Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has reaffirmed his party's plan for economic development in South Africa, saying an inclusive market economy remains the most resilient way of improving the lives of the poor.
Maimane said the party believes in economic transformation which most effectively achieved by multiplying poor black citizens' access to income-generating activity that can provide routes out of poverty and into the middle class.
"The DA's ultimate objective is not only to maximize economic growth but to maximize the wellbeing of every citizen regardless of race. They should have access to benefits of a growing economy. We take very seriously other indicators of societal wellbeing such as measures of inequality, poverty and unemployment," he said.
Maimane was speaking at a public lecture on economic transformation at the Wits School of Governance on Thursday evening.
"There needs to be a resurgence of faith in open markets and greater global integration...The inclusive market economy remains the most resilient way of improving the lives of the poor. What is needed is a regulatory system. The ideas of wellbeing as an organizing economic principal calls for open mindedness," Maimane said.
"Once the playing fields have been levelled there shall be no need for race based special provision. There shall be equal opportunities."
He said the DA believes that if South Africa is going to unlock real economic activities for black people, it has to start a different empowerment model that will extend access to economic activities for a wider group of South Africans, instead of a "tiny group of politically connected individuals".
"Black entrepreneurs who seek financial support from the state and its financial institutions will have to show that they can actually produce actual goods and services that will create real jobs. If they have brilliant ideas that are enabling then it is crucial that the state be at the forefront of assisting them," Maimane said.
"The DA supports share schemes in the private sector that will give wealth to workers and make them partners and part owners of businesses."