National DA Leader Mmusi Maimane last week took to the streets of Kimberley to March against high unemployment rates in the province. Maimane’s address had a strong focus on the vast richness of the province and how it was disturbing that youth could not benefit from this.
“This is a province that is fast losing the war against unemployment, and it is not hard to see why, the Northern Cape has the highest rate of unemployed 15 to 24 year-olds in the entire country. Over 40% of all working age men and women in this province can’t find work. That’s a shameful failure by this government.” Maimane went on to say that, “We would not make any headway as a society unless we can find a way of putting a lot more people into sustainable jobs, and soon. Almost everything else will be solvable if we start winning the battle against our runaway unemployment.”
He further lamented that South Africans had to refrain from depending on government alone to solve the unemployment crisis. “Governments cannot be the primary source of jobs. They cannot provide enough of them and they cannot create them. Parties that promise to do this are lying to you.” Maimane added that the only way in which government could assist in stabilising the job markets was through sustaining private businesses.
“All businesses want the same things in order keep their doors open. They want to know they can depend on a reliable, affordable supply of electricity. They want a steady, affordable supply of water. They want infrastructure such as transport and broadband, they want their business to be safe and they want their rights – including property rights – to be protected. They also want to know that policies and legislation won’t change, so that they can plan ahead. And they want to be freed up from unnecessary admin and compliance – the so-called red tape that trips up so many small business owners.”
“If a government can ensure these things, then businesses will flourish there. Investors will feel welcome and safe, entrepreneurs will feel supported and the jobs will come. But if a government can’t provide this certainty, security and service, then businesses will simply go elsewhere,” he continued.
Maimane concluded that he had faith in the future of the South African economy – adding that opportunities were on the rise in the job sector. “We believe in a South Africa, in the very near future, where our people – and particularly our young people – have hope once more. We have a vision of cities and towns where opportunity has replaced despair, and where more and more people are able to get onto the jobs ladder.”