May Day has become an annual celebration of workers day, a day when workers demonstrate their common interests and international solidarity.

The DA calls on every South African to take time out on the 1st of May to celebrate the efforts of all workers and to thank them for the contribution they make to society and our economy.

Labour unions and workers were key to dismantling apartheid. It is important for those born after the dawn of democracy in 1994 to know about the history of heroes like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani and OR Tambo which led to freedom.

Histories that should never be taken for granted as they lead the way in establishing the rights and opportunities we enjoy today.

These leaders of selfless commitment gave to the struggle, seeking no personal enrichment. The ANC has changed under the leadership of Jacob Zuma.

For too many South Africans the political freedom achieved in 1994 has not been matched with economic freedom under the current government.  The fact that, one out of every four South Africans, does not have a job is in an indictment on the notion of economic freedom.

One of the most urgent and critical challenges facing our country is desperate need for job creation. We need to diversify our economy in order to create sustainable jobs for all our people in our Province.

Workers day should be focused on transformation and escaping poverty. But what does transformation really mean, what are the reasons for poverty and how do we as government address this?

Real transformation is not about enriching cadres of the ANC with BEE deals nor giving jobs and tenders to friends and family members. This will not transform society, this practice only enriches an inclusive cadre grouping

Transformation is by instilling hope into communities so that they can believe in the future again.

Real transformation stems from access to quality education as well as security of tenure through title deeds. Additionally, access to basic services and a continuous breakdown of Apartheid spatial planning and socio-economic systems.

If we want to talk about real transformation this is where we should start.

Business should be the driver of new jobs, not the enemy of the unemployed.

Chapter three of the NDP talks about Government dealing with poverty and giving people without an income access to economic opportunities and labour markets. There should be a greater focus on integrating economic development and the employment needs of all people, especially the poor.

Commitment to economic transformation is a priority for the DA in government. Where the DA governs, 80% of tenders over R100 000 going to black owned firms. But businesses incubated by the state should not become dependent on the state. These businesses should be networked with each other so that they do business to business and business to consumer deals. This is how you create jobs, break down concentration and monopolies – by giving small business more opportunity

Progressive governance such as this empowers previously disadvantaged South Africans on an on-going basis and is a sign of the DA’s commitment to redress.

Cutting of red tape should be a priority to ensure that entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses. Existing legislation should be reviewed to ensure compliance costs for small business is minimized.

Not only should government departments make it easier for small businesses to win government contracts but they should and pay them on time.

The government should speak with one voice about the economy and jobs. Policy uncertainly hinders business, growth and employment.

In line with the DA’s jobs and economic policies, we will continue to provide a voice to the unemployed, communicate our plan to create jobs, and continue to put pressure on government departments by highlighting their constant failure to see the need of hundreds of thousands vulnerable South Africans that are unemployed.

Human dignity is the basis of Human rights, however this can only be achieved when government creates an environment for all citizens to prosper.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299