In a South Africa seemingly to be on constant edge around the issue of racism and having to deal with, the official opposition has launched what it calls Team One South Africa, as a mechanism to contest the 2019 General Elections.
The launch which took place in the heart of Joburg’s Art and Heritage hub in Newtown on Saturday, 22 September, saw a sea of blue cover the streets of South Africa’s economic hub and artists keeping the fans of both the party and their music entertained.
At the event, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane took an opportunity to reminisced about 1994, and what democracy meant for all South Africans.
Maimane said, “When I saw the pictures on the TV of the helicopters flying over the Union Buildings, carrying those massive flags, my heart swelled with pride and belonging. I had a flag, and it was beautiful.
“My flag had these big bands that swept together in a V and continued as one united band. Just as we had come together from a fractured past, but were now headed towards one united destiny.”
Soon after speaking about the beautiful beginning to South Africa’s democracy, he then also recalled how along the way ‘our progress slowed down’.
For those at the launch, Maimane’s speech was received as what promises to be a new hope for South Africa on a day that felt to some as a celebration of democracy.
Malcolm de Klerk, a DA activist from Tshwane said, “Maimane was brilliant as he is always. I particularly loved the introduction of spokespersons to deal with various issues affecting South Africans.”
Meanwhile, Simon Lapping, a Ward Councillor from the City of Ekurhuleni said, “I think the speech was very positive, and while it touched on sensitive issues; these are the issues which need to be discussed.”
One of the key issues Maimane touched on was the issue of jobs and building a sustainable economy.
In his speech, he said, “Our message speaks to the crucial issue of employment, and how we can ensure that all South Africans have fair access to jobs, and when I say jobs, I mean real long-term, sustainable jobs.”
According to Maimane, it is only the DA that has a plan to harness the power of the private sector and the power of the entrepreneur to create these jobs.
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He made reference to this by saying the party has proven this beyond all doubt in the province and Metros where the DA govern.
He said, “In the last year, three-quarters of all new jobs were created in the DA-run Western Cape.
“We must break down our State Owned Enterprises, we must make sure our cities can build sustainable infrastructure, and we must allow small businesses to thrive. This is our agenda for change.”
Maimane further said the goal does not stop at just creating jobs, the goal extends into making sure that young people have the skills and experience to make the most of opportunities given to them.
He concluded by raising a challenge to South Africans, when he said, “Which country would you rather live in – the divided one we have now with its poverty, unemployment and growing anger, or a united one where we all build a shared future together?
“If it is the latter, then you know what to do in next year’s election. Because only one party can bring change that builds one South Africa for all. And that party is the DA.”
This message hit home with one of the activists who listened to Maimane speak. According to a DA activist, Vanessa de Sousa, “Mmusi’s speech was really good, it was inspiring as always.”
After a day filled with plenty of activities, Cllr Lapping said what was really great to see from his side was the idea of having a place where people could create their own posters.