Fixing South Africa starts with fixing our towns and cities and growing local economies. Local government is where the foundations for a prosperous future are built. A good local government can protect citizens from a failing state and bring progress for local residents even in a country sliding backwards.
The local government election on 1 November is shaping up to be a historic turning point for South Africa. The stars are aligned for millions more South Africans to be freed from the catastrophic failure that is ANC local government. With the ANC bankrupt and in complete disarray and the DA’s campaign 100% on track, we have a golden opportunity to bring good government to many more towns and cities across South Africa.
The crucial step you must take now if you want to fix South Africa is to make sure you are registered to vote. If you haven’t yet done so, this weekend is your last chance to register. After Sunday, the voter’s roll will be closed and there will be no further opportunity to register. So why exactly should you register and vote DA? Three key reasons.
Only the DA is big enough to win
A vote for the DA is the most powerful body blow you can deliver to the ANC because only the DA is big enough to beat the ANC. Ward elections are based on a first-past-the-post system, meaning the party with the greatest number of votes wins the ward, even if that number is much lower than 50%. So if you splinter the opposition vote, you strengthen the ANC.
Dividing the opposition by voting for dozens of smaller parties may be your democratic right, but all this does is strengthen the ANC’s position relative to any of the opposition parties. So if you want to use your vote in a way that will make a realistic difference – and the very biggest difference possible – then you should vote for the DA.
Voting for smaller parties also strengthens the position of the EFF, who would love nothing more than to see their biggest competitor weakened by a splintered vote. In wards where the ANC wins, splitting the opposition vote risks making the EFF the official opposition. In wards where the ANC loses or can’t contest at all, splitting the opposition risks handing the ward to the EFF.
So a vote for the DA gives the greatest possible leverage in fortifying local governments against the ANC and EFF. When you split the DA vote, the ANC and EFF stand to benefit most, so it is ultimately self-defeating.
The ANC is a dying party of empty promises. It is in irreversible decline. The future is a fight between the DA and the EFF, which is fundamentally racist and will destroy South Africa. They have also proven themselves to be fundamentally corrupt, by stealing from poor, rural pensioners in the VBS scandal. Only the DA is big enough to stop the ANC and EFF and secure your future here in South Africa.
Only the DA has proved it can govern effectively
The DA is also the only party that gets things done in government. There is plenty of hard evidence that when we get a strong enough mandate, we clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan and invest for the future, and improve service delivery for all residents and businesses, creating jobs in the process.
The DA cares about all race groups. We are a party that brings people of all races together around winning principles. And we are a party that delivers to all.
You need only look at our delivery successes in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Midvaal, Stellenbosch or Kouga to see that we have a strong track record in government. No other party listed on the ballot paper can claim this. So, if you want the greatest chance of real delivery that improves the material conditions of people’s lives, there is no question that the DA is the party to vote for.
The effect of solid DA delivery in these municipalities has been to form a protective barrier for residents, securing their future in South Africa. By contrast, scores of municipalities across the country are entirely dysfunctional, with business and factories literally moving out – such as Clover from the North West town of Lichtenburg – to escape the ravages of a failed state, leaving a trail of joblessness behind them.
However, the experience of Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016 shows that where voters fail to give the DA a full mandate to govern, progress is slower and subject to the ever-present risk of interruptions. This was the big lesson for us in this last election cycle. To make rapid, lasting progress, we need an uninterrupted period of governance.
We have a saying in the DA that the only thing worse than losing an election is winning it and governing badly. We will therefore not go into coalition with any party that does not share our winning principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, a social market economy, and a capable state that delivers to all, which requires appointments on merit rather than political loyalty.
Mayors and councillors must be fit for purpose. You cannot expect delivery from officials who are appointed for reasons other than their ability to deliver. The DA would rather be a strong, principled opposition than be in government but not able to deliver to our own high standards. Therefore every single vote is going to count in getting us over the 50% mark.
The DA is the strongest opposition to the ANC
While the DA is the party that can win and be an effective government for all, we are also the party that will be the best and strongest opposition to the ANC, if we lose.
Just as the DA has a solid track record in government, so we also have a solid track record in opposition. We fight hard for our winning principles. We believe strongly that there should be one set of rules for everyone. That is what the rule of law is all about. That is why we have defended former president Jacob Zuma’s illegal medical parole. And why we oppose the IEC giving the ANC a second chance to register candidates.
We have also been the strongest supporters of a capable state, by leading the fight against cadre deployment. It was our action that led to the establishment of the Zondo Commission. And our suggestion that led to the Zondo Commission obtaining the ANC’s deployment committee minutes that laid bare the ANC’s modus operandi for state capture. And it is our bill, the End Cadre Deployment Bill, that will ensure a capable state staffed by people appointed on their ability to deliver.
The bigger the DA, the more secure your future is here in South Africa. Only the DA can beat the ANC. Only the DA can keep the EFF out of official opposition. Only the DA can prevent state failure. Only the DA can deliver in government. Only the DA gets things done. So please don’t waste this golden opportunity to replace the ANC. Please make sure you and your family and friends are registered to vote DA.