The DA wants to win as many municipalities in the Northern Cape as it can in the upcoming local elections, with a view to winning the province in the 2014 national election, DA leader Helen Zille said today.
“We want to win as many municipalities in this province as we can on May 18, including the Hantam municipality,” Zille said in an address prepared for delivery in Calvinia tonight.
“And it is a winnable municipality, the ANC got less than 40 percent of the vote here in the last election. With our combined strength, we have every chance of winning the election here on May 18.
“For the DA, winning is never an end in itself. It is a means to an end. And that end is the opportunity to improve people’s lives. We want to win in places like Calvinia because we want a chance to show what we can do in government.
“There is so much we can do to improve the lives of people here.”
She said a major problem in the area was unemployment, with nearly two in five people out of a job in the Hantam municipal area.
Criticising the ANC, she said people who benefited from the municipality’s expanded public works programmes were people with ANC connections and she charged that people who were given job opportunities did not come from the area.
“Expanded public works programmes under the DA are open to everybody. They are designed to empower people, not to win political favours,” she said.
“Expanded public works programmes are important, but they do not create permanent jobs. To do this, your municipality must create the conditions for local businesses to grow so that they create jobs.”
Zille said the DA’s mayoral candidate for the municipality, Abré Fritz, had 15 years experience in rural economic development and would make job creation a priority.
“And he wants to work with emerging farmers to help them expand their businesses. If he is elected, he will set up mentorship programmes in business administration, book-keeping and the drawing up of business plans. He wants to link emerging farmers with markets overseas so that they can export their products all over the world,” she said.
She said the people in the area “may not see results straight away” but within five years, they would “notice a difference”.