“Food parcels and T-shirts will not cut it this time. Only an end of poverty and creation of jobs will convince our people to vote for us.”
These are the words of ANC chairperson Panyaza Lesufi, who on Sunday alongside ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) president, Sisisi Tolashe, gave their instructions to scores of league volunteers at the Orlando Community Hall ahead of the party’s provincial election campaign.
Lesufi, who was the first to take to the podium, urged those who will be campaigning for the ruling party to tell residents of Gauteng that his government is serious about creating jobs for women and youth.
He said it can’t be that people are promised T- shirts and groceries when they are unemployed.
Lesufi, who recently issued appointment letters to 32 000 young people, said poverty has resulted in the ANC being insulted by residents who want their lives to be changed through access to jobs, housing, health and other opportunities.
“We are clear as the province that if we do not have 50% women representation in the legislature, we are not going to win the elections in Gauteng. We thank the Women’s League for having given us talented and highly skilled leaders,” he said.
Lesufi said his party will continue to create jobs for young people and women in the province.
“There is no way that we can think that food parcels and T-shirts will give us votes.
“I want you to go out there and tell those who are unemployed that poverty is coming to an end and we do not want to give them handouts, but jobs ...
“I did not know that poverty makes people hate the ANC. We have just removed 32 000 from unemployment. Our message is clear we want to stop unemployment,“ he said.
Tolashe urged women to go out there and present the ANC as the only voice for the people as they campaign for a convincing ANC win in the provincial and national elections.
She urged them to emulate the women of the previous era and the generation of women from the 1950s and ’60s who took it upon themselves to fight for their rights.
“We are going to fight and make sure that we bring back what is ours. Already comrades once you hear that there is a war, women always lead and do not play victims.
“What is good about you comrades is that we are told by history that women did not fold their arms but went out there and did something.
“Even in the 1800s, women also contributed and made sure that what is theirs comes back to them,” she said.