Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has lamented what he says is the South African economy’s slow recovery from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the November 1 local election is an opportunity for citizens to make smart choices about their future.

Steenhuisen was speaking at the party’s virtual Manifesto launch on Saturday. The party has urged voters to make the DA their choice to run their municipalities, saying it gets things done and has a consistent record of good service delivery

“One thing I can tell you is that the DA is not a party of wild, unattainable promises. We don’t fill our manifesto with every fantasy we can think of. We don’t ignore the real-world constraints of resources, budgets, personnel, historical backlogs, and maintenance neglect.

Ours is a manifesto anchored in reality. A manifesto that speaks not only of what a DA government will do for you but also of what dozens of DA governments already do for millions of people. A record of action, and a promise of more.”

Steenhuisen says the party is not blowing hot air about what it can achieve. He says it has consistently come out on top with regards to its performance on various criteria based on rating by the Auditor-General, Citizen Satisfaction Index, and Ratings Afrika. He explains why.

“Our party is obsessed with doing the basics well – streamlining and correcting our systems until they are efficient and entirely focused on solving the problem, whether this problem is collecting refuse, filling potholes, managing housing lists, or keeping people safe. We also believe in employing only fit-for-purpose individuals to government and then demanding accountability from them. Because this is the only way to build a capable state. We have zero-tolerance for corruption, and we have an obsession to reduce any unauthorised or irregular expenditure.”

Serving all its constituents

Meanwhile, DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya says that the party serves all its constituents, saying indigent South Africans are likely to get more support under a DA-run municipality than that run by any other party.

“The latest from StatSA’s non-financial census of municipalities shows that across all areas of basic service delivery water, electricity, sewage, and sanitation as well as waste management. The municipalities across the Western Cape support indigent households at a greater rate than any other province. If you have found yourself in hard times and you are classified as indigent you are more likely to receive free support for basic services in a DA-run municipality than anywhere else in the country.”

The party will now be seeking to take its vision to other parts of the country, hoping that citizens will trust in what it has achieved so far.

DA leader launches the party’s manifesto: