Stand by the DA to rescue Gauteng

Issued by John Steenhuisen – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
12 Aug 2023 in Speeches

Note to editors: The following speech was delivered today by the DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, at the Gauteng Provincial Congress in Boksburg.

Fellow Democrats

What an honour to speak with you today at this magnificent Congress!

Congratulations to the DA in Gauteng for pulling off yet another free and fair internal election, where democracy comes out as the real winner.

You have demonstrated, once again, that leaders in our party are not anointed, but elected.

In the DA, we don’t have leaders who are too scared to hold internal elections.

We don’t have dictators who chase away anyone who dares to disagree.

What we have in the DA, is a commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

To the newly-elected Gauteng leadership, I send my warmest congratulations.

You have an enormous responsibility on your shoulders, but I have complete faith that this team has what it takes to meet our date with destiny next year.

Because, in 2024, the DA is going to govern in the province of Gauteng!

I want to send a direct message to the ANC’s Panyaza Lesufi today.

Take a look at this group of people, Lesufi.

These people are going to be your leaders next year, when the ANC is relegated to the opposition benches.

You better start getting used to it!


The end of the ANC in Gauteng cannot come a moment too soon.

This province was once the beating heart of the mighty South African economy.

She was once the industrial powerhouse of Africa.

Following the arrival of democracy in 1994, Gauteng was the place where South Africans reached for the stars.

Where people from all backgrounds and all parts of the country came together to build a better future for their families.

Where business empires were built.

Where workers built cars and miners brought back treasures from the bowels of the earth.

Where factories hummed through the night and where cities never slept.

Where the heartbeats of millions of students and young people made us all optimistic about the future.

Where the hustle and energy was addictive, and where a better tomorrow beckoned for all those who dared to reach for it.

But today, the Gauteng we once knew is on life-support.

The heartbeat of her economy has become feint and irregular.

The bright lights of her cities have dimmed as load shedding turned once-vibrant streets into no-go zones.

Where gold and other minerals once financed a great industrial economy, today those same minerals fund the criminal zama zamas who terrorise our communities.

Where great railways and highways once served as arteries carrying opportunities to all corners of the province, roads now explode in the middle of Johannesburg and trains no longer run.

Potholes the size of craters claim lives every day.

Traffic lights are sawn off in broad daylight, and cables are stolen on an industrial scale under cover of darkness.

In many areas, the only water people receive for weeks on end is in the form of rivers of sewerage running down the road.

City streets, restaurants and businesses that once pumped with nightlife and energy, now sit abandoned as people cower from criminals behind high walls.

Where generations of South Africans once flocked to Gauteng in search of a better future, they are now running away from it.

More than anywhere else in our country, the province of Gauteng symbolises how the ANC has betrayed the great potential of the people of South Africa.

Thirty years into democracy, this province should have been one of the great city-regions of the world.

Gauteng was once the home of the South African dream.

But because of the ANC, Gauteng has now become the South African nightmare.

And, fellow Democrats, I’m afraid that things can still get worse.

Make no mistake about it: the ANC knows that its days of running governments on its own, are numbered.

That is why they even held a whole dialogue on coalition governments last weekend.

That dialogue was nothing but an admission of impending defeat by the ANC.

They never needed such a dialogue before, because they were always guaranteed to win outright majorities.

We should take it as a sign of profound weakness that the ANC has admitted defeat even before the election campaign has started.

But we also know that a wounded buffalo is the most dangerous animal in the bush.

And we have already seen how the ANC plans to cling to power in Gauteng.

They have already shown us their plan for 2024 by forming Doomsday Coalitions with the PA and EFF in some municipalities in this province.

Panyaza Lesufi is on the record that he wants to bring this same Doomsday Coalition to the provincial government next year, where the ANC and EFF plan to work together with the support of traitors like the PA.

In 2024, a vote for the ANC in Gauteng will be a vote for the EFF.

Equally, a vote for parties like the PA, Al Jamah, Good and Cope will be a vote for traitors who have sided with the ANC and EFF against the people.

Ganging up with the EFF and sell-outs in certain small parties is the only way that the ANC can cling to power in Gauteng.

The ANC is prepared to do so knowing very well that giving power to the likes of Julius Malema will unleash violence, anarchy and economic panic – as the EFF reminded us at their rally just two weeks ago week.

Democrats, we must recognise that the Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, EFF and PA is determined to take over Gauteng next year.

We must do everything in our power to stop it.

This is where the Moonshot Pact comes into the picture.

While the Doomsday Coalition presents a clear and present danger to this province, the 2024 election will also be the first time that the DA has a very real chance of winning power in Gauteng.

You will recall that, at our Federal Congress in April, I announced that we would seek to form a Moonshot Pact aimed at ending opposition infighting so that we could work together with likeminded parties to defeat the ANC and keep the EFF out of power.

I am happy to report that, next week, the Moonshot Pact will hold a historic National Convention right here in Gauteng.

We hope to emerge from that Convention with an agreement that the group of parties represented in the Pact will focus on defeating ANC-EFF Doomsday in the upcoming election campaign, and work together after the election to form a new Pact government, nationally and here in Gauteng.

The latest data indicates that the Moonshot Pact is already polling as high as 48% in Gauteng – just 2 percentage points short of forming a new government.

I am absolutely convinced that if all of us go out from this Congress to register more voters to vote DA, we will get over 50% next year to win Gauteng and keep the ANC and EFF out!

And make no mistake about it: a big and strong DA is essential for the Moonshot Pact to succeed.

In 2019, the DA got 27% in Gauteng.

We can and must grow beyond that in next year’s election.

Why? Because in the last election, there were 14 million people who were not registered and another 13 million people were registered but did not vote.

That is 27 million people.

If we can get even 10% of them to register and vote DA next year, we will sweep the ANC out of power forever.

That is why I am calling on every person in attendance here today, and on every DA supporter in Gauteng and beyond, to go out and register to vote DA.

Get your family, friends and neighbours to register to vote DA.

To start the process, simply visit

Say it with me:!

A bigger and stronger DA not only holds the key to get the Moonshot Pact to 50% plus one in Gauteng.

A strong DA will also be essential to ensure that the Pact is stable and able to govern effectively.

The people of Gauteng know exactly how unstable coalitions can become when there are too many small parties who are willing to sell out to the ANC.

The only way to bring stability and governance expertise to the coalition that will govern Gauteng next year, it to make the DA as big as possible.

For coalitions to succeed, we need to vote for parties with the demonstrated ability to govern.

We need to ask: which party has the experience, the depth and the track record of good governance required to anchor a coalition in Gauteng next year?

The answer to that question is the DA, and it was on full display against this past week.

Just look at how our mayors in Tshwane and Cape Town are standing up for the rule of law.

Next door in Tshwane, the DA’s Cilliers Brink is leading with courage and determination to save our capital city from financial ruin.

Instead of giving in to an illegal strike, Mayor Brink is firing officials engaged in violence.

In Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis is showing South Africa that only the DA has the courage to stand up to the mafias that are holding our country ransom.

While the ANC’s Bheki Cele and Sindisiwe Chikunga are so terrified of the taxi bosses that they want to exempt taxis from the same traffic laws you and I must obey, Mayor Hill-Lewis refuses to bow down to thugs.

Let me repeat what Mayor Hill-Lewis told Bheki Cele to his face: The ANC and other parties may negotiate with criminals, but the DA won’t!

It is a simple fact that the DA is the only party in South Africa with leaders of this calibre running governments.

And these are exactly the kind of people we will need in government next year if we want to rescue Gauteng.

That is why we must all vote for the DA to ensure that competent leaders with a proven record of delivery can fill the critical positions in Gauteng’s provincial government next year.

My fellow South Africans,

There can be no doubt that Gauteng finds itself in one of the darkest moments of its history.

And if we don’t unite behind the DA, there is a real chance that this nightmare could become darker still.

But I’d like to remind you of the lyrics of the famous song by Ben E. King:

When the night has come

And the land is dark

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

No, I won’t be afraid

Oh, I won’t be afraid

Just as long

As you stand

Stand by me

It is 2023, and our beautiful land is dark.

But the one beacon of light, is the DA’s Moonshot.

So, stand with the DA!

Go out and register to vote DA.

And in 2024, the DA will lead a new government in Gauteng that will stand by you.

We will restore the shine back to this province of gold!

Together, we will rescue Gauteng!

Thank you.