Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thousands Rally Behind Opposition Leader Maimane’s March for Jobs in South Africa
January 27, 2016
New Age, South Africa

During his focal point speech Party Leader Mmusi Maimane likened today’s DA march with the 1963 March by Martin Luther King where he delivered his famous ” I have a dream speech.”

That march was a march for jobs, just like this one today. It was called the ‘“march for jobs and freedom,” said Maimane.

Today the official opposition party marched with residents witnessing a massive blue wave making its way through the streets of the Johannesburg CBD.

The large turnout, which unconfirmed reports estimate at 5000, was in support of the #DAforJobs campaign launched by the party earlier this month to highlight the challenges of unemployment in South Africa.

During his speech, Maimane was particularly critical of the ANC and its track record on job creation.

“Unemployed South Africans must know this: President Zuma and the ANC have long forgotten you. It is only the DA that is here fighting for you.The DA is the one working to bring about the kind of change we need – change that will grow the economy and create jobs,” said Maimane.

Maimane went on to say that “at a time when our country needs strong leadership and direction, Jacob Zuma’s ANC has abandoned us. They have left the poor, the unemployed and the vulnerable to scratch out a desperate living while they steal more through big tenders, kickbacks and jobs-for pals.The ANC government under Jacob Zuma believes in protecting a small circle of connected people while leaving millions outside this circle to fend for themselves.”

The March which began from the Corner of Pat Mbatha Bus Way and Anderson street, climaxed with the address by Maimane under the recently revealed and subsequently vandalised #DAforJobs Billboard on the corner of Jeppe and Sauer streets. Maimane lay the blame for the vandalism squarely at the feet of the ANC.

“We launched this billboard twenty days ago. Right at the top, you could see a rolling ticker, showing the number of South Africans who have joined the ranks of the jobless since Jacob Zuma became President…But look what the ANC has done.Do you think they got angry about unemployment? Do you think they got angry that their President is letting 770 more people join the unemployed every single day? No. They got angry at our billboard. They called it racist, and they vandalised it,” said Maimane.

But the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe labeled Maimane’s comments are nothing more than a deflection.

“He is attempting to take away from the real issues affecting them. Instead of dealing with the real issues, he went to reveal a billboard,” Mantashe said.

Political Analyst Dr Mcebisi Ndletyana said the party should not only focus on Jobs while neglecting discrimination as the two remain interlinked.

“You cant harp on jobs and at the same time castigate racial redress and issues of equity. Part of the reason why certain people don’t get jobs in certain areas is because they are black,” said Ndletyana.

He said “you still have racism. You still have exclusion, so when you talk of job creation, you should also talk of equity and racial redress because discrimination is one of the causes of exclusion and unemployment.”

Maimane was joined by a number of his party’s Mayoral candidates from around the country.

Tshwane mayoral candidate Solly Msimanga opened the address and was followed by Nelson Mandela Metro candidate Athol Trollip. Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate Herman Mashaba also addressed the crowd citing that the party has plans for small businesses as they remain key to growth.

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