Zille promises marches countrywide

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Helen Zille starts the DA's march for "real jobs". Photo: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - The march for jobs was the first of many that will be held all over the country in the next three months, according to the DA.

“Today, the DA marched a few kilometres in Johannesburg, but over the next three months we will march across South Africa,” party leader Helen Zille said.

“We will visit every corner of the country to tell people about our plan for 6 million real jobs. Those who try to threaten and intimidate us must know that the DA will never be bowed.”

She said they were marching in solidarity with the 7 million unemployed South Africans who felt powerless and betrayed. President Jacob Zuma had promised 6 million work opportunities last month.

“These are not real jobs. They are temporary public works opportunities which do not last longer than a week or two.

“Of course, Public works jobs are important for short-term poverty alleviation. But most often, these opportunities only go to the same small group of well-connected ANC friends and family. They are not open for everyone to benefit from,” Zille said.

When Zuma became president in 2009, he promised to create 5 million jobs. Now there were 1.5 million more unemployed people, she added.

Figures released this week by Statistics SA, said Zille, show that the DA created 98 000 jobs in the last quarter of 2013.

Seventy percent of all new jobs created were generated by the DA, and it governed only in one province.

“That’s not us saying it – it is Stats SA. Right here in Gauteng, the DA governs in one municipality – Midvaal. And Midvaal has the lowest unemployment in the whole province,” she said.

The DA candidate for Gauteng premier, Mmusi Maimane, said the ANC had given up on its democratic principles, and this was of grave concern.

“We are extremely disappointed that no action was taken against them when they were conducting an illegal march. Even though they claimed they had permission, we do not believe it, and we will be consulting our legal team to see what we can do about this,” he said.

Kenny Ngoro, an active DA member, said: “Zuma promised us jobs a long time ago, and we are still waiting. I have a matric and have been looking for a job since 2010.”

Millicent Ngubeni was carrying an ANC T-shirt bearing Zuma’s face.

“I am going to burn this in front of ANC members. I want a better life. Zuma sits in Nkandla in his big house and swimming pool. That’s why I joined the DA,” she said.

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