'We want to build one South Africa for all' - DA on the rise of nationalism

2019-05-13 21:41
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA  FEBRUARY 23: (SOUTH AF
(Gallo Images)

Despite the rise of nationalism believed to have caused a loss in support for the DA in the elections, the party says it remains committed to building "one South Africa for all".

"When we set our 2019 elections targets, we did so under very different internal and external circumstances.

"It was in the mix of this euphoria that the terrain rapidly shifted. We were faced with internal challenges and significant changes in the political landscape, the rise of nationalism on both the left and the right," DA Federal Deputy Chairperson, Athol Trollip told the media during a briefing at the DA headquarters in Bruma, Johannesburg on Monday.

The briefing comes after an ordinary sitting of the DA's Federal Executive to assess the political party's performance in the elections.

While the official opposition retained the Western Cape and managed to secure the highest support from South Africans abroad, some of its supporters in the country however chose a different route.

As a result, it is believed that the DA lost a significant amount of its support in the May elections to the Freedom Front Plus (VF Plus).

ALSO READ: ANALYSIS: How the Freedom Front Plus ate (some of) the DA's lunch

In Gauteng, for example, the DA in 2014 enjoyed 30% support. It garnered 27.45% in 2019.

DA Gauteng leader, John Moodey previously admitted to News24 that the FF Plus' growth was due to the DA's significant loss of support in the province.

"We have lost support to the FF Plus, which is a substantial amount. I think that 25 years on in our democracy and also with the advent of nationalism across the globe, the fear factor of expropriation without compensation, the language issue, etc has an impact upon people's thinking, so the first place they look at is: 'Where do I go to have my rights protected?"The default would be that I look to my own. The FF Plus' campaign is a very strategic one of 'Swart Gevaar' and of course, we have that swing over of voters," he said at the Gauteng results operations centre on Friday.

The party's leadership said that it was not blind to this loss of supporters and would work towards regaining their trust.

"We will never celebrate the loss of voters. Where the losses occurred, we will work on regaining the trust of the people as we head into the 2021 local government elections," said Trollip.

"This starts with two by-elections taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay as early as Wednesday; this will be the start of winning back the Bay."

This will be followed by a review of the organisational structures in consultation with all stakeholders of the party as well as how the political party can best operate as a party that occupies government that serve around 15 million people, said Trollip.

"The official opposition in conclusion wishes to assure its supporters that it remains committed to its slogan 'One South Africa for all' and furthermore reject racial mobilisation.

"Whether in opposition or in government, we will continue to build one South Africa for all.

"We believe that the prosperous dream of 1994 can be made a reality, even if it is difficult. That is the nature of change, as we have seen in the past, it is difficult but indeed it is possible," he concluded.

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.

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