The looters are now targeting the WCape – John Steenhuisen

DA leader says province's survival and prosperity dependent on DA securing a majority

Only a DA outright majority will keep the Western Cape working

6 April 2024

Fellow Democrats and citizens of the Western Cape,

It is with tremendous pride that I speak with you today in this wonderful DA-led province.

In my job as leader of the DA and of the official opposition in Parliament, I spend a lot of time travelling around South Africa, helping to address the enormous challenges facing the people of our country.

In my travels, I am privileged to see the great natural beauty of our land and the boundless potential of our people.

But, especially in recent years and despite our rich endowments, the optimism and promise that buoyed so many of us during the early years of our democracy, has increasingly been replaced by a new feeling.


In Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, I recently experienced that despair as a husband and as a father, when I visited a community where a single mother ended the lives of her three young children before taking her own life, because she could no longer afford to feed her family.

I feel despair whenever I return to Durban, the city where I grew up.

A city that was once a tourist hotspot, has been reduced to ashes with mountains of garbage lining the streets.

Beaches where tens of thousands of South Africans once celebrated the December holidays together, are now closed and empty because infrastructure collapse has turned the ocean itself into a toxic cesspool.

I fight not to be overwhelmed by despair when I visit Johannesburg, once the beating heart of our industrial economy.

Now reduced by the looters in the ANC, the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance to a place where councillors spend millions on bodyguards, while residents no longer have drinking water, where commuters drive on crumbling roads that explode, and where people burn to death inside their homes because the fire service has collapsed.

For millions of citizens, the story of South Africa has become a story of despair.

But, fortunately, that’s not the whole story.

For, while the eight ANC-led provinces crumble, there is one place left in this country where the hope that we all shared for a better future, shines ever more brightly.

That place of hope, is this DA-led Western Cape province.

The Western Cape of Good Hope.

Hope is not the same as perfection, and all of us still have a lot more work to do to deliver dignity and opportunity to every resident of this province.

That is why our Premier Candidate will shortly tell you more about the DA’s ambitious plans to take the Western Cape to soaring new heights by creating jobs, tackling load shedding, and combating crime.

But, even as we have much more still to do, this province of the Western Cape already represents the last hope for the despairing people of South Africa.

Because the Western Cape works.

And if the Western Cape works, that means that South Africa can work.

That is why I am here today to speak frankly with the people of the Western Cape.

To tell you that, if you do not often travel outside this province, you cannot even begin to realise how much you stand to lose if you do not vote for the DA in this election.

If you’ve lived in the Western Cape for the past fifteen years, you probably take it for granted that you drive on roads without potholes, that clean drinking water flows from your taps, and that your local taxes are not be stolen.

But if you had lived in another part of South Africa over the past fifteen years, your roads would have crumbled, your taps would have run dry, and the taxes you pay would all have been looted.

So it is perhaps understandable that, amidst the security provided by fifteen years of DA good governance, it may be tempting to believe that the total collapse experienced in the eight other provinces could never happen in the Western Cape.

But falling into that trap – becoming complacent about which party governs this province – will spell disaster for the Western Cape, just like it has done everywhere else.

I have news for any voter in the Western Cape who has forgotten how important it is to vote for the DA.

Not only can this province collapse into chaos just like the rest of South Africa if you don’t vote for the DA.

But the first alarming signs of decline have already arrived.

Don’t believe me?

Just go and visit a town called Knysna, which is inside the Western Cape province.

Like all governments with outright DA majorities, Knysna was once a showpiece for stability and good governance.

But things changed dramatically after the 2021 local government elections, when complacency caused DA voters in Knysna to stay at home instead of turning out to vote.

As a result, the DA fell marginally below the 50% mark required to form a stable majority government in the municipality.

That margin opened the door for a nightmare to be unleashed on the people of Knysna.

Within a matter of months since taking power, the coalition of corruption between the ANC, the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance unleashed looting and destruction the likes of which Knysna had never seen before.

Residents who were used to living in a clean town when a DA majority was in government, suddenly found mountains of filth wherever they went.

Residents of Knysna who never thought twice about drinking tap water when a DA majority was in government, suddenly discovered that, for weeks, they had been drinking water from a reservoir in which a dead, decomposing body had been floating.

When the coalition of corruption finally got round to removing the corpse from the drinking water, it was so badly decayed that its arm broke off in the reservoir.

The people of Knysna thought it could never happen to them.

They thought they would never be subjected to the living hell that is life under the coalition of corruption between the ANC, the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance.

But, in 2021, it did happen to them.

It happened to them precisely because they deluded themselves into believing that it never would.

It happened to them because they split the vote that previously went to the DA, among dozens of small parties.

It happened to them because they allowed opportunistic political mercenaries to divide them.

And it’s not only Knysna.

The people of Beaufort-West have been subjected to the same nightmare under the ANC, the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance.

They were promised Dubai in the desert by an ANC sell-out who only lasted one year as mayor.

But all they’ve gotten is corruption and instability.

Unlike in the rest of the country, in this election, the biggest enemy of progress in the Western Cape is not a desperate ANC trying to cling to power.

In this province, the biggest risk to continued progress is complacency, and the political opportunists in small parties who seek to exploit that complacency to line their own pockets.

Instead of fighting to fix the eight ANC provinces that have been smashed to pieces, the political mercenaries in parties like the Patriotic Alliance, Rise Mzansi, Good and the National Coloured Congress are obsessed with trying to break the one DA province that works.

We have to ask ourselves: why are these parties not campaigning in ANC provinces?

Why are they running around trying to break the one DA province that, over the past five years, has created four out of every five net new jobs in the whole South Africa?

Why are these parties obsessed with targeting this province – the only province that works, where the 1 200 law enforcement officers deployed under the ground-breaking LEAP programme have already made 27 000 arrests?

I’ll tell you why: because the DA-led Western Cape is the last province with anything left to loot!

That’s what this is all about.

You’ll never see these political mercenaries in small parties campaigning in ANC provinces like Limpopo or North West.

Why? Because they know that the ANC has already stolen everything there is to steal in those provinces!

The rest of the country is bankrupt, so the last place left to loot, is the Western Cape!

And there’s just one thing standing in the way of the ANC, the EFF and the sell-outs in small parties who are licking their lips at the thought of getting their hands on the tax money of the Western Cape people.

The one and only thing standing in the way of these parties destroying this province, just like they have destroyed the rest of South Africa, is a Democratic Alliance with an outright majority!

Democrats, we must never allow opportunists in small parties to divide us.

As iemand na jou huis toe kom en vir jou vertel dat hulle net sal baklei vir mense van ‘n spesifieke velkleur, van ‘n spesifieke area, of van ‘n spesifieke agtergrond, sê vir hulle om te skoert!

Parties who talk like that are only interested in dividing us, in making us fight with each other, in splitting the DA’s vote, because then they can rule over us.

I say: never, never and never again must we allow corrupt parties to divide the people of this beautiful province!

That is why you will see that the DA is the only party that is working to unite all of the people of the Western Cape.

Because we know that our unity in diversity inside the DA is the secret weapon that has turned the Western Cape into the last beacon of hope for South Africa.

It is only by uniting all of the people of this province behind the DA, that we can prevent the chaos and looting we see in other provinces.

Because, like the Springboks unite us all, the DA and the Western Cape are stronger, together!

It is also for this same reason that the DA committed to forming the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa at national level, in order to unite against the ANC and EFF, and create a new national government to rescue South Africa.

While other parties try to import the failures of ANC provinces into the Western Cape, the DA is fighting to export the successes of the Western Cape to the whole of South Africa.

And the best way to both protect this province and help to rescue our entire country, is by giving the DA the biggest outright majority we have ever had right here in the Western Cape!

Dieselfde spul partye wat ons wil verdeel, gaan ook vir jou probeer oortuig dat die Wes-Kaap sal aanhou werk sonder die DA.

Hulle praat twak, man!

Sonder ‘n volstrekte meerderheid vir die DA, sal die Wes-Kaap verval in dieselfde gemors as elke ander plek waar die korrupte ANC, EFF en Patriotic Alliance in beheer is!

At the end of the day, the choice in this election is a simple one.

You can either elect a DA outright majority in the Western Cape, or you will have no water in your taps – just like the rest of the country.

You can either elect a DA outright majority in the Western Cape, or you will lose the 300 000 new jobs created here over the past five years – just like the rest of the country.

You can either elect a DA outright majority in the Western Cape, or you will have potholed roads, rubbish piling up on the sidewalks, and dead bodies floating in your water supply – just like in Knysna and the rest of the country.

You can either elect a DA outright majority in the Western Cape, or you will get a coalition of corruption between the ANC, the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance – that will destroy this province just like it has done to the rest of the country.

Soos die verkiesing nader kom, gaan daar ‘n klomp skurke in ons gemeenskappe rondhardloop.

Hulle gaan probeer om vir jou vuurhoutjies te verkoop, want hulle wil hê jy moet die Wes-Kaap aan die brand steek nes die res van die land.

Maar wanneer hulle vir jou daai vuurhoutjies gee, onthou wat ons ma’s ons al van kleins af leer: moenie met vuur speel nie, want jy gaan net jou eie huis afbrand.

Don’t play with fire by allowing political mercenaries to divide us.

In this election, a vote for the DA in the Western Cape is a win-win-win.

Firstly, a vote for the DA in this province is a vote to secure an increased outright majority to keep the Western Cape working.

Secondly, a vote for the DA in this province is a vote for a new national government with a strong anchor party that will work with the Western Cape, not against it.

And thirdly, a vote for the DA in this province is a vote to keep the Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, EFF and small parties like the Patriotic Alliance, out.

If you still had any doubt that the Doomsday Coalition is a clear and present threat to our future, all doubt was removed on Thursday when Julius Malema confirmed that the EFF will give its vote to the ANC, subject to one condition.

That the ANC make the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu Minister of Finance.

The Doomsday Coalition that I first warned about in April last year from the floor of the DA’s Federal Congress, is now taking shape before our very eyes.

Under the Doomsday Coalition, with Shivambu as Finance Minister, the EFF will unleash its destructive economic policies to turn South Africa into the next Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

They will expropriate your house and your property.

They will nationalise and collapse banks, mines and industry.

They will cause the Rand to crash, making food, fuel and the cost of living unaffordable, turning South Africa into a wasteland.

So, on the 29th of May, go out and vote for the DA – to keep the Cape’s hope alive, and to keep the despair of Doomsday out of the Western Cape!

And I can think of no better person to carry that mission forward, than the incumbent Premier of the Western Cape – the DA’s very own Alan Winde.

Unlike the no-name candidates from other parties, Alan Winde is a tried and tested Premier, who has kept this province moving forward while the state collapses in other places.

I have full confidence in Alan’s ability to take the Western Cape to even greater heights over the next five years, based on his proven track record of creating jobs, deploying more policing resources to fight crime, and delivering for all the people of this province.

It is therefore my great pleasure to introduce to you the current – and future – DA Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde!

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 6 April 2024