Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Any objective observer would recognise the country is in an unprecedented jobs crisis. It is however truly commendable the Olympic level of cognitive dissonance and detachment with reality displayed at  2019’s ANC manifesto launch.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address alludes to the joblessness crisis faced by the country, yet struggles to point to the root cause. And the cause for this crisis is the very party that was clinking champagne glasses and eating cake while nearly 10-million people, or 37.3%, remain unemployed.

It wasn’t always 10-million. In 1994 the expanded unemployment was 3.67-million or 31.5%. Fast-forward to the start of the Zuma years, expanded unemployment was 6.68-million, or 31.7%, or and in 2014 8.43-million people or 35.8%. This all points to an ANC that is neither willing nor able to address the fundamental economic challenges the country faces.

Each election cycle brings promises of massive job creation in the next term of government. By the ANC’s standard, this year’s promise of 275,000 jobs per year is modest, but even if accomplished will barely make a dent. In five years 1.375-million jobs are promised, which is slightly more than the 1.323-million jobs lost since the 2014 elections. So, if SA gives the ANC yet another chance, by 2024 we will be at the same unemployment situation (barring any additional jobs losses) we were at in 2014.

There is hope for SA however. Where the DA governs, we have created an environment in which the bulk of new jobs have been created. Africa Check confirmed  in 2018 that the Western Cape created 75% of all jobs in the entire country.

This change has been possible in the Western Cape through more than 10 years of a DA-led government and if you lend us your vote, we intend to bring that same change to the rest of SA.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA MP