Premium Journalist
2 minute read
26 Jul 2015
5:41 pm

DA eyes Union Buildings


The Democratic Alliance set itself some ambitious targets during the party’s federal council at the weekend which included strengthening its showing in next year’s local government elections, and taking a stab at occupying the Unions Buildings in 2019.

FILE PICTURE: DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Alaister Russell

“Federal Council resolved this weekend that the short-term focus of the party must be on achieving the best possible result in Election 2016. That will include intensifying the Vision 2029 campaign and ensuring that we maximise the registration of all DA supporters,” said DA leader Mmusi Maimane following the gathering in Durban of the party’s highest decision making body.

The party is pinning its hopes on the success of its Vision 2029 campaign in which the party planned to show South Africans what the country would look like if it was under DA rule for a decade.

“In the municipalities and province we currently govern, DA-led governments are already realising Vision 2029 and providing a template of what government can become in South Africa. It is a fact that unemployment is at its lowest in DA governments,” said Maimane.

The party would be pulling out all the stops to capture key metros including those in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

In the coming weeks, the party said it would unpack its policies on, among others, improving the education system and making access to the economy easier for start-up businesses.

Energy security featured high on the party’s agenda, and Maimane said the party would continue its opposition to government’s moves towards nuclear energy.

“Instead of investing in a trillion rand nuclear deal that we cannot afford, we need to ramp up investment in renewable energy projects and break Eskom’s monopoly over electricity generation and supply,” he said.

“The nuclear build procurement deal currently being pursued in great secrecy has the potential of crippling South Africa. We cannot wait over ten years for delivery on a project that at face value seems to have the familiar scent of corruption around it. ”

The DA would continue gunning for President Jacob Zuma by insisting he pay back the money spent on the upgrade of his private Nkandla residence, and pushing for corruption charges against him to be reinstated.

“The corruption that holds back our country’s people stems from the top. President Zuma must be held accountable for this,” said Maimane.

Maimane said his party would lay out plans this week to ensure government’s attacks on the judiciary did not go unchecked.

“You cannot have a government that ignores its own laws, the Constitution and its courts, as happened in the recent escape by President Al-Bashir,” he said.

At the weekend’s gathering , the party’s federal congress also threw its weight behind plans by the DA parliamentary caucus to introduce a bill to ensure compensation for the families of those killed in Marikana in August 2012 during the wage strike at Lonmin Mines.