A strong DA can rescue the Eastern Cape

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
27 May 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance during a rally in Humansdorp, in the Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Photos can be found here, and here


My fellow South Africans,

It is great to join you here today in the beautiful DA-led Kouga Municipality.

Hierdie is die lekkerste plek in die Oos-Kaap, want dis die blouste plek in die Oos-Kaap.

Thanks to the voters of Kouga, who have united to give the DA an outright majority, we have made significant progress in improving service delivery to communities in this area.

Kouga has the best roads in the Eastern Cape.

It has the best water supply system, a maintained and functioning electricity supply network, well managed finances, and zero tolerance for corruption.

Things are not perfect here, and we still have a lot more work to do.

But the progress we have already made in Kouga proves that things don’t have to be broken in the Eastern Cape.

If Kouga works, just like the Western Cape works, just like uMngeni works, and just like every place with a DA majority works, then the Eastern Cape and South Africa can work.

DA-run towns, cities and provinces are places of hope, because they show that South Africa doesn’t need to be a broken country.

We don’t need to have the highest unemployment rate in the world, the highest crime in the world, and grotesque corruption that steals our futures.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

That is the DA’s offer in this election: that things don’t have to be this way.

That things can get better, if we vote for it.

For us to bring the change we need to improve the lives of all South Africans, the people of Humansdorp, and of the whole Eastern Cape, now need to help us spread the hope we’ve delivered in Kouga, across the province and country.

The only way to do that, is by coming out in numbers and voting for the DA.

Don’t be fooled by politicians promising you the earth, the moon and the sky.

Politicians don’t have the power.

You – the people of the Eastern Cape – have the power.

You have the power to choose a better way.

You have the power to create two million new jobs.

To halve the rate of violent crime, including murder, attempted murder and gender-based violence.

You have the power to end loadshedding and the water cuts we see in ANC-run parts of the Eastern Cape.

You have the power to end cadre deployment and corruption, so that we can use the money that the ANC has stolen to deliver more and better schools and hospitals.

You have the power to do all of these things – if you vote for the Democratic Alliance next week.

It is easy for parties to make promises.

But you must judge them based on their actions.

Take the Patriotic Alliance.

This party makes all kinds of promises, but, in reality, they are just an extension of the ANC and EFF.

Hulle het hul kiesers al oor-en-oor uitverkoop aan die ANC en EFF.

It happened again just yesterday, when the Patriotic Alliance voted with their coalition partners in the ANC and EFF to introduce a massive electricity price increase in Johannesburg.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

In this election, a vote for the Patriotic Alliance is a vote that will be sold out to the ANC and EFF.

Now is not the time to waste our votes on small parties that cannot be trusted.

Because, for the first time in thirty years, the ANC is set to crash below 50% in this election.

This means, for the first time ever, you now have the power to elect the DA into national government, so that we can fight for you from the Union Buildings.

United with our partners in the Multi-Party Charter, the DA has a clear path to victory.

And you must also judge the DA based not on what we promise, but on our track record.

In this election, we need to ask ourselves two serious questions.

Which party is most likely to deliver jobs, clean water, reliable electricity, quality schooling and healthcare and safe communities for Humansdorp, the Eastern Cape and the whole South Africa?

And which party is the best defence against a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, the EFF, MK, propped up by treacherous parties like the Patriotic Alliance?

These are the only two serious questions that matter in this election.

And the answer to both questions is clear: only a strong Democratic Alliance can rescue South Africa.

Because actions speak louder than words.

The DA is the only political party with a proud, sustained track record of delivery in government.

Where we govern, in places like the Western Cape, uMngeni, Cape Town, Tshwane and Midvaal, we already demonstrate our ability to turn our manifesto pledges into reality.

Take our pledge to create two million new jobs.

DA-run Cape Town has added 316 000 jobs since the start of the local government term in 2021.

If we can create this many jobs in municipalities we govern even while the corrupt ANC is still in power nationally, just imagine what we can do with the DA in national government.

While the ANC condemns people to unemployment through discrimination, race quotas and cadre deployment, the DA-run Western Cape has the lowest unemployment rate in the country because we follow the rules and provide a fair playing field for everyone.

The DA is the only party in South Africa that can provide hard evidence that taxpayer money will be spent on the public, including right here in Kouga.

Just think about it.

While the ANC looted Eskom, looted municipalities, and looted our futures, every single one of the departments in the DA-run Western Cape government achieved a 100% clean audit last year.

Not a single cent of taxpayer money was misspent in that entire provincial government.

Compare that to what you currently have here in the Eastern Cape provincial government, where the ANC treats the rates and taxes you pay as their personal slush fund.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

The DA is the only party that delivers for the people, because we do not tolerate corruption and we do not steal the people’s money.

The pledge in our manifesto to end load-shedding and water-shedding is similarly credible, because we are already doing it where we govern.

While taps run dry wherever the ANC is in power, the DA-led Kouga municipality has made enormous investments in boosting water supply, making this one of the most water-resilient municipalities in the country.

The City of Cape Town already protects residents from up to two stages of load-shedding, and pays households and businesses cash for the excess energy they produce.

We can do the same thing right here in the Eastern Cape – if the people of Kouga turn out to vote for the DA.

A new government anchored by the DA, will also halve the rate violent crime, including murder and attempted murder, within one term in office.

Again, this is not an empty promise.

We are already doing it where people entrusted us with their vote at provincial level.

The LEAP programme in the Western Cape has deployed 1 200 additional law enforcement officers where the SAPS, which is run by the national ANC government, has failed.

LEAP has already made over 27 000 arrests and took hundreds of illegal firearms off the streets.

Just imagine how much safer the Eastern Cape will be if we do the same in this province.

My fellow South Africans,

The DA rescued Cape Town, we rescued the Western Cape, we rescued Midvaal in Gauteng, we rescued uMngeni in KwaZulu-Natal, and we rescued Kouga in this province.

The DA is the only party with a track record of rescuing communities from the ANC wherever people vote for us.

That is why we are confident in declaring that a strong DA can rescue the Eastern Cape.

And a strong DA can rescue South Africa.

On the 29th of May, we are asking the people of Kouga, and of the Eastern Cape, to help make the DA as strong as possible.

So that we can prevent a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, the EFF, MK and the Patriotic Alliance.

And so that we can rescue South Africa through a new government, anchored by a strong DA.

Even amidst the uncertainty of this election, there is one thing I know with all my heart and soul.

That the Democratic Alliance loves this country.

Despite all the hardship, despite all the corruption, and despite all the crime that the ANC has inflicted upon us, the DA will never, ever give up on South Africa.

We have the most wonderful people on earth.

We have the most beautiful country on the planet.

We are the warmest, most talented and most resilient nation in the world.

The only thing holding us back from reaching the great heights we are capable of, is an ANC government that has betrayed us.

But the DA marches resolutely to the election on 29 May, because we know that the time for change has come.

We know that the people of South Africa will not allow a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, EFF, MK and the Patriotic Alliance to destroy our future.

We know that the people of this beautiful land are ready to unite to build a strong DA, to form a new government that can rescue South Africa.

If this is the future you want, then use the power of your vote to elect the DA to govern South Africa on the 29th of May.

By doing so, you will be making history, by being part of the generation that rescued South Africa from corruption and decline.

You will be a hero.

By voting for the DA, you will be able to tell your grand-children one day that you were part of the rescue mission that turned this beautiful country into the winning nation it deserves to be.

A strong DA can rescue South Africa.

We can do it.

We must do it.

And, together, we will do it.

Thank you.