Zille’s boots made for ‘walking all over ANC’

2012-05-02 06:33

Wearing her first pair of boots ever, DA leader Helen Zille said she’s determined to walk all over the ANC come 2019, when her party aims to win the national elections.

But first, she’ll have to learn to toyi-toyi properly in the knee-high dark-brown Pierre Cardin footwear, which she wore over skinny jeans.

“The high heels make dancing a bit difficult, but they do tend to keep me upright,” Zille joked as journalists interviewed her following her party’s Workers Day rally on the Graceview Industrial Estate between Johannesburg and Vereeniging yesterday.

In her speech to about 400 people – almost all black – packing the white tent on a large traffic circle near the Heineken factory off the R59 industrial corridor, Zille said although she liked this time of year with all its holidays, “the DA works every day of the year. We are thankful to have jobs.”

She conceded the DA still had a long road to power.

“The DA will only realise its dream by winning election after election,” she said. “But we aren’t growing fast enough."

She told City Press the DA needed to win Gauteng in 2014, the most important province in the country because of its economy, and the Northern Cape, which it believed was also within its reach.

She said the party was hoping to do so in a coalition if it couldn’t win the province outright, but conceded there was no clear plan.

“In politics a lot of unexpected things have happened, and can also happen in the next two years,” she said.

In her speech she said although President Jacob Zuma promised 5 million new jobs, this wasn’t happening and he was taking the country “backward”.

But she said the DA was implementing business-friendly policies to help create jobs.

Pick n Pay’s plans to build a warehouse on the site of yesterday’s rally in 2013, creating 700 permanent and 3 000 temporary jobs, was an example of the DA’s Midvaal Municipality helping to facilitate investment, she said.

“Where the DA is in government, we are implementing that right mix of policies, capacity and leadership, and we are seeing the results,” she said.

In Midvaal, where the DA had been governing the municipality since 2000, the unemployment rate is 12% by the “official” definition, while that in Gauteng is 26%, she said.

“We cannot celebrate the rights of workers without standing still and considering the plight of millions of South Africans who are unemployed and excluded from this celebration,” she said.

Some of the people City Press interviewed at the rally said they were unemployed, and apparently no workers from the nearby factories attended the event.

Although it was a Workers Day rally, the burnt orange top Zille wore underneath her blue DA T-shirt was about as red as she got, ideologically.

Zille slammed Cosatu who saw managers as the “class enemy” and who believed central bargaining should happen between “bosses and workers”.

“This is an outdated model and belongs to the 1950s,” she said.

“Countries with growing economies and growing employment have outgrown this ‘zero-sum’ model where one side’s gain is the other side’s loss,” she said, adding that South Africa needs more people willing to take investment risks and start businesses and open factories.

Zille blamed her shoes, which were no workers’ steel-capped boots, on Janine Schouw, the assistant to her events and programme manager.

Schouw told City Press she bought them over the weekend from Edgars, and thought they would be perfect for Zille.

“I have athletic legs (big calves) and she does too, but I tried it and it fitted me, and I knew it would fit her,” Schouw said.

Schouw conceded she played an important role in the hard-working Zille’s styling. “Fashion is the last thing on Helen’s mind in the morning. She just wants to work."

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