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Five parties join forces with Gayton McKenzie’s PA to take on DA in Western Cape

Five parties join forces with Gayton McKenzie’s PA to take on DA in Western Cape
From left, Leon Campher, Noël Constable, Gayton McKenzie, Goliath Lottering, Gert Laban and Colin Sylvester will all campaign for the PA in the 29 May general election. (Photo: Velani Ludidi)

The race for votes in the Western Cape is heating up, with the Patriotic Alliance cooperating with five smaller parties with seats in a handful of councils to reduce the DA’s majority.

The competition for votes in the Western Cape is heating up with only six weeks left until South Africans cast their ballots on 29 May.

The DA has dominated in the province for more than a decade. However, recent polls indicate that its majority might be at risk.

On Tuesday, Patriotic Alliance (PA) president and Western Cape premier candidate Gayton McKenzie announced the names of five parties and their leaders who have opted not to contest the general elections and will instead campaign in favour of the PA.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections 2024

They are regional parties mostly from rural areas of the province which came on to the scene in the 2021 local elections. Daily Maverick understands that owing to budgetary constraints, the parties decided to campaign under the PA and push for McKenzie to be the next premier.

The five parties are:

  • Advieskantoor, led by Leon Campher;
  • The Karoo Gemeenskap Party (KGP), led by Goliath Lottering;
  • The Karoo Democratic Force (KDF), led by Noël Constable;
  • The Oudtshoorn Gemeenskap Initiatief, led by Colin Sylvester; and
  • Witzenberg Aksie, led by Gert Laban.

“Western Cape is about to change,” McKenzie said.

“We are taking back the province. The PA began establishing this relationship with these leaders and parties last year already, and this alliance has only gone from strength to strength.

“These leaders have realised the value of standing with the PA and not splitting their constituencies’ vote, as we all want what is best for South Africa and the Western Cape, and the PA represents the strongest opportunity, as the fastest-growing party in the country, to make the voices of South Africa’s long-disenfranchised voters count most.”

McKenzie took a swipe at the Multi-Party Charter, composed of 11 parties including the DA, IFP, ActionSA, ACDP and Freedom Front Plus, saying he was not just bringing together registered parties, but parties that had a track record of winning seats in councils.

“In that Multi-Party Charter, Isanco and the Spectrum [National] Party have never won anything. We are bringing you parties that have representation in councils in the Western Cape. We are inviting parties to support the PA,” he said.

The alliance does not come as a surprise as the PA is already working with the KDF in the Central Karoo District Municipality, where McKenzie was mayor for a year. In Prince Albert Municipality, the PA did not field a candidate for last year’s by-election and supported the KGP’s candidate.

Shifting alliances

Last week, the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) announced it would support Marius Fransman’s People’s Movement for Change (PMC) in the general election.

The PMC recently gained two notable new members, former Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and Nceba Enge, the Western Cape deputy chairperson of the SA National Taxi Council, who is the party’s secretary-general

Read more in Daily Maverick: Faction-ridden Icosa to support People’s Movement for Change after poll registration failure

Daily Maverick reported last year that three small parties in Oudtshoorn would collaborate with the PA in the 2024 national and provincial elections to “defeat both the DA and the ANC in the Western Cape”.

“[DA leader] John [Steenhuisen] is panicking because he knows what is coming,” said McKenzie.

“He complains that we speak about the DA only. The ANC is dead in the Western Cape; I will not speak about the dead. We speak about the people in power. In the Northern Cape, we do not mention the DA because they are dead.”

McKenzie will campaign in Cape Town as winning the battle of the province relies on the Cape Town metro, where two million of Western Cape’s three million registered voters live.

McKenzie said if elected as premier of the Western Cape, he would eradicate gangsterism, address land redistribution and expel undocumented foreigners.

While he wants to replace the DA in the province, he said working with the party was not off the table.

“We are the only party that has said that we are open to working with anyone. We represent constituencies and if their needs are met, we do not care if it is the DA, ANC or whoever… We must change the lives of our people.”

DA confident

Steenhuisen, speaking at a DA campaign event on Tuesday evening, told party supporters that there was only one reason the Western Cape worked while the rest of South Africa was broken: “Because the people of the Western Cape are united behind the DA.

“The people of the Western Cape know that eight out of every 10 new jobs created in the whole [of] South Africa over the past five years, come from this one province — because this province is led by the DA.

“The people of the Western Cape know that unemployment in this province is about to dip below 20% while the rest of the country sits with unemployment above 40% — because this province is led by the DA.”

The DA won 55.45% of the vote in Western Cape in 2019. Some polls have suggested its support in the province could drop by a few percentage points, while opposition parties are hoping to cut its support to below 50% and force it into a coalition. DM

Gallery

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