The ANC's Secretary General, Ace Maghashule's call on members of the ruling party to join the movement against the 1 percentage point increase in VAT, is not only proof that the ANC is a divided party, but that the organisation is being utterly dishonest with the people of South Africa.
What Magashule purposefully fails to mention is that it is his very party, the ANC, in parliament which imposed this VAT increase on the poor. Mobilising against VAT now can only be seen as a dishonest publicity stunt.
In February, former Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, announced an increase in VAT in order to ensure an increased flow of revenue into the fiscus.
The VAT increase was undoubtedly the position of the ANC and Magashule's latest announcement is an attempt by the ruling party to mislead people about their bad decision which will plunge the majority of South Africans into greater financial strain and poverty.
The DA opposed this increase from the onset because it is anti-poor and is a slap in the face of the millions of vulnerable South Africans who face the daily struggle of putting food on the table.
Instead of punishing the poor for the years of corruption and mismanagement under the ANC leadership, the ANC government should have cut government spending and slashed their bloated cabinet.
A DA government would reduce the size of the cabinet by at least five ministries; withdraw from the New Development Bank; sell off assets by privatising or part-privatising certain "public entities", as many of these entities run at massive losses; selling, or leasing, "underutilised land parcels", not well located for housing development; and selling government's remaining shares in Telkom.
The ruling party is completely out of touch with the realities of the disadvantaged South Africans on the ground. If the ANC is truly serious about opposing this VAT increase, it will join the DA in Parliament as we fight to ensure that the poor is not punished for years of poor political leadership.
Misleading people, like Magashule and the ANC are trying to do, will not save them from the punishment they will receive at the polls for choosing their politically connected few over the millions who live in poverty and remain unemployed.
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Refiloe Nt'sekhe MPL
DA National Spokesperson
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