June 17 Radically transforming the economy by Mfana Msibi
THIS year we celebrate 20 years since the establishment of the new dispensation of a democratically elected council. The City leadership would like to commend Municipal employees for their contribution to improving the lives of residents. The service delivery impact we have made is the result of hard work.
We have changed lives by building houses. Thousands of households now have electricity and access to water. We have upgraded access roads in townships and rural areas, connecting people to economic nodes. Refuse collection services have been extended to previously underserviced communities. In the past two decades we have seen the prioritisation of catalytic projects, which brings many benefits to the City.
It is on this basis, that of a people-centred service delivery track record, that the ANC has received continued support since the 2001 local government elections. In October the current electorate’s mandate will come to an end. We want eThekwini residents to renew this electoral mandate in the 2021 Municipal Government Elections for us to achieve the vision set out in the Freedom Charter. This is a vision of a better life for all and building a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.
In preparation for these elections, we are recommitting ourselves to accelerating service delivery and advancing the radical socioeconomic transformation agenda. We recently tabled the City’s R52.3 billion budget which outlined key priorities for the Municipality for the next three years.
These priorities are derived from the manifesto of the governing party, the State of the Nation Address, the National Development Plan, the State of the Province Address, and the Integrated Development Plan of the City.
We have also outlined the 10-Point Plan which focuses on the re-industrialisation of the City’s economy driven by the Port City Industrial Programme, job creation, catalytic projects, and skills revolution war room. The recently released Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2021 indicated that the number of unemployed people increased by 8 000 to 7.2 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Young people continue to bear the brunt of unemployment, with the unemployment rate among youth being 46.3 percent. We are working to change this. It is why the ANC took the decision in 2012 that for South Africa to achieve prosperity, where there is redistribution of wealth, employment opportunities, and the reduction of poverty and inequality, we need to radically transform the economy. Radical economic transformation is about deracialising the economy and creating opportunities for a more diverse population to participate in it. Emphasis is placed on Black people and Africans – in line with the demographics of the country