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Durban - The DA will govern KwaZulu-Natal after winning the 2016 local government elections. This is the bold prediction from Helen Zille, who kicked off her party’s unofficial election campaign amid much fanfare in Durban’s Ntuzuma and Lindelani townships on Saturday.
Zille’s visit came a day before the ANC launches its own election bid to win 70 percent of the vote at next year’s poll at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday.
“We’re always ahead of the ANC,” Zille said.
Unlike at the University of Fort Hare on Thursday, where students from the ANC-aligned Sasco switched off the lights while she was delivering a lecture, Zille was met with a rapturous welcome in Lindelani, a former bastion of political intolerance where blood flowed under the iron fist of IFP warlord Thomas Shabalala in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Wearing a blue beret with “Dawn” beaded onto it, Zille tore into the ANC and its government, saying the party had intimidated DA members through fear of losing.
“They are worried by the DA’s growth,” she said, adding there were already signs that the DA would clinch the 2016 local government elections.
The DA had won 23 percent of the vote in 2011 and had been in a similar situation in the Western Cape before wresting the province from the ANC there.
Earlier, Zille seized the stage at the packed Ntuzuma A hall, speaking in Xhosa and English, appealing for votes.
“The sky is blue, the sea is blue and every part of South Africa will be blue when the DA is finished. The DA is going to govern South Africa. You are the blue wave.”
She described KZN as a warm province but said some of the things she had seen and heard of left her cold.
She had visited two local RDP houses, one belonging to the disabled Silangwe family, and bemoaned the fact that 200 housing units had no water or electricity.
“As a result, these families are spending R150 paying people to fetch water for them. This money comes from their social grant, which is not a lot. That is an absolute tragedy… Even worse, people are promising them services, taking their money, but they never hear from them.
“A house with no water or electricity is like an empty shell. The people in government like big cars, big offices, big overseas trips, but they don’t like to work for the people.” She said she planned to speak to President Jacob Zuma about the problem.
Zille said some communities had voted for the ANC, only to protest at the lack of service delivery weeks later.
“You can’t change things through toyi-toying but you can by voting for us. If you want us to make things happen we have to be in government, and we can only be in government if we get enough votes.”
Zille referred to the Manase forensic report, which uncovered widespread corruption within eThekwini Municipality, including irregular expenditure of R535-million.
“I couldn’t believe reading that Obed Mlaba got a tender to turn waste into energy worth R3.4-billion. Why did a former mayor have a stake in a contract paid for with state funds?
“The eThekwini Municipality was supposed to build 8 500 houses. They have only built 3 000 houses and they say there’s no money. Do you know why? That money went into people’s pockets. That kind of thing doesn’t happen where the DA governs.
“In 2016 I believe the DA can take eThekwini. But it is up to you to listen to your heart. When you get to the voting booth take a deep breath and listen to your heart. And your heart will say: D-A, D-A, D-A.” - Sunday Tribune