The Democratic Alliance’s Federal Executive (DA FedEx) expressed concern about by-election results, during its two-day sitting to reflect on matters affecting the party and country.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the FedEx was “deeply concerned with the results, especially where we have lost ground”.
“In this regard, the FedEx has directed that during the two-week constituency period, Members of Parliament must intensify their efforts in communities, and provincial leaders must continue with their engagements with their structures, as we build towards the 2021 Local Government Elections.”
In by-elections this week, the DA managed to retain three wards but lost two seats to the ANC and Freedom Front Plus, News24 reported. It also saw double-digit drops in support in a number of wards.
A statement released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) showed the ANC had taken one seat from the DA in the Western Cape and retained five, while the FF Plus also won one seat from the DA in the North West. The DA retained three other wards it had won previously, but lost 15% and 28% of votes in two of them.
Malatsi said the DA was pleased with the progress its administrations were making in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Tshwane and the Western Cape as a whole.
“We still have a lot of ground to cover but what is clear is that we are making rapid progress in implementing our Manifesto for Change.”
The FedEx believed that the government was running the country “through PR exercises” when what was needed was action and leadership. This included unemployment, state-owned enterprises, the public sector wage bill, nationalisation of the Reserved Bank, and talk of prescribed assets.
“We’d like to see the creation of a Jobs & Justice Fund to provide start-up capital for SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises); and we need a redress plan centred on inclusive growth to ensure real broad-based participation in the economy.”
On gender-based abuse, the FedEx proposed replacing the Domestic Violence and Protection from Harassment acts with a new piece of legislation.
“We intend to introduce a private member’s bill that will strengthen the powers granted to courts and the SAPS to provide essential safeguards and make sure that the rights of the society’s most vulnerable are protected,” said Malatsi.
“Our private members bill will address legislative gaps and shortfalls; and will have due regard to innovative measures introduced in other countries, where such measures have a proven track record of success and can be adapted for the South African context.” There was also a plan to action a pledge calling on men to change, stand up and speak out against male-driven violence. News24