General Motors' (GM) announcement today that it is withdrawing its manufacturing facilities from the South African market is a major vote of no confidence in this government's leadership of the economy. According to GM, it is withdrawing because the South Africa can no longer "provide GM with the expected returns of other global investment opportunities."
Following the President's reckless midnight cabinet reshuffle, and the subsequent ratings downgrade of our economy, GM's withdrawal is sadly just one of a growing list of foreign investors who are fast losing confidence in our struggling economy.
GM currently employs 2 000 South Africans at its plant in Port Elizabeth, and their withdrawal will threaten the livelihoods of all of these workers.
The DA will now write to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, to call on him to act decisively in order to prevent further potential job losses as a result of foreign investors pulling out of the country's automotive sector.
The DA will also request that the Minister report back to Parliament on what the specific reasons are for GM deciding to withdraw from South Africa, and possible solutions to bring this concerning trend to an end.
Government has failed to create a climate conducive to attracting investment, and in fact, is going out of its way to chase investment away.
The Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has failed to strengthen investor confidence in our economy. His wayward advisor Professor Chris Malikane, suggesting "radical economic transformation" can only be achieved by South Africans "tak[ing] up arms", and the constant talk of land expropriation, have all contributed to a climate of zero growth and flagging investment.
The captured and ineffectual ANC government with its empty slogans have completely destroyed our economic prospects, and ordinary South Africans, particularly the poor and vulnerable, are left to bear the brunt.
Geordin Hill-Lewis MP
DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry