The Department of small and broken promises leaves Tshwane unemployed

Note to editors: The following remarks were made by the DA’s Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, while addressing a picket outside the Department of Small Business Development today. Msimanga was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL and DA Youth Chair, Yusuf Cassim MP.

Audio clips are available in Setswana and English.

Photos from the event can be found here.

Tshwane is in the midst of an unemployment crisis. Over half a million people or a total of 517 000 residents do not have a job to support themselves or their families.

At the heart of this problem is Mayor Ramokgopa and the ANC’s failed economic policies that have consistently failed to turn Tshwane into a City at work.

We have come to the Department of Small Businesses today to protest against the strangling red tape that is holding back the businesses in this City.

The government department that ought to be at the forefront of red-tape reduction is dropping the ball, and this is having a massive effect on the private sector’s ability to create jobs.

This must be stopped. Red tape must be cut to release the residents of this City from the stranglehold of unemployment.

Unemployment among young people has gotten so bad that half of those under the age of 35 are now are without work or the hope of finding work. As tens of thousands lose their jobs in Tshwane, it should be Sputla who loses his job.

When Mmusi Maimane was in Tshwane last week he made it clear that when I become Mayor, if I do not do a good job of turning Tshwane around, I would be out of a job.

That is why I have a plan to get this City to work. We will create jobs by:

  1. Broadly empowering businesses, through Red Tape Reduction Units to create a regulatory business environment that promotes growth, innovation and facilitates job-creating investment.
  2. One of the biggest hurdles young people face is the struggle to get work experience. That is why I will endeavour to establish an internship program in the City to allow matriculants and graduates to gain workplace experience in government.
  3. Increase the budget for programmes to assist young people to become employed. In the 2015 financial year the DA-run City of Cape Town spent R71 million to assist unemployed matriculants or young people to gain employment, this was more than Johannesburg and Tshwane combined.
  4. Establish functional Job Centres located across the City to serve as contact points between employers and jobseekers. This will promote social capital and enable thousands of unemployed residents to earn a living.
  5. Establish City Improvement Districts to breathe new life into the city centres of Pretoria and Centurion. This will rekindle the business and cultural life of these spaces and draw in young people where they will find work and make a life for themselves.
  6. Implement an e-portal for various services to accommodate its young and vibrant population, to bring Tshwane into the 21st century.

The City of Tshwane has enormous potential but under Sputla and the ANC’s control that potential is being wasted just like the R1.8 billion wasted in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. This is money that could have gone to supporting small to medium sized enterprises which are drivers of job creation.

In the DA-run Western Cape, our dedicated Red Tape Reduction Unit continues to successfully assist small businesses in navigating regulation they encounter. Our “Cut Red Tape Hotline” for businesses has received thousands of complaints with an 80% resolution rate. When the DA wins Tshwane, we will roll out Red-Tape Reduction Units in our city to help SMME’s to create the jobs the people if this city deserve.

Together we will turn this city around and enact a programme of action to make sure that the corruption and joblessness that is synonymous with Sputla’s government is put to an end.

The failure of Sputla’s government to empower the youth of Tshwane MUST be stopped.

I am here to tell you that with the DA’s Manifesto for Change, we can stop the jobless rot that has set into our city.

It is our plan to see Tshwane start making progress again and to make this City great!

In the City of Cape Town we have shown how a DA-run government can succeed in creating jobs.

Cape Town’s expanded unemployment rate is the lowest of any metro at 21.7%, almost 15 percentage points below the national average.

This is the DA difference – and it is your choice to vote for change and bring that difference to Tshwane.

It will take time, but a DA-run City of Tshwane will work every day to bring the necessary change.