Every resident of this Metro deserves to thrive and be given the platform on which to achieve his or her dreams and aspirations; Central to this is the concept of opportunity, one of the founding principles of our Constitution and an important guide for the actions of every South African, particularly those in government.
I am filled with hope when I walk the streets of Kwazakhele because I sense such immense potential here. From the hawkers of Njoli Square to the fruit sellers on Daku Street, there is an unconditional commitment to make the most of often difficult circumstances.
The one thing missing is the glue that binds a community together, and that is a clean government of action. A government of honour.
Despite a severe lack of housing, shocking living conditions, joblessness, crumbling roads, failing water infrastructure, erratic or non-existent electricity supply and rampant crime, the people of this township continue to forge on with their lives, making ends meet in the most industrious of ways.
Imagine, then, if these people were given real opportunities from a government that delivered on its promises and prioritised the dignity of every NMB resident. Imagine if these people were supported by an administration that put residents first, every time. Imagine this community in the hands of a caring municipality that saw to its needs at every juncture.
This doesn’t need to be a pipe dream anymore, imagined only in our minds, emphasising a vastly different and often devastating reality. I am humbled to be here in Kwazakhele at our Ngqura Constituency Office to offer the residents of this entire Metro our vision for an opportunity city.
The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay at next year’s elections, ushering in a government that will be devoted to starting delivery, fighting corruption and creating jobs.
Access to opportunity provides people with a chance to improve their lives. In order to provide opportunity for all people, there must be an environment where businesses want to invest, where entrepreneurship can thrive and where government is supportive and enabling.
A DA government in NMB will be committed to creating enabling business environments where there will be freedom to innovate – skills development and facilitating access to opportunities for people seeking employment is an important feature of this environment.
The opportunity city can help create this opportunity rich space, by connecting people and businesses, making sure information is easy to access, and that reformed regulation enables innovation.
Opportunity centres will be established, as one-stop-shops, to provide information on investment opportunities, licensing, land use, planning approval procedures, investor information and business start-up advice.
Red tape reduction services will be provided to identify and eliminate the biggest hurdles to doing business in the city. Streamlining regulations across all departments will be central to reducing business-inhibiting factors.
Job zones will be created in strategic urban nodes across the Metro to ensure a more balanced geographic spread for access to opportunities. These job zones will be built around opportunity centres and will provide entrepreneurs with a safe and clean environment to conduct business while providing incentives, such as reduced rates, to give them a hand up.
Broadband and Wi-Fi zones will be established in designated areas to ensure that residents are connected to opportunities.
Nelson Mandela Bay will be made into a business-friendly Metro where entrepreneurs are given the lifeline required to turn their commercial dreams into realities.
This is an opportunity city – a Nelson Mandela Bay of hope and promise. This week will take me to various wards in the Metro where this type of opportunity city would change the lives of so many people. These are forgotten communities in need of new hope and a refined vision.
Today, we launch an entrepreneurship competition, where applications will be opened to all young aspirant entrepreneurs. Seed capital has been donated and a business mentor selected – the chosen candidate will be guided by this mentor so that they can reach their entrepreneurship goals.
This is the sort of opportunity and hope that the people of NMB have needed for so long.
Over the next 60 days, I will visit every ward in Nelson Mandela Bay. I will listen to the people of this Metro and build a comprehensive database of community issues, which will form the blueprint for change after the 2016 elections.
I want to make a difference in your lives. I want to bring you the freedom you deserve and the fairness you dreamed of.
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