Note to editors: The following remarks were made today by DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, as part of the Western Cape leg of the #Change19 Tour.
Fellow South Africans,
Today we are here in Mitchells Plain to see how the DA is already delivering opportunities for young people where we are in government, and how we can do the same nationally in 2019. We are delivering economic growth, job creation, lower unemployment, skills training, loans for start up entrepreneurs — all of this we are delivering already! Imagine how we can expand on this record if we are elected to govern in 2019.
In the DA, we are focused on growing the economy and creating jobs for young people. For us, it is not about looting, or corruption, or “baantjies vir boeties” – it is about expanding opportunities for more people, especially the youth.
I am proud of the project we are here to see today. It is the very best of the DA in action. It is a model of the future when the DA governs nationally.
Just last month, this new ‘Youth Café’ was opened up here in Mitchells Plain. This Youth Café is offering young people opportunities for entrepreneurial, leadership and other skills training, including internet access for job seekers or entrepreneurs.
Youth Cafés are a project of the DA government in the Western Cape, and they are aimed at expanding opportunities for our “NEETs” generation, namely young people ‘not in employment, education or training’. There are already 7 Youth Cafés across the province, with at least 2 more being launched before the end of the year.
The Youth Café here in Mitchells Plain provides young people internet access and computer access to budding entrepreneurs and aspirant job-seekers. It also offers short courses in Digital Training, Work Ethics, Business Entrepreneurship, Life Skills Sessions, Creative Design, Event Management, Leadership Training, and Project Management.
Last month the DA government in Cape Town announced that it will now offer free public transport to job seekers. The DA-led government in Tshwane has already matched this commitment with their own subsidy programme for cheaper public transport for job seekers. This is a big help to those looking for work, who need to use public transport to get to job interviews. In this economy, finding a job can take a long time and many interviews. Now young people in DA governments know that we are helping them make their job search easier and cheaper.
This is the DA in action. Where we govern, we focus on economic growth and jobs – especially for the youth. And we will do whatever it takes for them to have better opportunities in life.
We are not sitting back and moaning about the broken economy — broken by corruption and state capture. We are doing what we can where we govern to grow the economy and help South Africa out of recession. We know there is no good reason that we should be in recession in the first place.
Similarly, we are getting to work fixing public education where we govern. That is why, since the DA took over in the Western Cape in 2009, the matric pass rate in the province’s poorest schools increased from 57% to over 70%
We are tackling gangs and drugs, even though we do not control the police – we are doing so because we must beat drugs if the youth are to have any chance. We are helping entrepreneurs, despite having only a tiny fraction of the funds available to national government. We are cleaning up corruption – there is no Nkandla or state capture where the DA governs.
That is the DA difference! It doesn’t mean it is all perfect. Of course not. There is a long way to go.
As long as gangsterism, drugs, and unemployment are defining the future for our young people, we will never be satisfied. No mother wants her young son to join a gang, become addicted to drugs, or live a life of violence. Yet that is the reality for many families across our nation.
As parents, we want only the best for our children. The key choice is this. There is only one party working for the best of our children. That is the DA. And there is another party that is actively working against our children’s futures. For the ANC, it’s only young people who are connected that go far. It’s only the Duduzane Zumas of South Africa who live lives of luxury, while the majority of ordinary young people are locked out of opportunity.
In 2019, we can choose a different future.
Where the DA governs, you see the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa.
We are committed to helping the youth build the life they want.
That is why the DA government in this province has allocated R15.6 billion to youth opportunities, ranging from apprenticeships and bursaries, to school holiday programmes and child development centres.
And the community of Mitchells Plain is seeing this investment in its youth first hand.
Our youth deserve much better. That is what the DA is delivering now, and that is what the DA will deliver in national government. We will free young South Africans to build the life they want, to work and earn a living, to be owners of wealth and capital, to climb the ladder of opportunity, and to succeed.