OPINION

DA-led WCape has created 487 000 jobs – Mmusi Maimane

Party leader says unemployment in the province is the lowest in the country

DA-led Western Cape has created 487 000 jobs

14 June 2018

The Lansdowne Bottling Company (LBC) that I visited today is not simply a bottling company. It is an institution in Cape Town that continues to be successfully owned and managed by the Patel family who founded the company 84 years ago.  The Patel family's bottling operation can be traced from the origin of their Marshall Bros product in 1934 District Six to its Salt River expansion and eventual acquisition of the over 20 000 square metre plant bottling its signature "Double O” and "Co-ee" soft drinks in Lansdowne.

This company has played a leading role in the DA-led Western Cape government’s "Energy Security Game Changer" which aims to bring down the demand for energy by the industrial sector in the province by 10% by 2020. By going green they have joined many other businesses in benefitting from the DA-led City of Cape Town’s Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (REFIT) programme.

The company’s decision to implement a 260KW solar system in 2015 has seen them become less reliant on Eskom and lowered their cost of energy. These savings have allowed LBC to focus on their core business, growing it exponentially and creating new jobs. In this time, they've expanded to a work force of 85 employees. They’ve now achieved green building status, and by encouraging others to embrace solar, there are now more renewable energy companies and many more new jobs in this growing green energy industry that is forecast to be worth R75 billion in the province by 2035.

And even after the worst drought in recorded history, the Western Cape continues to see the highest year-on-year employment increase over the past year with 123 000 nett new jobs created. Which is 75% of all jobs created in the entire country in the past year.

Since 2009 when the DA was elected in the Western Cape, 487 000 nett new jobs have been created by the DA-led Western Cape government. That is why unemployment in the Western Cape is the lowest in the country, and that is why only 1% of unemployed people in the province are “discouraged” work seekers who have given up looking for work. People who live in DA-governments know that there is more hope of finding work, and more opportunity for work for everyone.

This is the best demonstration of what the DA will do if elected to govern in other provinces. By governing well and attracting investment, the economy grows and hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created. In the 9 years we have governed the Western Cape, we have expanded opportunity to more than half a million people who were previously excluded from the economy.

The DA’s fight will always be for the 9.5 million people who do not have jobs or have given up looking for jobs in South Africa. The 487 000 people who now have jobs in the Western Cape are testament to this commitment to put the people of South Africa first.

Issued by Mmusi MaimaneLeader of the Democratic Alliance, 14 June 2018