Cape Town - Heading into the final stretch before elections, DA leader Helen Zille warned supporters against complacency at the party’s final Western Cape campaign rally in Bellville on Saturday.
“Complacency breeds defeat,” she told journalists later.
The DA wrested power from the ANC in the Western Cape in the 2009 elections, and Zille was made premier of the only province in the country not run by the ANC. This came after the DA won the City of Cape Town in 2006.
“We are ready for the countdown. From (today) we have 10 days. Many people say we are going to win. The newspapers say we are going to win… Even the ANC says we are going to win,” Zille told a packed Bellville Velodrome.
“But we must remember that in the last election of 2009, we only got just over 50 percent. Ons het dit net, net gemaak. (We just made it.) We can get over 50 percent (again), we can grow our majority, but if we are to do so, we need every voter to come out to keep the Western Cape blue.
“While we have started our work in the Western Cape, there is a long way to go. So, we can win the national government, and make a better life for everybody in South Africa,” she said, a comment in line with the DA strategy of emphasising the party’s governance track record in the Western Cape and Cape Town metro in order to win support from voters elsewhere in the country.
This has also characterised the DA’s promise of 6 million jobs, with the party having claimed that the Western Cape has the lowest rates of unemployment in the country and the highest economic growth – a point Zille reiterated on Saturday. “Bietjie, bietjie maak baie (little bits make a lot). In the Western Cape we had a small start,” she said.
“(But) the Bluenami is washing all over South Africa.”
Zille boasted of entrepreneurs who had passed through the province’s Work and Skills programme, which provides school leavers with on-the-job training.
“These entrepreneurs and young people are now helping to create more jobs for others,” she said.
“This is the Western Cape story: the story of the best-run province in South Africa.”
She said today, the anniversary of 20 years of freedom, might lead the nation’s thoughts to the “extraordinary life of our first president, Nelson Mandela”.
“We try our best to emulate his example every day in the DA. We work to bring people together around a vision of a shared, prosperous future for everyone,” she said.
“We like to do things; the ANC likes to talk a lot at election time, but they do nothing.
“But the DA is living up to Madiba’s vision… The DA unites, the ANC divides. And so we are calling on all South Africans to stand with the DA this election – together for change; together for jobs.”
Zille promised that if the DA was re-elected, it would ensure the province became the top destination for investment in South Africa.
“If we continue to show the rest of South Africa that this is a place where the economy grows, where the government does not steal money or expect a bribe, and where things work, then we will attract more investment and create many new jobs,” she said.
Tens of billions of rand would be invested for new schools, more support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, including skills development, apprenticeships and job placements for young people. This would also include further investment in public transport network.
As spirits in the stadium arena ran high, the crowd danced to popular-Mitchells Plain singer Emo Adams who started his set with songs popular with the crowd who sang along. The repertoire included an old goema song, Diena, Kanakia, and, inevitably, the party’s popular Koekie Loekie ditty.
But Zille was the star of the show, taking to the stage with a microphone and performing the song herself in a blou rokkie (blue dress).
“Haar naam is Koekie Loekie, dra ’n stywe broekie,” she sang and danced. (Her name is Koekie Loekie, wear a tight pair of panties.)
Earlier, Cape Town regional chairman Shaun August, caused much mirth when he joked you not only knew you were in the Western Cape because of its good water and sanitation, but also because of the “passion gaps and swirl kouse” (gaps in teeth and a stocking used to keep women’s hair in place and straight).
Breede Valley mayor Basil Kivedo said the DA was pro-poor and pro-employment.
“We don’t have Guptas, we don’t have Nkandlas to hide, and Schabir Shaiks to hide, we didn’t have to hide our arms deal scandals – we deliver on our promises,” he said.
A former ANC member, he said his eyes had been opened to the “cronyism, nepotism and corruption” of the former liberation movement.
“I was there. I was in the trenches. I was in the armed wing of the ANC. I know their tricks,” he said.
“An open opportunity society is a catalyst for job creation. The DA stands for morality integrity – we own the moral high ground. “We have a moral compass, which the ANC lost.
“The project of Madiba, of nation- building and reconciliation, the DA is continuing it.”