Promises and insults fly at election rallies

DA supporters at the party's final election rally in Johannesburg. (Paul Botes, M&G)

DA supporters at the party's final election rally in Johannesburg. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Promises were made and insults hurled at opposition parties during political party rallies across the country on Saturday, five days before South Africans head to the polls. 

The thousands of “bluenamis” gathered at the final Democratic Alliance (DA) rally at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg were told by party leader Helen Zille that they had the power to dismiss a government if they were unhappy with its service delivery. 

“Remember that in a democracy, the government is supposed to work for you ... You hire with your vote and you fire with your vote.” 

Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane urged people not to waste their vote on potentially fly-by-night parties. 

“South Africans must not be fooled by one-election wonders. We are not guaranteed that they [the Economic Freedom Fighters] will be around in 2019,” he said. 

He promised that if the DA won Gauteng, a referendum on whether e-tolls should continue would be held. If elected, Maimane said he would create “hundreds of thousands of apprenticeships” and build new schools in the province. 

At the Bekkersdal sports ground, ANC chair Baleka Mbete said that the DA in the Western Cape was concerned with helping only white people

“What are the priorities for them are the issues of privileged white people ... Black communities are not a priority to the DA,” she told those gathered at the rally in the township west of Johannesburg. 

Mbete said that government had become “more hands on ... We will engage.” 

Speaking in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa deemed the “last years of ANC rule” a “tragedy” and said that the executives in government were “shameless”. 

Holomisa said that if he came into power in the Eastern Cape, he would turn it into a “model province in terms of all development goals”. 

Agang SA held a media briefing on Saturday in central Johannesburg, while African Christian Democratic Party president Kenneth Meshoe spoke at a rally in Atteridgeville. 

The EFF is scheduled to hold its ultimate campaign rally at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.

It was announced on Saturday that President Jacob Zuma would be casting his vote on Wednesday in Nkandla, in Kwazulu-Natal. – Sapa

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