DA leader Helen Zille. Photo: Dumisani Dube

Cape Town -

The DA’s biggest election campaign challenge is convincing ANC supporters that voting for the opposition is not “betrayal, but their right to vote out a corrupt government”.

This is the view of party leader Helen Zille, who visited the Garden Route on Wednesday as part of her campaign for the May 7 elections.

“South Africans have the right and the power to vote out a corrupt government and it is a challenge to convey this to everyone,” Zille said.

Zille has been telling communities about the DA’s successes since it took control about five years ago.

At Borchards, a George township which contains a ward of the DA, she said: “As this has until recently been an ANC ward, we have a lot to do here, but the wonderful thing is every single home, formal or informal, now has electricity. In the rest of the country there is no delivery of electricity in informal settlements, only in the Western Cape.”

Despite heavy rain, residents and DA supporters gathered in the streets.

“Yes, the party has done a lot for the people in the Western Cape, but there is a lot that still needs to be done,” resident Terri-Anne Fischer said.

“We can’t go anywhere in this community without feeling unsafe. There is a lot of crime, violence and other social ills. The DA needs to step it up to address these issues. The long waiting period for government housing has also left many people frustrated.”

But Zille said: “The biggest challenge facing the communities, and I’ve seen it here again today, is drug and alcohol abuse.”

She added the only contribution the government could make to enable someone “to progress in life and to contribute to the economy” was by providing rehabilitation facilities. “We have 24 rehabilitation centres in the Western Cape to help people get off drugs.”

She said the province also had the lowest unemployment and the highest access to water and sanitation.

About 500 000 children were provided with a meal a day and every child had a textbook for every subject.

Zille also visited Wilderness and Oudtshoorn. – Garden Route Media