision of 500 000 rural housing in the first five years.

Labour

 - The PDP asserts itself as a Party for the working people of Zimbabwe.

 - The PDP is a major proponent of progressive taxation.

 - The PDP will ensure that the amount of non-taxable salaries is decreased to achieve disposable income for the workers

 - Increased disposable incomes will generate demand for produced goods and for the development of savings in the country.

 - The harmonization of labour laws to protect the best interests of the worker.

 - Unbundling of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and the Establishment of the National Health Insurance from NSSA's surplus income.

The Diaspora and Remittances  

 - The introduction of the Diaspora vote to accommodate the over 4 Million citizens living outside Zimbabwe.

 - Leverage on Diaspora skills and remittances to fund development and create employment in the targeted sectors of the economy

 - Harness the Diaspora phenomenon to ensure that they participate in key decision making processes in the country.

It is clear that in his dotage Robert Mugabe has virtually lost control of the reins of power in Zimbabwe as his government is now characterised by policy discords and contradictions. The People's Democratic Party demands that Robert Mugabe should step down to allow a National Transitional Authority to take the reins of the country. In the interim period all the necessary measures would be taken to level the electoral ground which would create the pre-conditions for a free, fair and just election next year.

George Mkhwanazi

Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity

PDP

South Africa



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