Knives out for DA and ANC

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Leader of the DA Helen Zille at the IEC Election Results Centre in Pretoria. Photo: Chris Collingridge/The Star

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The ANC and the DA rounded on each other over “race-based” electioneering on Friday, as the DA celebrated its win in the Western Cape.

Speaking at the Bellville results centre, DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer said the ANC had used “race-based divide-and-rule tactics”, while the ANC’s Marius Fransman, in turn, accused his opponents of “swart gevaar tactics”.

With all the results from the province’s 1 578 voting centres tallied last night, the DA won 1 259 645 votes or 59.38 percent. The ANC won 697 664 votes or 32.89 percent.

This gives the DA a clear majority in the 42-seat provincial legislature. Initial results gave the party 26 seats and the ANC 14, with the last two going to the EFF and the ACDP. Official seat calculation was expected to be released later today.

As it became clear she was set for another term at the helm of the province, party leader and premier-designate Helen Zille, who was at the IEC’s national results centre, said the DA would not be resting on its laurels in the Western Cape.

“Never. One of my biggest mottos in life is ‘pride comes before a fall’. The last thing we must think is now we’re comfortable in the Western Cape. Politicians must never be comfortable,” Zille said.

She was “humbled” to be given another chance to govern as it would allow the party to go “full-bore” in implementing its policies.

Zille said the public might think five years was a long time, but it took more than half this period for a new administration to bring its plans to fruition.

“When you’re in government you’ve got to take your manifesto, turn it into a plan, you’ve got to restructure government to implement that plan and then you’ve got to land it in the budget - and that takes three years, easily. Then you’ve got two years to start implementing,” Zille said.

The big items for the province would be education, health and “urbanisation management”.

“We are growing at a phenomenal rate and in the last 10 years the Western Cape population has grown by 30 percent,” Zille said.

It was encouraging the party had increased its share of the vote despite this big shift in the province’s demographics.

In a victory speech of sorts, Meyer yesterday called for unity and co-operation between parties now that the heated atmosphere of the elections was over.

“Here in the Western Cape we have political opponents but no political enemies,” said Meyer.

But moments later, he laid into the ANC for “poo-litics”, saying its efforts to make the province ungovernable had “failed miserably”.

“Our support in this province grew by almost 9 percentage points,” he said.

“We have grown in all communities in the Western Cape. The ANC, by contrast, has seen its support decline further.”

“Not the ANC’s race-based divide-and-rule tactics, especially in vulnerable communities like De Doorns, nor their efforts to bribe DA councillors, nor their outrageous so-called faeces war could unseat the DA in this province,” Meyer said. “May this …be the end of the poo wars.”

But Fransman, who will step down from his post as the deputy minister for international relations and co-operation to lead the ANC in the province, accused the DA of using “swart gevaar tactics” to win coloured support.

He said the ANC had in fact increased its share of the vote in the province.

The ANC had received about 76 000 more provincial votes than in 2009 and gained an extra 1.3 percentage points.

“We can say (our) strategy is on track for the rural communities,” said Fransman.

In the provincial vote, the ANC gained the most votes in six of 25 municipalities - three more than in 2009.

Fransman acknowledged the DA had “consolidated its support” in the Cape Flats, despite concerted ANC efforts.

Meanwhile, ANC campaign boss Malusi Gigaba said it was the last time the DA would win the province.

The ANC had corrected its mistakes and Fransman would be doing “good work” in opposition to the DA.

Zille is meanwhile looking to the local government polls in two years’ time.

Her party fell short in Gauteng of its goal of squeezing the ANC below 50 percent but it will now attempt to impose its Western Cape blueprint for success on that province.

“So if we could do the same with Gauteng it would be fabulous, you know, win Johannesburg and then show Gauteng the difference the DA makes in government.”

Saturday Argus


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