Land reform and real job opportunities can save Dr JS Moroka municipality

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

Yesterday, the DA’s Together For Change Tour visited the Dr JS Moroka municipality. We were saddened to meet a large number of unemployed young people attending our public meetings. Many of them complained about the lack of real job opportunities for them in their municipality.

According to Stats SA, a staggering 61.4% of Dr JS Moroka’s youth are unemployed, with the municipality also boasting a general unemployment rate of 46,6%. Between 2001 and 2011, Dr JS Moroka only managed an economic growth rate of only 0.26% which mirrors the high levels of unemployment.

A DA government can turn the economy of this municipality around, and kickstart opportunities to address the dire situation. By reigniting its dwindling agricultural sector through effective land reform and retaining skilled workers.

Because of the lack of real job opportunities, skilled people are forced to look for work in Limpopo and Gauteng creating a sever skills vacuum in the municipality.

By effectively reforming the communal land system, residents of this municipality would be granted ownership of the land they live on through title deeds. Such land ownership is a powerful leverage tool to enter the economy and raise much needed capital to stimulate growth and start up small businesses.

The DA will also facilitate job creation by providing support to emerging farmers so that they are able to sell their produce to local markets and to surrounding municipalities and provinces. This municipality is also ideally situated to provide produce for workers residing close to and working on the construction of the Khusile power station.

So too, a DA government would immediately stimulate this economy through infrastructure spending, in providing reliable tapped water to all communities. Through internship programmes, and by prioritising the use of local labour, young people could be trained and their skills developed to contribute to other projects, and in the process empowering them to enter the job market.

We firmly believe that residents of this municipality do not have to be doomed to a life of poverty. A vote for the DA translates into a vote for access to land and real job opportunities and ultimately a better life for the people of Dr JS Moroka.