Note to Editors: the following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at Mandela Rhodes Place, Cape Town.
Wherever the DA governs, we set out to show the country that an alternative government is possible in South Africa, based on our values of meaningful freedom, a fairer society, opportunity for all, and embracing our diversity. We encapsulate this in our vision of building One South Africa for All.
In everything we do, we want the country to see the difference that the DA makes to the lives of all people, and that a future of perpetual government by one party is not set in stone. That people can choose a different, better future.
In this province, and in this city, voters have chosen that better future. It is no coincidence that the best run province in the country is the only one governed by the DA, and that the best run Metro in the country is the one that has been governed by the DA the longest.
The DA governments in the Western Cape, and in Cape Town, stand head and shoulders above the rest in just about every delivery area. From job creation to clean audits, from education to healthcare, from land reform to infrastructure development and maintenance. The gains made in the past decade by these governments have set a benchmark that no others have come close to reaching.
It is easy to forget that a mere decade ago the Western Cape was in a terrible state. It was a province in decline. When the DA took over from the ANC in 2009, we found a province suffocated by corruption and mismanagement. In the ANC’s last year in office, not a single government department received a clean audit. Matric results were down, business confidence was low, and the health service was deteriorating.
Well, things have changed! Now the rest of the country follows the lead we set here.
Within a year under the DA, seven departments had received clean audits, and since then the gap between the Western Cape and the rest has steadily widened. In the last financial year, this provincial government achieved 80% clean audits. The next best province, Gauteng, was barely on the same lap, at 52%.
Unemployment is down. Investment is up. This is the place to start a business. Life expectancy for men is up from 59 to 66 years, and for women from 64 to 72 years. Services work. We’ve invested in public transport, built infrastructure, improved our schools, grown the economy, and we’ve managed to do it through a global financial crisis and a millennium drought.
The Western Cape now stands tall among the provinces. Most importantly, the economic boom here has given hundreds of thousands of people the dignity of work.
But, our work is not finished. We still have much more to do in creating jobs, fighting crime, and speeding up the delivery of basic services. Our 6 million residents in the province count on the DA to continue serving them well. And we have to prove to the other 50 million South Africans that we’re a real alternative government in their provinces, especially in Gauteng and the Northern Cape. This makes the job of Western Cape Premier one of the most important in the country.
The person elected to the Premiership in 2019 will build from an incredible platform of good governance laid by the DA’s team over the last two terms, a team led by Premier Helen Zille. In the last decade she built a capable state in this province that delivers better services, and a better future, for every citizen of this province.
In announcing our candidate today, I have no doubt that we have chosen someone who is equal to the task of building on the successes of the past ten years, and speeding up delivery so that we can improve the lives of all the people of the Western Cape.
It gives me great pleasure to announce to you that the DA candidate for Premier of the Western Cape in the 2019 elections is Alan Winde.
I congratulate Alan on his election as our candidate through a rigorous internal process. Alan has a mandate to win this province again, and to fly the flag of excellent DA government here for years to come.
He has the full support of the DA’s national leadership team, his fellow candidates, and the provincial leadership team in this province. Our colleague, Bonginkosi Madikizela, was also a candidate for the position, and is the provincial leader of the Western Cape. He has pledged his unequivocal support to Alan, and his graciousness is a testament to his calibre as a leader, and to the strength of the DA’s processes.
We go out now as a team to campaign for every vote, in every street, in every dorp and town, to win this province.
Alan has vast experience at every level of politics. He started out in politics as a councillor in the Outeniqua Rural Council and the South Cape District Council. He was elected to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature in 1999, serving as Western Cape Provincial Finance Chairman and Executive Committee Member with the Democratic Party.
He served as the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition in the Western Cape legislature, and as DA Spokesperson on Environment and Planning.
Alan became Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in May 2009, shortly after the DA won the Western Cape – a position he still holds today, although the ministry now goes by the name of Economic Opportunities, reflecting our focus on jobs and economic inclusion in the province.
This past year, despite being at the end of a crippling three year drought, the Western Cape created three quarters of all new jobs created in the country. The province’s expanded unemployment rate, at 22.5%, is more than 14% below the national average. And the reason for this is simple. If you make it attractive and easy to start and run a business – if you do away with unnecessary red tape, if you invest in the right kind of infrastructure, if you get rid of corruption and if you offer policy certainty – then the economy grows, and jobs are created.
Alan Winde has led our job creation effort over the past terms, and many of his ideas and policies have led to the economic growth we have seen here.
No other person is more responsible for the economic growth and job creation that we’ve seen in this province, than Alan. His track record is simple: 640 000 new jobs under his watch, benefitting every community, and particularly the unemployed and the poor. He is also passionate about internships, particularly for young people who need work experience to get their foot on the jobs ladder. With a track record like this, the fact is that when Alan is elected, he is going to be the “jobs Premier”.
Alan and this DA provincial team intend to retain the Western Cape with an outright majority in next year’s election. This is the only way to ensure continuity in government and maintain a high standard of uninterrupted service delivery to the people of this province.
One of the pivotal people in our campaign team for the province, and the soon-to-be Mayor of Cape Town, is Dan Plato.
Dan Plato will hit the ground running and be an excellent mayor for Cape Town.
Having spent his entire adult life in public service, in the very true sense of the term, he has over the years developed a track record which speaks for itself.
His integrity and commitment to serving the community, as well as his vast wealth of experience are indisputable. As a dedicated ward councillor serving the areas of Belhar, Uitsig and Ravensmead, Dan was and continues to be committed to social upliftment and poverty alleviation. As you know, he has already served as Mayor of Cape Town, and served with distinction, leaving the City of Cape Town on a high note having been part of the team that hosted the very successful 2010 Soccer World Cup, and with Cape Town having been rated best run city in SA (by the Department of Cooperative Governance).
He went on to become the Provincial Minister of Community Safety and again, his successes speak for themselves. He has been incredibly active in communities across the province, but particularly in the drug-ridden communities of Cape Town. He has implemented innovative new crime fighting programmes and projects, one of which is his well-known Walking Bus programme to keep school children safer.
For eight consecutive years his Department received a clean audit award and for three years in a row it was nominated as the Best Run Provincial Department in South Africa. Not only does this speak to his impeccable integrity, but also to his ability to lead and lead well.
I know he will put his heart and soul into this City that he loves so much, as he has always done.
He will unite, he will lead, and he will deliver. I am sure you will all join me in wishing him the best of luck in his new, but not entirely new, role as Mayor of Cape Town.
To both of these colleagues, the best of luck and my full support. Let’s go show the people of this city and this province that the best of the DA is yet to come.