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It may be the holiday season, but it seems as if Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen and ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba never take their eyes off the ball, or, for that matter, never stop thinking about their “next”.
Each, in their own way has a relentless passion for South Africa and, it seems, consolidating and building towards the next election.
Looking back on 2021, what were some of the personal and professional highlights for you?
Steenhuisen: Without a doubt the election, the DA exits 2021 in far better shape than it went into it. There is great forward momentum now for the party as we march determinedly towards 2024.
Mashaba: [My highlight is] the successful launch of ActionSA right in the middle of Covid, with a mandate of 4.2 million South Africans. What were some of the personal lows?
Steenhuisen: The constant negativity and deliberate dishonesty by some of the mainstream media, especially the Sunday Times, that has waged an unfair vendetta against the DA. We have had to approach the ombudsman to get their blatant lies corrected.
Mashaba: The constant frustration by the IEC for ActionSA to fairly participate in free and fair elections. What do you think the party excelled at this year and what do you think it could have done better?
Steenhuisen: I think we ran an excellent campaign that focused on service delivery. I think we could have been far better at communicating our successes where we have governed.
Mashaba: Our success was as a result of focusing on the six winnable municipalities, instead of stretching our limited resources throughout the country. Our electoral performance was negatively impacted by the IEC’s decision to get us to contest as a logo, and not using our name on the councillor candidate election forms. What’s on the cards for you and the party for 2022?
Steenhuisen: Consolidating the momentum of 2021, and ensuring that we can deliver. We will be launching a branch activation campaign to build our structures in preparation for the coming election. Additionally, I will be spearheading a campaign against poverty and launching some new initiatives and ideas.
Mashaba: Our 2022 agenda is to launch our 2024 provincial and national election campaign, by the appointment of ethical leadership for all nine provinces. What are the top 3 challenges for South Africa in 2022?
Steenhuisen: Getting out from under the devastation that Covid has wrought, getting more South Africans into work, and service delivery at a municipal level.
Mashaba: Addressing high unemployment as a result of poor economic performance, the high crime rate and possibly, unstable coalition governments. What is your New Year’s resolution?
Steenhuisen: To work harder.
Mashaba: To build a formidable political party.
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