Solly Msimanga is the DA Premier Candidate to rescue Gauteng

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
13 Sep 2023 in News

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen in Johannesburg, during the announcement of the party’s Gauteng Premier Candidate for the National and Provincial Elections in 2024.

Please download pictures here, here, and here.

Fellow Democrats and fellow South Africans,

It is a privilege to join you on this auspicious occasion where the DA will announce our premier candidate for Gauteng in next year’s election.

This is a moment that will go down in history.

Because the person we are introducing today as your premier candidate, will become the first DA premier of South Africa’s most populous and wealthiest province.

It is important that we take a moment to consider the true meaning of this moment.

For nearly 30 years, the outcome of elections, nationally and in Gauteng, were predictable.

While the DA made enormous strides in this province over the years, the outcome of provincial elections were previously always a fait accompli.

In all previous elections, we knew that the ANC would get more than 50 percent and that the premier would come from the ANC.

But those days are long gone.

As we enter the 2024 election campaign, we know only one thing for sure.

And that is that the ANC will not get 50 percent next year in Gauteng.

Previously, we knew for certain that the ANC would win Gauteng.

Now, we know for certain that the ANC will lose Gauteng.

This change is an enormous step forward for our politics.

Gauteng is the economic and political heartland of South Africa.

It is home to one-third of our country’s total economy.

And one out of every four voters in South Africa live in Gauteng.

But, if we are to keep up with the rapidly changing political landscape in Gauteng, the DA in this province must also make a giant leap forward.

It is not enough that we know the ANC will lose Gauteng next year.

Our job is to make sure that the DA wins power in Gauteng next year.

Our job is to make sure that the candidate we are announcing today is inaugurated as Gauteng premier two weeks after next year’s election.

To succeed in this mission every DA member, activist, and supporter will need to shift their mindset.

For the first time ever, we are not fighting to be the official opposition in Gauteng.

Next year, we are fighting to govern Gauteng.

This means that we need to start behaving like a true government-in-waiting.

It means that we need to campaign not only on the basis of the ANC’s failures, but on the basis of the DA’s vision to rescue Gauteng.

This requires the DA in this province to take our game to a whole new level.

We will need to work much harder to register every single eligible DA voter.

We will need to take our message to every corner of this province to bring hope back to many hopeless communities.

If we want to ensure not only that the ANC loses next year, but that the DA wins, we will need to campaign every waking moment of every day.

Because that is what a real government-in-waiting does.

Fellow Democrats,

We have never had this much to play for going into an election.

The latest research shows that, together with our partners in the Multi-Party Charter, we are already polling as high as 45 percent in Gauteng.

If we can grow the DA well beyond the 27 percent we got here in 2019, then the Moonshot is guaranteed to succeed in this province.

At the same time, we must not be under any illusions about the desperation of the ANC.

Panyaza Lesufi has already gone on record that his plan is to form a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, EFF and Patriotic Alliance to cling onto power next year.

Allowing this to happen will leave Gauteng beyond repair.

We have already seen what happens when the Doomsday Coalition comes to power.

The unholy alliance between the ANC, EFF and PA has utterly destroyed Johannesburg.

Roads are literally exploding in the CBD.

But Kenny Kunene, the utterly useless MMC for roads from the PA, spends his days gulping down expensive bottles of luxury champagne.

Just two weeks ago, we witnessed the unspeakable horror of 77 human beings burning to death in a hijacked building owned by the City of Johannesburg.

Forty-four of the victims were burnt so badly that they are unidentifiable.

And yet, who has been held accountable for this suffering?

Not one person.

Not one.

The MMC for housing in Joburg comes from the PA.

She has not lifted a finger.

The Speaker of Johannesburg blamed the victims for not being “world-class African citizens.”

The ANC’s Lindiwe Zulu blamed apartheid.

And the puppet mayor from Al Jama-ah hid behind the fig leaf of “collective responsibility.”

Just think what will happen to this province if we allow the same Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, EFF and PA that has already destroyed Johannesburg to take over the whole Gauteng next year.

It is an outcome too ghastly to contemplate and we simply cannot allow it to happen.

However, to avoid the Doomsday Coalition from taking over Gauteng next year, we need the help of voters.

We urgently need to learn from the sad example of Johannesburg.

When voters split their vote between dozens of small parties, chaos ensues.

There are currently no less than 18 different parties in the Joburg council.

Eight of these parties have only one seat each.

This is no way to run a city – much less a whole province.

This is exactly why the DA has tabled a motion to dissolve the entire Johannesburg council, so that we can hold fresh by-elections to elect a new, less fragmented and more cohesive city government.

It is time to end the merry-go-round of no confidence motions and fighting over positions.

The only way to bring stability to Joburg is to go back to the voters, so that they can vote out the small parties and traitors like the PA, which are the root cause of the instability that has crippled that government.

I call on every party represented in the Joburg council to put residents first by supporting the DA’s motion for dissolution.

Only parties that are scared of the voters, will oppose this motion.

When that vote takes place on 1 November, we will see which parties truly put Johannesburg first, and which parties only care about positions.

At the same time, I also want to call upon the voters of Gauteng today.

If you want to avoid the chaos that has made Johannesburg ungovernable from spreading to the whole of Gauteng next year, then you must unite behind the DA.

We have seen over and over again how small parties like the PA, COPE and Al Jama-ah that are not part of the Charter, have betrayed their voters.

These small parties are sellouts and traitors.

Wherever they go, they cause instability and chaos, which they use to extract better deals for themselves from the ANC.

They are parasites who care only about positions and patronage.

It is time for the people of Gauteng – and the people of South Africa – to turn their backs on the small parties that are hellbent on undermining stability and the Multi-Party Charter for their own selfish gain.

The truth is simple.

If you want a stable Gauteng next year, there is only one right choice: register to vote DA.

If you want a party with a proven track record of good government to rescue Gauteng, there is only one right choice: register to vote DA.

If you want a big, cohesive and united party that can anchor a new, stable coalition government in Gauteng, there is only one right choice: register to vote DA.

Only the DA has the size, the track record and the depth of talent to rescue Gauteng!

And speaking of talent, ladies and gentlemen, we now arrive at the moment you have all been waiting for.

With the dedication and hard work of every DA public representative and activist, we will inaugurate the first-ever DA premier of Gauteng next year.

Our candidate for premier is someone who combines experience, enthusiasm and determination in equal measure.

He is a son of Atteridgeville who has previously served as mayor of South Africa’s capital city, as leader of the official opposition in the Gauteng legislature, and is also the current leader of the DA in Gauteng.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the DA’s premier candidate, who will lead our campaign to rescue this great province of Gauteng in the 2024 election, is Solly Msimanga!

Thank you.