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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


Promises as DA launches TV advert to campaign for elections

Democratic Alliance premieres TV advert pledging change, urging voters to recognise the power of their ballots.


As part of its campaign to “rescue South Africa”, the Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday premiered a TV advert showcasing its pledges to the country ahead of next month’s general election.

Speaking to The Citizen, DA leader John Steenhuisen said he was very proud of the advert and that the message of the party’s first TV election advert was simple.

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He said it reminded South Africans about the power of their vote, and the responsibility to use that power to “bring about the change millions of our citizens so desperately want”.

He added: “It’s a positive message of hope. In each one of the examples in there, it shows how it was just a few handfuls of votes that actually made all the difference there. And so that in this general election, every vote is going to count.”

Low turnout

Steenhuisen said about 14 million people stayed away from the last elections.

“A lot of them, when we had done an analysis on them, they said the ANC is going to win anyway so why should they waste they time? They would rather go to the beach or anywhere else.

“So, in this election it’s different. The ANC is going to lose its majority and so every vote will count. And that’s the core message. I hope it’s going to encourage those people who did not vote in the last election to understand that there’s too much on the table and too much at stake for them to stay at home in this election.”

The DA is certain the ANC would lose and attain below 50% in the 29 May general election.

Steenhuisen said the DA based its assumptions on what happened in the last municipal elections, where the ANC fell to 47%, and on any single major poll from credible polling agencies showed the ANC was in the low 40s.

“We think the time has come. It’s the 30-year mark like most other post-liberation countries where the governing party does crash out of government. We based it on that,” he said.

“And that is why even in our manifesto, it’s not a long laundry list of promises. It is seven key things that we believe you have to get right in the next five years.

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“If you’re going to fix South Africa, and get it on its feet again, such as ending load shedding, keeping people safe by fighting violent crime, making sure that our children have a fighting chance of getting jobs.

“Improving education outcomes, improving public health care so everyone has access to universal health care, making sure that we build a capable state free of corruption, gated employment, lifting millions of people out of poverty and into jobs.”

He said most of the core things in their manifesto the DA had already matched them in areas it governed.

“For instance, 300 000 new jobs created in the Western Cape last year alone; 27 000 criminals arrested through the Law Enforcement Advancement Programme, where the city and the provinces put personnel on the street to fight crime; a public hospital and health care system that works and delivers; and service delivery for the people” he said.

“Now we’re not perfect and I don’t claim to be perfect. We get things wrong. We make mistakes.

“We’re a political party, but life where the DA governs, whether it’s Midvaal in Gauteng, Umgeni in KwaZulu-Natal or it’s the Western Cape, it’s far better for the people than anywhere else in the country.”