DA re­veals its NC premier can­di­date

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

DA LEADER Mmusi Maimane has an­nounced the party’s North­ern Cape premier can­di­date for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

Dur­ing the an­nounce­ment on the week­end, Maimane said that the DA “fully in­tended” to be­come the big­gest party in the North­ern Cape in 2019.

“We plan to hit the ground run­ning in gov­ern­ment so that we can help un­lock the po­ten­tial of this largely for­got­ten prov­ince. To do so, we will ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples as we did in the Western Cape, which saw that prov­ince be­come the big­gest provider of new jobs in the coun­try in re­cent years.

“Last year, three-quar­ters of all new jobs added were in the Western Cape. This was only pos­si­ble thanks to the DA’s ob­ses­sive fo­cus on en­abling growth and en­ter­prise in the pri­vate sec­tor, rather than mak­ing job cre­ation a func­tion of the state. We need to do the same here in the North­ern Cape. We need to cre­ate a cor­rup­tion-free, has­sle-free en­vi­ron­ment in which busi­nesses can flour­ish, and we need to iden­tify and en­hance the in­dus­tries that are key to de­vel­op­ment and growth here,” Maimane said.

He added that one such in­dus­try was en­ergy and par­tic­u­larly re­new­able en­ergy.

“Through smart in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment and good clean gov­er­nance, we can make the North­ern Cape an en­ergy hub and cre­ate thou­sands of new jobs here.”

Maimane said that the ANC had “for­got­ten” about the North­ern Cape and that the party only de­ployed “tsot­sis” here.

“We are sick of tsot­sis, like John Block, run­ning this prov­ince,” Maimane said.

He stated that the DA would put the North­ern Cape back on the map when it comes to de­vel­op­ment, growth and jobs, un­der the lead­er­ship of its premier can­di­date, Andrew Louw, who Maimane de­scribed as “the orig­i­nal makoya” from Galeshewe.

“Louw has served as DA pro­vin­cial leader in the North­ern Cape since 2010, dur­ing which time the party has gone from strength to strength, both in terms of elec­toral re­sults and in its fight for bet­ter ser­vices, bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions and ac­count­able gov­er­nance for the peo­ple of the North­ern Cape.

“He was born in Kim­ber­ley in 1969. He grew up right here in Galeshewe, in Boikanyo Street, and at­tended Venus Pri­mary School and Homevale Sec­ondary School.

“His child­hood was marked by poverty but thanks to the sac­ri­fices of his par­ents and a close-knit com­mu­nity, his poor child­hood served as a mo­ti­va­tion to one day be of ser­vice, rather than to de­fine his path in life.

“Grow­ing up in Galeshewe, Louw knew very well about the dam­ag­ing ef­fects of an un­car­ing gov­ern­ment. All around him he saw peo­ple whose fu­tures had be­come se­verely lim­ited by the cir­cum­stances of their birth and their sur­round­ings. This moved him to want to make a dif­fer­ence in th­ese com­mu­ni­ties and to be­come a voice for those who couldn’t speak for them­selves.”

Maimane added that Louw joined the DA 12 years ago, first as an ac­tivist and later as a can­di­date for ward coun­cil­lor in Ward 14 – an elec­tion bat­tle he lost by a mere 23 votes.

“Un­de­terred by this nar­row set­back, he went on to serve as a PR coun­cil­lor for the DA un­til he be­came a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment in 2009, serv­ing as the shadow min­is­ter for Labour. Since be­com­ing pro­vin­cial leader in 2010 he has de­fended his po­si­tion at two con­gresses, both with land­slide vic­to­ries.

“Dur­ing this time, Andrew guided the DA to in­creased elec­toral re­turns in ev­ery na­tional, pro­vin­cial and lo­cal elec­tion, as well as a host of by-elec­tions. In the 2014 elec­tions he helped grow DA sup­port from 15% (2009) to 23.5%; and from 2009 to 2016 the num­ber of DA coun­cil­lors in the Prov­ince grew from 69 to 107,” Maimane noted.

The DA leader added that Louw would, how­ever, have to “blaze his own trail as premier”, as the ANC pre­miers who pre­ceded him “left him with very unin­spir­ing shoes to fill”.

Maimane went on to state that the is­sues af­fect­ing com­mu­ni­ties through­out the North­ern Cape “did not be­long in a mod­ern democ­racy”.

Mmusi Maimane is seen with the pro­vin­cial leader of the DA and premier can­di­date, Andrew Louw.

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