Note to Editors: the following remarks were delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, at the announcement of the DA Premier Candidates for Mpumalanga and the North West at Nkululeko House in Johannesburg.
I am filled with hope and excitement in announcing Jane Sithole and Joe McGluwa as the DA Premier Candidates for Mpumalanga and the North West in the 2019 election. It feels fitting for the final two of nine DA Premier Candidates to be announced at the party headquarters in Johannesburg, Nkululeko House – a province at the heartbeat of our national project’s success.
Jane and Joe are two of nine excellent DA Candidates for Premier that will be bringing the DA’s agenda for change across the country to build One South Africa for All. They will be joined by DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, DA Eastern Cape Premier Candidate, Nqaba Bhanga, DA Free State Premier Candidate, Patricia Kopane, DA KwaZulu Natal Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango, DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate, Andrew Louw, DA Limpopo Premier Candidate, Jacques Smalle, and DA Western Cape Premier Candidate, Alan Winde.
Each of these nine brilliant DA Premier Candidates will lead the One South Africa For All campaign in their respective provinces. They are all running to make a DA difference and we mean business.
On Saturday in Johannesburg’s historic Mary Fitzgerald Square, my core team and I will be launching the DA’s 2019 National Elections Campaign. As the DA Premier Candidates in Mpumalanga and the North West, Jane and Joe will form a key part of team One South Africa For All and the other seven DA Premier Candidates’ success.
The DA is confident that only the best candidates have been selected after a rigorous selection process who will work tirelessly to land the DA’s message of building One South Africa For All. The team are diverse and will travel to all corners of the country listening to concerns and identifying issues that affect the lives of South Africans.
Jane is one such South African who has been a member of the DA for almost 20 years, where she leads the party in the province as a DA Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL). Boasting at least half a dozen tertiary qualifications, her political knowledge and experience is complimented by an almost two-decade corporate background where she held a variety of management positions previously.
Jane has marched through eMalahleni, Thabu Chweu, Govan Mbeki, Lekwa and Mbombela municipalities for the ring-fencing of funds and a payment plan to ensure that the R4 billion debt owed by these local governments to Eskom is cleared. Shortly before South Africa plummeted into recession this year, Mpumalanga was looking down the barrel of 41.7% expanded unemployment rate but Jane was consistently involved in calling for the disbandment of former Premier Mabuza’s Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), which continues to fail on assigned projects, receive adverse Auditor General findings, and achieve next to no targets.
As DA MPL for Health, Jane was unyielding over the Mpumalanga government’s halving of public funded posts for the past 7 years, slammed the more than R60 million in medical negligence claims against the Department, and was a significant reason why former Mpumalanga Health MEC, Gillion Mashego, was replaced this year. Rather than taking a leaf out of Mabuza’s playbook and rewarding former Mpumalanga Education MEC, Regina Mhaule, with a Cabinet post after she decreased the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Budget Learner Teacher Supply Materials (LTSM) budget by R7 million this year, a Sithole administration would have fired the former MEC and increased the LTSM budget so that learners in ECD are given every opportunity to succeed.
Joe is as seasoned a politician, with a career spanning 30 years and the DA Leader in the North West. His three decades of political knowledge and experience have been reinforced by a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from the University of Witwatersrand.
He stopped former Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, from procuring his own jet and erecting a R6 million statue in honour of former President Jacob Zuma that instead resulted in a monument while pressuring for the Motion of No Confidence that led to Supra being fired. But even when Supra was no longer Premier, Joe put an end to his continued out-of-office use of state vehicles for security and has called on the Public Protector to investigate why forensic audit reports were not being tabled.
The state of health care in the North West is as close to home for Joe in the North West as it is to Jane in Mpumalanga and he is one of many unsung heroes who assisted patients to Pretoria Hospital during the riots and protests in the North West and brought to light the scandal of 100 ambulances that were not in use in Taung. Joe is a uniter who has donated jojo tanks in rural areas of the province and has been reaching the people of the North West through a provincial score card in opposition for the past three years.
Jane and Joe are the best chance the DA stand in bringing our call for Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity, and Diversity to Mpumalanga and the North West. From here on, they will be the DA’s custodians for change in our mission to topple the corrupt ANC fiefdoms in the provinces.
In provinces where patronage has served as the currency of former Premier Mabuza and Mahumapelo’s plunder, Mpumalanga and the North West need competent and selfless leaders who will fight for one Mpumalanga and one North West for all. I pledge the DA national leadership’s support to Jane and Joe to bring this unity to Mpumalanga and the North West.
I look forward to announcing the party’s election campaign and central team in two days that will share our offer across the length and breadth of South Africa from Saturday until election day. This launch will be an unrivalled campaign event which will unveil a fresh offer that will excite the country.
Our country is brimming with possibility, but we have veered astray from our founding vision for a united South Africa. Jobs are not fairly accessible, communities have never been less safe, and people are oppressed by corruption.
South Africans are desperate for meaningful change that can build One South Africa for All. That change can only be brought by DA Premier Candidates like Jane Sithole and Joe McGluwa.