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If Johannesburg works, SA works: Mashaba

Democratic Alliance Johannesburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba on Saturday pledged to attract investment, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and help small businesses, among other things, if the DA takes over the city following this year’s local government elections.

“This new DA city government will redress past injustices. Redress means to ‘make right’ with our brothers and sisters, with a dynamic economy,” he said at the launch of the DA’s electoral campaign for Johannesburg.

Ending the divide between “insiders” and “outsiders” would turn South Africa around.

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“Our vision is to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the City of Gold over the next five years. We will attract investment by being an open, transparent, clean, well-governed city that is open to business. For if Johannesburg works, South Africa works,” he said.

“We’ll get Johannesburg working by helping small businesses. We’ll cut the red tape that strangles entrepreneurs. We’ll cut up the old by-laws that obstruct business growth, in our first days in office. After 100 days they’ll be removed or amended.”

He says, “We’ll audit city-owned land and buildings to set free the people’s assets. We’ll identify affordable commercial spaces for small businesses, artisans, and shops, and we’ll make them available at the most affordable annual rental possible. We’ll connect people to training opportunities and internships. We’ll help them to find jobs in these new businesses. I know how business works, with a 30 year track record of creating thousands of jobs. Job creation is in my public service DNA. The DA will connect aspirant entrepreneurs to start-up loans.”

The DA would carve up large tenders into small contracts. Many more small businesses could then bid for them successfully. “And we’ll open up the tender system entirely, so everyone can see how they are awarded.”

The DA would cut out all unnecessary consultants to save millions for service delivery.

“We’ll partner large, sector-focused companies with smaller businesses that want to grow. These will be business growth mentoring programmes through the city. “We’ll develop a customized network by 2021 and we’ll centralize city data to improve service delivery, from repairing potholes to saving energy.” City and state trade missions to South Africa would bring investment to a new Jozi that was open, accessible, and transparent. “We will lead a revolution in the service levels of public servants and unveil a ‘Service with Pride’ vision on day one. Courtesy and swiftly answered telephones will become the new norm. We’ll award exceptional performance for raising the city’s profile,” he said. The poorest residents of Johannesburg suffered the most from corruption. Corruption stole public money and killed jobs. “When we take office, we will make corruption public enemy number one. Criminals will be handed over to the police. We also know that crime and drugs are wrecking people’s lives. The DA-led city will strengthen the muscle of the JMPD [Johannesburg Metro Police Department]. Our JMPD will be protectors of each and every one of us. We know that a home is more than just where we raise family; it is our economic security. We cannot get Johannesburg working until we fix the housing crisis,” Mashaba said. “We’ll do four major things to turnaround Johannesburg’s housing crisis. We’ll fast-track ownership by giving thousands of people title deeds. The poor will come first. We’ll do everything possible to stop housing list corruption. The process will be transparent and open. The list will be available for anyone to see.”
He adds: “We’ll incentives entrepreneurs who build green-friendly homes. We’ll provide basic services to informal settlements, with the best free allocations in South Africa, to the poorest residents. The DA does this in other cities where we govern, and now we want to do this in Johannesburg. These are not empty words. We stand on the shoulders of DA councilors who have already changed South Africa.”
“And let me say this: If I do not deliver on these promises after being elected, vote us out. It is that simple,” Mashaba said.

– By ANA

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