DA’s John Steenhuisen urges voters to shun ANC, EFF and independent candidates when casting their ballots
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Johannesburg – DA leader John Steenhuisen has styled his party as the only alternative party which would “properly manage dysfunctional municipalities” and deliver services to distraught communities of South Africa.
In his bid to lure voters to cast votes for his party in the upcoming local government elections, Steenhuisen appealed to voters to cast votes for the DA and forget about those political parties “who beg for your loyalty because once, long ago, they played a role in the liberation struggle.”
He was addressing supporters at the DA’s final rally at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
It was not only the ANC and other liberation movements that suffered the DA’s onslaught as Steenhuisen also lodged a veiled attack on his former party leader Mmusi Maimane, who through his One South Africa movement is in full backing of independent candidates contesting the elections.
Video: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)
Steenhuisen urged voters to “forget about gimmicks like independent candidates who don’t stand for any particular values, policies or manifesto offers, and cannot be held to account on any of these things once the votes are cast.
“Forget about brand new parties that spring up before every single election like a field of overnight mushrooms, and then fade away just as quickly afterwards.
“Forget about all the small parties that just don’t have the numbers to properly represent you, and certainly don’t have the numbers to keep the ANC or EFF out,’ he said.
Steenhuisen was adamant that elections were about service delivery, saying it was about infrastructure maintenance, and the preservation of public funds and to make sure that funds were well spent.
“If you can do these things well, your municipality has every chance to succeed. But if you fail to do the basics, your municipality will fail. That is guaranteed.
“And by fail, I mean the total collapse of a municipality’s service delivery, the total collapse of its finances, and ultimately the total collapse of its local economy.
“That is not some scary prediction for one day in the future. That has already happened in dozens of municipalities across the country.
“In August, the national government put together a list of 64 municipalities they consider delinquent or dysfunctional. A new in-depth study by News24 into municipal governance has added another 43 on-the-verge-of-collapse municipalities to this list.
“That means right now 107 out of South Africa’s 278 municipalities have either already failed or are about to do so.
“This is a disaster for the millions of South Africans who have no choice but to continue living in these failed municipalities,” Steenhuisen said.
He said that if we wanted to save these places, politicians had to be honest about what was wrong with them, saying “we have to find a common thread that runs through all these failing towns and cities, a thread that we can identify as being responsible for this decay.”
Steenhuisen boldly stated that the ANC was allegedly responsible for the collapse of these municipalities, saying “the mark of the ANC is like fingerprints on a crime scene across every single failed town and city”.
According to him, the DA could stop the collapse and rescue these towns and cities from decay.
“There are many differences between our two parties. Our political ideologies are very different and our approaches to the economy are polar opposites, but arguably the biggest difference between us has to do with our values. Our motivation for doing what we do.
“In the DA, we believe the people come first, not the party. And this means that every decision we take in government places the interests of the people front and centre.
“We don’t fill our governments with ill-equipped cadres who have no skills and no interest in public service. We don’t bloat our governments to the point where cadres’ salaries suck up the entire budget. And we don’t tolerate poor performance or corruption. There is no recycling and redeployment of disgraced cadres in the DA,” he said.
Steenhuisen said that this was the only way to build a capable government that was able to deliver, saying that was why DA governments work and “ANC governments fail.”