The DA has set its sights on Gauteng and the Northern Cape, saying it is confident that in the 2019 general election the party will grow even further. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has set its sights on Gauteng and the Northern Cape, saying it is confident that in the 2019 general election the party will grow even further, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

Speaking after a two-day sitting of the DA federal executive (FedEx) in Johannesburg, Maimane said the 2019 election was set to be the most hotly contested and competitive national election since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

The growing dissatisfaction with the African National Congress saw historical shifts in government in the 2016 local government elections, with DA governments taking office in the country’s largest cities. 

"We are confident that in 2019 we will grow even further as many more South Africans will choose the DA as the flag-bearer for a united, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa where jobs and wealth are created, our streets are safe, corruption is eradicated, and services are delivered to all," he said.

The FedEx moved to adopt a number of resolutions this weekend which would form the basis of the election campaign with certain "non-negotiable targets",  including to become the biggest party in Gauteng and form a government in the province; become the biggest party in the Northern Cape and form a government in the province; and retain the Western Cape with an increased majority.

"Therefore, the focus lies in Gauteng, Northern Cape, and Western Cape with these being our 'strategic' provinces. In addition to this, we plan to substantially increase our percentage of the national votes cast. This means that the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, the North West, and the Eastern Cape will contribute significantly to the growth targets of the party based on our strong structures and electoral performance," Maimane said.

"Our recent performance in these provinces in both by-elections and university and TVET [technical vocational education and training  colleges], SRC [student representive council] elections shows the DA is breaking new ground as voters choose the DA’s vision for a one South Africa for all," he said.

In recent by-elections, the DA had grown significantly in both rural and urban areas, in suburbs and in townships. Pursuant to these targets, the DA had resolved that during this parliamentary constituency period, all DA MPs would undertake an intensive 75-day period to interact with voters in their constituencies and beyond.

"The party will go into official campaign mode during the month of June, with a view to officially launch the national campaign in July 2018. Alongside the party’s presidential candidate will be a diverse and capable team who will each be mandated with one of the key strategic issues that affect South Africans daily."

"Following that the party will launch premier candidate campaigns across the country. It is our belief that we field premier candidates in each province who are capable, dedicated, and able to speak to voters directly on our plans to bring about real change.

"In addition to this, campaign groups and units are being rolled out across the country with DA members and volunteers delivering our offer of hope and change to thousands of South Africans on a daily basis. Structures are ready, our field redesign is complete, and our activists are eager to get going," Maimane said.

African News Agency (ANA)