/ 13 September 2023

Solly Msimanga is DA candidate for Gauteng premier

Higher ambition? Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga says he wants to see out his term
DA leader John Steenhuisen announced that Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga would be its premier candidate for the 2024 provincial and national elections.

While announcing the Democratic Alliance’s premier candidate for Gauteng, party leader John Steenhuisen used his speech to call for parties represented in the Johannesburg council to support the DA’s motion for dissolution of council.

Steenhuisen announced that Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga would be its premier candidate for the 2024 provincial and national elections. 

The party previously announced that Western Cape Premier Alan Winde would be running for reelection in that province in the coming elections. 

The majority of Steenhuisen’s speech on Wednesday was centred on the Johannesburg coalition. 

The DA has gone against its coalition partner ActionSA’s wishes for a motion of no confidence in mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, instead calling for a complete dissolution of council. 

This is in the wake of a brutal fire that killed almost 80 people in Johannesburg’s inner city

The deadlock between the DA and ActionSA on whether the parties should fight to regain the city has been a sticking point in the multi-party coalition. 

The coalition includes the Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, United Independent Movement, and the Independent South African National Civic Organisation, who all recently signed an agreement to co-govern the country should the parties manage a 50 plus one majority in the elections. 

Labelling the Johannesburg coalition a “doomsday coalition” between the ANC, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA) to cling to power next year, Steenhuisen said that allowing this to happen will leave Gauteng beyond repair.

“The unholy alliance between the ANC, EFF and PA has utterly destroyed Johannesburg,” he said, blaming the coalition for the recent gas explosion in the Johannesburg city centre. 

“I call on every party represented in the Joburg council to put residents first by supporting the DA’s motion for dissolution. Only parties that are scared of the voters will oppose this motion. When that vote takes place on 1 November, we will see which parties truly put Johannesburg first, and which parties only care about positions.

“At the same time, I also want to call upon the voters of Gauteng today. If you want to avoid the chaos that has made Johannesburg ungovernable from spreading to the whole of Gauteng next year, then you must unite behind the DA. We have seen over and over again how small parties like the PA, Cope and Al Jama-ah that are not part of the [Multiparty] Charter, have betrayed their voters.

“These small parties are sellouts and traitors. Wherever they go, they cause instability and chaos, which they use to extract better deals for themselves from the ANC. They are parasites who care only about positions and patronage,” he said.

Steenhuisen said that the research showed the coalition was polling as high as 45% in Gauteng. 

“If we can grow the DA well beyond the 27 percent we got here in 2019, then the moonshot is guaranteed to succeed in this province. At the same time, we must not be under any illusions about the desperation of the ANC.” 

Steenhuisen said that for the first time ever, the DA was not fighting to be the official opposition in Gauteng, but to govern Gauteng.

“This means that we need to start behaving like a true government-in-waiting. It means that we need to campaign not only on the basis of the ANC’s failures, but on the basis of the DA’s vision to rescue Gauteng. This requires the DA in this province to take our game to a whole new level,” he said. 

He vowed to take the party message to every corner of the province to bring hope back to people.

“If we want to ensure not only that the ANC loses next year, but that the DA wins, we will need to campaign every waking moment of every day. Because that is what a real government-in-waiting does.”