Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng.

Election time is a period when political parties make populist promises by trying to convince voters why they should vote for them and not other parties.

It is during this time when the moral high ground of political parties is tested.

One of these parties, in particular, is the DA.

I must state without hesitation that the DA has created an impression that South Africa is a doomed country and that there is nothing constructive that the government is doing in terms of job creation.

The DA’s Ayisafani advert is a typical example of the hopeless South Africa that the DA is projecting, whereby Mmusi Maimane, the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier, says in the advert: “Where are the jobs, Zuma? The ANC, Ayisafani.”

The advert is misleading as it implies the government has done nothing to contribute towards job creation.

Well Mr Maimane, we have a good story to tell you.

That story is that in the past five years the Department of Trade and Industry under the presidency of Jacob Zuma has spent billions of rand towards job creation:


Industrial financing and incentives:

- Ongoing progress with respect to the Industrial Development Corporation’s capacity to finance the Industrial Policy Action Plan and New Growth Path sectors with a R102 billion allocation.

- Funding approvals over the last four years was R50.8bn, securing and creating 130 642 jobs since 2009.

- This is inclusive of a R2.7bn to boost youth entrepreneurship.


The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP)

- MCEP has approved 413 entities with an investment value of R12.4bn and helped to sustain 110 977 jobs throughout South Africa since its inception in 2012.

- Agro-processing (R1bn), chemicals (R440 million) and metals (R831m) received the highest approvals in both number and value.


12i tax incentive

- Since 2010, the 12i has offered R20bn in tax breaks for compliant manufacturing projects (26), leveraging R32bn in actual and projected new investments over the period 2010 to 2015.

- The number of projected jobs since inception is approximately 3 326.


Manufacturing Investment Programme (MIP):

- Since 2008, the MIP has approved 1 856 projects, with a total incentive value of R4.9bn. These are projected to secure investments amounting to R35.4bn and to create 43 570 jobs.


Automotive sector:

- Since its establishment, the Automotive Investment Scheme has approved 200 projects, with total estimated investments of R26.2bn, supporting 56 197 jobs, and is expected to create 21 836 jobs.

- Examples include Mercedes-Benz SA, which has escalated its total investment in South Africa to more than R5bn, underpinning an increase in its local output to 100 000 units a year and creating 800 jobs.


Clothing and textiles:

- We managed to save 63 311 jobs and created 8 459 jobs.

Our fishing cluster project has funded small-scale fisheries in the Western Cape to the tune of more than R11m. The provision has enabled the co-operatives to have the much-needed asset and capital base to begin trading competitively on the cost and quality of their daily catch.

Lastly, the Ayisafani advert alleges the ANC and the government have deteriorated since Zuma took over.

This is a ploy by the DA to discredit Zuma and is in contradiction to what the ANC and Nelson Mandela believe. Mandela always stated that the achievements of the government did not depend on an individual but on a collective effort.

The advert makes us doubt the moral high ground of the DA, which the party always claims to project. We all know that since 1994 the DA has never believed that South Africa was a better place to live in under the ANC. So the desperate move of the DA’s saying South Africa was better under presidents Mandela and Mbeki is just a divide-and-rule tactic.

It is true that South Africa has challenges, but our challenges are not insurmountable and for that we believe South Africa is a much better place than it was before 1994, and the last five years have pushed that change forward.


Sidwell Medupe is spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry. This column contains his personal views.