Zille punts 'unashamedly pro-poor' manifesto

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said all the right things when unveiling the party’s election manifesto in Johannesburg on Saturday. Zille said the party would focus on the eradication of poverty, the establishment of a quality education system and step up the fight against HIV/Aids as well as intensify the fight against corruption.

Zille, along with Parliamentary leader Sandra Botha, federal chairperson Joe Seremane and DA member of Parliament Desiree van der Waltoutgoin spoke before about 300 people at the Fada auditorium at the University of Johannesburg

Zille said their manifesto was “unashamedly pro-poor” and echoing United States President Barack Obama, promised to bring hope and change to South African politics.

The DA also promised that should it be elected to lead the government, voters would directly elect the president, premiers and mayors.

“We will introduce elements of a constituency-based electoral system to make politicians more accountable to the people,” said Zille.

Zille outlined her plan of an “opportunity society” that would encourage economic growth and create jobs, and a “caring society” that would provide social grants and improve the quality of of healthcare and provide more housing.

“We want politicians to be frightened of the voters,” said Zille.

DA leaders are using the track record of the DA-led coalition in Cape Town as proof that the party is ready to govern.

Seremane claimed that housing delivery had doubled and crime had been reduced by 90% since the DA took over the leadership of the city.

“We don’t just talk, we deliver,” he said.

He told supporters that the party should take advantage of the divisions in the African National Congress

“Where the ANC splits, we win. After the 22nd of April we will be the party of government,” he said.

Supporters sang songs such as Sibatshelile wemaa, uyeza uHelen Zille (We told them Helen Zille is coming), Kae kapa kae Zille re ya le wena (Wherever you go Zille, we’re going with you) and, in a twist on ANC president Jacob Zuma’s popular Umshini Wam, they sang Awuleth’ iDA.

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Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice. Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge

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