DA Member of the Provincial Legislature Makashule Gana File picture: David Ritchie/ANA

Johannesburg - Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) Makashule Gana has put his hand up to challenge the Gauteng premiership at the next elections.

Announcing the move on Tuesday, Gana said: "I’ve invited you here today to announce that I will be putting my name forward as the Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng Premier, and to trigger the country’s most important election campaign."

"The 2019 election will be a pivotal moment for the country. As our DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, said on Sunday, we must win Gauteng. Mmusi’s call was that we must win, not because we are ambitious for office, but for its potential to make South Africa more equal, more inclusive, more prosperous and more responsive to the challenges of the changed global order," said Gana.

"I believe that we can and know that we must win Gauteng, which is why I am availing myself to be the Gauteng Premier Candidate for the DA. This is not a decision I have taken lightly. It has been 16 years in the making. I have been a member and activist at the community level for the DA.

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Gana also invoked the name of African National Congress struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's name as a reason to be voted for. 

"Mama Winnie’s sacrifice reminds us that the world which so many now take for granted was won by struggle. It is a great source of pride to us that her struggle is so entwined with the story of this province.

"And today we must reignite Ma’s struggle for freedom with the ‘fierce urgency of now’.  We cannot wait, we dare not sit idly by and miss the opportunity for powerful change. Yes, we must continue to work against the forces that would gobble up the precious progress that we made.

"We must be vigilant and steadfast. The dream of a non-racial South Africa still lives on despite the storms that often threaten to overwhelm us. I know this, you know this and together we can work towards this."

African News Agency/ANA