The DA has to analyse its vote according to race because it wants to ensure that its message was reaching everyone, party leader Helen Zille has said.
Addressing journalists about the DA’s analysis of the election results in Pretoria today, Zille said the party now had 760 000 black voters, up from 60 000 in 2009.
Six percent of black voters now vote for the party.
It has also grown its white vote from 83.9% to 92.8%, its coloured support from 55.5% of coloured voters to 67.7%, and Indian voters from 53.7% to 61%.
The party bases its analysis on voting patterns in voting districts and wards.
The party grew from 16.6% of the vote to a projected 22.2% overall.
“We have a message that we give non-racially to the entire electorate, and we have a process of selecting our candidates that is non-racial,” Zille said.
She said the test for SA’s democracy was whether the DA could transcend ethnic and race barriers to build a new majority based on certain principles and values.
She said this hadn’t been achieved anywhere in the world.
“We have to try to live up to our principles of non-racialism in a way that will build bridges in a country that is profoundly racially aware and racially conscious.”
The party did not set quotas for itself when selecting candidates, but the selection committee did have the power to ensure there is racial, gender and other diversity on the list.
She said in order to appeal to a diverse electorate, the party had to be diverse.
“The challenge we face is how do we become that diverse party without entrenching race categories and gender quotas.
“To see whether we are transcending racial boundaries, which are holding voters captive, we have to see whether our message is resonating,” she said.
The party reached the 4m voter mark just before 3.30pm today, and celebrated it with a collective cheer from the floor of the Electoral Commission of SA results centre in Pretoria.