Corruption, crime, jobs, immigration and service delivery will top the Democratic Alliance’s agenda ahead of the upcoming national polls.
The party launched its 2019 elections campaign in Johannesburg with leader Mmusi Maimane introducing a core election team and the DA’s premier candidates.
Maimane, who delivered a keynote address at the event, focused on his upbringing and the hope he and many others had when South Africa had a democratic breakthrough in 1994.
He once again lauded the country’s founding father, the late Nelson Mandela, who served as its first democratic president, saying under his leadership there was a vision for different South Africans to co-exist and thrive as one nation, but that Madiba’s dream had been eroded by his political party, the ANC, over the years.
“The South Africa I see today looks nothing like the vision of the South Africa I saw in 1994. It looks nothing like the dream we all shared. Not even close,” said Maimane.
The election machinery has appointed different leaders in the party to focus on specific issues in the party’s campaign.
These include its chief whip in Parliament, John Steeinhuizen, who will focus on crime; Makashule Gana on basic services; Natasha Mazzone on state capture; Geordin Hill-Lewis on employment.
Its youth leader Luyolo Mpithi and Yusuf Cassim will focus their attention on South Africa’s youth population, Thandeka Mbabama will be the point person on land; and Jacques Julius will focus on secure borders.
“No country in the world can afford uncontrolled immigration, and particularly not a country where resources are as scarce as ours,” said Maimane during his speech.
Immigration has slowly become a topical issue for the DA and some of its coalition partners at local government level, with the party calling for tighter security at South Africa’s borders and a more effective and corruption free home affairs department.
“Our message speaks to the urgent need to secure our country’s borders, welcoming those who want to come here legally, but shutting out those who try to do so illegally,” explained the DA leader.
He accused the governing party of allowing corruption to become the “new normal”, describing it as an “oppressive evil for which no one was punished.”
Maimane said although facts were made available behind corrupt activity no one was ever punished or lost jobs for being complicit.
“In fact, they not only keep their jobs, they get promotions. Ace Magashule is now the ANC secretary-general. David Mabuza is now the deputy president. People are angry about this,” he said.
The DA leader told supporters at the event that his party goes throughout the country delivering the message of what his political party would deliver should it be voted into power.