John Steenhuisen: 'I want DA metros to look like maternity wards, with service delivery every single day'

5 responses from John Steenhuisen at Cape Town Press Club

02 December 2020 - 13:30
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
DA leader John Steenhuisen addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday.
Image: WERNER HILLS DA leader John Steenhuisen addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday.

Service delivery is the top priority for the DA, and delaying this through three or five-year plans is not an option. This is according to party leader John Steenhuisen.

The opposition leader addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday under the theme “the path to building a new majority”. Steenhuisen said he had met with the leadership of the City of Cape Town to discuss service delivery in the city.

Swift service delivery in Cape Town

The leader said governments which failed to deliver basic services would be held accountable.

“I've said to all of our governments, every single one of them, that 'I want DA led metros to look like maternity wards. There must be delivery every single day and I want lots of pictures where we're sharing what those deliveries look like.

“I've put them on terms that we'll be watching their progress, not wasting time on three-year or five-year plans, about what their plans are for the next six months to a year so we make those meaningful differences.”

South Africans are ready to remove the ANC from power 

Steenhuisen said South Africans should remove the ANC from power if it continues to fail to deliver. He slammed Cyril Ramaphosa's presidency for “falling short” when it was supposed to be the “best shot” for the ruling party.

“If the ANC won't let go of the ropes that are holding SA back, it has to be the people of SA who then let go of the ANC. Many are ready to do so.”

DA was punished in by-elections, but support grew

Steenhuisen acknowledged the party's poor performance in the recent by-elections and admitted that the opposition was “punished” for its faults. However, he said the results don't tell the full story.

The DA emerged as the biggest loser in the by-elections held last month. The party lost nine wards which it previously controlled, won two new wards and retained 14. Among the parties it lost to are the Good Party, Al Jama-Ah and the Patriotic Alliance.

“Our support grew among black and white voters ... if black voters in the rural Eastern Cape ward could turn their backs on the ANC in favour of the DA, then it could happen anywhere. It was always going to be a matter of when and not if. The struggle credentials of the ANC would eventually begin to fade.”

DA is the only alternative for SA

The opposition leader said the ANC could lose its majority of voters in the next election cycle, leaving South Africans with the DA as their alternative. Seemingly taking a swipe at the EFF, he said the values of the DA don't seek to divide South Africans, as was seen in  Brackenfell.

“That is why I'm proud that our party has committed to building a united, non-racial and rational centre in our politics, because this is where the new majority in SA has to come from if we're going to have any chance of success.”

Motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa is a result of ANC infighting 

Ramaphosa will face his first-ever motion of no confidence on Thursday. Steenhuisen attributed this to internal fighting within the ruling party and the influence of secretary-general Ace Magashule.

“It is no coincidence that this motion that was languishing for four months below the line in parliament, was suddenly pulled above the line the moment the legal heat was pushed up against Ace Magashule.

“We aren't going to play any part in the war for control of the ANC and we will not support this motion.”