Businesswoman and humanitarian Dudu Ngcobo-Letseli, the founder of Citizens 4 Change, a new political party with the ambition of restoring South Africa’s moral and ethical values, participated in a round-table discussion with The Star and Saturday Star journalists.
“The development of our economy must not be measured by the scrapping of social grants. The fact that citizens queue up at 3am for the R350 shows the desperation of citizens, particularly youth. The government’s employment programme doesn’t work, because it’s designed by politicians for political mileage. I’ve created many employment programmes for the NGOs and the private sector.
“Occupation is not looked at as a means of employment and is not formalised. Labour and employment creation must be started at grass-roots level in the townships and in rural communities. If a person can cut hair, do nails, cook food, or make clothes, they must be supported, they must be funded. Job creation is not just at the level of big business, it must start at the level of business at the bottom,” Ngcobo-Letseli said.
Ngcobo-Letseli, who ran the country’s first commercial sex worker programmes and activities around educating on health issues including STIs, HIV, and Aids under the Road Freight Bargaining Council, said the employment crisis should not just be left to big business, but must be a social compact between big business, communities, NGOs and the government.
Ngcobo-Letseli also said the country hangs by a thread if it doesn’t resolve the issue of porous borders.
“I had an attack at my home. We were held at gunpoint for four hours and valuables were stolen. The thieves spoke Shona. They didn’t even cover their faces. This is the level it has gone to. If you travel to anywhere in the world, on applying for a visa they ask for an invitation letter. Every country.
“But we don’t do it in South Africa. You can be certain that Citizens 4 Change is not going to be quiet after the elections. We’re not going to go silent on issues of ethics or morality because we are not in an election season. Citizens must vote. And they must vote correctly. If you don’t vote, you have voted. If South Africa gives us a chance, we will resolve the issue of employment and border control,” added Ngcobo-Letseli.
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