Only one party knows what it takes to create jobs, and that’s the DA

Note to Editors: the following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a march to the Northern Cape Premier’s Office in Kimberley, Northern Cape. Maimane was joined by DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate, Andrew Louw. Attached please find the memorandum that was handed over to the provincial government. 

Fellow South Africans

Of the many issues plaguing South Africa and halting our progress towards a fair and prosperous future, one stands out above all: Jobs.

We won’t make any headway as a society unless we can find a way of putting a lot more people into sustainable jobs, and soon. Almost everything else will be solvable if we start winning the battle against our runaway unemployment.

The first step in this battle is recognising how jobs are created, and what the role of any government should be in doing so. Governments cannot be the primary source of jobs. They cannot provide enough of them and they cannot create them. Parties that promise to do this are lying to you.

But what governments can do is make it possible for businesses to create jobs. And once they realise that this is their role, we can start to talk about realistic jobs targets. Until then, it’s all just empty promises.

I have been traveling around the country telling people what a DA government would do for them when it comes to job creation – how we will work hard to attract investors and make it easier for businesses to start up and survive. And what I have seen here in the Northern Cape, and Kimberley in particular, is a lesson in precisely what not to do.

This is a province that is fast losing the war against unemployment, and it is not hard to see why. The ANC government in the Northern Cape has absolutely no interest in serving and supporting the businesses that must create jobs.

All businesses want the same things in order keep their doors open. They want to know they can depend on a reliable, affordable supply of electricity. They want a steady, affordable supply of water. They want infrastructure such as transport and broadband, they want their business to be safe and they want their rights – including property rights – to be protected.

They also want to know that policies and legislation won’t change, so that they can plan ahead. And they want to be freed up from unnecessary admin and compliance – the so-called red tape that trips up so many small business owners.

If a government can ensure these things, then businesses will flourish there. Investors will feel welcome and safe, entrepreneurs will feel supported and the jobs will come. But if a government can’t provide this certainty, security and service, then businesses will simply go elsewhere.

Just this morning I visited the premises of a company called Beefmaster – an abattoir here in Kimberley. They have reached a point where they want to take their entire business up to Johannesburg, because keeping it here in Kimberley is simply too hard, too costly and, above all, too unpredictable given the constant electricity interruptions. In their line of business, an uninterrupted supply of electricity is absolutely vital.

If government here can’t get the basics right, businesses like Beefmaster will pack up and leave. And if they do, 400 employees will immediately lose their jobs and at least 2000 dependents will lose a household income.

That’s what the wrong government does to communities like this. And Beefmaster is not a lone example. Recent research into business here in the Northern Cape found that small and medium enterprise owners in the province decreased from almost 28,000 in 2016 to under 15,000 in 2017. That’s a drop of almost half in one year – a sure sign that the ANC is killing all hope of growing jobs here.

Today, the Northern Cape has the highest rate of unemployed 15 to 24 year-olds in the entire country. Over 40% of all working age men and women in this province can’t find work. That’s a shameful failure by this ANC government.

The Northern Cape cannot simply be a place where dreams die. Where young people have to flee to survive. Where businesses have to leave in order to keep their doors open. It doesn’t have to be like that. But for this to change, its government will have to change.

But, you might ask, doesn’t every party make bold promises about jobs? Why should the DA’s offer be seen any differently? And to this I say: Don’t judge the DA on its promises, judge it by its track record. Something no other party can say.

In the DA-run Western Cape, where we have been in government for 10 years now, the results speak for themselves. The province has, by far, the lowest unemployment rate in the country. And, importantly, it has by far the lowest number of “discouraged jobseekers” – people who have given up hope and therefore given up looking for work.

Of all the jobs created in South Africa over the past year, half came from the Western Cape alone – a province with just one eighth of the country’s population. And the reason for this is simple: We know what it takes for businesses to start up and stay open, and we make it our top priority to help them do so. Whoever creates jobs has our full support.

You see, we believe in a South Africa, in the very near future, where our people – and particularly our young people – have hope once more. We have a vision of cities and towns where opportunity has replaced despair, and where more and more people are able to get onto the jobs ladder.

This future South Africa we see is one where the walls between the economic insiders and outsiders are smashed down. It is a South Africa where we make sure all our children leave school with an education that’s worth something, and then step into the world of work with something to offer.

It is a South Africa geared for the future, not obsessed with the past. One South Africa for all, led by a clean and honest DA government.

And that is the South Africa you need to vote for in May.

Thank you.

ANC manifesto proves they cannot create jobs

The biggest focus of the ANC’s 2019 manifesto hinges on jobs, however given the failing ANC’s track record, their promises to create jobs will remain just that – promises.

Cyril Ramaphosa boasted that the economy has tripled in size since 1994. What he failed to mention is that in 2018 there are far more people unemployed than 24 years ago. In fact, the unemployment rate has increased since Ramphosa took over as President and worse, the South African expanded youth unemployment rate is now at 50.1% – the highest in the world.

The ANC’s manifesto promises to create 275 000 jobs each year, however over the last 10 years, because of the ANC’s mismanagement of the economy, we only managed to create an average of 156 000 jobs per year.

There is no reason to believe that the failing ANC would do any better in the future. Ultimately their pledge on job creation is just another empty promise.

Not only has the ANC failed to create jobs for South Africans, they cannot create jobs. All they care about is enriching themselves and rewarding their loyalists.

This is not what we were promised 24 years ago. It is clear that the DA is the party of jobs, and we have a plan to create long term jobs for all South Africans.

A DA national government will boost job creation and alleviate unemployment by:

  1. Introducing a Voluntary National Service – one year of income and skills development for school leavers.
  2. Creating job centres throughout South Africa that provide information, advice and free internet to job-seekers.
  3. Growing small business opportunities through increased funding assistance and removing blockage and red-tape
  4. Prosecuting and eliminating the practice of “sex for jobs” and carpet interviews.
  5. Prosecuting and eliminating the practice of “cash for jobs” and corruption in allocating jobs.

Unlike the ANC, the DA has a proven track record of growing the economy, attracting investment, clean governance and most important of job creation that all South Africans can access. Where we govern in the Western Cape, the unemployment rate is the lowest in the country and last year the province created 75% of all jobs in the entire country – this is the DA difference.

DA governments continue to lead the charge in job creation, says Maimane

Please find attached soundbites in English and isiXhosa by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, following a visit to African fin-tech company, Yoco, this afternoon.

Today, Wednesday 14 November 2018, Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, paid a visit to Yoco, an African fin-tech company at the cutting edge of helping small businesses and entrepreneurs establish themselves, become successful, and create new jobs.

Founded only three years ago, the company’s innovative card payments solutions have radically simplified access to markets and operating costs of more than 30 000 small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout South Africa.

The greatest challenge that we face as a nation today is that there are too many South Africans without jobs and who remain locked out of the economy. South Africa is a country made up of economic ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders.’ Today, our nation’s new heroes are those who create work for the almost 10 million South Africans who do not have or have given up looking for jobs” said Maimane.

He added that “It is by partnering with innovative businesses such as Yoco that DA-led Governments continue to lead the charge in job creation. Between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018, 50% of all new jobs were created in the DA-run Western Cape.”

Maimane was joined by DA Western Cape Premier Candidate, Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer, DA Western Cape Deputy Leader, Albert Fritz, Team One SA Spokesperson on Access to Jobs, Geordin Hill-Lewis, and DA Cape Metro Chairperson, Grant Twigg.


ANC’s rejection of Small Enterprises Ombud Service Bill threatens jobs

The ANC’s decision to declare the DA’s Private Member’s Bill for the establishment of an ombud service for small enterprises “undesirable”, proves that effectively and efficiently resolving disputes that cripple small businesses in South Africa is not a priority for the governing party.

The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development yesterday rejected the Small Enterprises Ombud Service Bill based on unfounded promises by the Department of Small Business Development that they would be attending to it themselves.

This decision was made despite the Parliamentary Legislation Office indicating to the Committee that by doing so, the Department would be compelled to create, by means of legislation, an entity like that of the proposed Ombud Service. Parliament’s legislative programme makes it impossible for the Department to accomplish this in the current 5th Parliament.

ANC members of the committee claimed the Bill would duplicate what the Department was already working on. This is despite the DA having a working and introduced version of the Bill before the Committee, whereas all the Department could show were empty promises and undertakings.

The government is notorious for the late and non-payment of SMEs, with about R27 billion in outstanding invoices. In many cases, this has resulted in the closure of emerging businesses and the loss of jobs.

This is concerning given the ever-rising unemployment of nearly 10 million people as well as the fact that the SME sector accounts for half of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and 60% of employment in the country.

Recognising the need to support SMEs and save jobs, the DA’s Bill sought to address the problem of delayed payments and bullying by big business through the establishment of an Ombud Service to create a level playing field between small businesses, big businesses and government.

As their vote yesterday was cast in line with their so-called party manifesto, one can only conclude that small enterprises and the problems that they face simply do not matter to the governing party. With this approach, it is no wonder that the country is facing an unemployment rate more than 27%.

The DA will continue to champion the cause of small enterprises and job creation. We will continue to do so despite the neglect they face from government and Parliament.

The Western Cape must lead the charge to bring change that builds one SA for all

The following remarks were delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the DA’s Team 1 SA launch in Cape Town today. The Leader was joined by Western Cape Premier Candidate, Alan Winde, Western Cape Provincial Leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, and City of Cape Town Mayor elect, Dan Plato

Good morning, people of Cape Town, people of the Western Cape, fellow South Africans,

It’s always great to be here in this beautiful province. Die mooiste Kaap. But it’s particularly good to be here today as we kick off our 2019 election campaign in the province

In this campaign we will travel to every corner of the country telling South Africans what they can expect from a DA government, and explaining why only the DA can bring change that builds one South Africa for all.

I will do all I can to make our campaign here in the Western Cape a success, because this is such a crucial province. South Africa can only flourish if the Western Cape flourishes.

The Western Cape has always been the greatest melting pot of our South African cultures, and it is where so much of our nation’s story began.

From the painful roots of our colonial past and the beginning of our rich Cape Malay culture to significant moments like the very first words by Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison, this province and this city have been the backdrop to so much of our history.

In his address here from the balcony of the City Hall on 11 February 1990, Madiba reiterated what he had said more than a quarter of a century earlier during the Rivonia Trial:

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”

This free society with equal opportunities was something he dreamt of before they sent him to jail, and it was still his dream when he was freed. And, for a while, we all pursued this dream. We all believed in this dream.

But then we lost our way as a nation. Greed and corruption in the ANC replaced hope and ambition, and our nation started drifting further and further away from the dream of freedom.

Today, many of our people are no nearer to being free than they were back then. It has become clear that it won’t be the ANC who will deliver this freedom, because they can’t.

It will have to be a new government, committed to working for all the people. A government committed to building a fair and non-racial South Africa.

A government that not only believes in our potential, but also believes that we will only reach this potential if we work together.

And that is why it is significant that we’re gathered here today, in Cape Town, to launch the DA’s 2019 election campaign in the Western Cape. Because it is here in this province that we have already started laying the foundations for this new government.

Having taken control of the City of Cape Town in 2006 and the Western Cape in 2009, we’ve had over a decade to demonstrate that the DA is far more than just an efficient opposition party.

We’ve used this precious opportunity to show that we are a committed and capable party of government, and a far better one than the ANC ever was.

Ably led by Premier Zille and Mayors Plato and de Lille, the DA has worked tirelessly over the past decade to improve the lives of people here, and poor people in particular.

The numbers speak for themselves. The Western Cape leads the other eight provinces in every measure of good, clean governance you can think of, from jobs to education, from land reform to basic service delivery.

In the past year, according to Stats SA, three-quarters of new jobs in South Africa were created here in the Western Cape. This province now has a broad unemployment rate that’s 14.2% below the national average.

We took a provincial education department that was struggling and turned it into the best performing department in the country. It now leads the other provinces on bachelor passes as well as maths and science passes, and it has the lowest learner drop-out rate in South Africa.

When it comes to land reform, the projects here in the Western Cape have a 62% success rate. Compare that to the 10% success rate for land reform projects for the rest of the country and it becomes clear who is serious about land reform and who is not.

Much of our success is down to clean and transparent governance, and working responsibly with public money. This past financial year the Western Cape achieved 80% clean audits. The next best province was Gauteng, with a distant 52%.

In healthcare, the DA succeeded in raising the life expectancy for men from 59 years in 2009 to 66 years today. For women this went from 64 years in 2009 to 72 years today.

Across every single measure, the DA-led Western Cape has outshone every single ANC-led province. There is no doubt that this DA government is the best government the Western Cape has ever had.

But that alone is no reason to sit back and feel satisfied. Because we cannot measure ourselves against a standard set by the ANC. Our benchmark must surely be much, much higher.

So I congratulate this province on what it has achieved this past decade. It has been a huge effort and has delivered remarkable results. But we dare not rest.

Our goal is not to be better than the ANC. Our goal – our very reason for coming to work every day – is to fight for a better life for our people.

And not only the people who voted for us. We fight for everyone, because we are the DA. We are the only party trying to build a united, non-racial South Africa.

Now it is time for a new group of leaders to take the fight forward in the Western Cape. I am very pleased to tell you that the people sharing the stage with me today – our Premier candidate, our Mayor-elect and our Provincial Leader – have their sleeves rolled up and are ready to do just that.

I could not have asked for a more qualified, more committed team to take our election message to the people during this campaign, and to then steer this province and this city towards a bright and safe future. We have truly assembled the A-team here.

In Alan Winde we have the perfect Premier to build on the enormous gains this Province has made under the government of Helen Zille this past decade.

In Dan Plato we have a Mayor who will take back Cape Town’s communities from the gangs and drug dealers who have taken over their streets.

And in Bonginkosi Madikizela we have a Provincial Leader who has, time and time again, demonstrated his commitment to the people of the province through better services and housing delivery.

I am proud to call them my colleagues, and I trust them to fight the good fight here in this province – first by delivering a win in next year’s election, and then by building on the good work we have already done here in government.

And let me assure you, no one sets a higher benchmark for himself than Alan Winde.

They don’t call him the Jobs Premier for nothing. He knows that the only way out of poverty and the only way out of dependency on the government is through employment. It has been his obsessive focus to bring investment to the Western Cape.

And it has worked, with the bulk of new jobs created in South Africa this past year coming from this province, despite three years of crippling drought. That doesn’t happen by accident. That takes hard work and it takes real commitment.

But even he will admit that there is still more to be done. Despite being far ahead of the other provinces, unemployment still affects many young people here, and we have a huge challenge to help create sustainable jobs.

I know there is not a more qualified person to lead this charge than Alan Winde.

But, fellow South Africans, growing the economy here and creating jobs won’t mean much if people aren’t able to make the most of these opportunities because they live in constant fear of crime.

We all know that crime, and particularly gang and drug crime, weighs heavily on the minds of many communities here. Places like Mitchells Plain, Bonteheuwel, Nyanga, Langa, Mannenberg, Lavender Hill and many more are under siege every day.

People don’t feel safe in their own homes, in their streets, in their schools, their parks, their shops and their churches. Gang violence is a scourge that has to be met head-on, and this calls for strong leadership.

If Alan Winde is our Jobs Premier, then Dan Plato is our Gang-busting Mayor.

His track record of commitment to this city over many years in public service speaks for itself, but it is specifically on crime and fighting gangs that he has vowed to turn this city around.

He will take the fight straight to the gangs and the drug dealers who have stolen our communities and turned our streets into war zones.

But he will also take the fight to national government, because this is where much of the problem lies.

It is the ANC national government that has the power and the responsibility to resource police precincts throughout the province.

It is the ANC national government that decides how many SAPS officers get stationed at which police stations.

It is the ANC national government that chose, years ago, to disband the specialised gang and drugs units.

It is the ANC government that releases crime stats every year that show just how badly neglected many of Cape Town’s communities are, and still they refuse to come to their rescue.

The national average of police per population is one officer for every 369 residents. In the Western Cape there is one officer for every 509 residents. In the City of Cape Town it’s only one officer for every 560 residents.

An area like Nyanga, with the highest murder rate in the country, should have more police officers than elsewhere, and yet it has way below the national average. This is not an oversight. This is the ANC playing politics with people’s lives.

I see Cosatu has joined the efforts to shut down the Western Cape in protest against crime and gangs. But we see you, Cosatu. We know what you’re doing here.

You are deliberately trying to sow confusion around crime in the province by pinning the shortcomings of SAPS and the ANC on the DA and hoping the people fall for it.

Stop playing politics with people’s lives, Cosatu. If you truly are concerned about the effects of crime here – and I hope you are – then raise it with your own alliance partner, the ANC. Because that’s where the problem lies, and you know it.

For once, do the right thing and put pressure on the ANC and SAPS to stop under-resourcing these Cape Town areas as punishment for not choosing an ANC government.

I also see Minister Bheki Cele has been making noises about bringing back the specialised units. These noises are nothing new. His predecessor, Fikile Mbalula, made the same noises. Jacob Zuma promised the same thing.

Enough empty talk, minister. Just do it.

Fellow South Africans,

Under Mayor Dan Plato, the DA will continue to fight for the safety of our communities here in Cape Town, and we will be the only party doing so.

Thanks to the DA’s efforts, there is now an instruction from the Public Service Commission to fill all SAPS vacancies within the next six months.

And we will not stop there either. We will continue fighting until all Cape Town’s police stations are adequately and fairly staffed.

We will continue fighting until police reservist numbers are far higher.

We will continue fighting until we have dedicated gang and drug units.

And we will continue fighting until the army is sent to these gang hotspots to assist SAPS in its operations.

That is our promise to the people of this city and this province. And we could not have picked a better Mayor to fulfil this promise than Dan Plato.

Fellow South Africans,

We may have won this province back in 2009, and increased our majority here in 2014, but let me assure you we will never take our position here for granted.

We will never stop fighting to make the streets here safe. We will never stop fighting to make the schools here better. We will never stop fighting to speed up the delivery of basic services to all areas. We will never stop fighting to bring jobs and end poverty.

Our fight won’t end until we have bridged the gap between the insiders and the outsiders in our country. Until we become one united country once more, pursuing one common goal.

I assure you, we won’t stop fighting until we have brought change that builds one South Africa for all.

Thank you.

The is DA committed to bring change to the lives of Gauteng’s residents

We stand resolute in the face of adversity. This week the coalition of corruption, the ANC and the EFF tried to take the power away from the people of Tshwane.

They tried to sneak in through the back door and undermine the good work that has been done to change the lives of our people.

The work to change the lives of our people has now begun in earnest. We are committed to serving the people of Gauteng, just as I have done for the people of Tshwane.

I am proud to be associated with a party that has offered me an opportunity to change the fortunes of the 13 million people of this province.

Turning the tide on the rot that has swept through Gauteng is and will always be at the heart of the work that we do. We are a party of humble servants who do not seek self-enrichment. Our enrichment is derived from putting people first.

We have started to bring change to the municipalities where we govern and now stand at the forefront of bringing this change to all of Gauteng’s people.

As a young man growing up in a shack in Atteridgeville, I know first-hand the challenges faced by millions of our people who continue to remain locked out of opportunities, neglected by the governing ANC that puts itself before the people whom it is meant to serve.

The disregard for our people, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters spurred me to action.

The DA is committed to:

  • The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all public money is spent on the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will fix the South African Police Service to become an honest and professional organisation that actually serves and protects the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will create fair access to real and long-term jobs for the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will fight the scourge of drug abuse; and
  • The DA will speed up the delivery of basic services.

The time has come for the people of Gauteng to be served by a government that puts their interests first.

Building a better future for the people of Gauteng means some changes need to be made. That starts with voting for the changes you want.

Just like the change that has been brought to the people of Midvaal, Tshwane and Johannesburg –together we can make the economic heart of South Africa beat once more and put the people of Gauteng first.

The DA has started to clean out the rot that we inherited in those governments and with a limited mandate, started to speed up service delivery to the people we were elected to serve. We have demonstrated our ability to govern well.

Should the DA become the biggest party in Gauteng, we will continue with the work we have started to improve the lives of our people.

A vote for the ANC is a vote for more empty promises. It doesn’t matter who leads them, they’re the same old party and they’ve had too many second chances.

We must not reward ANC failure with our votes because nothing will change.

This election is about your future, about Gauteng’s future, not the ANC’s.

Use your vote to ensure a better future for Gauteng because only the DA can bring change that builds a better future for Gauteng.

DA-led Tshwane – CHANGE in the Capital City

The City of Tshwane has also become the talk of the town with the Capital City having allocated R137.2 million towards Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives this financial year. In September last year, much-needed reforms to the City’s EPWP recruitment policy were introduced, effectively ending the system of insiders and outsiders that have previously marred EPWP job opportunities.

Building Skills For Jobs

Tshwane’s reformed EPWP recruitment policy framework is built on the principle of transparency. The selection process involves an open public lottery system where beneficiaries are randomly selected so that no individual can be approached or lobbied to occupy any of the work opportunities available in the City.

Selling the Mayoral Mansion

The new DA government inherited a major housing backlog, and corruption and maladministration had taken over the building and allocation of houses to the poorest of residents. While many live without the dignity of a brick and mortar home, previous ANC mayors lived in lavish luxury in the so called “Mayoral Mansion”. This mansion was put up for sale and on 23 November last year it was sold for R5.1 million in order to build houses for those without. Proceeds made from the sale are already being used to build 40 houses for those without.

Stabilising Finances

Over the past two years, great strides have been made towards stabilising the City’s finances. This was achieved by strengthening the controls over supply chain processes, slashing unauthorised and unnecessary expenditure and extricating the City from unlawful and expensive contracts.

This has resulted in turning a R2 billion inherited deficit into a surplus. The reported operating deficit for 2015/16 was R2.1 billion which was restated to R1.3 billion during the next financial year’s audit process. This is evidence of a DA-run City handling public money with care, ensuring it is spent on the people, not politicians.

The Capital City closed the financial year with an operating surplus of R704 million.

One of the greatest privileges one can ever be entrusted with is a mandate from the people to serve and it is these DA-led governments’ past two years of service to the residents of these great cities that we should all be celebrating today.

– DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane

R130 million later, Centurion Aerospace Village still in concept phase with no jobs created

Today, accompanied by my colleagues, DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Dean Macpherson MP and Tshwane MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning, Cllr Randall Williams, we met with executives of the Centurion Aerospace Village (CAV) and officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The meeting revealed that, despite R133 million that has been spent on the entity since its formation 12 years ago by the DTI, CAV is still in concept phase and has not made any meaningful contribution to South Africa’s aeronautical industry and associated job creation in the sector.

The DA will write to the Minister of Trade and Industry to request that he intervenes to ensure the CAV starts fulfilling its mandate of creating jobs and makes meaningful progress in the next 6 months. Should this intervention fail, the Minister must then consider redirecting the entity’s budget towards supporting small business players in the aeronautical and defence industry who are already struggling to compete with established players in local and international defence markets.

The R1,3 billion projected spend by CAV should only be made available by DTI when the Minister is satisfied that adequate corporate governance measures have been put in place to prevent pilferage.

CAV was launched in 2006 by DTI to create thousands highly skilled niche jobs by capacitating local aerospace and defense companies to be suppliers of choice to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Boeing, Airbus, Spirit Aviation and Labinal.

The reality, however, is that none of these jobs have been created and the entity’s executive management are nothing but ‘glorified housekeepers’ who have spent millions of taxpayers money on a project that has brought no tangible benefits to the job creation focus on which it was conceived.

Notwithstanding clear evidence that CAV has become a DTI vanity project, the DA delegation was told that only one senior official was dismissed from the company after allegations of fraud, corruption and reckless tender appointments surfaced in 2015.

It is vital that consequence management in the organisation be improved to prevent further abuse of resources by unscrupulous and corrupt officials.

While CAV has managed to secure a few tenants, time is running out for CAV the longer it takes government to release funding needed to help the entity fulfill its core mandate. The ANC’s government’s bureaucratic mess is putting a spanner into CAV’s attempts to capacitate South Africa’s defence and aeronautical sector.

Continued spending on a vanity project such as CAV by the ANC government while South Africans are going through one of the worst cycles of rising food and fuel prices, is not only reprehensible but speaks volumes about a government that has lost touch with the struggles of the poor and which continues to pay lip service to job creation with no tangible results.

David Mabuza should be in prison, not the Presidency

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. Maimane was joined by DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader, Jane Sithole, Deputy Provincial Leader, Trudie Grove-Morgan, Provincial Chairperson, Bosman Grobler and Deputy Provincial Chairperson, Themba Mlotshwa.

Fellow Democrats,

Today we are here in the community of Rockdale, Middelburg, witnessing the harrowing effects of the disastrous decade of David Mabuza’s reign as Premier of Mpumalanga.

In this community a cluster of RDP homes was built using millions of rands of public money. During my walkabout I encountered the real-life experiences of what many poor South Africans face daily. That is, an ANC in government which cares more about patronage and profit than the most vulnerable members of our society.

Here in Rockdale over 200 RDP houses were built, yet the intended legal beneficiaries are left in the lurch as most houses lie bare without any access to basic services. Many are occupants, but do not have title deed over the property they live in. For many, what ought to have become their family home has now become a family headache.

The quality of the infrastructure is substandard, and many of these homes are dilapidated after only months of being erected – and have thus become a target for vandalism and theft. Many occupants are left with no option but to illegally connect to electricity to cook food and provide for their families as electricity has not been connected for many houses.

Like most projects in ANC governments, there is some connected cadre who is profiting off the suffering of poor South Africans. This, sadly, is the legacy of now Deputy President David Mabuza in this province.

During his tenure as Mpumalanga Premier, Mabuza used and abused this province – turning it into his own fiefdom of patronage, power and profits. From allegations of political assassinations to muffling journalists and the media – Mabuza is the poster boy for the modern-day ANC.

This is a man who maintained his patronage network by bloating the provincial government with loyal cadres. In the 2013/14 financial year, the total budgeted expenditure of the province was R34,2 billion, of which almost 60% – or R20 billion – was to pay salaries.

This is also a man who was served with a temporary protection order which ordered him to stop harassing and intimidating businessman and conservationist in the Cradle of Life Reserve in Bayplans, Mpumalanga, Frederick Coenraad Daniel in January this year.

Mabuza’s links to Jacob Zuma and the Guptas are well known. On 26 October 2015, he flew from Johannesburg to Moscow aboard the Gupta owned Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft. He then returned to South Africa on the same aircraft on 14 November 2015. Mabuza claimed that he has accepted a ride with the Guptas to seek medical treatment in Moscow for his alleged August 2015 poisoning.

David Mabuza has left Mpumalanga in tatters, with joblessness, corruption, and lack of basic service delivery rife across the province. With all the allegations against Mabuza, he ought to have been put in jail.

Despite this, David Mabuza now holds the second highest office in the land – as Deputy President. While the people of Mpumalanga can account first-hand the disastrous legacy of Mabuza, the ANC saw fit to promote him to the position of Deputy President.

In fact, Cyril Ramaphosa threw his own Deputy Presidential candidate, Lindiwe Sisulu, under the bus in order to team up with Mabuza at the ANC’s elective conference in December last year. A marriage of compromise in the pursuit of power.

Certainly, there can be no ‘New Dawn” with David Mabuza as second in charge. Mpumalanga – and South Africa – need change, and that change can only come from a DA government that create jobs, eliminates crime and corruption, and ensures basic services are delivered to all South Africans.

South Africa deserves a post-ANC future, and that future lies in a DA-led government.

Ramaphosa’s first 100 days sees unemployment increase

By the end of 2017, the expanded unemployment rate was 36.3%, and with a staggering 9.2 million unemployed South Africans, the SA economy grew by a paltry 1.3% in 2017, coupled with a decrease in net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Within the first 100 days, the President has begun to move us in the right direction, but there are still policies within his government and the ruling party that will always act as a barrier to growth and job creation. Until President Ramaphosa deals with such policies, we will continue our low growth high unemployment trajectory for the foreseeable future.

The President has achieved the following during his first 100 days:

  • Hosting a Japan-Africa trade forum;
  • The appointment of four investment envoys to attract foreign investors to South Africa;
  • Signing long-delayed renewable energy contracts worth $4.7 billion with Independent Power Producers (IPPs);
  • A proposed Youth Employment Service (YES);
  • The appointment of Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance; and
  • South Africa’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) rising 11 points to 45 in the first quarter of 2018 – the highest in three years.

Despite these incremental changes, the President has failed to act on several economic matters. This has seen the number of unemployed South Africans increase during the first months of his Presidency, from 9,216 million in the previous quarter to 9,481 million.

To address rising unemployment and to get our economy thriving, the President needs to act swiftly in addressing the following matters:

  • Reject the policies of his Ministers’ Ebrahim Patel and Rob Davies, and ensure economic policy certainty across all government departments;
  • Reverse the 1 percentage point VAT hike;
  • Upgrade the current Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) to a full Youth Wage Subsidy;
  • Introducing a National Civilian Service year to provide work experience for the approximately 78 443 unemployed matriculants (from the class of 2016 alone) to enter into work-based training in the community healthcare, basic education or SAPS fields;
  • Reverse the decision to cut the Competition Commissions budget, as the Commission is crucial to reducing the concentration of the economy and allowing small businesses to flourish;
  • Institute a review of all labour legislation, with a view to liberalise the labour market making it easier to employ people;
  • Amend B-BBEE legislation to include internships, bursaries, and funding of schools as legitimate empowerment;
  • Reject the proposed amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to expropriate all land without compensation, which creates uncertainty and volatility in the economy;
  • Ensure that the 100 000 unpaid invoices, worth over R7.7 billion, between government departments and small businesses are paid;
  • Adopt a City-led economic growth agenda, focusing on cities as the drivers of growth and job creation; and
  • Reconsider a blanket national minimum wage, which favours the employed at the expense of the unemployed and will cost at least 700 000 jobs, killing many small businesses.

Countries rise and fall on the strength of their economies, and this holds especially true for the developing world. Just tinkering at the edges, with a talk shop here and a summit there, will not fundamentally restructure the economy to create jobs.

The President still has a long way to go when it comes to the economy.

The above was presented by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane at a press conference to review President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first 100 days in office. Read the full report here