Politics

DA leader John Steenhuisen: “The EFF and Action SA’s support for our candidates came with no strings attached…”

John Steenhuisen

The Leader of the Democratic Alliance [DA], John Steenhuisen, briefed the country on the outcomes of numerous inaugaral council sittings in municipalities and also on the party securing the Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metros on Tuesday, 23 November 2021.

John Steenhuisen made it clear very clear that the EFF and Action SA’s support for their candidates in Yesterday’s inaugaral council meetings came with no strings attached and also that everyone who voted in support of a DA candidate knew that the party would not allow anyone to hold a gun to their head in the government arrangement.

The DA leader emphasised that the party’s victories not only proved that the ANC can be beaten but it also proved that South Africa’s democracy is no longer dominated by a single party.

Steenhuisen also said that analysing why the various parties voted in favour of the party’s candidates is of ‘less importance’ but rather the DA now has a golden opportunity to start correcting the course of the metros [Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni].

“To clean up government, to end corrupt contracts, and to reprioritise spending in order to deliver better services to poor communities, open more opportunities for poor residents, grow the local economy and inspire hope for our country’s future,” Steenhuisen said.

“This is a momentous task at the best of times. From the vantage point of a fragile minority government, with a hostile administration, and facing a huge opposition bloc, both in our own councils and in provincial governments, the challenge becomes herculean. Add to this depleted budgets, poor revenue collection, infrastructure decay and service delivery backlogs, and it should become clear: none of these cities can be turned around overnight, especially if we cannot ensure stability in complex minority coalitions,” added Steenhuisen.

Steenhuisen further stated that the DA is up for the challenge as they have managed difficult coalition governments before and reassured people that no DA-led government has ever been afraid of hard work or daunted by long timelines.

“As long as we can remain in office and work alongside parties that share our big, optimistic vision for these metros, we will chip away at that mountain of work and start turning Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni – and other cities we may win today – into the caring, inclusive and economically vibrant places we know they can be,” said Steenhuisen.

John Steenhuisen also warned that should any party or parties deliberately frustrate the DA’s efforts to ensure good governance, whether by interfering with administration or thwarting budgets and bylaws, the party will be vocal at pointing out the responsible parties.

Steenhuisen revealed that the DA will be reaching out to parties that haven’t been part of their coalition agreements so far in order to build majority coalitions that will not rely on voting support on a case-by-case basis from parties outside a coalition in a bid to protect the progress made in the metros from the dangers of an unstable minority government.

Steenhuisen also reiterated that the removal of the ANC could not come at a more opportune time, less than three years out from national and provincial elections and the DA now have a rare chance to usher in a new ANC-free era for the metros [Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni and potentially the Tshwane and Ethekwini metros]

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