DA to launch ‘manifesto for jobs’

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Independent Newspapers

The DA's federal chairman Wilmot James File photo: Matthew Jordaan

Johannesburg -

Economic growth and job creation will be the key focus of the DA’s election manifesto to be launched in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Sunday.

Speaking to Independent Newspapers on Thursday, federal chairman and policy head Wilmot James said it was called the “manifesto for jobs” because almost every proposal would help grow the economy by 8 percent and create six million private sector jobs.

Unemployment has become the foremost issue of the 2014 general elections and a political football between especially the ANC and the DA, with the latter staging an aborted “march for real jobs” on the former’s Luthuli House headquarters last week.

On the economy, the party has previously vowed to provide seven million extended public works programme (EPWP) work opportunities to provide a step-up for job seekers. The EPWP provides the basis for the ANC’s election manifesto promise of six million job opportunities between now and 2019.

The DA policy also aims to “improve” BEE so that it can reward companies “that invest in their workers and create jobs”, break up “inefficient state monopolies” and distribute shares to ordinary citizens “to increase competition and bring down prices”.

Other key DA promises likely to find effect in the manifesto include:

* The training of 15 000 more teachers a year, and giving every child a textbook for every subject.

* Increasing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme budget to R16 billion.

* Creating one million internships to give work experience to young job-seekers.

* Cutting red tape and providing more support and training for small business to make South Africa a country of entrepreneurs.

* Investing at least 10 percent of GDP in the roads, ports, railways, airways, water and communication infrastructure that the economy needs to grow.

James said additional DA promises included:

* Saving R30bn a year by cutting corruption and firing corrupt officials

* Speeding up the delivery of housing and basic services through clean and efficient government.

* Introducing a constituency-based electoral system to make MPs more accountable.

* Making communities safer by putting 250 000 properly trained police officers on the streets.

* Fighting gangsterism and drugs by reinstating the Narcotics Bureau and building more rehabilitation centres.

* Working with the private sector to provide quality, affordable health care for all.

* Ensuring that the social grants system is a means to lift people out of poverty.

* Dedicating an extra R10bn to speed up land reform and provide training and support for emerging farmers

On the choice of Limpopo, James said the party was experiencing “solid growth in new constituencies” in the province, evidenced by its performance in numerous by-elections there.

“Polokwane also happens to be where Jacob Zuma was elected ANC president in 2007,” James said.

“Under Jacob Zuma corruption has increased along with unemployment.

“We will use the occasion of our launch in Polokwane to show that only the DA can fix the problems caused by Jacob Zuma’s leadership.”

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