- The DA will do everything possible to fight the IEC's decision to reopen the registration of candidates.
- John Steenhuisen believes the ANC's failure to field candidates in the Western Cape could be the death knell for the party in the province.
- He was campaigning in Stellenbosch, one of the party's "flagship municipalities", which it holds up as a model of DA governance.
The DA will do everything in its power to fight the Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) decision to reopen the registration of candidates ahead of the 1 November local government poll, according to DA leader John Steenhuisen.
Steenhuisen was at a campaign event in one of the DA's "flagship municipalities", Stellenbosch, on Thursday.
For Steenhuisen, the ANC's failure to field PR candidates in any of the Western Cape municipalities could spell the death knell for the party in the province.
"The only lifeline the ANC is clinging to is the decision by its deployed cadres in the IEC," he said.
Stellenbosch is a town that works, and the reason it works is because the DA gets things done.— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) September 16, 2021
Our mission now is to free hundreds of thousands - even millions - more South Africans from the catastrophic failure that is ANC local government.#RegisterToVoteDA #Gesie4Mayor pic.twitter.com/LTzXEgViKO
Steenhuisen said the IEC had created a precedent by not reopening candidate registrations in 2011 when the IFP failed to submit lists on time and, in 2016, when the NFP failed to submit lists.
Steenhuisen asked, rhetorically:
Steenhuisen encouraged people to register this coming weekend.
"Let's put that nail in the ANC's coffin this election!" he said, repeating the phrase in Afrikaans.
A central theme to the DA's campaigning for this election is its record in governance.
Steenhuisen held up Stellenbosch, which the party has governed since 2011, as an example of "what is possible when a DA local government receives a strong enough mandate to clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan well ahead and prioritise service delivery for all the municipality's residents".
He said after the municipality swung back and forth between the DA and ANC for the first decade of this century, due to floor crossings and defections, voters handed the DA an outright majority in Stellenbosch in 2011, with the DA winning 25 seats in the 43-seat council, and then strengthened this majority in 2016 to 30 seats.
"This is a town that works, and the reason it works is because the DA gets things done."
The mayor of Stellenbosch, Gesie van Deventer, outlined some of her administration's successes in terms of housing – including middle-income housing in the notoriously pricey Winelands town.
She said backyarders were still a problem, which she intends to address if re-elected.
The municipality has become water independent - and has also done much work to cut ties with Eskom for its electricity supply.
"One of the things that really makes me angry is how Eskom disrupts our economy," she said.
Van Deventer said the "next big fight" would be about transport.
Steenhuisen and DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone led chants of "five more years!" for Van Deventer.
A Covid-compliant small group of about 30 people in blue T-shirts attended the event in front of the municipal building in Andringa Street.