Zille warns against complacency

2014-04-27 15:00

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Complacency breeds defeat in an election, DA leader Helen Zille has reminded a crowd of largely coloured supporters in Cape Town as she urged them to go out and vote on May 7.

The DA held its last big rally in its Western Cape heartland yesterday, comprising a show of confetti, singing by popular artists like Emo Adams and a performance by a Manenberg minstrel band.

About 7?000 mostly coloured supporters from the Cape Flats filled the Bellville Velodrome, where Zille reminded the audience that the DA’s majority in the province was small.

“In the last election in 2009 we only got just over 50%. Ons het dit naelskraap gemaak, ngcip ngcip [We made it by the skin of our teeth, only just].

“We can do it again. We can get over

50% on the 7th of May but if we want to do so we need every single DA voter to come out and vote to keep the Cape blue,” said Zille.

The DA leader seemed to be in her element yesterday as she sang her trademark Koekie Loekie to the audience after she stepped onto the stage.

The party’s own tracking polls indicate that it (the DA) is nowhere near the 30% of the vote it initially wanted – insiders say the party would be lucky to make 25% nationally. This would still be a large increase from the 2009 polls, when it got 16.7% of the vote.

In the Western Cape party leaders claim that polls show the party would comfortably get over 50%. Provincial ANC pollsters claim, however, that their latest polls just out indicate that the DA could drop as low as 42% and that the ANC could get as high as 39% and even govern in a coalition government.

ANC insiders reckon that a changing provincial demographic – more black people, traditionally ANC voters, have moved into the province in the past five years – and a highly activist campaign would raise the party’s percentage.

On both a psychological and a tactical level it is important for the DA to retain the province, which it has used as a showcase for what it could do for the country if in government.

Zille spent Thursday and Friday doing door-to-door campaigning in mostly coloured middle- and working class areas in Atlantis, Prince Alfred Hamlet outside Ceres, and Worcester in the Boland where she was received warmly.

A resident who attended her impromptu rally at one of the many pink municipal flats in Roodewal in Worcester said Zille had a good reception not just because of the cupcakes and DA T-shirts that were handed out, but because she visited communities even outside of elections time.

Zille is expected in the coming week to direct her energies at two more things: selling the jobs message and fighting the Icasa ruling that the party’s “Ayisafani” ad should be taken off air.

She moves to Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape in the next few days to wrap up her campaign.

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