Limpopo ANCYL berates Mathabatha over jobs

Simmering tensions are escalating between the ANC in Limpopo and its youth league over youth unemployment, the appointment of MECs and mayors, and the overall leadership of premier Stan Mathabatha.

After the two parties appeared to have kissed and made up following a fallout over the provincial ANC Youth League’s threat to march against Mathabatha last month, the league’s provincial chairperson Tonny Rachoene launched a scathing attack on political and government leaders in the province, accusing them of having lost touch with reality.

He accused the Mathabatha administration of failing to fill funded vacancies. Rachuene also questioned the capacity and effectiveness of some ANC mayors and members of Mathabatha’s provincial cabinet and dismissed the government’s Expand Public Works Programme as a “bribery” scheme for young people to vote for the ANC.

“There are a lot of mayors and MECs in this province who are sleeping on duty and as the ANC we are not doing anything.

“We need an assessment as the ANC of Limpopo and we need the results as soon as possible,” said Rachoene.

The feisty youth leader called for the ANC in the province to emulate what Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi is doing to address unemployment in the southern province.

Since replacing David Makhura as premier last year, Lesufi created a new provincial police force known as police wardens, which employs 4 000 youths.

He also announced a plan to employ 6 000 youths in the energy sector.

The ANC in Limpopo has taken serious exception to Rachone’s utterances, describing them as “unfortunate”.

“The African National Congress in Limpopo notes with great disappointment, the unfortunate utterances made by comrade Tonny Rachoene, on various media platforms.

“Comrade Rachoene is also on record, saying that ‘the provincial government has no appetite to create jobs for the youth, and has not done anything to fill the funded vacancies in public service’. These accusations are not only incorrect, but they are misguided and mischievous and are sheer political grand-standing,” said provincial ANC spokesperson Jimmy Machaka.

Machaka said it was not true that the provincial government was not willing to fill funded posts.

“It is also not true that the provincial government, under the stewardship of Premier Chupu Mathabatha, has no will to fill the funded vacancies. During a recent PEC lekgotla, all MECs were directed to expedite the process of filling all the existing funded vacancies.”

In response to the rebuttal, the youth league said the provincial ANC leadership has lost touch with reality.

“A majority of young people in the province are unemployed [despite having] qualifications. The age group of business [owners] continues to be old, while a majority of youth continue to migrate to Gauteng and other provinces in search of [possible greener pastures].

“We speak on figures we know of, unless the ANC wants to tell us that the 13 736 vacant posts on Persal reported by March 2023 financial year end have been filled.

“It’s not true that the provincial government has a plan to develop young people’s businesses,” said provincial Youth League spokesperson Mikia Ramotlhwana.

Last month, the “young lions” threatened to march against Mathabatha demanding jobs for young people in the province, including top positions for the leaders of the league.

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