Cape Town - Unemployment is one of the big challenges that South Africa faces. The Weekend Argus asked political parties what they would do to help address the problem if elected.
The Cape Party’s leader, Jack Miller, said it was opposed to the DA’s and ANC’s racist policies of BEE, AA, quotas and EEA.
“Here in the Western Cape, approximately 70% of the population belongs to an ethnic or cultural group that is directly discriminated against by these policies.”
He said that the party believed in merit regardless of skin colour.
“With electricity blackouts, water shortages and a spiralling economy, we need to ensure that services are built and maintained to a First World standard to avoid unrecoverable job losses.”
The Cape Party feels that jobs start with education and would support a system that is driven by local communities and parents.
It believes schools should get their mandate from parents and not from a “politically biased government”.
“Without any further delay, we will immediately take fishing rights away from BEE consortiums and return them to the historical fishing communities of the Cape,” Miller said.
Students should be able to study skills that best prepare them for life in the real workplace, said Miller.
“As a result, we would introduce the apprentice training system where children learn directly from productive adults who are already equipped with the practical knowledge to teach these real-world skills. As students enter the workplace, they will already be equipped to add value to the productivity of society.”
Grant Haskin, national elections manager for the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), said it planned to build a South Africa where jobs and economic opportunities were in abundance and everyone, especially young people, benefits by being part of a growing open market economy.
He said the ACDP would create an enabling environment through infrastructure development and a professional and streamlined public service. It would offer excellent education and vocational training that was relevant to global trends and technological advances.
Unlike other political parties, Good does not lie to voters and believes the government cannot create jobs, said party spokesperson Cameron Arendse.
“The role of government is to create the conditions in our towns and cities that are conducive to investment so that new businesses can bring new jobs. To do this, we need a clean, efficient Good government, stable and affordable electricity supply, Good infrastructure, clear Good government policy, high speed, affordable data, and a skilled, employable workforce,” added Arendse.
For Al Jama-Ah full employment in South Africa is its main objective, said party leader, Ganief Hendricks, and the first step would be to guarantee a job for all matriculants.
“The job generator is the cyber civilisation that is taking root in some parts of the world like Japan and 5G, artificial intelligence and neuro-linguistic programming of humans and robots will create next-generation jobs. That is why Al Jama-Ah is holding Friday afternoon master classes to help pupils identify revenue streams that are key to get investors to scramble for a cut of this market.”
Daylin Mitchell, spokesperson for the DA in Western Cape, said the party had a proven track record on job creation through stimulating direct foreign investment to grow industry and investing in key sectors of the economy to yield greater employment opportunities.
Mitchell said the DA had increased employment by 24%, creating 508000 new jobs and delivered an unemployment rate 14 percentage points lower than the national average.
“What sets the DA apart is not only our track record, but our plan to grow the economy and create jobs to prepare the South African workforce to meet the labour market and gain access to employment.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC were committing more resources and expanding employment programmes for local hiring, said head of elections for the ANC in the Western Cape Ebrahim Rasool.
International markets had confidence in the ANC and Ramaphosa’s leadership, said Rasool.
Nazier Paulsen, spokesperson for the EFF in the Western Cape, said South Africa had more than 25 million people with the capacity to work, 9 million of them unemployed.
“Black people that are employed remain on the margins of economic production and outside of life-enhancing economic participation. Currently, the majority of our people participate in the economy as cheap and disposable labour. To address this, the EFF will ensure and lead massive and protected sustainable industrial development and diversification to create millions of decent jobs between 2019 and 2024,” said Paulsen.
This would happen through state-led industrialisation, industry diversification, the protection of infant and existing industries, the transfer of ownership to black people through subsidies, an increase in tariffs and state-aided marketing and promotion of South African products internally, across the continent and worldwide, with a focus on key progressive and most beneficial trading partners.