Gauteng Province blast Mayor’s actions
Cancellation of JOZI@WORK and JOZI BREAD PROJECTS by the City has impelled Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Lebogang Maile to hit back at the Democratic Alliance.
Executive Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba recently announced that he was calling off the two projects because they were only benefiting a few overnight millionaires.
The first salvo was unleashed by the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura during his state of the province address.
“Gauteng would champion a new programme called Gauteng@work to save jobs and promote community-based enterprises.
Government should always stand with the poor. We cannot turn our backs on the people. As the provincial government, we have decided to intervene in order to save jobs, promote community based enterprises and economic inclusion by launching Gauteng@Work,” Makhura said.
Maile joined the fray and spoke against the cancellation.
His argument was that Mashaba’s decision would adversely affect the poor and SMMEs in Johannesburg.
“The cancellation of these programmes by the DA is a direct attack on the thousands of people who had found jobs through the introduction of these programmes,” Maile said.
Furthermore his reasoning was that these projects was a sustained effort to bring about real change in the life of ordinary residents.
Maile blasted the DA for what he labeled ‘clear anti-poor agenda which seeks to condemn people to a permanent state of poverty’.
“The DA has little or scant concern for the very serious economic challenges facing our people across Johannesburg
“The cancellation of the Local Bakeries Project by Mashaba is the worst decision in the history of local economic development.
This in essence is a pre-cursor of what the DA’s anti-poor agenda in Johannesburg will be driving in the next coming years,” Maile added.
His bone of contention was that Jozi-bread prototype bakeries would have created a new supply sub-sector recycling fruit waste to produce healthier flour, a model drawn from successful benchmarks in Latin America and the Philippines.
“The model is working so well at test sites that private sector capitalisation would have been realised within the next 6 to 18 months.
“This is a clear indication of the DA’s agenda of protecting white monopoly capital and cartels that collude in setting the price of flour and bread to the detriment of emerging local bakeries,” He said.
Maile also revealed that As a result of the DA’s decision more than 8000 workers and 112 cooperatives and small companies will be out of work.
“The closure of these bakeries means that thousands of poor households will no longer have access to healthier bread at a cost 50 percent less than the normal retail price. This will adversely affect the poor in Johannesburg.
“Mayor Mashaba is basically claiming that allowing a few high stakes players – who already hold all the chips – to bet big at the City’s economic poker table will empower the many by default, and that a fairer poker table will benefit all citizens seeking opportunity. But the many will never be able to buy into his table without removing the barriers to participation and entry into the economy by those historically deprived.”
Did you know?
The Jozi@work programme was implemented by the previous ANC led admistration to provide jobs to poor people through work packages linked to various projects in energy, waste, greening service, construction and maintenance and roads and transport.
A total of 12 bakeries had been established throughout the city mainly in township areas.
Eight of the 12 bakeries are fully operational and the other four were at an inception stage. At the present moment the bakeries employ 42 people.
The picture used in this article was sourced from the internet and belongs to SABC.