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12 Jun 2015 00:00
Mmusi Maimane is hoping the DA's long-term policy document will appeal to a broad cross-section of South Africans. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
It is May 2029. The Democratic Alliance has been in power on its own for five years and has just won another national election with a 59% majority.
It is 10 years since the formation of a DA-led coalition government after the 2019 general election.
The country is dynamic and vibrant, corruption is at an all-time low, the tide has been turned against crime and the justice system works efficiently.
This is the dream that DA leader Mmusi Maimane will be selling when he launches the party’s Vision 2029 in Soweto on Saturday.
Conceptualised by the party leaders, Vision 2029 is the DA’s plan of what the country would look like under a DA-led government.
Just over a month after being elected to lead the DA, Maimane is determined to put all his efforts behind the vision, which is likely to be the blueprint for how he leads the second-biggest political party in the country.
A need to buildHe said the DA has accepted that the history of South Africa, underpinned by racial segregation, is painful and that there is now a need to build a South Africa for all.
“Many political parties are focused on the past,” he said in an interview.
“So, Vision 2029 says those who share common values, and believe the vision as we have put it, can come together and build a society that is nonracial.
“Many of our parties’ political landscapes are such that parties are an expression of a race rather than a nonracial society. We want to be that nonracial party that says: ‘Here is our vision for South Africa, and how many people can we attract who share those common values and come together?’”
Like the ANC’s priorities spelled out in its election manifesto, the DA’s Vision 2029 includes education, safety, job creation and healthcare.
What does the country look like in 2029, according to the DA?
“Our country is dynamic and vibrant. Corruption is at its lowest level ever. South Africans feel far safer than ever before, protected by a highly trained and equipped police force that is finally turning the tide against crime,” reads the document explaining Vision 2029.
Crucial visionMaimane believes Vision 2029 is crucial for all South Africans.
“We will express things a South African who grows up in the country must have. What are the job numbers we want to see? Whether you are black, white, Indian or coloured, what we do share is that all of us effectively must care about tomorrow,” he said.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said Vision 2029 is based on too many assumptions, including that the ruling party’s decline would lead to the rise of the official opposition.
“And yet there are different permutations of what could happen. The evolution of the DA could be interrupted by internal dynamics if they are not managed well,” Fikeni said.
“Also, there could be new alliances that emerge to occupy the space that they assume would necessarily be occupied by them. I mean, the NNP [New National Party] never thought they would be obliterated by them [DA] in such a short space of time.”
Fikeni said that, although the DA is good on clean governance, it is not that strong on transformation and both would be needed to take the country forwards.
Read more from Thulani Gqirana
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