DA leader Mmusi Maimane: File photo: ANA

Cape Town - The Western Cape leads the charge to bring change that builds one South Africa for all, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

Speaking at the launch of the DA's "Team 1 SA" in Cape Town, Maimane said the Western Cape and Cape Town had been the backdrop to much of South Africa's history.

"But then we lost our way as a nation. Greed and corruption in the ANC replaced hope and ambition, and our nation started drifting further and further away from the dream of freedom. Today, many of our people are no nearer to being free than they were back then. It has become clear that it won’t be the ANC who will deliver this freedom because they can’t," he said.

It would have to be a new government, committed to working for all the people. A government committed to building a fair and non-racial South Africa.

"A government that not only believes in our potential, but also believes that we will only reach this potential if we work together. The numbers speak for themselves. The Western Cape leads the other eight provinces in every measure of good, clean governance you can think of, from jobs to education, from land reform to basic service delivery," Maimane said.

In the past year, according to Stats SA, three-quarters of new jobs in South Africa were created in the Western Cape. This province now had a broad unemployment rate that was 14.2 percent below the national average.

The DA took a provincial education department that was struggling and turned it into the best performing department in the country. It now led the other provinces on bachelor passes as well as maths and science passes, and it had the lowest pupil drop-out rate in South Africa.

Land reform projects in the Western Cape had a 62 percent success rate, compared to the 10 percent success rate for land reform projects for the rest of the country, making it clear who was serious about land reform and who was not, Maimane said.

"Much of our success is down to clean and transparent governance and working responsibly with public money. This past financial year the Western Cape achieved 80 percent clean audits. The next best province was Gauteng with a distant 52 percent."

In healthcare, the DA succeeded in raising the life expectancy for men from 59 years in 2009 to 66 today. For women this went from 64 in 2009 to 72 today.

"Across every single measure, the DA-led Western Cape has outshone every single ANC-led province. There is no doubt that this DA government is the best government the Western Cape has ever had.

"But that alone is no reason to sit back and feel satisfied. Because we cannot measure ourselves against a standard set by the ANC. Our benchmark must surely be much, much higher.

"I could not have asked for a more qualified, more committed team to take our election message to the people during this campaign, and to then steer this province and this city towards a bright and safe future. We have truly assembled the A-team here," Maimane said.

In DA premier candidate Alan Winde "we have the perfect premier to build on the enormous gains this province has made under the government of [current premier] Helen Zille this past decade".

In Cape Town mayor elect Dan Plato "we have a mayor who will take back Cape Town’s communities from the gangs and drug dealers who have taken over their streets".

"And in Bonginkosi Madikizela we have a provincial leader who has, time and time again, demonstrated his commitment to the people of the province through better services and housing delivery.

"But even he will admit that there is still more to be done. Despite being far ahead of the other provinces, unemployment still affects many young people here, and we have a huge challenge to help create sustainable jobs. I know there is not a more qualified person to lead this charge than Alan Winde," Maimane said.

African News Agency/ANA