Help the Moonshot Pact succeed by registering to rescue South Africa

Issued by DA Media –
04 Jul 2023 in News

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, during a Live Broadcast to the nation. 

My fellow South Africans,

Let me start this morning by expressing my absolute condemnation of the violent attack on motorists by members of the ANC’s VIP protection force. Many of us have seen the horrific video by now, showing a gang of heavily armed men assaulting helpless citizens.

Let’s be clear about one thing. What we see in that video, represents exactly what the ANC really thinks of the people of South Africa.

We – all the people of South Africa – are the ones down on the ground. And the ANC are the thugs masquerading as a government, stomping on our neck.

From Andries Tatane to Marikana, this is not the first time we have seen murderous abuse of power by the ANC’s security forces directed at ordinary citizens.

This is no accident. The ANC spends R1.7 billion of taxpayer money to maintain this VIP unit as their own personal army. As long as the ANC is in power, they will keep stomping on us.

That is why the topic of my address this morning is so important. Because the Moonshot Pact to form a strong, united opposition provides a way for us to break free from the abuse our country suffers at the hands of the ANC.

Three months ago, I spoke to you from the floor of the DA’s Federal Congress.

At the time, I shared with you the outcome of my deep reflection and introspection about the way forward for our troubled country.

Like many of you, and indeed like many other opposition leaders, I came to the conclusion that forming a united opposition Pact ahead of the 2024 election offers us the very best chance to unseat the ANC, keep the EFF out of power, and form a stable new government to rescue South Africa.

This Moonshot Pact would bring together different parties – excluding the ANC, EFF and their proxies – to ensure that the opposition focuses our collective energies on defeating the ANC, rather than on attacking each other.

I said at the time that this is the single most important project for any opposition leader who wants to create a better future for our country.

And I said that I would keep you updated as the process unfolds.

Today, I can provide encouraging feedback.

Through hours of open, honest and respectful discussion, seven parties have established sufficient common ground to hold a National Convention for the Moonshot Pact.

These parties are the DA, IFP, Freedom Front Plus, ActionSA, United Independent Movement and the Spectrum National Party.

The Convention will take place on 16 and 17 August at the same venue that hosted the CODESA negotiations.

The DA is deeply committed to this process, and we believe this Convention will indeed be the most important political conversation to take place in our country since the transition to democracy.

We believe that the outcome could provide opposition voters with something they have never had before: the credible prospect of victory.

By working together, the Pact can be greater than the sum of our collective parts.

By showing that South Africa can be rescued if we have the courage to stand together, the Pact can energise the 14 million voters who are not registered to do so, and give the 13 million people who are registered but failed to vote in 2021, a new reason to vote.

A successful Convention will also provide the certainty and stability that will be so crucial to forming a Pact government in 2024 that can deliver.

Despite the DA being part of over 30 examples of successful municipal coalitions in South Africa that are improving service delivery as we speak, many people are still wary of coalitions given the attention that has been paid to the few that have not worked.

That is precisely why the National Convention is designed to negotiate many key elements of a post-2024 government up front – so that we don’t have to rush to meet the two-week deadline after the election.

If all goes well, the Pact will emerge from the Convention with clearly defined values and principles, a common minimum programme of action, and a formula that will show South Africa what a Pact Cabinet could look like.

Join me for a moment to imagine a new Cabinet, free from the rotten ANC cadres that have run our country into the ground.

A new Cabinet composed of skilled leaders from different opposition parties that represent the full diversity of South Africa, united in common purpose.

A new government driven not by self-enrichment and corruption, but by serving the people.

A government that combines the DA’s proven track record of good, clean and accountable governance with the diverse strengths of our partners in other parties.

It is precisely because the DA, and many of our partners, have spent years holding the ANC accountable from the opposition benches, that we know how to run a fundamentally better government.

From the Arms Deal to Nkandla to Phala Phala, we have exposed and fought every conceivable ANC failure and scandal up close from the opposition benches – often side-by-side.

It is now time for the opposition to govern South Africa side-by-side.

To do so, the Pact needs a national majority of 50% plus one.

The six parties that will be around the table collectively achieved about 35% of the vote in 2021.

Of this share, the DA got 21%.

Encouragingly, by-election results from just this past week showed the DA growing by 17% in Middelburg in Mpumalanga, 12% in Cape Town, 3% in Tshwane, and 17% in eThekwini.

Across widely diverse parts of South Africa, the DA is growing substantially on the way to forming a strong anchor for a post-ANC coalition government.

But it is when we combine our growing strength with partners in likeminded parties, that we can make magic happen.

If all members of the Pact focus on winning over former ANC supporters and getting disillusioned voters to register and turn out in large numbers, we can get to 50% and form a new government to rescue South Africa.

The same is true for many provinces.

The DA is on track to achieve another smashing victory in the Western Cape, where our story of excellent service delivery for all began.

An overwhelming DA majority in the Western Cape will add significantly to the Pact’s national total.

Add to that Gauteng, where the Pact is collectively already polling at 48% – just two percentage points short of forming a government to kickstart our country’s economic engine.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Pact is on 44% – within striking distance of providing a new government for my beautiful home province.

Both the Northern Cape and the Free State are also in play.

The overall picture makes it clear that the Pact has absolutely everything to play for, both at provincial and national level.

But the truth is that the mission to rescue South Africa cannot succeed without your help.

Even if the Convention proceeds smoothly and the Pact finds the common ground we need to form a new government, we will fail without you.

That is why I call upon you to go to right now to get help registering.

But we also need to be clear about what we should not do if we want the Pact to succeed.

The most important thing we should not do, is to vote for parties that pretend to be in opposition but are actually fronts for the ANC.

I call upon you to turn your back on any so-called opposition party that is not part of this Pact.

Any political leader who refuses to put the needs of South Africa ahead the narrow interests of their party, does not deserve your vote.

Parties mired in corruption, like the Patriotic Alliance, and others like Al Jamah and Good that have also sold out to the ANC, do not deserve your vote.

If a party is not part of the Pact, they are on the side of the ANC and the EFF.

My fellow South Africans,

While the political leaders inside the Pact have the responsibility to lead by example by working together in the national interest, the success of the Pact will ultimately depend on the people of South Africa doing the same.

The DA hopes that the Pact will set a worthy example of how South Africans from all backgrounds can unite and take action around a common set of values and policies to rescue our country.

All that we ask is that you, as a voter, do the same.

Just like we in the Pact are doing, I ask you to reach out to your fellow South Africans.

Persuade them that, just like the parties inside the Pact, we need to take action – together – by all going out to register to rescue South Africa.

Thank you.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at