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Driving licence vow seems like a bad case of motormouth

01 July 2014 - 02:04 By The Times Editorial
Image: Supplied

Politicians love to make promises but are less successful at keeping them. It would seem that, in these turbulent times, our politicians are not shy about making truly bizarre promises in their bid to woo the electorate.

Take the case of the Free State government.

In his State of the Province speech last week, Premier Ace Magashule said: "The provincial government will implement a programme to assist approximately 900 youths to enable them to acquire driving licences.

"The programme will be implemented in all districts."

We are not against any initiative that empowers the young and improves their chances of employment, but the route the Free State government is taking is deeply dubious.

We should not be running a welfare state.

Rather, we should empower individuals to empower themselves .

We must provide an environment that will make our youths better citizens.

The Free State government might convince the young to vote for the ruling party but it goes against what our leaders fought for.

South Africa is supposed to be a democracy and a land of opportunity - not a nanny state.

Should the Free State government go through with its plan, who will qualify for the assistance, and once they have the driver's licences, to what profession will they be steered? Or will they be left with a driver's licence but no vehicle to drive?

Will this assistance be rolled out each year or is it a once-off?

These are just some of the questions that come up.

President Jacob Zuma should demand that his team come up with projects that will genuinely move this country forward. We cannot waste taxpayers' money on bankrolling projects aimed at boosting voter numbers.

We demand an explanation from the premier as to why his administration approved this project.

There are far better ways to generate economic growth and boost employment. Driving licences and handouts should be last on the list.