THE Democratic Alliance has its sights set on what it calls the “big five” in next year’s local government elections.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said during a visit to Tlokwe in North West on Saturday that the party had identified five local governments where it had a real chance to either increase its lead or to take over from the African National Congress.
“Most of the talk until now has been about Cape Town‚ Nelson Mandela Bay‚ Tshwane and Johannesburg. But the fifth big municipality that we’re aiming for is this very municipality here in Tlokwe‚” he told a gathering in the town which used to be known as Potchefstroom.
He added that in last year’s elections‚ the DA had pushed the ANC below 50% in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane‚ and had brought them very close to 50% in Johannesburg and in Tlokwe‚ where the the DA gained only 51.8% of the vote – a full 20% down from what they got in 2004.
Maimane charged that the ANC’s latest attempt to prevent Tlokwe from slipping from its hands involved plans to change the municipal boundaries of the city in order to weaken the DA’s support.
“These proposed plans to merge the municipalities of Tlokwe and Ventersdorp have one goal only‚ and that is to prevent a DA victory in Tlokwe‚” he said‚ adding that the DA would fight these merger plans with everything it had.