Cpe Town 110817. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has rejected out of hand allegations of an improper provincial government communications tender, but has vowed to resign if any corruption is found. Picture Mxolisi madela/ CT and CA

Jobs are the surest way out of poverty‚ the Democratic Alliance’s leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said at a University of the Western Cape (UWC) DA Students Organisation (DASO) event on Friday.

The theme of her speech was “Economic Liberation in your Lifetime” and she described how the DA aimed to make its vision of economic freedom for all a reality.

“The offer we put before the voting public in 2014 is for a future that delivers 8% growth. This will be a make or break choice for South Africans‚ because if we ditch the Constitution it will take us many generations to climb out of the resultant economic collapse. We cannot continue to have the current economic policy uncertainty regarding nationalisation as it prevents investment. What we need is to have the Youth Employment Subsidy implemented as soon as possible‚ as jobs are the surest way out of poverty. That is why we in the Western Cape have implemented an internship programme that allows 800 young people to get on the first rung of the employment ladder‚” she said.

The DA on July 28 launched its plan for growth and jobs. The focus is on economic growth with a target of 8% growth for at least a decade.

“Poverty robs people of dignity‚ keeps them locked out of opportunity‚ stunts their development and prevents them living a life they value. But even the most intractable problem can be overcome by a plan of action that is based on an accurate diagnosis‚ and implemented effectively. The unemployment and poverty crisis has the potential to rip our nation apart‚ but if South Africans unite behind a plan to overcome it‚ that plan could provide the glue that brings us together to build one nation‚ with one future‚” Zille wrote in her foreword to the plan.

In her speech on Friday‚ Zille cited the examples of China‚ Vietnam‚ India‚ Ghana and Kenya of how government policy could result in faster growth.

“We do not have to re-invent the wheel‚ but we do have to apply the policies that work and reject policies such as nationalisation that the evidence shows do not work. Capital and skills are mobile‚ so we need to create an environment where entrepreneurs want to start and grow their companies here‚ rather than in Silicon Valley. We must not be complacent about out gateway to Africa opportunity‚ because if you can go directly‚ why go through a gateway‚” she said. - I-Net Bridge