by James Masango MPL – DA Provincial Leader: Mpumalanga
Date: 11 August 2017
The high rate of poverty and unemployment in Mpumalanga has had a devastating effect on the province’s most vulnerable citizens; this has been worsened by the ongoing cadre deployment within the ANC.
During a recent tour of the province, I found that far too many young people were roaming the streets, despondent because they had nowhere to go. They didn’t have sufficient access to skills development and recreational facilities, many resorted to criminal activities and substance abuse in order to pass the time.
Just last month, the secretary general of the ANC’s Ehlanzeni regional office sent a letter to the Chief Whip of Nkomazi Local Municipality requesting the municipality to stop all municipal employment, including the hiring of general worker, clerks, administrators, directors, managers and even section 56 managers. The municipality was further instructed that employment of staff would only continue when the municipality was advised to do so.
It is extremely disheartening to see just how little regard the ANC has for the places where it governs because by stopping the employment of municipal staff, the ANC is effectively stopping service delivery in Nkomazi.
Currently, at 31.5% Mpumalanga, has the second highest unemployment rate in the country. Between the 1st quarter of 2016 and the 1st quarter of 2017 41 000 residents joined the ranks of the unemployed.
The ANC clearly has no regard for the separation of powers because it is unheard of for political party to instruct a structure of government to stop employment, especially without considering the staff and service delivery needs of the municipality.
The rise in the unemployment rate is a damning indictment of how the ANC-led government has prioritised the looting of state coffers over job creation.
Other factors that have contributed Mpumalanga’s economic slump include;
• The downgrades by top 3 rating agencies;
• Two consecutive quarters of negative growth, which led to the first recession since 2009; and
• The rejection of the revised Mining Charter by the Chamber of Mines, and the subsequent halt of all future mining rights transfers and the granting of new prospecting and mining rights by the Minister of Mineral Resources.
For far too long, the ANC has used the people of Mpumalanga as pawns in its political games. The well connected few continue to loot the state coffers while young people struggle to find jobs and old people are forced to use their pensions to sustain their families.
This is not the better life for all that was promised. The people of Mpumalanga deserve a government that is focused on its people and is able to stimulate our ailing economy.
James Masango MPL
DA Provincial Leader: Mpumalanga
082 891 0717