For 20 years, the IFP has promoted policies that place economic growth at the forefront of efforts to raise living standards and to stabilise the socio-political environment of all South Africans. The IFP has always believed that economic growth will be maximised through the initiative of the private enterprise sector.
The IFP acknowledges that economic growth, even if largely driven through industrial expansion, is unlikely by itself to reduce unemployment levels to satisfactory levels. The IFP therefore supports development of a special job creation programme to offer answers to this serious problem.
As the IFP’s socially responsible free market policies were substantially represented in the government’s Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) Programme, the IFP lent its support to the employment of GEAR.
Due to inept management however, GEAR experienced a tentative and piecemeal introduction, during which time much of its initial potential to promote economic growth was lost. In the interests of recapturing this potential, the IFP strongly promotes a more committed approach towards the basic requirements of economic growth policy.
Essentially, the IFP advocates a four part re-prioritisation of official economic policy. This approach, as derived from the IFP’s comprehensive economic policy document, is summarised as follows:
The IFP proposes actions that would produce an improved international investor environment, and thus significantly expand the country’s industrial base. The IFP advocates policies, which in general terms, will promote:
The IFP would provide more sensitive and stimulatory support to business so as to significantly increase the country’s share of domestic and international goods and services markets. This is vital, if South Africa’s economy is to perform at the level necessary to succeed in the advancing era of economic globalisation. IFP policy aims to capitalise on local comparative advantages, to reduce debilitating competitive weaknesses and to be generally facilitative and supportive of export businesses. The IFP therefore promotes:
IFP policy addresses the counter-productive and destabilising potential of the current expectation levels amongst large parts of the population. The IFP believes that a greater social return will be attained in the medium and long term if, in the short term, the national budget focuses more on the promotion of economic growth. Therefore, in the interests of ultimately meeting the deserved needs of the disadvantaged majority, it is imperative that government becomes more responsible and courageous when actively motivating for greater patience and self-reliance. The government must create a greater public awareness of both the country’s predicament, and the medium and long term initiatives that are aimed at alleviating this predicament. None of the world’s successful economies were able to establish their high growth paths without this public awareness and commitment.
The IFP has identified a number of very serious weaknesses in government expenditure practices, resulting in the loss of billions of rands each year through waste, inefficiency and dishonesty. In order to avoid such losses, the IFP proposes the use of more appropriate state accounting and management practices. These would lead to large cost saving opportunities and better use of underutilised state assets. This in turn, would allow for:
The above IFP policy outline offers a more comprehensive, systematic and purposeful approach than that presently employed.