Form a new party - Zille
DA leader Helen Zille - who is standing for another term as party leader - has called for the formation of a new political party to challenge the ruling ANC.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club yesterday, Zille said the historical roots of the current political parties were making it difficult for them to challenge the dominant position of the ANC alone.
"The truth is none of our existing political parties, as currently constituted, can credibly offer this on their own. It's time for political leaders to catch up with reality," she said.
Zille has called on "constitutionalists" both within the ANC and in other political parties to "take the plunge" and move out of their comfort zones into a new political formation that would be guided by the four core values of:
Defending the constitution;
Growing a regulated, market-driven economy to achieve growth; and
Building a competent state that puts competence above loyalty and punishes corruption.
Commitment to these core values was non-negotiable, said Zille.
The new party would adopt the National Development Plan, which she said was similar to the DA's Growth and Jobs Plan, as its blueprint for governing.
Zille said the current leadership battles in the ANC and its alliance partners had pitted "constitutionalists" against populists who abuse institutions of state to pursue narrow political agendas, who see the constitution as a barrier to their progress and who mobilise on the basis of racial nationalism.
She said this had created contradictions that the ANC was failing to manage.
These contradictions, she said, presented an opportunity for those who are committed to the constitution, non-racialism and a market-driven economy to leave the ANC and join a new political formation.
"The big question is: can a clean break happen in time so that the constitutionalists, wherever they currently find themselves, can build a new majority and implement a plan that defuses the time bomb of youth unemployment?"
Zille said she had spoken to various political figures in and outside the ANC about her proposal.
She said there were many who agreed with her view, but were afraid to move out of their comfort zones.
"The comfort of incumbency too often trumps the insecurity of moving into the unknown," she said.
The DA has been wooing smaller opposition parties to join it in its fight to reduce ANC dominance. It concluded a merger with the Independent Democrats just before the 2011 elections, which resulted in a deal that saw that party's leader Patricia de Lille taking over as mayor of Cape Town.
It has also courted COPE, but that party's internal squabbles, which have resulted in court battles, have overshadowed talks.