Durban — The DA formally launched its election campaign in Durban on Saturday.
Their first order of business, they said, was to take tough action against the eThekwini Municipality over water shortages which residents have been experiencing in several areas.
Holding placards and addressing the large crowds that gathered, the opposition party said its aim was to stop the ANC and EFF from running the municipality.
John Steenhuisen, federal leader of the party, said people had become accustomed to living without a government that cared for the nation and the value of taxes paid by the people.
“While the things we have lost under the ANC would cause riots and revolution in other countries, we instead adopted the most South African attitude of all: we made a plan,” he said.
“For each of these things that the ANC destroyed, we made a plan.
“Those who could afford it, made a plan to move to gated estates, and to pay for private security and medical aid.
“Those who could afford it, installed solar electricity and sent their children to private schools.
“Of course, the vast majority of South Africans cannot afford these private solutions, but the poorest members of our communities also made a plan.”
Steenhuisen said that while South Aficans were highly praised by President Cyril Ramaphosa for their resilience, it was not meant as a compliment and that he was rather laughing at them for finding alternatives because of the lack of service delivery.
He further warned that water would continue to remain a scarce resource for the people of eThekwini under the ANC leadership.
Steenhuisen said that the DA would be filing a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the municipality for its flagrant violations of the Bill of Rights.
“The right to water, to human dignity and to a liveable environment have been shredded in this City,” said Steenhuisen.
He said that they would also be embarking on a nationwide campaign against the “spiralling water crisis created by the ANC”.
DA KZN premier candidate Mayor Chris Pappas called for an early election.
“We do not have the luxury of another two and a half years before the next local government elections.
“We really do not. There is not much left of the city to function.
“The Democratic Alliance, with many of you here, is calling for an early election.
“We want to take control of our future and our lives. It cannot be that we suffer on a daily basis and nothing happens about it.
“If the ANC and the EFF are so confident that they are doing well in the city, then why would they not want to go on election so that the people can tell us if they are doing really well,” he said.