With the country said to be facing its biggest challenges, including unemployment, load shedding, crime and poor education outcomes, the leader of Build One South Africa (Bosa), Mmusi Maimane, said South Africans could not afford to sit still while the country disintegrated.
On Sunday, Maimane unveiled his election manifesto titled ‘Jobs Plan Manifesto’ and told the more than 2 000 supporters in Lorentzville, Johannesburg, that the time for David to take on Goliath had come.
“The struggle today is for South Africans who fight day in and day out ... The task on our shoulders is a big one.
“It is a moment in our country where you feel like David needs to take down Goliath. We need to be able to look at the giants in our lands whether those giants are giants of poverty, unemployment, and begin to say we need more and more Davids to fight to bring change.
“One of the giants is that we live in different South Africa’s where others wake up in the morning and throw away food when others do not even have food,” he said.
He said sometimes these two South Africa’s never meet as each has its own separate development.
“But the only bridge that we have between poverty and wealth is a bridge of finding a job, and this can only be done by putting a job in every household,” he said.
Maimane established Bosa as an alternative to both the ANC and the DA in a bid to bring much-needed radical change to the country battling with load shedding, poor education outcomes and a crippling unemployment crisis.
His ‘Jobs Plan’, made up of four pillars including economic growth for job creation, education reform, building a capable state, and creating a safer environment, is designed to bolster employment opportunities for a better South Africa.
He said unemployment and poor public education were some of the biggest challenges for South Africans at present.
“We aim to create more than two million jobs. Under this plan, within five years it is possible to rapidly grow the size of the economy, create millions of new jobs, and educate and upskill young people to compete at the very highest level,” he said.
Maimane said it was possible to tackle unemployment in a country that has an official unemployment rate of 31.9% while also growing the economy of the country.
“With an estimated 18 million households averaging 3.3 persons per household, to put a job in every home – at a minimum – will require at least two million new jobs. A skilled workforce is fundamental to earning a higher average income than the prevailing R6700 or less a month,” he told party supporters on Sunday.
Maimane, who has been vocal about the country’s poor education outcomes in the past, said his government would ensure that teachers were well compensated for their hard work, adding that the current matric pass mark had delivered poor education outcomes.
“Under a Bosa government, the pass mark will move to 50%, independent ombudsman, increased salaries for teachers, reprioritised spending in digital learning, and parents will get a R15K voucher so they can choose the schools they want their children to attend,” he added.