Johannesburg - The DA’s Mmusi Maimane has promised to create jobs, expand opportunities for all in Gauteng, fight e-tolls and cut corruption out of government.
Maimane, the party’s candidate for premier, speaking in Rosebank on Monday, outlined the strategy of his 10-week campaign and gave a sneak preview of the party’s manifesto for Gauteng.
He said the manifesto would focus on “massively expanding support to bridge the study/ work divide for young people through a graduate recruitment programme, government internship programmes and job creation through an ambitious extended works programme”.
Maimane also promised to make it easier for small business to win government contracts by breaking down large tenders into smaller opportunities and expanding the community-supplier database.
He also intended removing corrupt officials from the system by enforcing the Public Finance Management Act, and opening up tender committee meetings to the public to increase transparency in state spending.
In addition, he said, the DA would pass a law preventing government officials from doing business with the government as well as revising the Ministerial Handbook and cutting government perks in Gauteng.
“This is taxpayers’ money and we want to ensure that we manage it to the best of our ability,” said Maimane.
He said the DA’s polling showed that the ANC’s voting percentage could be brought under 50 percent in Gauteng.
A confident Maimane said it would be the first time that the DA could match the ANC and also beat it in some of the voting areas.
He launched an attack on President Jacob Zuma and said he was the key reason for the ANC’s declining support in Gauteng.
“President Zuma’s (popularity) in Gauteng among people who previously supported the ANC stands at a mere 18 percent – half of what it is in the rest of the country.”
He said DA research showed Gauteng residents believed that Zuma had changed the ANC for the worse.
“President Zuma’s ANC is no longer the ANC of (Nelson) Mandela and (Thabo) Mbeki. It has given up on creating jobs for everyone and has allowed corruption to flourish unchecked,” said Maimane.
He said things were worsening under Zuma, including unemployment.
Maimane added that the only people who seemed to benefit were Zuma and his network of politically connected business people.
More than 1.4 million people had joined the ranks of the unemployed since Zuma assumed the presidency in 2009.
“Jobs promises have amounted to nothing, and corruption on a grand scale is there for all to see through projects like the Nkandla upgrades,” Maimane said.
He said the DA’s national manifesto launch would be held in Gauteng to ensure that “we are ready to govern”.
“I have a plan to bring change and hope to this province. It includes a plan to create an environment for job creation and growth, and a plan to crack down on corruption that continues to deny opportunities to our people,” Maimane said.