Botes refused to accept the takeaway meal, stating that “it was against policy for government officials to receive gifts”.
DA LEADER Mmusi Maimane led a march of party supporters to the Northern Cape Office of the Premier on the weekend, where a memorandum was handed over.
The memorandum, together with a packet of KFC takeaways, was handed over to the deputy director general at the Office of the Premier, Elizabeth Botes, acting on behalf of Premier Sylvia Lucas, on Friday.
Maimane said that he had bought a KFC meal for Lucas with his own money as he wanted her to have something to eat while she read the memorandum and not have to spend taxpayers’ money on takeaways.
In 2013, Lucas made headlines after it emerged that she used her official credit card to spend R53 159 on fast food during her first 10 weeks in office.
While receiving the memorandum, Botes refused to accept the takeaway meal, stating that “it was against policy for government officials to receive gifts”.
The memorandum called for fair access to real, long-term jobs for all the people in the Northern Cape.
It stated that the Northern Cape was “a province of great potential, populated by people who were passionate about the future of South Africa and who wanted to work towards building one South Africa for all”.
“We have fertile land for thriving agriculture and agri-businesses to take root, thereby creating jobs for our people and supplying healthy foods for our tables. Our soil is rich in minerals which can be extracted, processed and exported. Great biodiversity, scenic routes along the Vaal River and Orange River, two unique Unesco World Heritage Sites as well as a rich cultural history provide plentiful opportunities for the hospitality and the hunting industries. With the developments at the Square Kilometre Array, there is also great potential for research and development. The greatest resource in our Province, however, is our people. Yet the expanded unemployment rate continues to hover above 40%, with the youth unemployment rate remaining among the highest in the country,” the memorandum read.
The DA called for a well co-ordinated, urgent effort by the Northern Cape provincial government, under the stewardship of the Office of the Premier, to create fair access to real jobs.
In reaction, Lucas expressed her “utter disgust and dismay at the insulting and distasteful utterances by the senior leadership of the DA” during the march.
“Both the national leader, Mmusi Maimane, as well as the provincial leader, Andrew Louw, stated respectively that women need to give a ‘soentjie vir ‘* werkie’ or undergo ‘carpet interviews’ in order to get jobs in government. This is an insult to the professionalism and integrity of all women and cannot be left unchallenged,” Lucas said.
She further “reminded” Maimane and Louw that the ANC-led government “had made great strides in the promotion of women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality since the dawn of democracy in 1994 and would not allow their baseless low blows and utterances to undo that”.
“These statements could be a reflection of how the DA treats women and the low regard in which they hold women that they take into their employ, given sexual harassment claims that have surfaced previously. It also points to the fact that power relations still exists amongst men and women in the DA.
“As a woman myself, I am proud to state that this government remains committed to redress the legacy of apartheid and transform society towards the achievement of the vision espoused in the Constitution.
– Norma Wildenboer