Premier candidate of the DA in the Free State, Patricia Kopane, has appealed to voters to use the power of their vote to restore lost dignity in the 2019 general election and beyond. Kopane spoke on her unveiling as the premier candidateby the party’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, on Tuesday (11/09) at the Old Ramkraal Prison in Bloemfontein. “What is very important for the people in general in the Free State is to realise the power of the vote and (for them to) use that power to restore their dignity and humanity. They should vote for a corruption-free party and government that serve their interests,” said Kopane. “Voting for the party not serving the interests of the people and that of the country, is denying yourself as a voter the right to dignity and respect. “People must realise that it is only with your vote that you place a government (in rule) that is capable to help you, the voters, to live a better life, a government that serve your aspirations and interests of the country irrespective of affiliation. “By continuing to vote for the same party that is failing you as voters, you are denying yourself the opportunity to have in place a decent and responsible government that creates sustainable employment and ensure safety and security.“The 2019 election gives South African voters who have the best interest of this country at heart the opportunity to show the power of their vote by voting for a party such as the DA, that will work to bring a meaningful change to restore the lost dignity, humanity and pride of the people of South Africa. “Guided by the DA, mandated by voters’ desire for a meaningful change to restore dignity, I commit to strive to create sustainable employment, because jobs is fundamental to giving oneself respect, dignity and humanity.” Kopane pointed out that South Africa’s high unemployment signalled catastrophe.An outspoken Maimane said the party had mandated Kopane to be a servant of the Free State people and South African in general. “I’m confident that the candidate chosen to spearhead the DA’s effort to bring change to the Free State is up to this important task,” said Maimane. “Kopane is one of our party’s most humble leaders and a loyal servant of the people. “During her time as Free State provincial leader, Kopane has demonstrated her leadership skills and her impeccable values, and I have absolutely no doubt that these same skills and values will stand her in good stead as premier of the province.” He said Kopane, a highly qualified nurse by profession, possessed the leadership credentials having represented the party in different structures over 14 years. “Kopane has been a hard-working member of the DA for the past 14 years, citing the party’s commitment to non-racialism, democratic rule and inclusivity as her reasons for joining. “She believes the DA is the only party committed to creating jobs, ending corruption and delivering quality services – commitments that resonate deeply with her own mission in life,” said Maimane.