ANC promises 150 000 jobs for Joburg residents on its first day in office

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  • The ANC in Johannesburg has said it would create 150 000 jobs on its first day in office. 
  • ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has called the ANC's jobs programmes a corruption scheme and a failure. 
  • The DA and EFF believe those who can afford to pay for electricity should do so. 

The ANC has committed itself to creating 150 000 jobs if it clinches the City of Johannesburg on 1 November, but ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba called it another ANC corruption initiative.

The road to the municipal elections looks set to heat up in the City of Gold, with the DA, ANC and EFF campaigning extensively to lure voters.

The City has been run by two sets of coalition-led governments since 2016. 

Johannesburg ANC regional secretary Dada Morero said the party was committing itself to creating 150 000 jobs on its first day in office. 

Morero was speaking at News24's elections town hall debate on Thursday night that was hosted by News24 political editor Qaanitah Hunter.

WATCH | News24 town hall: Who will rule Johannesburg? Join us as we grill the candidates

He said voters should feel safe in trusting the ANC to deliver on its promise.

Morero added the jobs would come from programmes such as the Jozi@Work initiative and supporting bakery start-up initiatives which employed about 5 000 people. 

The programmes were halted under the DA-led government, he said.

Mashaba pulled no punches about the ANC's promise, calling the programme a scheme to help ANC-connected individuals.

Herman Mashaba.

"It seems they want to bring back the very same programmes they got punished for in 2016. They are selling something that is corruption. If they open those bakeries we will close them even quicker. You [the ANC] used the Jozi@Work programme to exploit our people through your cadres," he said. 

Johannesburg's electricity crisis 

The ANC also made a bold commitment to take over the supply of electricity to Soweto from Eskom. 

The suburb owes Eskom billions, while some of its residents have complained about electricity disruptions.

Morero said the ANC would solve the issues faced by Soweto residents by convincing them to install electricity meters. 

He added the party was also looking into providing a mixed supply of energy to manage the demand.

EFF regional secretary Muzi Tshabalala said the ANC could not be trusted to solve the electricity issue faced by the city. 

He pointed to load shedding concerns faced by the country as proof the ANC was unable to provide the service. 

Tshabalala said the EFF had found many Soweto residents were keen to pay, but were unemployed, adding solving the unemployment issue could help them find the funds to pay for services.

"Our people are not happy not paying for services."

DA mayoral candidate Mpho Phalatse said the DA believed those who could not afford to pay for electricity should be subsidised, but those who could pay should do so. 

She added law enforcement should act against those residents who were unwilling to pay for services.

"The non-payment issue in Soweto is an issue that needs to be tackled head-on. Everyone who can pay should. We need to run education campaigns, once people have been educated then law enforcement needs to come in," Phalatse said.

Coalitions and kingmakers

Having allied with the DA in 2016, Tshabalala said the EFF was not thinking about the kingmaker issue at the moment as it looked set to win over residents.

"We will be the government. We have learned through the ANC and DA. We have enough skills to run the City of Johannesburg," he added.

Meanwhile, Mashaba said ActionSA would not go into a coalition with ANC, although it would hold talks with other political parties. 

He compared the governing party to a virus that had to be wiped out by 2024. 

"We cannot wait for the 1st of November, the ANC will be history. The ANC is a virus that is very dangerous for this country and it requires two jabs.

"We are going to organise the voters to bring their vaccines on the 1st of November and we start with the first jab and, come 2024, the vaccines are going to work there and we are going to put the ANC in the history books. That is where they belong and not in government," said the former Johannesburg mayor.

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