DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the 2019 general elections will be about job creation, but believes this cannot be achieved under the ANC’s leadership.
Maimane undertook a tour of the old Labour Centre in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday. The building, which was closed three years ago due to health and safety concerns, remains shut, with no sign that it is undergoing a revamp as previously suggested.
The DA leader told journalists that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s youth employment service concept was expected to rely on such Labour Centres. He questioned how this would be realised when the biggest one in the country was not operational.
“Government argued that it wants this centre to open, but every time we have come here, there has been no service,” said Maimane.
He said, if the country relied on the ANC government’s ideas to eradicate the high rate of unemployment, it would take “50 years to create one million jobs”.
“The greatest crisis that SA faces is that 10 million people don’t find work, and recently they have passed the minimum wage labour bill, which will further exacerbate the fact that people cannot find work. We will end up with millions and millions of South Africans unemployed,” said Maimane.
Maimane admitted that, in the past, individuals such as former president Jacob Zuma, had been the main focus of opposition party campaigns.
“The previous elections have been about person X or that particular corruption. The elections in 2019 are going to be about jobs. The biggest crisis is about 9.5 million people who don’t work,” he said.
The DA leader denied that his own political party was too caught up in its own intra-party politics to focus on upcoming polls.
“We are focused on the business of placing South Africa first, and South Africans first. That is the only focus the DA has.”
Maimane has been touring the country‘s provinces to spread the message of moving South Africa forward.
“Here we are running four governments, a city that is delivering services for people, one South Africa for all and effecting accountability,” he said.
Maimane also insisted that he was not the only one attempting to campaign on behalf of his party, saying the DA had undertaken a tour of the country, and that numerous leaders were participating in the initiative.