What you should expect from the Democratic Alliance in 2014

The political situation in South Africa is changing so fast, it is more difficult than ever before to predict the result of the 2014 election.

BEE DA

The special Cosatu congress to determine Zwelinzima Vavi’s future (and the rest of Cosatu’s leadership); the pending trial of EFF leader, Julius Malema on 51 corruption charges; and of course, what happens next to President Zuma could significantly change the political terrain before the 2014 election.

“I do not however believe that what Frans Cronje calls the ANC “verligtes” (enlightened) can save the ANC from itself. The ANC is now beyond the point of internal rescue” says Helen Zille.

As for the Economic Freedom Front, there is no way to know if Mr Malema will be acquitted or found guilty, or be declared bankrupt, which would prevent him from becoming a member of Parliament.

He won’t go to jail before the 2014 poll because he will have learnt from President Zuma how to drag his case through the justice system interminably.

And President Zuma himself faces great turmoil.

The DA’s attempt to obtain the reasons why the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew corruption charges against President Zuma is due to be determined in the Supreme Court of Appeal early next year.

In terms of scenario prediction, the DA cannot be sure what percentage of the vote we will win next year.

We must compare apples with apples. It is misleading to compare local government elections with national elections.

2014 is a national/provincial election, and we must compare our targets against the benchmark set in the 2009 national/provincial general election, when the DA won 16,6% of the vote.

We also won an outright majority in the Western Cape.

In 2014, indications are that the ANC can be brought below 50% of the vote in Gauteng. That will be a game-changer in South African politics.

The signs are that within a decade, if we continue to re-align politics around our vision, the DA will be the nucleus of a new non-racial majority at the centre of South African politics.

We can build this new majority based on a commitment to defend the constitution, grow an inclusive economy, and offer opportunities to all South Africans to use their freedom to improve their lives.

In the DA, we believe the state has three core functions: to defend people’s rights and freedoms, to extend their opportunities, and to do those things for people they cannot be expected to do for themselves.

The DA is advancing the concept of the ‘servant state’ as the alternative to the ‘captured state’. South Africans now know that where the DA governs, opportunities are provided as widely as possible.

Jobs and contracts are not gifted to the well-connected and small political elite. Everyone increasingly receives a fair chance, although this is a long process.

“I am more optimistic about South Africa’s future than I was in 1994. Then, we faced the grave risk of political competition in South Africa becoming defined by competing racial nationalism. Today it is increasingly a contestation of ideas, principles and policies. This shift is essential if we want to succeed as a democracy” added Zille.

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