All images via Democratic Alliance Twitter: @Our_DA
The long-awaited Democratic Alliance Manifesto Launch drew thousands of supporters to the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Holding the position of official opposition in South Africa’s tumultuous political arena has been the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) key to penetrate previously monopolised local governance. In a country dominated by the African National Congress (ANC), the DA’s administrative proficiency, displayed by a recent upsurge in municipal support and power, has intensified the impending ballot struggle which awaits on 8 May 2019.
The DA faces a tough ballot box
In an election year South Africa’s political landscape
becomes a minefield, fraught with racial and socioeconomic overtones. This year’s
ballot, which is arguably the most important general election since the dawn of
democracy, has intensified political treachery and trials to subversive new
With power comes responsibility – the DA’s newfound glory, bolstered in the 2014 general election and the 2016 municipal elections, has brought with it the trappings of authority. Factional infighting, which played out in the public eye, particularly in the Western Cape, has damaged the DA’s brand of clean governance. Uneasy coalitions with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), particularly in Nelson Mandela Bay, saw the DA lose its earlier gains in the region. While the DA has been excellent at point out the ruling ANC’s faults, questions surrounding solid socioeconomic policy persist.
Yes, the ANC has been embattled by wanton corruption,
nepotism and factionalism. The general public yearn to be told something they
don’t already know. The electorate want to know what the DA will do differently.
Democratic Alliance Manifesto Launch 2019
Approximately 30 000 supporters flocked to the DA’s manifesto launch in Johannesburg – yearning to be enlightened about the official opposition party’s promises of change.
Preceded by musical performances by Ricky Rick and TDK Macassette, the DA’s top brass made their way onto the podium shortly before lunch. The party’s Gauteng Premier candidate, and former Tshwane mayor, Solly Msimanga, explained that the DA’s relentless fight against corruption would intensify with more electoral support, saying:
“In 2016 the DA started its mission to bring change to Gauteng by ending corruption and opening up more opportunities for people. That change will only be complete when we take full control of the government in the province.”
Federal Chairperson of DA, and former mayor of Nelson
Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, echoed Msiminaga’s sentiments during his time in front
of the capacity crowd, saying:
“We will eradicate corruption in all its forms – by sending criminals to prison not to parliament. We will grow our economy to create jobs and we will ensure that at least one person in every home in our country has a job.”
Chief Whip of the official opposition party, John
Steenhuisen, who is known for his fierce parliamentary presence, addressed the Rand
Stadium crowd, focusing on job creation and the DA’s administrative track
“With almost 10 million of our people unemployed, the DA is the only party with ideas for creating a conducive economic environment for jobs to get South Africans back to work.
If you want a lecture about what is wrong with South Africa, ask our opponents – if you want something done about it, vote DA.”
Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, also had his turn to woo supporters in attendance, before opening up the podium to party leader, Mmusi Maimane.
Maimane focused on the giant strides made towards good governance in regions where the DA had recently been granted administrative power. Maimane focused on Gauteng, saying:
“Recently we took over the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay through coalition governments, and in a very short space of time made a huge difference.
Over the past two years, Mayor Herman Mahsaba’s administration has created well over 100,000 jobs in Johannesburg. Mayor Herman Mashaba built a power station, on time, saving the people of South Africa R50 million from the budget.”
Maimane went on to explain that the “DA Manifesto is a blueprint to build a government that works for all”.