The choice is simple: DA or doomsday – John Steenhuisen

Party leader says his party is the only party with a sustained track record of good governance, with the people we need to rescue SA

The choice is simple: DA – or Doomsday

7 May 2024

Note to EditorsThe following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, during his Rescue South Africa Tour in East London in the Buffalo City Municipality. 

Democrats, residents of Buffalo City, my fellow South Africans,

It is wonderful to bring the DA’s Rescue Tour to the beautiful city of East London, in the beautiful province of the Eastern Cape.

I want to talk to you today about why we decided to call this the “Rescue Tour.”

As you will know by now, the DA’s slogan in this election is “Rescue SA: Vote DA.”

We very deliberately chose the imagery of a rescue mission, because that is what the DA is on.

For us, our beautiful country is like a swimmer who has been caught in a riptide – and who needs to be rescued urgently, otherwise they will die.

If you are at the beach and you see someone’s life in danger like that, what do you do?

You don’t sit around and wait for help to magically arrive.

Together with other people who can see the person drowning, you take action to rescue the distressed person.

That is exactly what South Africa now needs.

Over the past thirty years, our country has been pulled into the riptide of rampant corruption, mismanagement and unemployment.

South Africa is dying – and it is up to all of us to rescue her before it is too late.

The DA’s Rescue Tour is a clarion call for all of us to urgently get involved in the mission to rescue South Africa, just like we would all do if we saw someone drowning in a riptide.

But for us to rescue South Africa, we need to understand what we are rescuing her from.

We need to understand the riptides that have pulled our country under.

Before we can rush in to rescue her, we need to know the dangers that lurk beneath.

On Sunday, the DA released our latest television commercial to warn South Africans of the dangers that lurk beneath this election.

To inform the country of the threat that we need to rescue South Africa from.

And what is that threat?

The single greatest threat to our mission to rescue South Africa, is the very real risk of a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, the EFF, and possibly MK and small sell-out parties like the Patriotic Alliance seizing power after the election.

If we allow that to happen, our rescue mission will fail, and South Africa will die.

This is the message that is conveyed in our latest advertisement.

It powerfully demonstrates how our country – represented by our beloved South African flag – will burn to ashes if we allow the Doomsday Coalition to seize power.

As I said at the launch of the ad on Sunday: our beautiful flag burning to ashes represents the future that the DA does not want to see.

A future where our flag burns is the future we must avoid at all costs, by defeating the ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition.

This advertisement was designed as a wake-up call to the people of South Africa.

It is directed at voters who may be complacent about the existential threat posed by the ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition to the very survival of our country.

It sends a clear message that any DA voter who stays at home on Election Day, or who splits the opposition vote to let the ANC and EFF in, will be complicit in the death of South Africa.

Because the Doomsday Coalition will not only burn our flag to ashes.

They will burn our Constitution to ashes.

They will burn the South African Rand to ashes.

They will burn private property rights to ashes.

They will burn job creation to ashes.

And boy, has our warning landed.

Within 36 hours, over three million South Africans have already watched what is already the most successful political advertisement in our democratic history.

If you haven’t seen it yet, do so right away by going to: WhereToVote.DA.Org.Za.

Just three weeks out from Election Day, the only thing on anyone’s lips is our urgent warning that South Africa will burn if we fail to prevent Doomsday.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing is to see how many people in mercenary small parties have actually come out in defence of the Doomsday Coalition, by trying to manufacture fake outrage against the DA.

It turns out that the biggest defenders of the ANC and EFF are these small parties that are more obsessed with attacking the DA over a commercial than they are with preventing Doomsday!

Just like these small parties are now siding with the ANC and EFF against the DA, they will also sell you out to the ANC and EFF right after the election.

By defending the ANC and EFF, these mercenary parties have only confirmed the DA’s warning that they cannot be trusted.

Their hysterical response shows that splitting the opposition vote will let ANC/EFF Doomsday into power.

But, fortunately, the message conveyed by the commercial does not end there.

The message also offers hope.

It clearly shows that the only way to prevent Doomsday and to rescue South Africa, is to vote for the Democratic Alliance.

This is powerfully symbolised by the final seconds of the ad, where our flag is restored to its full glory underneath the logo of the DA.

The message is crystal clear.

Our South African dream will burn to ashes if we sit back on Election Day and allow the ANC/EFF/MK Doomsday Coalition to take power.

But we can prevent our beautiful flag from burning, and we can prevent Doomsday – only if we come out in our millions to vote for the DA.

Only under the stewardship of the DA, will our flag and our futures be secure.

The binary choice in this election, as conveyed by the ad that is now the talk of the town, could not be simpler:

DA – or Doomsday.

DA – or Doomsday.

And there are few places in South Africa that need to be rescued as urgently as Buffalo City.

Just last week, a broken pump dumped the equivalent of a 200-litre drum of raw sewerage into the river every ten minutes.

For days, the ANC government in this metro simply ignored the problem, which turned out to be a simple electrical fault.

In just this one example, thousands of litres of raw sewerage was pumped into the water system of this city purely because of ANC incompetence and laziness.

At the same time that communities from Mdantsane to Nahoon live with potholed roads and collapsing basic services, the ANC in this municipality spent over R250 million of residents’ money on failed projects like Water World and a stoep on the beach – with nothing to show for it.


Because the money was eaten by ANC cadres and tenderpreneurs.


Buffalo City and the Eastern Cape are dying.

And it is the people who are paying the price, because the Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate in the entire country.

It is time to vote DA to rescue this province.

Under a new government anchored by the DA, we will kickstart job creation.

In this election, a vote for the DA is a vote for two million new jobs.

This isn’t just empty talk.

Where the DA already governs next door in the Western Cape, over the past five years, we have created 8 out of every 10 net new jobs in the whole South Africa.

The 8 ANC provinces combined only created a pathetic 2 out of every 10 new jobs.

In one year alone, the DA-led province created 360 000 new jobs.

It is time to bring the DA’s job creation success to the Eastern Cape, by voting for the DA.

If you want the South African dream, with a home for your family, safe public transport or a car to take your children to a decent school, food on the table every day, and savings that you can use to retire with, vote for the DA.

Because the DA is the only party that has proven that where we govern, we create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

But it doesn’t end there.

A vote for the DA in this election is also a vote to end load shedding and water shedding.

It is a vote to halve the rate of violent crime, including murder, gender-based violence and crimes against our children.

It is a vote to abolish cadre deployment and the corrupt system that only provides opportunities to corrupt ANC cronies, to ensure that all South Africans get fair access to jobs.

It is a vote to lift six million people out of poverty.

To triple the number of grade four learners who can read for meaning.

And to provide quality healthcare for all, irrespective of your income.

This is what the DA offers the people of Buffalo City and the Eastern Cape in this election.

This is a vision to restore our great South African dream, as symbolised by the DA commercial’s restoration of the flag that the ANC is busy burning.

The uncomfortable, yet indisputable, truth we must face in this election, is that South Africa is on fire.

And our flag, our country, as well as our hopes and dreams will all burn to ashes if we do not urgently rescue South Africa.

The only way to do that, is by voting for the DA.

Not staying at home.

Not splitting the vote.

But voting for the DA.

Because only the DA is big enough to stop ANC/EFF Doomsday.

The DA is also the only party with a sustained track record of good governance, with the people we need to rescue South Africa.

That is why I now invite the DA’s provincial leadership, as well as our talented candidates from the Eastern Cape, to join me on stage.

To the people of the Eastern Cape, I say: help is on the way!

Help is on the way if we unite behind a strong DA that can prevent Doomsday and Rescue SA!

If you want a big, strong party with a proven track record of creating jobs to anchor a new government to rescue the Eastern Cape, vote DA.

If you want that same strong anchor party at the heart of a new national government to rescue South Africa, vote DA.

And if you want to prevent the Doomsday Coalition from burning our flag and our dreams to ashes, vote DA.

We can do it.

We must do it.

And, together, we will do it.

Thank you.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 7 May 2024