‘We are struggling’

2019-01-24 15:20
DA leader Mmusi Maimane listens to uMlazi vegetable vendor Christine Mpungose, who told the DA leader that government has failed small business operators in the area.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane listens to uMlazi vegetable vendor Christine Mpungose, who told the DA leader that government has failed small business operators in the area. (Clive Ndou)

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DA federal leader Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday used his KZN elections tour to whip up anti-ANC sentiments in the wake of explosive evidence at the Zondo Commission into state capture linking senior ANC leaders to corruption. 

Maimane, who said claims made by facilities management company Bosasa’s former chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi that senior ANC members, including Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, were paid bribes by the company, vindicated the DA’s position that the entire ANC was corrupt.

“It is not only former president Jacob Zuma who is implicated in corruption — it is the entire ANC. As citizens of this country you can’t afford to continue supporting such a political party because if you do the results will be the same — corruption,” he said.

The fact that none of the implicated ANC leaders had been arrested was proof that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC was not committed to rooting out corruption within government, he said.

“Under a DA government people like Nomvula Mokonyane would not only have been removed from Parliament, they would also have been arrested,” he said.

Accompanied by DA KZN premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango, Maimane started his elections blitz at the KwaMnyandu Shopping Mall in Umlazi, where shoppers, vendors and train passengers told him about their daily struggles.

Christine Mpungose (42), a fruit and vegetable vendor outside the KwaMnyandu train station, spoke about the lack government support for small business. “We struggle with everything — crime, lack of water and facilities to store our goods. All what we have been getting from government are empty promises.

“Now that we are approaching elections they will come and apologise and promise to attend to our problems,” she said.

Thabisile Dlamini, who runs a tuckshop, said she wanted to expand her business but was struggling to access government funding. “I have used the little money I have been saving to send my two children to school so that they can have a better future.

“However, that turned out to be a waste of money as both of them are now sitting at home despite having passed their matric ... they can’t find jobs anywhere,” she said.

Maimane said government support for small business and job creation was at the core of the DA’s manifesto.

“As the DA we are particularly concerned about youth unemployment. We are concerned that young people who sit at home end up tempted to do all sorts of wrong things, including drugs and other crimes.”

According to figures released by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) only 170 000 young people who are first-time voters in the province have registered for the upcoming elections — a huge drop from the 2014 polls where 500 000 had registered.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  da

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