Ardent capitalist and South Africa’s opposition party’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, says if elected, business people will be his “biggest friends.”
Speaking to CNBC Africa after Johannesburg’s budget speech for the 2016/17 financial year, the Democratic Alliance’s Mashaba said wealth for South Africa can only be created through the business angle.
“The reason why I would really love and encourage business activity in my city is because they’ll play a very key role. They’ll employ our people, they will pay taxes so that we can really grow our economy and grow our city,” says Mashaba.
Mashaba was disappointed with the budget speech saying it was about self-praise.
“This government is unfortunately going to be judged and judged harshly by history. They fail to understand that government is about service to the community,” says Mashaba.
Mashaba says addressing unemployment will be his key issue when he is elected.
Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, confirmed last week that Johannesburg had lost 195 000 jobs during the first quarter of 2016. Mashaba says that unemployment is getting out of hand.
“One in four residences of this city are unemployed. When government has to come up with plans on addressing this high unemployment rate, they fail to do so,” says Mashaba.
While many are holding their breath about who will run South Africa’s economic hub after the municipal elections on 3rd August, the ruling party is confident that it is going nowhere.
MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Matshidiso Mfikoe, assured CNBC Africa that the African National Congress will be working tirelessly over the next two months to instil confidence to Johannesburg residence on the party.