Background – Unemployment: 

Strategy: 

A primary objective of the Direct Democracy Forum (the DDF) is to address the  need to convert the unemployed into active contributors in the economy, to create the maximum pool of employable and employed workforce possible and to create investment and employment opportunities for that work-force. To that end the DDF will use the proceeds of TEAL to:

  • Engage in an all-embracing adult education training and skills acquisition scheme.
  • Employ unemployed persons to engage in that scheme and become educated and skilled (see Education and Training).
  • Engage in import substitution schemes in every area of economic activity possible.
  • Engage in export development in all areas of SA’s economic activity (see Trade & Industry).
  • Engage in local manufacturing of commodities currently exported in their raw states.
  • Develop investment opportunities, particularly for the poor and unemployed and particularly in the form of cooperatives.
  • Develop mentoring schemes so that new-entrants into the economy are not left to fend for themselves in areas of activity for which they have no experience or expertise.
  • Prohibit the under or non-utilisation of redistributed economic and agricultural resources (see Agriculture and Food Security).
  • Develop and redevelop rural areas that have yet to be developed or gone to seed since 1994.
  • Engage in massive housing and community development, particularly in those same rural areas referred to above, thus taking some of the strain off urban communities.  Who wants to live in a dirty, often unhealthy and overcrowded city environment when one can live in a rural area with all the amenities that are available in the cities, except on a smaller scale? (See housing policy). 
  • Actively engage in schemes to encourage free market style competition in all areas of economic activity.
  • Actively discourage all forms of monopolies and cartels, not merely through the workings of the competition board but through creating competition for monopolies and cartels and challenging them in the market place, again particularly although not exclusively through the development of cooperatives.  In this respect, anyone who thinks that cooperatives are insignificant or ineffectual (looking at the poor performance of some SA cooperatives), they should have a look at Wikipedia’s  entry on Mondragon and at the Mondragon site itself or merely Google cooperatives to see the wealth of information available in support of the cooperative concept.

Benefits:

The DDF see the following benefits from this strategy:

  • Tackle housing shortages.
  • Remove pressure from overcrowded and stressed urban environments.
  • Convert squatter camps and informal settlements into livable formal communities.
  • Tackle the skills problem. 
  • Tackle the unemployment problem.
  • Develop a sustainable and competitive economy. 
  • Develop wealth participation particularly for the poor, through use of cooperatives.
  • Developing sustainable rural environments.

Conclusion:

While the DDF is seriously concerned about the economy and the unemployment issue it does not believe the problems are insurmountable given the necessary funding and political will.  The DDF believe they will have ample of both resources to effectively tackle the job of job creation.

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