Five days till we vote; five years to live with consequences

John Steenhuisen writes where the DA governs, jobs are highest, and unemployment is lowest


27 October 2021

South Africans are tired and worn out by the unemployment, corruption, mismanagement, and general state failure to deliver on its role. This election can get South Africa back on track and stop the free-fall.

With better government, South Africa can be everything we want and need it to be. That change must start with local government, the coalface of delivery. All across the country, now is the time to elect local leaders that will work hard for you, be on your side, and secure your future.

The DA offers you a safe pair of hands.

Only the DA has a track record proving that life gets better for all people where we govern. Where the DA governs, jobs are highest, and unemployment is lowest. We spend public money on the public. We don’t steal or waste your money. We get clean audits every year as evidence of clean government. We are the only party with open tender processes where we govern, so everyone can see how we award tenders.

Where the DA governs, we hire competent people on merit. People who can get things done for you. We don’t appoint people for political favours.

Local government is all about service delivery. As per our manifesto, if you elect a DA local government, these are some of the things we’ll get done for you:

Ensure every community gets access to reliable, clean, running water and decent sanitation.

Bring regular waste collection and rubbish disposal to every community.

Work to free residents from Eskom load-shedding and enhance access to reliable, affordable, and sustainably electricity.

Invest in well-maintained roads, cleaning and upgrading of public parks and spaces, cut grass and maintain pavements.

Invest in sports & recreation facilities and libraries.

Work to integrate public transport and introduce a smart ticket across buses and taxis in our metros.

Bring down unemployment and grow jobs.

Build reliable metro police services where these are affordable, and launch specialized local policing units, like gang and drug units.

Install crime information systems, more CCTV, body cameras for police officers, and gunfire detection systems.

Release unused government land for housing development.

Ensure more people own their own homes through diversifying housing options and issuing title deeds.

Use fair and transparent processes to identify beneficiaries for housing opportunities.

Upgrade informal settlements where viable.

Help the homeless off the streets, with socioeconomic assistance.

Take legal action against illegal land invasions.

Work with NGOs to combat alcohol and drug abuse.

Introduce by-laws to prevent the pollution of our natural environment.

Introduce e-government services, to transact with your municipality online.

Keep staff costs down, to spend more on service delivery.

The DA is the only party with a trustworthy record of service delivery, job-creating policies, and corruption-free government. We run the top-rated metro in the country, the five top-rated municipalities in the country and the top-rated municipalities in the Western Cape (many), Gauteng (Midvaal) and the Eastern Cape (Kouga).

We are the only party that gets the basics done. And when you have a municipality that masters the basics, you can move to the next level. You can start to generate your own electricity and end reliance on Eskom. Only the DA can do this. Only the DA can protect you from a failing national government.

We can bring the DA difference to your town if we unite to win. The DA is the only party that can beat the ANC and we are the last bulwark against the rise of the EFF. A strong DA stops the EFF becoming the opposition. A strong EFF makes the ANC more radical, racial and populist in their bid to shore up support. This is why the ANC is supporting expropriation without compensation.

A vote for the DA packs the most punch against the ANC and EFF. That’s why, if you aren’t going to vote for them, the ANC and EFF want you to vote anything but DA. If you want to beat the ANC and keep the EFF out of official opposition, voting DA will give you maximum leverage for your vote. A vote for smaller parties or independents splits the DA vote, not the ANC or EFF vote. Therefore, the most sensible and powerful use of your vote is to consolidate the DA vote.

If you look at the best-run municipalities in SA, they all have a DA majority in council. Coalitions tend to slow down service delivery, and introduce the risk of interrupted delivery, as in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016.

Another reason not to split the vote is to maximise the chances of beating the ANC in your ward. Ward councillors are at the coalface of delivery and are your first point of contact. Here, splitting the vote by voting for smaller parties or independents is particularly beneficial to the ANC, because the ward councillor is determined by a first-past-the-post system. The candidate with the most votes wins - no matter how low a percentage of votes they got.

A great example is the outcome of Metsimaholo Municipality’s re-election in November 2017. The ANC won just 34% of the vote but 76% of wards - 16 out of the 21 wards. That’s what happens when you split the opposition.

So, if you want the biggest chance of a local government and ward councillor that get things done, then you need to vote DA. Only the DA can secure your future. Voting for smaller parties at a time like this is simply playing with fire.

You have five more days to think about this, and five years to live with the consequences.

Vote smart. Vote with your head and your heart. Vote DA to get things done.

Warm regards,

John Steenhuisen