‘ANC, you have wasted the country’s time long enough’ – Steenhuisen

Henry

More than 15,000 DA supporters gathered in the Pretoria city center on Saturday to march on the Union Building, where the official opposition leader, John Steenhuisen, was to present his election manifesto.

The party described the event as its biggest gathering in the history of the DA.

RNews earlier reported that the march to the Union Building has symbolic importance, indicating the DA’s determination “to usher in a new era of governance”.

Steenhuisen says the DA has decided to present its 2024 election manifesto from the Union Building to send a clear message.

“That we are in this election to win it. That in this election we must rescue the Union Building from the clutches of a corrupt government, and restore it to its rightful place as a symbol of pride for all South Africans.”

He says that in the 2024 election, a vote for the DA is a vote for a party with a plan to save South Africa.

“We will start fixing what is broken in government by abolishing cadre deployment, sacking corrupt officials and appointing competent people with the skills to deliver services.

“We will build a capable state to work together with the private sector and civil society to save South Africa.”

He says that in every previous election since 1994, everyone knew that the ANC would win.

“The only question was by how much. As a result, the DA’s primary task in every previous election was to consolidate the strongest possible opposition to the ANC, to prevent the worst from happening to our beloved country.

“But all that changes today. Today we enter a new path towards a new goal. In this election, the DA will not oppose the ANC. In this election, the DA will defeat the ANC.”

Steenhuisen says that for the first time in the country’s democratic history, support for the ANC will collapse well below 50%.

“This is a party in terminal decline, which is being ripped to shreds from all sides. The ANC was already on its knees when Jacob Zuma’s MK party entered the fray, and now the MK is devouring millions of ANC votes.

“And the ANC has only one man to blame for its downfall: Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, who for decades did everything in his power to provide opportunities and protect Jacob Zuma.

“Ramaphosa even freed more than 15,000 criminals just to keep Zuma out of prison.

“The very Zuma is now helping to get Ramaphosa out of the Union building here behind me.”

He says the DA is committed to becoming the strong, stable anchor party at the heart of a new multi-party government to save South Africa.

“But, in the DA we do not strive for power for its own sake. For the DA, winning elections and joining the government is a means to the ultimate goal. That ultimate goal is to serve all the people of South Africa by making their lives better.”

Steenhuisen says he is therefore proud to present the DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa, their manifesto for the historic 2024 elections, today.

“This manifesto is the outcome of the most comprehensive policy-making process in the history of our party, built on a series of updated policies that we have adopted since 2019.

“In this election, a vote for the DA is a vote for a party with a clear plan to save South Africa.”

As the anchor party in a new multi-party government, the DA’s key priorities during the 2024 to 2029 term will be to –

  1. create two million new jobs;
  2. end loadshedding and water reduction;
  3. halve the rate of violent crime, including murder, attempted murder and gender-based violence;
  4. suppress corruption by abolishing cadre deployment in favor of merit-based appointments;
  5. lifting six million people out of poverty;
  6. the number of gr. 4-learners who can read with understanding, to double; and
  7. ensure quality healthcare for all, regardless of economic status.

“What the DA offers you today are not populist promises, but solemn promises.

“We will focus our time in government like a laser beam on the implementation of these seven key promises, because we understand that if we cannot fix these seven things, South Africa will not have a future.”

Steenhuisen says that unlike Ramaphosa’s desperate attempts to hide his government’s failures, the DA’s manifesto is rooted in the reality of what South Africa is in 2024, not what it promised to be in 1994.

“The Constitutional Court has given the ANC until Monday to hand over complete records of its cadre deployment committee dating back to 1 January 2013, when Ramaphosa became its chairman.

“After the ANC dragged on for more than three years following the DA’s initial request that these records be made public in order to expose Ramaphosa’s role in state capture, the ANC crawled back to the DA yesterday and begged us to give them more time give.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say directly to Ramaphosa and the ANC:

“No, you can’t get more time.

“Not to hand over these records, and not in government.

“You have wasted South Africa’s time long enough.”