Port Elizabeth - Campaigning in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told supporters he would resign if he thought his party was failing to deliver.
“I’m so invested in the DA, we the DA must deliver and if we don’t, I myself will resign,” he told residents of Booysens Park.
Maimane and the DA’s mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay Athol Trollip were warmly welcomed in Port Elizabeth’s townships and Northern Areas as they encouraged people to “vote out” the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in what is expected to be a tough contest at the polls on August 3.
“We are the only government that can deliver, the ANC has long neglected the people. Our focus it to create work particularly in the Northern Areas because people just don’t find work,” Maimane said.
“It’s quite clear that the people are concerned about safety and that’s why it’s important that we have a metro police that works and ultimately make sure that there is a form of ward based planning so that we can secure people in their own wards.”
Maimane slammed the metro for still not having attended to a dysfunctional road in the area despite the budget having being approved for the project.
He added that the DA would root out corruption, saying it was at times “perpetuated by community ward councillors” who offer people “work opportunities” if they join a particular party.
“What does the ANC offer here? More of (ANC mayor) Danny Jordaan, more of corruption, more unemployment, that’s what the ANC is offering the people,” he said.
He said he was certain that the DA would grow in a diverse area like the Northern Areas.
“The ANC want to perpetuate a lie – that the DA is somewhat a party for a particular race. It is lie born to a propaganda machine that is driven from the pit of apartheid itself.”
Meanwhile, Trollip added that “when the DA won Nelson Mandela Bay” they would review the budget to focus specifically on infrastructure and vowed to work to create jobs.
“Danny Jordaan halved the infrastructure budget and he is now bragging about having money in the bank. We don’t want money in the bank. So we will restructure the whole budget and the IDP [infrastructure development programme] will have to be restructured, it will be focused on infrastructure development to attract investment so we can start growing the economy of the city and start creating jobs.”
Trollip said that it was unacceptable that residents had to choose between rectification or the rebuilding of their houses.
“It’s not a choice, there are thousands of houses built so poorly that we will have to rebuild them. A lot of them have to be completely demolished. In Veeplaas today [Thursday] we saw houses that were uninhabitable. What I’ve realised is that taking people out of a shack and into a brick build house without having anyone in that house earning an income doesn’t make any difference.
“Poverty in a brick house is the same as poverty in a shack. We need to make sure that there is income coming into homes that subsidises elderly people on grants, at the moment the elderly subsidise the whole family because people aren’t working,” said Trollip.