Port Elizabeth - “I’m so overwhelmed with this province. I think it deserves a DA government to go forward.” DA leader Mmusi Maimane made this assertion during a party event in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.
He was so confident of victory in the upcoming municipal elections, that he promised to slaughter a cow for the DA’s victory celebrations in the metro, incorporating Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage.
The DA has been making serious inroads in the metro, where DA Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip hopes to topple current mayor and ANC mayoral candidate, Danny Jordaan, as city boss on August 3.
Maimane was speaking during an event to launch the 10 day countdown to the much-anticipated elections.
He commended the metro’s beautiful coastline, saying it presented massive tourism opportunities. “This is a beautiful city, with a beautiful people. From its coastline I can see that this city has big opportunities. We want to bring here a tourism industry so that South Africans from all over South Africa and global people ... come here and experience the beauty of our coastline,” he said.
The metro presented opportunities in the manufacturing industry, and the DA government would deal decisively with eradicating corruption.
Punctuating his speech with “Amandla!”, the DA leader said they would also address the scourge of drugs in the metro.
He then turned his focus on the ANC and President Jacob Zuma, and accused them of using racism to try and weaken the DA ahead of the crucial polls.
The surveys suggest the DA could win the ANC-governed metro, which is the Eastern Cape’s biggest and richest.
ANC leaders who campaigned in the metro, have ridiculed the DA, its leaders and the candidates it had fielded, saying they would never wrest the metro from the ANC clutches.
Zuma addressed a party rally in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, where he dismissed the DA as an offspring of apartheid political parties.
Hitting back, Maimane said: “What he has failed to tell you is that his government is so corrupt. A corrupt parent will produce corrupt mayors and will produce corrupt councillors. That is why Danny Jordaan can’t travel overseas because he knows the FBI are looking for him,” said Maimane.
Jordaan is accused of having had a hand in the 2010 Soccer World Cup bribery scandal. As mayor, Jordaan took the decision to cut the municipality’s budget of over R300 million for overseas trips to zero.
Maimane said Jordaan did not really care about the struggles of the people of the metro, saying if all failed, he had would return to his other job as president of the SA Football Association.
“You know they change mayors here every time. I’m sure if Danny Jordaan loses here ...he’s going to go back to his other part-time job there at Safa. The people of Nelson Mandela Bay deserve a mayor who cares for the people and there’s only one person who is competent ... and that person is Athol Trollip. He’s going to take this metro in the right direction,” he said, to loud applause from the supporters.