The facts speak for themselves on DA governance

DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Trevor Samson

There is clear blue water between the DA and other parties

Rather than roll all parties and politicians into one ball and toss it away as being "in the hands of thoughtless idiots whose main business is to steal money" (Prince Mashele, Sowetan, January 7 2019), political commentators should be using every opportunity to assist voters to make the best possible decision in the critical 2019 national election.

Commentators can fulfil the all-important role of distinguishing fact from fiction, and empty slogans from real governance achievements. Or they can be part of the problem, which is that South African voters are overall not equipped with the information and education they need to make voting decisions in their best interest.

There are vast differences between the main political parties - in their ethics, values, governing track records and policies. To suggest otherwise is misleading and irresponsible.

At the end of the day, political parties exist for one reason and one reason only: to govern well for all people. The fact is, the DA-run Western Cape province leads by a country mile on every metric of good governance.

Voters need to know that in just two years, the DA-run coalition government in Johannesburg has saved residents over R18bn by terminating corrupt contracts of the previous administration. It has cut wasteful expenditure by R480m per annum, allowing it to triple the spend on repairs and maintenance of city infrastructure and to recruit an additional 1,500 JMPD officers to fight crime.

Voters need to know that over half of all jobs created in SA in the past year were in the Western Cape (95,000 out of 188,000), even though only one eighth of the nation's workforce resides there. At 23.7%, unemployment is 13 percentage points lower than the national average of 37.3%. These are no empty slogans. They are facts reported by Stats SA. They prove unequivocally that the DA's approach leads to economic growth and job creation.

Voters need to know that the Western Cape achieved 83% clean audits last year, miles ahead of second-placed Gauteng at 52%. This is a fact, reported by the auditor-general. These numbers should speak far louder than the rhetoric that voters will hear from other parties in the coming months. They tell us that DA governments spend public money on the public, rather than stealing or wasting it.

The Western Cape retained 63% of 2016's grade 10 pupils in the system, so that they wrote the NSC in 2018. No other province managed to retain more than 50%.

In the recent SACMEQ 4 report, the Western Cape scored higher for reading and maths than the national averages of all African states included in the study, achieving 72.7% in advanced reading compared to 36.1% nationally.

Voters need to know that the Western Cape has a 62% success rate on agricultural land reform projects compared with a 10% success rate nationally. Beneficiaries have rated the DA's key support areas mostly above 90%.

Voters need to vote as if their life depends on it. Because it does. Life expectancy in the DA-run Western Cape is the highest in the country, supported by a functional public healthcare system. At 91.5%, it has the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of their nearest health facility, according to Stats SA's General Household Survey 2016.

With total disregard to these facts, Mashele glibly states: "When you look at our major parties, nothing is promising". Really?

These numbers are in fact extremely promising. They show that the DA delivers to all and that our promise to build one South Africa for all is not an idle one. The DA is by far the most diverse party, with incredible diversity coming up through the leadership ranks.

The DA's pledge to SA in 2019 is to ensure fairer access to jobs, to fight corruption, to speed up service delivery, to provide an honest, professional police service, and to secure our borders. This is how the DA will move SA forward and build one South Africa for all.

- Maimane is leader of the DA

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