According to the DA’s internal polling, the party stands to make gains on the share of the vote it received in the 2014 elections, DA leader Mmusi Maimane claims.
Maimane, DA national spokespersons Solly Malatsi and Refiloe Nt’sheke and DA deputy federal chairperson Ivan Meyer addressed the media on Sunday in Cape Town after their three-day long meeting of the party’s federal council.
It was the council’s last meeting before the elections, which President Cyril Ramaphosa announced will take place on May 8, and the DA leader is in a bullish mood.
He said the council confirmed their targets of winning Gauteng and the Northern Cape, and retaining the Western Cape and growing their share of the vote nationally.
“We are more convinced than ever that we will achieve these targets as our own research shows significant weakness in the ANC across the country – particularly in the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Northern Cape,” Maimane said.
“Our research shows that the ANC is well below its 2014 election results, whereas the DA is polling ahead of our 2014 election results. This is encouraging and shows that South Africans are tired of the status quo and are desperate for immediate change.”
Maimane also claimed that they have “out-registered” the ANC in the Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the “battleground of Gauteng”.
He said the only announcement made by Ramaphosa on Thursday evening during his State of the Nation Address, was the election date of May 8.
The election will be a referendum on whether South Africans want “Agrizzi or change”, Maimane charged.
Asked about polls which expect the DA to garner about 20% or 14% of the vote (they got about 22% in 2014), Maimane said polls previously underestimated the DA’s support, while the DA’s internal polls say they can expect a higher outcome than in 2014 and a drop for the ANC.
News24 pointed to recent by-election results in the Western Cape, which saw a drop in DA support in the province. Maimane said by-elections have a low voter turnout, which tends to favour opposition parties, and their information shows a gain in support in the province.
He also pointed out that they have won some wards of the ANC, which shows the ANC’s support is on the decline.
According to Maimane, Ramaphosa’s approval rating of 60% is overestimated, and according to the DA’s information, “Ramaphoria” peaked in February last year. Maimane said since then VAT has been increased and the economy shed jobs.
He said if one looked at the ANC’s electoral lists, you’ll conclude “Mr Zuma is still running the ANC”.
Maimane considers the R500 000 Bosasa paid to Ramaphosa’s ANC election campaign a bribe.
“Bosasa bought themselves a president.”
Asked if they envisage winning Gauteng and the Northern Cape outright, or in coalitions, and if those possible coalitions would include the EFF, Maimane said for the moment they are going into the elections with the aim to take as many votes as possible, and they don’t want to prescribe parties that they might form coalitions with.
He said ultimately the DA wants to entrench multi-racialism, and parties like the EFF (with whom the DA is not in coalition, but are working with in Johannesburg and Pretoria) and the FF Plus (with whom the DA is in coalition) mobilise around race.
“I will stand against those who say they want to cut the throat of whiteness, and those who say ons is ‘n party vir sulke mense [we are a party for certain people],” Maimane said.
“The future of South Africa is coalitions, that does not change.
“It is the future of South Africa, so we better get used to it.”
He said they will not go into coalition with people who are corrupt or racist.
The DA “has no intention” of governing the Western Cape in a coalition, Maimane said. “It will be a regression.”
He said their party lists will be finalised by the end of the month.