Change is possible in Joburg - Maimane

DA mayoral candidate says people of the city deserve better

Election 2011: National Campaign Launch speech

Text of speech delivered by DA Candidate for the Mayor of Johannesburg, Mmusi Maimane, at Walter Sisulu Freedom Square, Kliptown, Soweto at the DA's National Campaign and Manifesto launch, March 26 2011:

Change that each one of us can believe in.

Today is a celebration of how our party, the Democratic Alliance, has changed from a party of opposition to a party of government.

Today is a celebration of how growing numbers of South Africans are embracing the DA, and our vision of an open, opportunity society for all.

Today is a celebration that on the 18th of May, each one of us can use the power of our vote to bring change to Johannesburg.

On Election Day, we will have the chance to follow the people of Cape Town, and Midvaal, and Baviaans, and those in the other areas where the DA governs, in embracing change, and bringing the DA's record of better service delivery for all to the people of Johannesburg.

Today I say to you: Change is possible in our city.

I have lived in Johannesburg all my life. I grew up in Soweto, and love this city and its people.

I am therefore deeply honoured to be nominated as the DA's mayoral candidate for the City of Johannesburg.

I believe that the DA can bring to our city what it has brought to the municipalities where it already governs.

I believe that the DA will tackle unemployment in Johannesburg like it has done in Midvaal. The lesson from Midvaal is clear- good, clean government attracts investment, which creates jobs.  This is the only way to beat poverty.

I believe that the DA will deliver quality services to all, and place the needs of you, the people of our city, above petty politics and self-interest.

I believe in the power and possibility of change.

I have learnt this lesson from countries around Africa, whose people have transcended their country's past and voted for change they believe in- people like those in Senegal, who in 2000 voted the Senegalese Democratic Party into power, marking the first time that the Socialist Party and its predecessors had lost power since independence.

I have learnt this lesson as I watch the struggles of those whose fight for change is just beginning- the youth of Egypt, the people of Libya.

And I have learnt this lesson from our own party, which, in the 1994 election won only 1.7% of the vote, and is now the official opposition, and a party of government in the Western Cape. The 2009 election was a watershed moment for our party and our country. South Africans believed so much in change that they showed up in their numbers to vote. This year's local government election is even more critical to the DA's future, and that of our country, as on the 18 May we will be laying the foundation for the 2014 national election, and beyond.

Soweto, on the 18 May we have the chance to make history in Johannesburg.

To those that doubt the DA's determination to bring change to this city, let me say this: the DA is in this race to win it! I am here to win!

To each of you here today, to those listening on radios or watching on televisions in distant parts of our wonderful country, I call on you to contribute to change by voting DA on Election Day, and helping our party to win this city.

I know that for many of you, making this change will take much courage. On my path to this stage in Soweto, I too have had to face my fears, and confront the criticism of others. But let us not forget that our great nation was forged in the fire of courage.
We need the courage to stand up for the future, and not allow our past to hold us hostage. In the five years since the last local government election, we have seen more dissatisfaction and less delivery, we have seen those in power serving their own interests, rather than serving the interests of the poor.

We, the people of Johannesburg, deserve a city where there is opportunity for all.

We deserve a city that attracts investment, generates growth and creates jobs.

We deserve a well-run city.

We deserve a city that is safe for us and our families.

We deserve a city that is caring and delivers basic services, housing and primary healthcare to those in need.

We deserve a city in which every one of us feels at home and has a stake in the future.

We deserve the chance to make a change, and that time is now.

The DA still has much work to do.  We will not rest until we have delivered the highest quality services to all citizens.

With the continued support of the people in the areas that we govern, the DA can continue to make great municipalities even greater. And, wherever the opportunity to govern is extended to us, we can deliver the same difference.

Today, Soweto, let us do all that we can to give Johannesburg this opportunity. Today, Soweto, let us get on every street, climb on every bus and taxi, talk on every cell phone and spread the word that together, on the 18 May, we can bring change to our city.

Phambili Joburg DA phambili!

Issued by the Democratic Alliance, March 26 2011

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