“Don’t be trapped in poverty”- Zille

By Smanga Kumalo    11-Sep-2012 06:36 UTC+02:00

Smanga Kumalo— Do not make a baby until you finish your education and have a proper job, otherwise you will be trapped in poverty with your child, DA leader Helen Zille said yesterday. “Never ever make a baby if you aren’t going to be a proper father to your child, be a role model to your child, take care of your child and support your baby,” Zille said while addressing hundreds of youth in the Midvaal Civic Center in the Vaal.

She said one of the biggest problems in South‘s economy “today” is mismatch between the huge demand for skilled workers and the small number of skilled graduates to fill those spots. “This is bad for job creation because economic growth relies on skilled, talented and entrepreneurial people. The DA’s plan for growth and jobs proposes several policy interventions to address this structural problem,” she explained.

She added by saying DA is developing sustainable and evidence based approaches that help young people cross the bridge from school to employment. Zille also advised youth not to dropout at schools. She added: “Matric alone is not enough, do not be tempted to drop out of school. Get your matric so that you will get opportunities and do not just sleep in your bed and wait for the opportunity to come to you”.

Apparently, the initiative is designed for young people without jobs. The programme is funded by Midvaal municipality and the Oliphant Institute of Leadership. According to Zille, the most recent statistics available from the quality of life survey by the Gauteng City region observatory shows that Midvaal’s unemployment rate is at 25% and it’s much lower than other municipalities in Gauteng.

She said the unemployment rate in Ekurhuleni is standing at 40% while at Westonaria it is standing at 36.5%. “When the DA took over in Midvaal in 2000, infrastructure under the ANC had crumbled and trade and commerce were almost absent. Since Midvaal is a DA led municipality, Midvaal is now a magnet for investment from BSI steel, Heineken and Ferrore Rocher. These investment represent billions of rand pumping into the local economy, transforming lives and communities,” she boasted.

She said DA supports the government wages subsidy but COSATU is against it. She concluded: “The government, as our joint partnership here clearly shows it doesn’t itself create the conditions for business to create jobs and unlock young people’s potentials. If we work together we can transform South Africa’s economy so every person can enjoy the dignity of a decent day’s work and pay”.

Noluthando Radebe who is the beneficiary of Oliphant Institute of Leadership said before she participated in the programme she was an ordinary person. “This programme opened my eyes and now I am a better person. In life opportunities come once and if you get an opportunity, grab it with both hands. I believe that this is just a begging of my life” she said.

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