The following statement was delivered today by DA Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip at a press briefing at Nkululeko House. Mr Trollip was joined by the DA FedEx Chairperson, James Selfe, DA National Spokespersons, Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Solly Malatsi, and all DA Provincial Leaders:
We would like to thank the three-point-six-million voters who entrusted the DA with the responsibility of Building One South Africa. Further to this, we would like to thank the people of the Western Cape who bestowed upon us the role of the majority party. We will work day and night, to build on the last 10-years of good governance in the Western Cape.
When we set our 2019 elections targets, we did so under very different internal and external circumstances. This was on the back of terrific and inspiring outcomes in 2016, where we were granted the privilege and responsibility of governing in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg, among another 30-odd municipalities, while retaining the City of Cape Town with a strong majority. These victories gave us the momentum to launch the ’Back to the People’ and ‘Change 19’ Tours. These played a critical role in laying the foundations for the One South Africa for All 2019 General Elections Campaign.
It was in the mix of this euphoria that the terrain rapidly shifted. We were faced with internal challenges and significant changes in the political landscape, the rise nationalism on both the left and the right. In short, both internally and externally there were matters we had to grapple with. We will be the first to state that these factors had a role to play in our electoral fortunes. As the DA we are holding the moderate non-racial centre ground; an important position in the rise of populism.
As members of the Federal Executive, which controls and directs the activities of the Party, and implements the decisions of the Federal Council, we all take responsibility for the outcomes of elections – whether good or bad. That burden does not sit on the shoulders of an individual.
There has been much speculation about the future of our Leader, Mmusi Maimane. We would like to state that Mr Maimane remains our leader until a Federal Congress, scheduled for 2021 decides otherwise. Any talk of a change of a leadership change before a Federal Congress must be dispelled. As the Leadership of the Party, at both a National and Provincial Level, we are unambiguous in our support for Mr Maimane who has led the DA with exemption since the 2015 Nelson Mandela Bay Federal Congress, and his unopposed election in 2018.
One South Africa for All is not just a slogan, it is a call to action, which we will continue to dispense alongside our values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity. Whether in opposition or in government, we will continue to Build One South Africa for All.
We will never celebrate the loss of voters. We are not blind to support in some areas nor are we deaf to the voices of those who chose to support another party in this election. Where the losses occurred, we will work on regaining the trust of the people as we head into the 2021 Local Government Elections, this starts with two by-elections taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay as early as Wednesday; this will be the start of winning back the Bay.
This morning, the Western Cape Provincial Leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, stated that we must be on the ground working with the people of South Africa and always keep them informed; and our Leadership from the top to the branches on the ground will do exactly that. Equally, the best way to celebrate our victory in the Western Cape is to intensify the delivery of services and building a more inclusive economy.
Where we have made inroads in new communities, we will strengthen those bonds. We do not underestimate the bravery many showed when they cast their vote next to the DA for the very first time. Once again, we thank you.
There will be a review of the organisational structure and how we can best operate as a party that occupies governments that serve around 15-million people, and the way we campaign. This review will be in consultation with all stakeholders of the Party.
In closing, we are evermore committed to Building One South Africa and reject racial mobilisation. We believe that the prosperous dream of 1994 can be made a reality, even if it is difficult. That is the nature of change, as we have seen in the past, it is difficult but indeed it is possible.
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