Zille calls for a new party to fight ANC
DA LEADER Helen Zille - who is standing for another term as party leader - is calling for the formation of a new political party to challenge the ruling ANC.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club this week, Zille said the historical roots of the current political parties were making it difficult for them to challenge the dominant position of the ANC alone.
"The truth is none of our existing political parties, as currently constituted, can credibly offer this on its own. It's time for political leaders to catch up with reality," she said.
Zille has called on "constitutionalists" both within the ANC and in other political parties to "take the plunge" and move out of their comfort zones into the new political formation. This new political party, she said, would be guided by the four core values of:
- Defending the constitution;
- Nurturing non-racialism;
- Growing a regulated, market driven economy to achieve growth and reduce unemployment; and
- Building a competent state that puts competence above loyalty and punishes corruption.
Commitment to these core values was non-negotiable, said Zille.
The new party would adopt a National Development Plan, which she said was similar to the DA's Growth and Jobs Plan, as its blueprint for governing.
"The political parties of the past (and present) are powerful brands, but today they serve to keep apart millions of people who really belong together.
The next stop is to build a governing party that can make the (National Development) Plan's efficient implementation its highest priority," she said.
Zille said the current leadership battles in the ANC and its alliance partners had pitted these "constitutionalists" against populists who abuse institutions of state to pursue narrow political agendas; who see the constitution as a barrier to their progress and who mobilise on the basis of racial nationalism. She said this had created contradictions that the ANC was failing to manage.
The DA, which runs the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town, has been wooing smaller opposition parties to join it in its fight to reduce ANC dominance. It concluded a merger with the ID just before the 2011 elections. This resulted in a deal that saw ID leader Patricia de Lille taking over as mayor of Cape Town.