DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressing supporters in Soweto.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has dared South Africans to think about what the country could have been were it not for corruption, this as he asks the country to "give change a chance".
He made the comments at the DA's Phetogo rally, the party's last big gathering ahead of the national elections taking place on Wednesday.
"We are in deep trouble. We are beyond the point where we can say, 'your side of the boat is leaking'. All of us are now drowning," he told crowds in Soweto's Dobsonville suburb, where he grew up.
Maimane started off his speech by quoting words written by Sankomota, which also formed part of a popular song during the struggle, "now or never", saying the words written in 1976 speak to the current state of the country.
"This is our moment, it's now or never," said Maimane.
He told supporters that while he appreciated change was difficult, it was not something to fear.
'Do not fear change'
"They want us to fear change so that we keep things as they are, but we dare not listen to them," said Maimane.
The DA, which is the country's main opposition party, is expected to have a tough time when South Africans vote, with most polls predicting little to no growth for the party led by Maimane.
This is also his first stint leading the party to national polls; however, the DA managed through coalitions to gain control of numerous key metros in the country, including cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg. It had also been in charge of Nelson Mandela Bay but was ousted by other political parties during a council meeting.
The DA, which also conducts its own internal polls, also refuted results from the different polls, insisting its own research shows considerable growth and that it was well on its way to reducing the ANC's majority in Gauteng. The party said the ANC was polling at 44%, while the DA had gone up to 38%.
In 2014, the ANC received 53% of the voters' share, while the DA received 30%
"On Wednesday we have an appointment with history. An appointment we must honour, because there is so much at stake," said Maimane.
He said South Africa needed to be liberated from the ANC, a party which played a critical role in the liberation of the country.
"The ANC were once leaders in the struggle for freedom, today they stand directly in the way of freedom for millions of South Africans," said Maimane.Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.