Let’s do for the Eastern Cape what we did for the Western Cape - Maimane

2019-03-16 22:51
Mmusi Maimane. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Mmusi Maimane. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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The "exodus" of people from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape is the biggest vote of no-confidence in the government, DA leader Mmusi Maimane told people in Lusikisiki while on the campaign trail on Saturday.

"The Eastern Cape should be booming. There should be a job in every home, in every village," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the party's provincial manifesto launch.

"But instead people have been leaving the province of their birth because there are simply no opportunities for them or their children here. They leave where they cannot see a future, and they go where they think they can build a better life for them and their families." 

Maimane told the crowd that he knew the potential of the Eastern Cape because he used to run an NGO in Keiskammahoek that helped develop farmers.

"I know how fertile this province is – it could be the backbone of our agriculture sector. I also know the enormous potential that lies in tourism here, as well as manufacturing."

He compared the province with the Western Cape, where the DA took over from the ANC in 2009.

"They are similar in size. They are similar in population numbers. They both have long rugged coast lines and beautiful interiors that range from semi-desert Karoo to towering mountain ranges. They have similar key industries on which their economies depend. Tourism, agriculture and manufacturing employ the vast majority of people in both provinces. They even speak, for the most part, the same languages. But that is where the similarities end," he said.

"Because when it comes to the lived experience of the residents of these neighbouring provinces, they might as well be two different countries. Even just driving across the boundary, you immediately feel the difference beneath the wheels of your car."

He claimed that people flocked to the Western Cape from the Eastern Cape for a better life, especially for its education and healthcare.

"This incredible province cannot simply be a place from which people flee – the forgotten province. There is way too much potential among these people, in this land and in these cities, towns and villages for us to allow this to happen.

"There is no reason this province cannot make the same turnaround that the Western Cape did ten years ago. There is no reason why this can’t also be a place of growth, jobs and opportunities – a place where people come to instead of leave."


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