Late on Friday afternoon, the leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane declared victory in Tshwane. He said that they are confident that the DA has won the most votes in Tshwane. Maimane congratulated DA mayoral candidate for Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, for running a good campaign in the capital city, and said Msimanga is potentially the capital’s mayor elect.
Maimane’s proclamation was based on the party’s own internal projections.
The DA will however still need to form a coalition with other parties in order to form a government in Tshwane.
The party’s declaration in Tshwane follows its victory in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. Across the country, the DA has recorded gains across the country, to the detriment of the ANC.
The Cape Town metro and Midvaal municipality have re-elected the DA to its local governments with an outright majority, while the party has also won outright majorities in Kouga in the Eastern Cape and Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape, adding these to the party’s portfolio.
“We are ecstatic and pleased to have made some gains especially in municipalities that we have never governed before,” Chairperson of the DA and member of parliament James Selfe said. “We know that a huge responsibility awaits us and we look forward to delivering the kind of service that the people voted for.”
All eyes now are on the ability of the DA to form coalitions to form a government in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.
Maimane however noted that the party was “not desperate to be in government” and would not compromise more than necessary in coalition negotiations.
Selfe attributes the DA’s gains to the country noting the quality of service that the DA can deliver.
“All our hard work has gone into engaging with the people and our organisation has understood the need to be the reliable face that the community can entrust with their issues,” he said.
The leadership of Mmusi Maimane in the rise of the DA is not insignificant.
“Mmusi has always been someone who we all believed in,” he said, adding that the decision we made for the well-being of the party. South Africans responded harshly calling him a token, a coconut and a sell-out.
“This was really hurtful because the DA is truly a non-racial organisation,” he said.
DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme says when Mmusi came into power he emphasised the need for the organisation to become an activist party. She says that the DA won favour among South Africans because it is a diverse political party in all aspects. “Our election offer was really quite simple. We didn’t make outlandish promises to the people. All we said was Vote for Change.”