DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille and party leader John Steenhuisen.
- DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille said “the ANC has to crumble” for the DA to get to the Union Buildings.
- DA leader John Steenhuisen denied that he said the DA would go into a coalition with the ANC in its current form and said it wasn’t possible to distinguish between a “good ANC and a bad ANC”.
- He said his party was willing to “work with” the ANC on some bills and principles.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has explained her vision for South Africa’s political future, saying that “the ANC has to crumble” for the DA to get to the Union Buildings.
Speaking on Tuesday on the party’s regular Youtube show, The Inside Track, Zille explained what the party meant by saying it wanted to work with the ANC and other parties.
Party leader John Steenhuisen recently denied the Sunday Times’ interpretation of his statement that the party would work with some sections in the ANC -meant a coalition.
Zille drew a triangle on a whiteboard to illustrate her point, saying in order for the ANC to crumble, the party’s vote has to be pushed below 50% in local governments first.
“We started in local government in Cape Town as you remember, because that is where you can actually have the best chance of pushing the ANC under 50%. So [when] you push the ANC under 50% the glue of patronage and contracts and tenders and everything melts, and then suddenly they have to choose between alternative positions of principles and values, and that is where you can get that clear choice happening.”
She said political parties had to build “the rational centre” for South Africa to become a success.
While it was clear what the DA and the EFF stood for, it’s less clear what the ANC stood for, she said.
“What the DA stands for is crystal clear: constitutionalism, the rule of law, non-racialism, a market economy, the open opportunity society for all,” she said, adding that the EFF’s views were also crystal clear: “Racial nationalist socialism, the party controlling the state, the state controlling the economy, the party therefore controlling the economy through the state, [and] cadre deployment.”
There were also other opposition parties that put their weight behind the DA, she said.
“The critical thing is when politics becomes a choice between principles and philosophies, then what you need is to make that choice clear, and the crisis the ANC’s in is the process of getting that choice to be clearer,” she said.
This referred to differences between supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa and party secretary-general Ace Magashule.
She said for the DA’s position “to ultimately win”, most of the voters in South Africa would have to support that position.
“That’s our job and I’ve been talking about this since 2008, not just adding the opposition parties up together, not at all,” she said.
She said cooperation agreements with the EFF following the 2016 local government elections didn’t work because there was nothing in common between the two views.
Steenhuisen said it wasn’t possible to distinguish between a “good ANC and a bad ANC”.
“We will not go into a formal coalition with any party, including the ANC, if it means compromising on our core principles.
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) March 3, 2021
He said: “There is one ANC and they have caused huge damage to South Africa, its economy and its people, and to our economic prosperity and the future.
“I do, however, believe there are reformers in the ANC. I believe there are reformers in all parties actually, and it’s our job to seek out those reformers and bring them together around the growth agenda, otherwise we are going to continue with this terrible stalemate in South Africa. We are going to head towards a fiscal cliff, greater poverty and greater unemployment.”
He said every voter should ask their political party leader which side of the equation, as explained by Zille, they fell on.
“Do they want a Zimbabwe or do they want a Botswana? You can’t take both, you got to choose which side you will be on.”
He said the DA was willing to work “across party lines” to get Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane out of her position and to pass the Public Service Bill which aims to depoliticise the public service.
“We have already extended a hand of friendship to the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] for his reform agenda, and we have tabled bills that give life to his reform agenda,” he said.
He said it wasn’t true that this would “collapse” the DA into the ANC.