This programme was presented today by DA Mayoral Candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, at a public meeting in Rosedale, Uitenhage.
Within our first term, the DA has set our sights on creating 10 000 new jobs every year. By implementing forward-thinking policies and establishing a youth advancement task team within the Mayoral Office, a new DA government will turn the tide on rampant unemployment.
It is a tragedy that Nelson Mandela Bay has one of the highest unemployment rates of all South African Metros at 33.2%. Worse still, youth unemployment remains at a staggering 47.3%.
Hundreds of thousands of residents have lost all hope of finding work in the Bay as the local economy grinds to a halt.
For far too long corruption and maladministration have substituted for economic growth and job creation, but those days are over as the DA can win Nelson Mandela Bay 3 days from now, so that we can work tirelessly to create jobs and take this Metro forward again.
Firstly, as Mayor, I will launch a Youth Advancement Programme that will operate directly out of my office. This task team will focus on processing bursary and apprenticeship requests, and will act as a government support agency for graduate and matriculant job-seekers.
In addition to this, the Mayoral Youth Advancement Programme will work with the private sector to ensure that a database of available jobs and youth job seekers exists and is kept up to date, so that eligible applicants can be put forward for appropriate positions as they become available.
This unit will also conduct youth market research to assess skills shortfalls and industry job loss risks, so that government can act to prevent labour market shocks before they occur.
Red tape continues to prevent small businesses from being able to get their ventures off the ground. It takes up to a year to have municipal utilities applications approved, which stifles entrepreneurs.
A DA government in Nelson Mandela Bay will work to cut red tape, reducing waiting times by at least 60% by the end of our first term, providing entrepreneurs and small business start-ups with easier access to the market.
While this will serve to fast track the reversal of spiralling youth unemployment, our government will also focus on strengthening and growing five enabling sectors.
Housing: The DA believes that improving the quality of life in our human settlements requires a focus on providing housing opportunities in well-located areas close to economic opportunity with access to public transport, recreational amenities and community facilities. Increasing housing opportunities means improving people’s chances of finding and keeping a job.
We will work diligently from the 4th August 2016 to restore the faith in the municipality’s housing directorate, so as to resume full control of the management of human settlements in the Metro.
Further to this, cities and towns governed by the DA have recognised the urgent need for speeding up title deed delivery. A DA government in Nelson Mandela Bay, once in control of human settlements, will aim by the end of our first term to have reduced the housing waiting list by 25% by handing out at least 4000 houses along with title deeds every year.
Public Transport: In the absence of reliable, state-sponsored public transport after the national embarrassment caused by the IPTS bungle, too many residents are still reliant on costly and often unsafe transport options provided by private operators. Those lucky enough to have a job are forced to spend a significant portion of their income on commuting. For the millions of unemployed South Africans hoping to access education and/or work opportunities, the cost of transport often prohibits access to those opportunities. The DA in government will review the IPTS framework and set in motion a comprehensive plan to establish a fully-functional integrated transport system by the end of our first term.
Technology and Innovation: Connecting residents to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) opens up learning and employment opportunities. Technology is a vital component in any strategy to create jobs and boost the prospects of jobseekers.
To this end, a DA government in Nelson Mandela Bay will make Wi-Fi available daily to over 100 000 residents by the end of our first term.
Honest Government: Good governance at local government level requires the effective management of available resources and clear accountability to residents. As a country, we face enormous development and service delivery challenges, compounded by high levels of joblessness and crime. A DA government in the Bay will always be entirely open and honest with residents on progress being made on all projects. We have a lot of work to do to get our Metro moving forward again, so we will not make promises we cannot keep.
Infrastructure-Led Growth: DA-led governments are committed to infrastructure-led growth and providing an environment conducive to private sector investment that creates jobs. Local economic development requires continual investment in ICT, transport, roads and water infrastructure, in particular. In 2015, capital expenditure dropped by R139 million in NMB. This poses huge risk to our infrastructure, the capital backlog for which already stands at R25 billion, and in turn many jobs. A DA government in the Bay will maintain capital expenditure of at least R1.5 billion every year to ensure the upkeep of infrastructure and municipal assets.
Finally, we will rework the Metro’s EPWP to ensure that it is fair and not only available to the connected few as is currently the case. The DA has been recognised for rolling out the most fair and effective EPWP in the City of Cape Town. We are ready to do the same here in Nelson Mandela Bay.
By rolling out this classrooms to careers approach, incorporating end-to-end governance action steps, we are confident that we can create 50 000 jobs by the end of our first term. This will reduce the current number of unemployed people (173 000) by around 28%.
Building an economy that creates jobs will be the DA’s priority. The DA can win Nelson Mandela Bay on Wednesday, because residents are ready for a government that remains committed to fighting unemployment.
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