Fellow South Africans,
We are here today in Maluti-a-Phofung to fight to put a job in every home and ensure basic services are delivered to all. For in this municipality of 400 000 residents festers the single greatest threat to the South African economy: unemployment.
Where we could experience a booming area with manufacturing, tourism and education opportunities for all, we find a municipality with the highest unemployment rate in the country.
Not far from here is the Tshiame Special Economic Zone where various ANC ‘launches’ have made more empty promises about jobs. But because the municipality cannot sustainably supply water and electricity, nothing has come of this project.
16 factories in the Harrismith area turned to the courts to stop Eskom cutting the electricity supply which put as many as 10 000 jobs providing for 50 000 people at risk. The situation is so dire that the community has been managing the water supply to the Greater Harrrismith Area since November last year.
While almost all of these factories have closed down, President Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) this year that this industrial area has been ‘revived.’ But contrary to the President’s announcement, there is no evidence of any revival on the ground.
The ANC government have been at the centre of this jobs crisis in a municipality that has only ever received a disclaimer from the Auditor General. That means that in almost 20 years since 2001, no opinion has been given regarding the financial statements of the municipality.
Under the reign of Mayor, Vusi Tshabalala, the administration was reduced to a conduit for theft, misappropriation and fraud. This looting was so severe that by the time the municipality was placed under provincial administration in February last year, the administration was bankrupt with not much left to salvage.
This grand heist of the municipality continues to be fuelled by a factional war over services meant for the people. It is like a pack of hyenas fighting over the scraps of a carcass and is a symbol for the looting that continues to plague the rest of the country.
Maluti-a-Phofung has since been placed under national administration. The situation has only deteriorated with the municipality owing Eskom R4.5 billion.
We can and we must change this, and that change begins at the ballot box next week Wednesday.
The DA will be contesting all 15 wards in the area and pledge to deliver good clean government, effective management and an obsessive focus on economic development, investment and job opportunities.
Why you may rightly not be able to trust more empty promises from the ANC sound taxi’s and trucks you now see or the cash and food parcels that have arrived in Qwa Qwa, you can be assured that the DA’s offer is credible because where we govern, we get stuff done. In the DA governed Western Cape, the expanded unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 23.8%, over 15% lower than the national average.
Qwa Qwa does not need to remain paralysed by full days without water supply, unstable electricity, inaccessible roads, shockingly high youth unemployment and parasitic factional battles. Citizens deserve better and where the DA governs, we deliver on our promises.
A vote for the DA is a vote for a party with a proven track record of delivering in government. That is the DA difference and change you will see if you put your trust in a party determined to put a job in every home and deliver clean government and basic services for the people of Maluti-a-Phofung.