DA kicks off #Change tour to take 2019
The DA’s Mmusi Maimane has called on all opposition parties to band together with the intention to remove the ANC from power in the 2019 national elections.
The rallying call for the opposition to work alongside civil society and all South Africans was made at the launch of the DA’s #Change 19 Tour, which kicked off in Atteridgeville yesterday.
The countrywide tour marks the beginning of what will be a three-year long campaign, where the party will look to bag at least one more province.
Speaking to about 200 people yesterday afternoon, Maimane announced he would be travelling to all provinces, and he called on South Africans to join the “change movement”.
Maimane repeatedly said talks were under way with opposition parties who supported the DA’s bid to remove the governing ANC.
“I am even speaking to other political parties who are saying, ‘Maimane, we saw that we are working together in municipalities, so we want to work together nationally.’ They are coming with us. That is the future of South Africa,” the party leader told the crowd.
Speaking on the sidelines of the address, Maimane said coalitions in the major metros had set the tone for 2019.
“Already, we have a coalition framework that has been capacitated to ensure that we govern well for all the people. We are saying we will be going towards meeting [people] and saying, what are the other policy frameworks we need to be studying? Remember it is not just parties in Parliament, there are parties outside of Parliament as well.”
This was in reference to a coalition agreement between the DA, United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party following last year’s local government elections. Through the coalition agreement, the DA added the metros of Nelson Mandela Bay, the city of Tshwane and Johannesburg to the opposition.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opted not to be a part of the coalition, but chose to give its votes in council to opposition parties.
Maimane would, however, not be drawn on the possibility of a national coalition as yet, saying: “No, let me talk about Change 19 at this point. It is a movement of those who want change in SA, [and] that must be the focus.”
He admitted the significance of launching in Gauteng was symbolic, following the wins in the municipal elections.
However, having grown only marginally at the polls last year, the DA must convince more voters in townships and rural areas – strongholds of the ANC – that what it offers is the better option.
Another major point of debate ahead of the 2019 polls is the issue of land. In recent weeks, the DA rejected an EFF-raised motion in Parliament to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
Maimane told his supporters yesterday he wanted farm workers to have a share in the land which they worked on, and that land could no longer be reserved for those who sat at Luthuli House. “We want BEE that works for all of us, not just Baleka Mbete. “There were people who used to say they would die for a leader. Can I tell you what I will die for? I will die for this country. I will die for SA. South Africa must become a free country for all of us, until then our work is not done,” Maimane said, taking a dig at EFF leader Julius Malema.
“If you oppose corruption you will come with us. If you defend the Constitution, come with us. If you stand for South Africans, black, white, Indian and coloured, come with us,” he said.