Durban — Businessman Sandile Zungu has called for the re-industrialisation of KwaZulu-Natal in order to create jobs for young people.
The AmaZulu Football Club owner, who has thrown his hat in the ring for the provincial race to lead the ANC, was exclusively talking to the Daily News about his vision for the province should he be elected as party chairperson in an anticipated elective conference due next month.
In a sit-down interview with the paper’s editor Ayanda Mdluli, Zungu said he felt it was time for him to get into the political game and make his contribution, saying in his young life he had realised that there were blurred lines between business, politics and societal issues.
He said he could no longer watch from the sidelines how things are being mismanaged and going wrong whereas he felt he can fix them, adding that it was one of the reasons why he decided to switch to politics.
To save the province from the economic cliff, Zungu said the ANC must lead a strong campaign for the re-industrialisation of the province’s towns to revive the economy and create jobs for millions of hopeless youth.
He said it bothered him to know that there were around 3 000 young people who lived under bridges in and around Durban taking all sorts of drugs, including whoonga.
“It bothers me to see young people on drugs under the bridge while at the same time we know the ANC as the leader of society. It bothers me to know that there are millions of young people who are graduates but have no jobs. It also bothers me that we have young people who have no skills,” said Zungu.
The Umlazi-born businessman also lashed out at the governing party for selling state-owned enterprises, saying the party must be the one to save jobs. He said the ANC must be one to march to companies like Sapref which is closing down, putting a lot of people out of jobs. Zungu said to achieve his vision the ANC – which he said he still strongly believes in – must go back to being an activist and lead campaigns. He added that the ANC, if it comes to push, must send a delegation to Holland or the UK to speak to Shell and BP to prevent Sapref’s closure.
On the issues of South African banks, he said they still harbour racism, saying white people were still getting preferences when it comes to issuing loans.
Banks have no interest in helping African people to start businesses, leaving them to be devoured by loan sharks with exorbitant interests, he said.
The successful businessman is expected to lock horns with the current provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and possibly former Newcastle mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba for the chairmanship position.
Zungu is said to have been endorsed by the eThekwini region and radical economic transformation group which is known for supporting former president Jacob Zuma.
The group is known to have delivered the eThekwini regional chairperson position to Zandile Gumede at the April conference.
The eThekwini regional leadership had said the region would fight to retain its two seats in the provincial top five but is yet to reveal names.
Sources within the region had earlier hinted it was Zandile Gumede for the treasurer position as well as Mdumiseni Ntuli but since Gumede was affected by the step aside rule which forbade members who are facing criminal charges to stand, Zungu may fill that space.
It is still not known who is on the Zungu line-up while Zikalala’s branches want him back with the current secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli with education MEC Kwazi Mshengu as deputy chairperson while Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane is touted to deputise Ntuli.