These are the remarks made by DASO Leader, Yusuf Cassim MP, at a DA Youth Rally at The Westbourne Oval in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Fellow young South Africans,
Last month, our country celebrated the 40 year anniversary of the June 16th Soweto uprising. It was an historic occasion and made me think about where our country currently stands when it comes to creating opportunities for young people.
The truth, fellow democrats, is that young people are being left behind by an uncaring ANC government. Instead of creating an environment that is conducive to job creation, Jacob Zuma is obsessed with getting his pals into senior positions so he can control every part of the State.
This makes me sad and extremely disappointed. As a young South African, I want the youth to have the opportunities they need to fight poverty and live a life they truly value.
According to recent statistics, over half a million South Africans with tertiary qualifications went without a job in the first three months of 2016. This is just those young South Africans who have received a qualification – if you include those who haven’t had the opportunity to study further, the figure sky-rockets.
The DA believes that local governments do have a role to play in creating jobs for our youth. While it is true that the blame for the current status quo rests with Jacob Zuma’s disastrous management of the economy nationally, local governments can use what powers they do have to create an environment conducive to job creation.
In fact, cities have an opportunity to outpace a sluggish overall economy and to become hubs of job creation.
Businesses, large and small, prefer to locate themselves in large, well-managed cities, to maximise their access to markets and networks. This drives infrastructure-led development and provides a solid foundation for small businesses, in particular, to develop and prosper.
Local governments are also best-placed to identify local comparative advantages and encourage development in new industries, provided they implement local economic development policies tailored to their specific market realities.
In sum, entrepreneurship thrives in well-run metros – with enough structural support and networks encouraged by local government, new businesses provide jobs and steady income to metro residents.
Where the DA governs, we are bringing about this CHANGE.
The DA-led local government of Cape Town has managed to work around the failings of the national ANC government. The 2015 average graduate unemployment rate reveals vast differences between key metros. Tshwane and Johannesburg vie for the worst rate, with over 11% of their graduate population unable to find a job. The DA-run City of Cape Town on the other hand, has the lowest unemployment by far, and consistent economic policy and graduate assistance by the City of Cape Town means this rate is getting even lower.
The provision of basic services and infrastructure has made it easier to do business in the City, as has the cutting of outdated and costly red-tape. These policies are very attractive to local and international investors. The City of Cape Town’s support of tourism, trade and investment bodies has also helped to bring in over R14 billion in investment to the region, along with thousands of jobs.
DA-led local governments also provided 547 external bursaries in the 2014/2015 financial year, with recipients having a work placement upon completion of their studies. The City of Cape Town supports internships to boost skills and work experience.
These are the policies of a local government that puts its residents first, and party interests last. These are the policies of a local government that prioritises job creation.
After 3 August 2016, DA governments will do their utmost to create opportunities for young South Africans.
They will, in addition to creating an environment conducive to economic growth:
- Provide internships and skills development for students and graduates.
- Actively recruit the next generation of municipal officials through graduate recruitment programmes.
- Offer external bursaries and subsequent job placements.
- Facilitate job-creating investment, and support of small businesses – that can help many young South Africans climb onto the ladder of prosperity.
On 3 August, we encourage young South Africans to come and support the DA. We are the only party with a plan to create jobs, in the face of weakening economy. We are the only party that will put voters first, always. And we are the only party that is committed to realising Madiba’s dream of a non-racial, united South Africa, where all people, can prosper.
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