Maimane takes aim at Zuma and ANC over unemployment


Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has hit out at the African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma, for what he described as having made a series of “bad decisions” that has compromised job creation and economic growth in the country.

Addressing supporters and party members in Kwazakele on Saturday as part of his #DAforJobs campaign, Maimane said the ruling party’s failure to address the increased levels of unemployment, mismanagement of funds, inequality and faltering levels of business confidence, proves it is no longer capable of taking South Africa forward.

“As it stands, over 8.4-million people are without jobs and with every passing day that number increases,” Maimane said.

“For the Democratic Alliance, it is of critical importance that we focus on building an economy that creates jobs for all South Africans. We want an education system that allows more South Africans to study and a Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) model that would ensure small businesses are the main beneficiaries, not those connected to government”.

Referring to the release of the 2015 matric pass rate earlier this week, Maimane said the party would be submitting the stories of unemployed young people to Zuma after his State of Nation Address next month, adding that more funds through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) must be made available “for more students to gain university access”.

“It cannot be that the pass rate in the Eastern Cape is going down when it should be going up,” Maimane said in reference to the province’s pass mark falling from 65.4% in 2014, to 56.8% last year.

He said the decline was further boosted by government’s creating of an “unequal level of education where your place of birth or skin colour determines where you will end up”.

“The moral imperative of any government is to create good governance. In the Western Cape, we have shown this by investing in infrastructure, holding principles to account and breaching inequality by using technology,” Maimane said.

“If you look at the high levels of labour migration in certain provinces, there has been a breakdown in societal infrastructure, which explains the high dropout rate as children struggle at school. We want to ensure that we build the appropriate infrastructure [so] that can parents can decide where is best to enrol their child”.

Speaking at the post event media briefing, Maimane, flanked by provincial leader Athol Trollip, brushed aside allegations that recent claims of racism had negatively affected the party, saying it had taken the necessary actions where needed.

“Our image is that we are a party for all. The ANC are masters of telling lies and have no idea what reconciliation is, hence they see everything as racist,” he said.

The party came under fire on Thursday after the unveiling of a split billboard in Johannesburg, which depicts Zuma smiling against a yellow background with the words, “more people jobless under Zuma’s ANC and counting” on one side, and a blue background with the words “vote DA for change that creates jobs” on the other.

“If the DA was what the ANC says it is, why are they so worried about Nelson Mandela Bay? They have become so paranoid about race that it is all they have left,” Trollip remarked.

“The ANC is directly responsible for fuelling this debate on racism as they have broken every single promise, including the creation of 11-million jobs. They have no other plan left so they play the race card”.

He also blasted the party for having done nothing to answer the plight of residents in the Metro, relating to escalating gangsterism and unemployment.