Winde of change will blow, Western Cape premier-elect tells DA faithful
The DA may have lost five seats in parliament and seen its Western Cape support decline, but that did not stop it celebrating its retention of the province on Thursday.
Premier-elect Alan Winde hosted a rally for cheering and dancing DA supporters outside the provincial legislature in Cape Town's city centre.
"We know we reached as many people as we could. We made a win a reality," he said. "Every single blue person in this province, whether you were just a voter, whether you were door-to-door, whatever you were, you were the blue people that made this 55% a reality."
Winde said the celebration would not last long. "We take our blue jackets off next week, and put on a responsibility for everyone in this province no matter who they voted for," he said.
The election numbers were not what the DA hoped for, with its share of the vote in the Western Cape declining from 59.38% in 2014 to 55.58%.
The number of votes cast for the party fell by 9.44%, but the ANC polled 15.57% fewer votes and its share fell from 32.89% in 2014 to 28.64%.
"Of course, in any political party you want to grow all the time, but I'm really happy with the 55% result," said Winde, adding that the DA would analyse the results in each province to see where it needed to improve.
Despite the optimism of the event, Winde said the party had to tackle some problems.
"You see a kind of resurgence of either nationalism or populism and then across all different lines," said Winde. "Of course that does concern me."
"We've been given a mandate for five years, and ... [we must ask] how do we start to make those changes that are perhaps going to be counter to that kind of populist movement."
The new premier of the Western Cape will be sworn in next week. Barring any extraordinary events, Winde will be the premier.