Johannesburg - People should not waste their votes on parties that could potentially be one election wonders, DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.
Maimane basically wrote off the Economic Freedom Fighters in the battle for control of Gauteng saying it would be a two way horse race between the Democratic Alliance and the African National Congress.
“South Africans must not be fooled by one election wonders. We are not guaranteed that they (EFF) will be around in 2019,” he told reporters after the party's final rally at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg.
“As a voter, you need to ask which party can take the fight to the ANC and which party is growing.”
He gave examples of parties mushrooming ahead of the elections which turn to disappear. He said the Congress of the People was one such party.
Maimane called on people to vote for a party that had a track record and credibility to fight corruption.
“With the EFF, I'm not so sure,” he said.
Speaking about e-tolls, Maimane said should the DA win Gauteng, there would be a referendum for motorists to decide on what should be done with the gantries.
“We will fight e-tolls with all our power. And we will give you the decision by having a referendum to vote directly against e-tolls,” he said.
He said people were not given the opportunity to vote when they were put in place.
“A referendum must be put on the table and let people vote. This country stands on constitution and rule of law. When that is the case, they must vote and give you direction,” he said.
During his address to the thousands of “Bluenami” who had filled the Coca Cola Dome, Maimane said unemployment was the lowest in areas where the party governed.
“This is what I want to bring to the economic hub of this country... as the next premier of Gauteng. We will create hundreds of thousands of apprenticeships. They will be available to young people in the private sector.”
He said the current government was working against entrepreneurs but under the DA, large tenders would be broken down into smaller ones so that businesses could compete.
“We can't have small businesses struggling to pay rent. Small businesses with promising ideas need offices. And under the DA they will be able to rent space from the DA Gauteng government at just R1 a year,” he said.
Maimane said the DA would push for equal quality of education for all, adding that liberation should start in the classroom for the benefit of all.
“We will upgrade our schools, and we will build new schools that focus in maths, science and technology. No more will the child in Soweto receive an inferior education to the child in Sandton,” he said.
Maimane promised to cut corruption and save the province billions of rands. By cutting corruption and wasteful expenditure, the party would save Gauteng R6 billion, he said.
Party leader Helen Zille told supporters that as voters, they had the power to fire government when they were not happy with the level of service delivery they were getting.
“Remember that in a democracy, the government is supposed to work for you. You hire it. And you can fire it. And we know how its done: You hire with your vote and you fire with your vote.”
She said if government was doing its work properly, South Africa would attract more investments and the economy would grow faster to create jobs.
When a government became corrupt the economy declined, unemployment grew, poverty deepened and the powerful few got richer, she added.
She said under President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress had changed.
Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the country deserved better.
She told the rally how she had walked for kilometres with women from Podile in Limpopo to collect water at a stream they shared with animals.
“We have seen in my home province of KwaZulu-Natal where the money goes when it is not being spent on delivering to our people. It goes to building a palace worth R249 million for President Jacob Zuma,” she said.
Mazibuko said Zuma's cows lived in more security than the people of the province. The place where his chickens lived was more luxurious than the homes of the people who elected him, she added. - Sapa