THOUSANDS of excited DA supporters gathered outside City Hall in Port Elizabeth to welcome DA leader Mmusi Maimane and mayoral candidate Athol Trollip at the party’s victory rally on Saturday afternoon.
Supporters chanted Maimane’s and Trollip’s names when the duo took to the stage in Vuyisile Mini Square. They were greeted with rapturous applause as Trollip thanked voters for their loyal support.
Earlier, Maimane said the party’s victories in Nelson Mandela Bay and elsewhere had shattered the myth that it was a “white party”.
The DA won 46.71% of the votes in Nelson Mandela Bay‚ against the ANC’s 40.92%.
Local elections 2016
A jovial Trollip said at the victory rally: “If you believe you can win‚ you can win. When the winds of change start blowing in this country, as they did on Wednesday, they are unstoppable.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you have endorsed Mmusi Maimane’s dreams of a party of freedom‚ fairness and opportunity just by being here, and we thank you.”
The crowd exploded into song and dance as Maimane took to the stage to congratulate supporters on the win.
“Molweni‚ Dumelang. Good afternoon and thank you so, so much for what you have done for South Africa, it’s a historic moment for all the people of this country,” he said.
“When I look outside here I can see the dream of Tata Nelson Mandela is strong and alive — a South Africa where black‚ white‚ Indian and coloured people can stand together to build a better South Africa for all‚” he said.
Charmaine Blose‚ 25‚ said she was excited to see what the DA would bring to the Bay. “I’m hoping to see new changes‚ a new government taking over, and I have faith in them delivering on their promises.”
Olwethu Manzi‚ 21‚ said: “Obviously‚ there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to stop corruption but I believe they can bring change to Nelson Mandela Bay.”
Speaking at the IEC results centre in Pretoria on Saturday, Maimane said the DA’s support had increased in all communities in the local government elections‚ and particularly in places that were previously ANC strongholds.
In the Eastern Cape‚ in Umzimvubu Ward 23‚ for example‚ the DA grew its support from 1% in 2011 to 45% in 2016, and in Ntabankulu Ward 4‚ from 0.2% in to 45.3%.
In Gauteng‚ in Tshwane Ward 38 in Mamelodi‚ the party grew its support from 7% in 2011 to 30.6% in 2016‚ and in the Western Cape‚ in Philippi Ward 88‚ from 4% to 30%.
In KwaZulu-Natal‚ in eDumbe‚ the DA has grown from 4.4% in 2011 to 30% in 2016.
“More and more black South Africans are seeing the difference we can make where we govern and are entrusting us with their votes‚” Maimane said.
TMG Digital/The Herald