UNITY is the first principal of the ANC and voters must have confidence that the ANC has the history and capacity to solve the issues that South Africa is currently dealing with.These were the words of Ravi Pillay, MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, who addressed a small crowd at the political party’s pre-election campaign at Port Shepstone Secondary School on Saturday.After his speech, Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan took the mic.Gordhan spoke about the ANC’s intentions for the county’s economy for the next five years. This included a national development plan which he said will see “more changes taking place” between now and 2030.“The plan is to create social justice so that everyone’s standard of living is improved and that everyone lives in dignity … in the next 20 years there should be no homeless or poor people and almost no unemployment. We have achieved a lot in the past 22 years, but it will take us another 30 to 40 years to improve the legacy Mandela and others have left behind,” said Gordhan.He said statistics showed a positive improvement in infrastructure, housing, water and sanitation in the country, adding that the plan was to also improve on these elements.The national development plan also aimed for children to receive a good education and to go to university or obtain some formal qualification after schooling.‘We must remember that not every child is equipped for university - middle-sized companies, that drive the economy, must engage in internships through the government,” he said.Gordhan added that although these opportunities are available, entrepreneurs don’t often apply for these programmes through government as they feel there is too much red tape involved.“We want to expand hugely the number of small businesses and win market share, which will result in a stable economy. More people will invest and this will create jobs so that our young people are not exploited or frustrated.“The economy is in a very bad state. We are in R2 trillion debt, but we are managing fiscal so that we don’t get downgraded. We have told our lenders that their money is safe - we will pay back when it is due.”Hibiscus Coast Mayor, Nomusa Mqwebu and ANC regional chairperson, Tolomane Mnyayiza, enouraged residents to place their confidence in the ANC and vote for their candidates to lead the wards.Comments from the crowd, which included residents from Palmview, Albersville, Protea Park and Marburg, were taken after Gordhan’s address. Residents said there was a shortage of houses and asked that the finance minister increase the pensioner’s grant considerably when drafting the country’s next budget.