Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA Shadow Minister of Finance
In Parliament today DA Leader Mmusi Maimane asked President Ramaphosa a direct question about his government’s position on prescribed assets. The President rambled and dithered at first, but when pressed, he all but confirmed that asset prescription will be introduced by his government.
The President also threw COSATU under the bus, saying that COSATU supports the view that workers’ pensions can be used by the state through an asset prescription regime. This statement goes much further than any COSATU spokesperson has yet gone. COSATU must now make their position clear: do they stand with the ANC, or with their members? On this matter, they cannot serve two masters.
President Ramaphosa’s answer is the closest we have yet come to an official confirmation that asset prescription will be introduced. This is an unacceptable and reckless policy proposal, shamefully taken straight from the apartheid government policy playbook. It should be fought by all South Africans, both those who contribute to a pension fund, and those who are not in work. Prescribed assets will be a terrible blow to investor confidence in South Africa. It will harm the entire economy, making it harder to grow the economy and create jobs.
We will mobilise hard-working South Africans to protect their own life savings, and we will mobilise unemployed South Africans to fight this economic lunacy.