This message was presented to DA supporters in the town of Despatch in Nelson Mandela Bay by the Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane. He said in instead of bouncing back from a bad first quarter, South Africa’s economy has lost another 129,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2016. That’s 129,000 breadwinners who are responsible for hundreds of thousands of people’s livelihoods.
Maimane said: “Even more sobering is a comparison with the unemployment numbers from this time last year. In the last 12 months, 502,000 South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Long-term unemployment – South Africans who have been without work for a year or longer – went up by 424,000 in the last year.
“There are now 8.9 million South Africans who cannot find work and the bulk of these people are young South Africans. In fact, while 129,000 jobs were lost in total in the last quarter, a staggering 142,000 jobs were lost in the 15-34 year-old category. In other words, whatever marginal gains were made in the older categories were completely wiped out by youth job losses.”
This means that Jacob Zuma’s ANC has failed its young people. South Africa has now run out of time to give Zuma’s government another chance. “If we want to turn our economy around and save 8.9 million breadwinners and their dependents from a life of poverty, it is now or never… That brings me to the good news. On Wednesday we will all go to vote in the most important election in the 22-year history of our democracy. Never before has there been so much on the line in an election, and never before has the ANC faced the prospect of losing on so many fronts.”
According to Maimane the future of South Africa belongs to the voters. “Your generation has the most to lose, and you also have the most to gain from the choice we are about to make. There is a massive responsibility on your shoulders to do what needs to be done to bring our country back on the right path.
“For many of you, Wednesday’s election will be the first time you get to cast your vote. A million young South Africans have registered to vote for the first time in these elections. And if we have learnt anything from young South Africans in the past year, it is that they will not be taken for granted. They have sent the message to this ANC government, loud and clear, that they will not be satisfied with more of the same: more empty promises, more corruption and more failures.
“These young people have taken to the streets. They have marched to Parliament. They have marched to the ANC’s offices. They have raised their voice against this government.”
He said on Wednesday young South Africans will have the best possible opportunity to send the ANC government a message. “Because when you use your vote to send a message, they cannot ignore you,” he said.