PORT ELIZABETH – DA leader Mmusi Maimane was in Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday, campaigning across the city and promising that the party would again win back the metro.
Maimane took the party’s campaign to Motherwell and New Brighton before stopping in its stronghold of ward 37 in Betheldorp, before addressing a packed community meeting in Uitenhage.
Last year, the DA-led coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay lost control after one of its own councillors turned on the party during a motion of no confidence at a council meeting.
"People have seen when the DA was moved out of power by a coalition of corruption how things have started to go backwards. They have seen how services have stopped, they have seen how the progress we started to make has seized."
Maimane lambasted ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane, saying that he had become synonymous with lies.
Maimane was responding to a question on the ANC’s assertions that the DA took away local programmes in the metro meant for the poor.
"The whole ANC has become a party riddled with lies and, frankly, people of Nelson Mandela Bay have spoken out for themselves. If you look at the recent by-elections, they know the poor is worse off under this government. We spent 85% of our budget on the poor. When we came in, this city was running at a deficit. We started to spend on municipal infrastructure grant, giving to the poor," Maimane said.
He added that the ANC had had 25 years to govern and the time had come for new party to take South Africa in a direction of prosperity.
"Coalitions work, coalitions are the future of this country. The converse is that you have a one party dominant state that governs with arrogance. The ANC, as a one party state, have stolen so much that they created state capture. We use the word state capture but all it means is grand theft because you have one party dominance."
Maimane also conducted door-to-door visits and stopped at the house of resident Mary Lawack for a toilet break. Many residents raised their concerns that the youth were jobless and resorted to gangsterism for an income.
Lawack herself was not completely convinced by the promises made by political parties in general.
"We will just have to see because we are struggling with work in extension 31 to 35. The big problem here is gangsterism. Our children is in gangsterism because they don’t have work. The work is the biggest problem," said Lawack.
African News Agency (ANA)