The Democratic Alliance (DA)  says it is ready for the launch of its local government manifesto this coming weekend. The party says it is delighted about the progress of its campaigns.

Party leader John Steenhuisen, has warned voters against voting for small parties that have a little chance of representing them. He says voting this way will only serve to strengthen the ANC.

The DA is promising a spectacular event on Saturday. Party spokesperson Gwen Ngwenya and Manifesto Launch Programme Director Karabo Khakhau says some of the top acts will be on display.

” You can see that this is going to be an absolutely exciting event on Saturday. Remember, we are going to be live on SABC 2 and all our DA platforms at eleven AM. … Remember we have Ernie B, we have MFR Souls, we have Kurt Daren, we have Emo Adams. It’s going to be lit. ”

DA manifesto to focus on restoring quality services: 

Campaigning during a pandemic 

Steenhuisen has defended the DA’s insistence that the elections should go ahead even when the IEC had said it would not be possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says while the pandemic has impacted the traditional way of campaigning, the DA has moved with the times and is using new ways to woo voters.

” We can’t have the mass rallies, this is the new normal in COVID. But it doesn’t mean as political parties you can’t campaign. Saturday is going to show at 11 that you can communicate with voters, find a way to get over a problem. Don’t sit back and say we can’t campaign in this environment, you can campaign. It’s about adapting to this new normal. The irony is that these political parties have expected citizens to adapt to the new normal but they don’t want to adapt to a new normal themselves.”

Smaller parties and role of local government

Steenhuisen says what is needed is an opposition that is big enough to make an impact to keep the ANC accountable in all municipalities.

” You’ll see some of these parties in Gauteng. They are not going after the ANC vote, they are trying to weaken the DA. They don’t get enough votes to get win the ward, but they get enough to eat at the DA’s vote. What happens then, you end up with an ANC or EFF councillor. ”

The party says it is now time for municipalities to start taking the initiative where the national government fails to provide services.

“National government is responsible for bulk water provision, safety. I am proud of the manifesto and visiting DA success stories and security, electricity supply, and the like. But increasingly as the national government has  failed, local government has had to step in. DA success stories – how DA government are not just sitting back. They are actually getting their hands stuck in and getting things done there. Whether it’s ensuring that we stay one stage below load shedding, whether it’s ensuring that we have the provincial government working with the city to deal with water scarcity and water resilience plan, whether it is Alan Winde and the city having to step in a deal with safety and security, the fight against poaching, the fight against drugs where the national government has retreated. Cities are not going to be able to sit back and hope that national government is going to improve.”