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‘To Tintswalo, to Fatima, to Johan and to Keshav, help is on the way’ – DA’s Steenhuisen

‘To Tintswalo, to Fatima, to Johan and to Keshav, help is on the way’ – DA’s Steenhuisen
DA leader John Steenhuisen addresses party supporters on the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 17 February 2024, while launching the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2024 general elections. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

The Democratic Alliance’s 2024 election manifesto leans heavily on its track record of governing provincially in the Western Cape and locally in municipalities. 

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has his eyes set on the prize of elevating the party from being the official opposition to becoming the leading political party in the country through a coalition government. 

Symbolic of its aspirations, the DA held its 2024 manifesto launch on the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“The Democratic Alliance is launching our 2024 election manifesto from the Union Buildings to send a clear message: that in this election, we are in it to win it.

“That in this election, we must rescue the Union Buildings from the clutches of a corrupt government and restore them to their rightful place as a symbol of pride for all South Africans,” he said. 

The party’s manifesto launch started in Church Square, from where scores of singing and dancing DA supporters walked to the Union Building lawns along with Steenhuisen, DA Parliamentary Whip Siviwe Gwarube, party spokesperson Solly Malatsi, Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga and North West MPL Freddy Sonakile.

The sea of DA members were decked out in party regalia and carrying blue umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching Highveld sun. The party is said to have bused in at least 15,000 supporters from all corners of Gauteng.

DA Parliamentary Whip Siviwe Gwarube

DA Parliamentary Whip Siviwe Gwarube was among those who attended the party’s manifesto launch in Pretoria on Saturday, 17 February 2024. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi was one of those who marched through Pretoria to the Union Buildings to attend the party’s manifesto launch on 17 February 2024. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

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In his speech, Steenhuisen positioned the DA as the anchor of the Multi-Party Charter and a catalyst to ensuring that the ANC is kicked out of government. The Multi-Party Charter is a pre-election pact by like-minded opposition parties who present themselves as a viable alternative to the ANC-led government.

“The DA has the size, we have the people, we have the experience, we have the track record and we have the plan to rescue this beautiful country before it is too late.

“These aren’t empty words. The DA is present in every town, every village and every city across this country. We are led by the strongest leadership collective in our party’s history.

“To Tintswalo, to Fatima, to Johan and to Keshav, I say: help is on the way,” he proclaimed.

The jobs question

Steenhuisen’s speech outlined seven ways in which the DA would improve living conditions and fight criminality in the country. 

The party is looking to create jobs through reforming labour laws – including overhauling legislation which deters hiring – fostering instead an environment that promotes job creation. The party highlighted its desire to remove racial quotas in the Employment Equity Act and Preferential Procurement Act. 

The DA is also looking to exempt small and medium-sized enterprises from bargaining council agreements by amending the Labour Relations Act. 

DA supporter

A supporter during the DA manifesto launch on Saturday, 17 February 2024. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

DA members during the Democratic Alliance National Manifesto Launch at the Union Buildings on 17 February 2024 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Lefty Shivambu)

The DA’s general election manifesto launch rally held at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa, 17 February 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE / KIM LUDBROOK)

DA members respond at the launch of the party’s manifesto launch in Pretoria, 17 February 2024. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

Load shedding, water shedding and Eskom 

Like the EFF, the DA has placed ending rolling blackouts as one of its top priorities. The party believes it can improve grid infrastructure through updating the Integrated Resource Plan. 

The party wants to introduce a system where municipalities are incentivised to generate and buy their own electricity. To remedy the current state of Eskom, the DA has proposed that the state utility should be unbundled and restructured to establish an open electricity market. 

The party wants to eliminate water shedding by developing waterwise citizens who can make good choices about water use and reuse. It is promoting private investment in water infrastructure projects while fast-tracking dam and water treatment works.

“Where we govern in places like Cape Town, we are already reducing load shedding while providing the cleanest drinking water and the best sanitation services in the country.

“Recently, DA-led Cape Town rolled out a groundbreaking new initiative that enables any household with solar panels and a bi-directional meter to become a ‘prosumer’ by selling electricity back into the grid.

“This same policy sits at the heart of our manifesto’s solution to load shedding for the whole country. Mark my words: the DA’s work in Cape Town is going to lead to an energy revolution, and it will all be thanks to the implementation of DA policies,” Steenhuisen said.

DA supporters

DA supporters who marched through the streets of Pretoria to the Union Buildings to attend the launch of the party’s election manifesto on Saturday, 17 February 2024. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

DA supporters during the DA’s National Manifesto Launch at Union Buildings on 17 February 2024 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Lefty Shivambu)

Fighting crime

In its pursuit of combating crime, the DA will increase the use of technology by police in criminal investigations. The party wants to establish partnerships with private security companies. 

“Instead of a government that normalises gender-based violence, gang violence and farm murders, you can vote for a new government that respects and values our women and children, fights gangsterism and protects our farmers,” Steenhuisen said.

The DA has pledged to increase funding for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate if it is voted into office. 

Of cadre deployment, Steenhuisen said corruption could be abolished by ending the practice in favour of merit-based appointments.

Poverty alleviation 

The DA has promised to lift 6 million people out of poverty though uplifting the unemployed. It wants to change the Social Relief of Distress grant to a jobseekers grant, which will require recipients to provide evidence that they are looking for employment. 

“The only way to keep our dream alive is by lifting millions of people out of the desperate poverty in which they still languish, to create schools that teach our children and to build hospitals that heal the sick.

“The DA is the only party with the proven ability to deliver on all of these pledges. Where we govern in the Western Cape, eight out of 10 people are employed, and we create more jobs than in any province,” he said.  

And the party wants to expand the basket of essential items and promote food gardens in communities. 

Steenhuisen said the party would triple the number of Grade 4 learners who can read for meaning and ensure quality healthcare for all, irrespective of their economic status. DM 

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

    The DA keeps missing the Land question I wish they can implement something.
    They have workable solutions to the rest of the problems, but as tempting as it is they must stop beating the drum about western cape unless they include Khayelisha and the slums.
    The suburban bliss is not everyone’s cup of tea.

    • Ben Harper says:

      The “land question” is easy, in fact it has already been resolved – if you want land you are quite entitled to buy it like everyone else

      • Logan Campbell says:

        Exactly. What South Africa needs is a thriving economy that expands rapidly to employ the millions of young South Africans taht are unemployed and lift them out of poverty, as well as, bringing millions more black South Africans into the burgeoning middle class such that land is now affordable for these members of the population. Getting land for free is not the answer, making black south africans so wealthy that they can buy their own land, wherever they want it, as well as feed their families with quality food, and feed their children’s minds with quality education and make them proud because they earned everything they got. I.e if you work hard you’ll get everything you want, and more. We need to create an environment that promotes hard work, and commitment to growing South Africa as a whole, not just giving land away for free because that’s just too easy. Land is not the issue, income is. With enough income, you may not want to buy land, but rather have your money in higher return investments like your own business, or stocks, or whatever else might bring a higher return.

    • Johan Greyling says:

      There is now question about land. Land is totally worthless and the only value it has is the ability to work it at a profit. How come nobody seems to understand that. In tough times thousands of hectares lie barren in SA because nobody can then work it at a profit.

    • R S says:

      If SAPS could deal with the crime in the townships the government wouldn’t have such an issue with service delivery. Imagine getting robbed or shot while fixing a light in a township.

    • Is there hope South Africa? says:

      In my opinion, the DA is doing well in the City of Cape Town because there is plenty of money available – most of the people who live there are wealthy and not living on grants. Yet the areas you point out (eg Khayelitsha) are very different to the rest of the city. So my question is, would the DA still do so well in a province who is cash strapped with far more people in lower LSM groups? And as more and more of the people who are jobless move to the Western Cape looking for opportunities, will the DA still be able to hold up the City of Cape Town as a success story?
      At the moment, most people head to Gauteng in the hope for job opportunities (whether they are from neighbouring countries, KZN etc). But the opportunities in Gauteng are very limited and it may see them moving to the Western Cape instead.
      I wonder how the DA will cope with this?

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Power to all our people. Power to our democracy.

    DA. Our only real choice.

  • Cedric Parker says:

    It will take more than this manifesto to ensure that we avoid 5 more years of corrupt and incompetent government. I have proposed that the DA promises to implement a subsequent Referendum to select a President if they attain a majority at this General Election. John Steenhuisen would have the authority to do this if they win. The candidates (apart from Steenhuisen himself) would need to be competent black politicians of undoubted integrity who share the DA’s values and goals. Possible candidates for this could be Roger Jardine, Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane. This would increase the appeal of the Multi-Party Charter considerably, for obvious reasons. What do you think?

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Of course it makes sense to illustrate that working administrations at Provincial and Municipal level can work effectively.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    A lot of hot air and empty promises. Steenhuizen never has, and never will be decisive as he tiptoes around the most important issues. Yes, no doubt the Western Cape and city of CT DA supporters will tell us to look at what’s been achieved there. Like squatters in tents in the CBD, a drug problem second to none, seeming inability to be proactive about fires, crime, hijackings and muggings – even on the main highways, traffic jams that go on for hours, uncontrolled taxis… and the list goes on. At the moment it’s the first class upper deck on the Titanic, but it’s still going down. Now, if he declares UDI, that may be something with balls.

    • drew barrimore says:

      Sounds like you just sketched Gauteng and KZN all in one little paragraph. When thousands pour into the Western Cape in search of jobs and better healthcare, it’s quite a thing keeping up with all that. The DA does what it can with the national-driven budget cuts.

    • William Dryden says:

      You bring up the squatter tents and drug problems, most prevalent in Gauteng and not just the Western Cape someone also mentioned Khayelisha as a land problem, however since the ANC were given power (didn’t win power) The squatter camps have increased 10 fold. The DA inherited the mess in the Western Cape caused by the ANC and are doing a great job of slowly rectifying the situation, if people like yourself who find petty faults, then I suggest you go vote for the ANC then you get what you deserve.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      You’re a funny guy, but did anyone mention that this is a serious publication?

  • Johan Greyling says:

    Given the chance the DA will save South Africa as shown in the Western Cape. Job Reservation made famous by the previous Govt. and perfected by the ANC will disappear. The whole reverence to race will and should disappear. My whole life everything in politics was always about race. We are all the same and all humans. About time the racial card becomes unlawful.

  • drfreud1 says:

    Fine words indeed – but there are policies designed to help businesses exploit workers by reducing protections for workers. They’ve been tried in Australia and elsewhere – and they don’t work! A country like South Africa can only lift huge numbers out of poverty by a New Deal such as that in the USA of 1932.

  • Jan Malan says:

    If only they will throw their weight behind the idea of making WC independent and then the DA can prove that they have what it takes to run a country because If WC becomes independent and they rule the WC, there will be so many problems to overcome. The policing of gangsters, building mafias, shortage of water and electricity, job creation, the influx of millions of immigrates because everybody will want to live in the WC once it is independent. And then there will be the ANC and the EFF trying their utmost best to make the WC ungovernable. The hospitals in the WC are already almost up to standard by what I hear from most who have had to spend some time there.

    • jason du toit says:

      no thank you. WC is part of ZA. i love my province, i love my city. it is well run. we are a net contributer to the national treasury, but i don’t want to see us run away from the rest of the country.

  • Clive Matthews says:

    This party makes total sense, and more importantly, the DA isn’t the source for the country’s problems.

    You don’t have to like it, but also, you can’t blame it for the country’s problems.

    I’m with John Steenhuisen and ✊🏾

  • Clive Matthews says:

    It’s up to South Africa, if our future really matters to us

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