DA is all opposition there is, says Zille

2012-07-26 07:07

The Democratic Alliance is all there is for people who are looking for a party to challenge the ANC, DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has said.

Addressing a conference on policy organised by the FW de Klerk Foundation in Joburg yesterday, Zille said people often say they want to see an opposition party to the ANC other than the DA but it’s very difficult to establish a new party.

“If people don’t like the DA, we are what there is,” she said.

She said many have tried to establish new opposition parties, but they didn’t realize that it involved more work than just a founding conference, she said.

The election of new office bearers every few years and building a party countrywide is “an unbelievable task”, Zille said.

She said the DA provided a good basis to drive the “realignment” of South African politics and it seemed a possibility that the ANC would be defeated by either 2019 or 2024.

She said the DA could “become one of the catalytic forces to realign South African politics. Many in the ANC agree with me. I talk with them all the time.”

Zille added many in the DA and ANC agree on certain matters like the National Planning Commission’s national development plan to such an extent that they should be in the same party.

She said the fact that the ANC’s policy conference didn’t pass any resolution on the national development plan showed that the party didn’t support the plan.

Zille said if 30% of the electorate voted for the DA, it would give “comfort” to those who support the party’s vision of an open-opportunity society.

“Although we are going through a rough period during the time of realignment, and even though the ANC will be more populist and ideologically obtuse, I believe if we read the crests correctly we can ride the wave and make the changes necessary to sustain democracy,” she said.

The ANC was invited to the conference, which saw speakers such as former president FW de Klerk, AgriSA’s Theo de Jager, Afriforum’s Kallie Kriel, John Kane-Berman from the SA Institute of Race Relations and Michael Spicer from Business Leadership SA.

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