The DA was not desperate to be in power, party leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday. Giving a report back to party supporters on the latest developments on coalition talks following last week’s local government elections – in which the DA received the most votes in the two fiercely contested metros of Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane – Maimane confirmed that the DA had been in discussions with all political parties except the ANC.
“I have spoken to all the political parties and I have said to them that this is a local government election and we must ask ourselves the question, what do we need to do in local government?” Maimane said to resounding applause from party supporters.
“I said to them if they agree with us that we must deliver for poor people and that we can’t stand for corruption, then let us govern together so that we can deliver for the people of South Africa,” he said.
Maimane said those who did not agree with the DA on what it stood for could forget about becoming coalition partners, saying the DA was not desperate to be in power.
“We will not compromise the people of Tshwane and South Africans at large for our own personal benefit,” he said.
“Be assured, we will never compromise our values, however difficult that might be. We will only work with people who say: ‘Let South Africa move forward.’ We don’t want to work with people who will take us backwards.
“That is why when people ask me, why don’t you work with the ANC, I say it is because they divide us on race and they are full of corruption.
“Hence, we can’t work with them.”
Meanwhile, speaking at the same event where the party thanked the residents of Tshwane for endorsing the DA in the elections, mayor-elect Solly Msimanga said there was no time to gloat [on others’ failures], only time to focus on how best to improve people’s lives.
He said the DA would strive to improve the living conditions of all residents, irrespective of political affiliation.
“We want nothing but service delivery for our people. Given a chance, the DA will turn things around in Tshwane by restoring the pride of our people.”