24.7.2013 James Self of the DA in the so-called Zuma spy tapes hearing in the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Etienne Creux

Johannesburg - WHILE the DA election manifesto is unlikely to be launched until early March, the opposition party is set to finalise its candidates for the national and nine provincial legislatures at a meeting of its federal executive in two weeks’ time.

DA federal executive chairman, James Selfe, yesterday confirmed the assessment and interviews of public representative candidates in the provinces had been completed, as was the compilation of a national list. The federal executive meeting on January 24 would finalise rankings, barring any appeals.

It is pretty much a given that DA leader, Helen Zille, is set to feature in first position on the Western Cape list, paving her way into the premier’s post, as the DA is certain that it will retain the province in the upcoming polls.

In Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane, the party’s national spokesman and one of three deputy federal chairmen, rather than provincial party leader, John Moodey, will be in the top spot as the premier candidate, the only one thus announced – and is already on the campaign trail.

According to the DA constitution, provincial leaders take the first spot, unless the provincial leaders are not also the premier candidates.

In some provinces this ranking was moot; the DA has few if any expectations of winning, for example, in Limpopo, although it anticipated increased support there.

In the run-up to the elections, provinces are expected to tailor the key thrusts of the DA election manifesto to their individual situations. Thus, Maimane said that a provincial charter of what could be expected if the DA won would be launched early next month.

Maimane insisted the DA stood a good chance in Gauteng, despite a hard slog ahead.

“We are going to throw everything at Gauteng,” he said. “It’s not going to be a walk in the park. This is Gauteng. This is the ANC’s heartland.”

According to DA polling, the ANC could be brought under 50 percent in Gauteng, with President Jacob Zuma the key reason for the governing party’s declining support in the province.

This is what Maimane said at a briefing yesterday about the next five weeks of his campaign trail. These would include town hall meetings, and outreach sessions to young voters through campus events and shisanyamas (braais).

The national DA election manifesto is expected to be dominated by job creation, education, clean governance and the establishing of an inclusive economy.

Daily News