Democratic Alliance press statement by
Patricia De Lille
The following is an extract from a speech by Patricia De Lille at a DA Jobs Campaign rally in Springbok, Northern Cape.
When the DA declared the Northern Cape to be a strategic province for the 2014 elections, we did it because there is a growing mass of people here who have decided they will no longer wait for change.
Unemployment here is at 36% on the wide definition and most people who have work must make do with short-term and seasonal jobs.
Even as communities become increasingly reliant on social grants for survival, the provincial government continues to make almost no impact on job creation. Much of this neglect is caused by a cohort of political leadership criminally intent on enriching themselves. Every single member of the ANC’s top provincial leadership elected at the recent congress faces serious corruption charges or allegations.
At the centre of this mafia network of politicians is John Block, ANC Chairperson and the man who controls the provincial government’s budget.
Mr Block currently faces over R450 million worth of fraud, corruption and racketeering charges for securing contracts with government for shady businessman Gaston Savoi and his company, Intaka.
The NPA has just dropped corruption charges under very suspicious circumstances against high-profile KZN politicians for their dealings with the same company. We suspect that the NPA will soon drop charges against Mr Block.
Just like the Arms Deal and the charges against President Zuma, the people of the Northern Cape may never get to know what happened to the millions of public money that was meant to help small businesses, create jobs and improve education – but instead disappeared. We will contest this move by the NPA like we are doing currently in KZN by demanding the record of decision to drop the charges.
But what the people of the Northern Cape must know is that a DA government would fire a politician like Mr Block long before the NPA gets a chance to drop corruption charges. Where the DA governs, we put measures in place to prevent corruption. We focus our time on working for change and working for jobs.
It is no coincidence that the Western Cape has both the highest matric pass rate and the country’s lowest unemployment rate.
We want to do the same for the Northern Cape. Our recently launched Plan for Growth and Jobs aims to halve poverty and unemployment. This will be done through a range of measures from cutting taxes to make it easier to do business, providing quality education, rolling out a youth wage subsidy and investing massively in infrastructure to create jobs and grow the economy.
In 2014, we will be asking the people of the Northern Cape to vote for change and to vote for jobs. The time has come to end the rule of political vultures who are in the game for themselves and no one else.