The Democratic Alliance (DA) had a clear message for the voters about jobs and better service delivery in municipalities while the African National Congress had nothing of substance to offer, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.
Maimane praised the electorate for coming out in numbers during Wednesday’s municipal elections and growing the party, saying the DA support had grown in all communities, particularity in areas that were formerly ANC strongholds.
Results from Friday showed that the DA had wrested the Nelson Mandela Bay metro from the ANC, and was likely to repeat this in Johannesburg and Tshwane when final results were announced later on Saturday.
“Nationally, the elections for the ANC have not been a good story to tell. In fact, they’ve collapsed from 64.8 percent in 2006 to 61.9 percent in 2011, and now to 54 percent in 2016,” Maimane said.
“On the other side, the DA has grown from 16.2 percent in 2006 to 23.9 percent in 2011, and now prospectively to 27.1 percent in 2016.”
Speaking during a media briefing at the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) national results centre in Pretoria, Maimane said this was one of the more historic elections and a tipping point for the people of South Africa.
“It’s now clear that the people heard our message and came out in numbers to vote for change. Our absolute commitment is that now we begin the work of governing and governing well for the people of South Africa,” Maimane said.
He said in years to come this election would be remembered as the moment when the ANC lost its foothold as a dominant party while the DA emerged as a serious contender to win national elections. These elections were about millions of unemployed people who felt neglected by the ruling party while corruption became endemic under its rule.
“For far too long the ANC has governed South Africa with absolute impunity and without consideration of the people,” he said.
Maimane attributed the DA’s growth in some of the deep rural areas to the simplified and disciplined hard work of the party’s volunteers who did door-to-door campaigning.
He said Ward 23 in Mzimvubu in the Eastern Cape, where the DA grew from one percent in 2011 to 45 percent this year, was a good example of how tremendously the party was growing.
– African News Agency (ANA)