‘This obsession with big businesses is an obsession that the ANC has created’ - Maimane
Leading up to the 2019 national elections, the Democratic Alliance (DA) seeks to disrupt the ANC‘s obsession with big business and policies that favour them, through utilising a campaign which encourages entrepreneurship as well as Small, Medium and Microsized Enterprises (SMMEs).
This was revealed by DA party leader Mmusi Maimane, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba and Gauteng premiere candidate Solly Msimanga as they went on a campaign trail which saw them engage with members of the Diepsloot community on Friday.
In an effort to demonstrate progress made regarding one of the city’s recent initiatives – the roll out of opportunity centres - Mashaba hosted Maimane and Solly together with community members at community centre Tlhabologo.
With the focus on the youth, promoting entrepreneurship as well as SMMEs, Maimane said economic growth was important and that more needed to be done to ensure it happened.
“This obsession with big businesses is an obsession the ANC has created. We [DA] are obsessed with making sure that the micro-enterprises take off.” he said.
According to Maimane, under the current government, the economy has only been growing at a rate of about 0.7 per cent.
“Our aim is to bring growth and to help small businesses through initiatives such as this opportunity centre. We must allow economic activity to take place. We can achieve this through entrepreneurs and micro enterprise, and this centre is a place people can come to, use its services and find work or make work,” Maimane said.
Echoing these sentiments, Mashaba said economic growth was the party’s first priority and more ways needed to be explored to achieve this successfully
“We need a diverse economy that essentially creates jobs. And we have identified small businesses as a way of doing this. Today, we see shops being owned by everyone else except South Africans so we have got to get our people [South Africans] back into the entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.
According to Mashaba, the centres are based on a model set to uplift the profile of emerging entrepreneurs, allowing them to benefit extensively from the services offered.
The centres also assist individuals with a number of business-related queries including establishing a business and how to efficiently run it, internet access and tender applications.
Maimane added that the DA initiative had done a lot for the people in the community.
“As the DA in this election we have shown that where we govern, jobs are created, we have a plan to create work, we want to create small businesses and that is why we have these opportunity centres. Election year is about employment and access to jobs for all South Africans,” he said.