‘Coalition failures will bring more votes’

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane believes his party’s failed coalition governments will attract more voters to the DA in next year’s national elections to ensure an outright win.

The party launched its 2019 election campaign last week. It will focus on winning Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape.

Despite the difficulties the DA has faced with coalitions at local government level, the party has declared coalitions “the future of South African politics” and is not ruling out the possibility of entering into more political partnerships.

Maimane told the Mail & Guardian this week that coalition instability in municipalities such as Nelson Mandela Bay, where the DA used to govern, would not deter voters from giving the party a chance at provincial and, possibly, national level.

“I don’t think voters will be reluctant to vote DA because of coalition challenges. If anything, I think it will incentivise them to give the DA a stronger mandate. Just think how much better off the people of Nelson Mandela Bay would be right now if the DA-run coalition had had just one extra councillor,” Maimane said. “That would have kept us in government there, and we could have kept making the phenomenal progress we were making.”


The DA has also lost control of the Mogale City municipality in Gauteng as disagreements between leaders within DA-led coalitions continue.

Last month, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga survived an Economic Freedom Fighters motion of no confidence on a technicality.

But he faced fresh efforts by the ANC to oust him this week.

Maimane believes these incidents will give voters more incentive to ensure the DA is the outright winner in next year’s elections.

At the launch of the DA’s election campaign last weekend Maimane highlighted employment opportunities, the fight against corruption and state capture, the strengthening of borders and the provision of basic services as key aspects that would be fleshed out in the party’s manifesto.

But there was no mention of the party’s alternative model to broad-based black economic empowerment (broad-based BEE), which the DA has rejected.

Maimane said the DA’s alternative model to broad-based BEE, which is still being finalised, would focus on various tiers of empowerment to challenge the current system, which the DA believes enriches only the politically connected.

“The DA’s empowerment policy will be genuinely broad-based, and will focus on widening opportunity in four key areas: ownership, employment, entrepreneurship and education/skills
acquisition,” according to Maimane.

Policy head Gwen Ngwenya’s announcement last month that the party was scrapping BEE and race as the basis for empowerment caused a backlash. The party has remained tight-lipped on how its proposed model is expected to work, leaving Ngwenya’s blunder to be used by the ANC and other parties to scare voters away from the DA.

Earlier this year, party leaders disagreed publicly on the introduction of a diversity clause. In 2013, the party had similar public disagreements about matters of transformation when former party leader Helen Zille accused then parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko of wrongfully leading the DA caucus to vote in support of the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

Maimane said that there was“certainly a healthy debate between finding the right balance between our commitment to diversity, redress and ensuring the best, most suitable candidates are chosen for service”.

“As a liberal party, we celebrate both diversity and individualism.”— Additional reporting by Matuma Letsoalo

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Dineo Bendile
Dineo Bendile works from Johannesburg. Political reporter. BLACK. Dineo Bendile has over 2712 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

Covid-overflow hospital in ruins as SIU investigates

A high-level probe has begun into hundreds of millions of rand spent by the Gauteng health department to refurbish a hospital that is now seven months behind schedule – and lying empty

More top stories

Pay-TV inquiry probes the Multichoice monopoly

Africa’s largest subscription television operator says it is under threat amid the emerging popularity of global platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime

​No apology or comfort as another Marikana mother dies without...

Nomawethu Ma’Bhengu Sompeta, whose funeral will be held this weekend, was unequivocal in calling out the government for its response to the Marikana massacre

Children may benefit when parents share their digital gaming...

Digital games can provide forums for diverse groups of people to come together, which is especially important while our physical activities are restricted

‘No one took us seriously’: Black cops warned about racist...

Allegations of racism against the Capitol Police are nothing new: Over 250 Black cops have sued the department since 2001. Some of those former officers now say it’s no surprise white nationalists were able to storm the building
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…