Masoka Dube

By Masoka Dube

Journalist


IFP touts programmes to aid youth and a ‘trustworthy’ government

Velenkosini Hlabisa emphasises IFP's solutions for unemployment and pledges grants for graduates in the Richards Bay campaign.


The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is the only party that can save the country from becoming a collapsed state, according to its president, Velenkosini Hlabisa.

Wrapping up the party’s election campaign in Richards Bay on Sunday, Hlabisa said: “The 29 May elections must be a watershed moment, a turning point away from unemployment, crime, load shedding, corruption and poor service delivery.

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“There is nothing more urgently needed, at this present crossroads than a leadership the country can trust.”

Should IFP win, party will roll out unemployed graduate grants

Hlabisa said if his party wins, it will roll out unemployed graduate grants. This will see each graduate receiving a payment of R3 000 for a fixed period to enable those already equipped with skills to find meaningful work.

He said the IFP has a track record of contributing to youth development projects.

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In the past, his party assisted in placing graduates in 12-month internships within municipalities, provincial and national departments, he said.

The party has redirected some of the billions spent on Sector Education and Training Authorities to ensure that graduates are not unemployed while the economy suffers.

He added that unemployed youth needed to be provided with access to basic Wi-Fi and internet services so that they could start online-orientated businesses.

‘Young people deprived of opportunity’

“Many in urban South Africa forget that those based in rural areas still do not have cellphone reception and cannot access the internet, let alone connection to the television.

“These young people are deprived of opportunity.

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“They cannot just send an application for work to the government or businesses online, because they do not even have the tools to do so.

“The IFP will change this as we have said in our manifesto.

“We will push for a 50% reduction in data costs.”

He lambasted government for turning a blind eye to the growing phenomenon of low-skill and entry-level jobs going overwhelmingly to foreign nationals.

First preference should be given to locals

He claimed to understand the hardships that drive economic migrants to seek work in South Africa, but emphasised that first preference should be given to locals.

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“We maintain the deepest empathy with our brothers and sisters from across the continent.

“But South Africa is in crisis and we need to protect our citizens from hunger, deprivation and despair before we can help anyone else.

“The IFP has worked so hard to get our message out because we cannot stand by and watch our country destroyed,” he added.

“We must stand up as an alternative government that the country can trust.”