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‘Jobs, jobs, jobs’ — DA’s Winde makes employment promise to young people in Western Cape

‘Jobs, jobs, jobs’ — DA’s Winde makes employment promise to young people in Western Cape
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. (Photo: Supplied)

With just over 40 days to go until the elections, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde took the DA’s pledge to create 800,000 jobs in the province to Athlone, where he addressed young people at a call centre.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde was on the campaign trail on Tuesday in Athlone on the Cape Flats as he highlighted his party’s pledge to create 800,000 jobs in the next term of office.

Winde, the provincial incumbent, is leading the party’s cause to get re-elected as the governing party in Western Cape. In just over 40 days, on 29 May, South Africans will go to the polls to elect leaders at the national and provincial levels.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections 2024

On Tuesday, Winde’s message was “jobs, jobs, jobs” as he spoke outside a call centre.

He said, “Here in this province, we’ve got to make sure that we are really zooming in on young people and creating opportunities for young people.”

da winde employment

DA Western Cape Premier Candidate Alan Winde addresses young people at a call centre training facility in Athlone on 16 April 2024. (Photo: Sune Payne)

He referred to the Western Cape’s unemployment rate, which is 20%, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the lowest in South Africa.

“So it’s only the DA and only the Western Cape that has this track record, and this is the province that works.”

He said voters needed to vote for the DA to keep the province working.

In the 2019 general elections, the DA received 55.45% of the provincial vote and is determined to hold on to its jewel in the crown of governance. However, this outright majority is being targeted by parties that hope to bring the DA under 50% and force it into a coalition.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Changing of the guard? Small parties snap at DA’s heels in Western Cape

Appeal to youth

Winde’s visit to the call centre, which trains young people for work in the sector, highlighted a booming industry that offers many employment opportunities.

He spoke to young people, some as young as 18 and entering work for the first time, who had been in training for two weeks. A trainer told Winde the recruits were taught emotional intelligence skills such as being impervious to insults from rude customers.

“Like a politician,” Winde quipped, to laughter from the students.

After speaking to the students about his career — from a businessman to a legislator and now, a premier — Winde encouraged the students to become entrepreneurs and — pointing to his grey hair — “We will need more politicians.”

According to IEC statistics, by 16 April, there were almost 60,000 registered voters between the ages of 18 and 19 in Western Cape and 456,000 aged between 20 and 29.

Winde said it was difficult to get young people registered and voting.

“It’s got to be a focus because young people must understand that it’s their future,” he said. 

Track record

When asked whether the pledge of 800,000 jobs was merely electioneering, Winde said: “I think the one thing about the Democratic Alliance and in this campaign is that I’ve got a track record, so you can look back over the last five years … you can look back over the last 15 years and you can say, ‘What has been said and what has been done?’ and now you have a look at what’s being said again.

“And that’s if I say 800,000 jobs …. I mean, that’s a stretch … I’m pushing that boundary, but I’ve got a track record that shows, the track record behind me shows that businesses come here, they invest here, they enable job creation.”

Winde wasn’t specific about how the province would create 800,000 jobs but said the Western Cape government’s “Growth for Jobs Strategy” would “invest heavily in infrastructure to enable businesses; cut red tape that gets in the way of doing business; grow investor confidence; promote the tourism sector; and ensure that our agricultural sector continues to thrive as one of the major job creators in the province”. 

Winde told Daily Maverick that in the run-up to the elections, he would highlight aspects of the DA’s manifesto to show voters the party’s track records on issues ranging from jobs to safety to energy. DM

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