Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga has told City Press that, should his party win the upcoming 2019 provincial elections in May, he would like to translate the numerous success stories from his time as Tshwane mayor to the province, and so ensure Gauteng’s growth from strength to strength.
“The first order of business as premier would be to root out corruption,” said Msimanga.
He was quick to add that the DA was “no stranger to dealing with this” as the party has had to “clean up the mess left by the ANC” when it inherited Tshwane, whose municipality was technically bankrupt.
“In the space of a year we have made inroads in terms of turning around the city’s finances,” said Msimanga.
The premier hopeful added that he would “ensure that jobs, especially in government, were not given to pals, but would be allocated to individuals who were qualified and truly deserving of holding office. We will ensure that there are more rigorous processes put in place before hiring individuals.”
It was under Msimanga’s leadership that the DA was accused in 2018 of hiring two white employees who had no qualifications.
Having been plagued by allegations of infighting and racial divides in 2018 – particularly in the Western Cape and Tshwane – Msimanga reassured the party’s supporters that it was united and only focused on retaining the metros it governed, while also harbouring hopes of encroaching into ANC-run provinces.
Msimanga was speaking to City Press at the Tlhabologo Opportunity Centre in Diepsloot, a township in the north of Johannesburg. With DA heavyweights, leader Mmusi Maimane and Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, he was selling a bold jobs vision to the community.
Job creation and, in particular, the idea that each household should have at least one employed individual was the sales pitch disseminated by the party as it intensifies its kasi-to-kasi campaign leading up to the May national and provincial elections.
Maimane reiterated that more than 60% of jobs created in 2018 was the work of multiparty governments led by the DA, and that the party wished to continue on a similar trajectory this year.
According to the DA, the Tlhabologo centre was the third of its kind opened by Mashaba in September 2018 to uplift emerging entrepreneurs.
“Our purpose in being here is to come and say that this election is about nothing but building one South Africa for all,” said Maimane.
He added that the party’s focus going into the elections was to create jobs and cultivate conditions which would boost economic activities.
“Our dream, obviously encapsulated in that concept of one South Africa for all, is that we break down divisions – not only among races, but between those who have and those who do not,” he said.
He added that he desired to ultimately see a South Africa in which there was at least one person in each household who had a job. This could be achieved through uplifting entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises.
Maimane said that, based on the feedback received from the centre’s management during their tour, many young people had been using it.