John Moodey, the provincial leader of the DA in Gauteng. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance Students' Organisation (Daso) needs to start recruiting teenagers at schools in order to grow more support for the DA at tertiary institutions, DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the DA's 20129 elections manifesto at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg, he said Daso faced tough competition at tertiary Institutions in the province, mainly from the African National Congress's Progressive Youth Alliance and the economic Freedom Fighters "student command".

''It is always a disappointment when one doesn't win, and we do take this seriously. I always say that Daso should be catching them [young people] at the age of 14 at high schools; that is where we grew student politics in 1976.

"But I also think that student politics is different from national politics... and most of these students come from outside Gauteng and have different political ideologies, so we continue to work through that small window of opportunity to convert students,'' Moodey said.

The DA elections campaign had been ''revved up'' following the arrival of former City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimang at the Gauteng legislature. Msimang is the DA Gauteng premier candidate.

''He is serious about taking Gauteng. The impact is greater because he is now out there in the field. The ANC is fully aware of the fact that we have been pushing them back in the legislature... after the elections, we will be sitting on their side and they will occupy the opposition benches... most of them will not be returning to the legislature,'' he said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane will unveil the party's election manifesto, dubbed the "Manifesto of Change", to thousands of supporters gathered at the Rand Stadium south of Johannesburg. Dressed in signature blue DA colours, supporters arrived in buses and cars. Musicians such as TDK Macasette, Ricky Rick, Moonchild, Kurt Darren, and Soweto's Finest entertained the crowds.

African News Agency/ANA