Only the registered can rescue Gauteng

John Steenhuisen says voting is the easiest and most peaceful way to install a better govt


Only the registered can rescue Gauteng

14 July 2023

On Tuesday in Gauteng, I kicked off my countrywide tour to encourage all South Africans to register to vote in next year’s general election. It seemed right to start this tour in Soweto, a place deeply embedded in the history of South Africa, where so many lived who fought for, and won, the vote for all the people of this country.

Those who fought so hard and sacrificed so much for the right to vote did so knowing that voting is the easiest and most peaceful way to install a better government – one committed to working for all the people of South Africa, not just some of them.

At the registration rally, I made the point that we owe it to those struggle heroes – but more than that, we owe it to ourselves – to use our vote to install a new government that can rescue Gauteng and South Africa. A government that can grow the economy for jobs, keep the lights on, and keep people safe.

Never before in the history of democratic South Africa has it been more important for us to use that hard won right to vote. And nowhere else is it more crucial to use our vote than in Gauteng, the country’s economic powerhouse, where the Moonshot Pact is so close to getting into government after next year’s election. So close we can smell success.

The DA’s polling shows that the opposition parties that have come together in the Moonshot Pact already have 48% of the vote in Gauteng. This is the greatest source of hope for South Africa. It is the lifeline we need to rescue our country.

Because if parties to the Moonshot Pact are at 48% already, imagine how many more people will be energized to register and to vote, once they realise that a new government has a real prospect of victory in this most crucial of provinces.

If the Moonshot Pact parties get over 50% in Gauteng next year, it will be a gamechanger for South Africa. By applying the same tried and tested approach that the DA takes in the Western Cape – an approach based on honest government that gets the basics right and makes it easy to start and grow businesses – the parties to the Moonshot Pact will fix and build Gauteng.

When the Moonshot Pact parties win Gauteng next year, our focus will be on growing the provincial economy by making it as easy and attractive as possible for people to start and grow and operate successful businesses in the province. Because successful businesses create jobs, and jobs bring dignity and prosperity.

The enormous opportunity that Gauteng presents in 2024 is one of the reasons the DA is working so hard to get more powers devolved to the Western Cape province – especially energy generation, passenger rail and policing. Because it opens the way for other competent provinces to follow suit. A healthy, thriving Gauteng, the economic heart of South Africa, will go a long way to getting South Africa’s economy growing again and creating jobs.

The other great benefit of a successful Gauteng Provincial Government is that it will go a long way to fixing the Gauteng metros. Cape Town works because it has a provincial government that works with the City rather than against it. With the Moonshot Pact parties already in government in Tshwane, it will be so much easier to fix and build the capital city. And when the residents of Joburg and Ekurhuleni see Tshwane drawing ahead, they too will lend their votes to the Moonshot Pact.

(I know many in Gauteng are concerned about coalitions, because of the instability in the Gauteng metros. But consider that the DA is in coalition in 20 governments around the country and 90% of them are successfully delivering to residents. Also, the DA is working hard to get new laws passed that will go a long way to stabilizing coalitions. Laws that are already common in other countries with the same proportional representation electoral system as South Africa’s.)

And this is where I delivered my main message: rescuing Gauteng starts with registering to vote. The DA and our Moonshot Pact partners have every intention of out-registering our opponents. Because we know that if we can win the battle to get our Gauteng supporters registered, we go into the election campaign with the wind at our backs, and half the race already run.

Please spread this message far and wide. Tell your friends and family they can kickstart their registration process online by visiting check.da.org.za. Power is in the hands of the registered. Only the registered can rescue Gauteng.

Yours sincerely

John Steenhuisen