Marius Redelinghuys
Marius Redelinghuys

I am not voting against the ANC

On Monday I will cast my special vote in the 2014 national and provincial elections. This is the fourth South African election I am eligible to vote in, and this is the first time I will vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA).

I was set on voting for the DA long before the Economist endorsed the DA, writing that the party “has doggedly promoted non-racial and liberal values and sensible economic policies. It has a decent record in government as the party that has run the Western Cape province since 2009, and the City of Cape Town for several years longer. And it stands for many of the hopes and values of the post-apartheid black middle class.”

I also decided to vote for Mmusi Maimane as Gauteng premier long before Allister Sparks described the DA Gauteng manifesto as “by far the most viable set of policy proposals for uplifting the poor that have been put before the country”.

To be sure, the Financial Mail endorsement of the DA reinforced my decision to vote for it. Along with the Mail & Guardian urging South Africans to vote against the ANC, and Professor Barney Pityana’s call to “vote ‘no’ to the nightmare of Zuma’s ANC“.

My decision to vote for the DA was made long before I was officially selected as a parliamentary candidate for the party.

But in this election, I am not voting against the ANC, and I am not voting to oppose a person.

In this election, I am voting for a party, and for an alternative vision and future for South Africa.

I had my reasons for not voting for the DA in the past, many of them no longer valid or applicable.

The DA is no longer the party of fighting back, but of fighting forward. The DA is no longer the party of “Stop Zuma!”, but a party set to make history and urging South Africans to look forward to a prosperous and bright future.

The DA, like most South Africans, point out that the ANC is no longer the same, it is no longer the ANC of Mandela, but the DA also proudly and boldly declares “iDA ayisafani” – even the DA is no longer the same!

The DA is growing, it is stronger, it is South Africa’s most diverse party and the DA can win. Where the DA does win, and where the DA governs, it has an acclaimed track record of clean governance and service delivery for all.

The 500-page set of policy proposals put forward by the DA also aims to deal convincingly with the major challenges South Africa and its people face – from crime and corruption, to quality healthcare and education, our natural and cultural heritage, and social protection for our nation’s most vulnerable.

Most importantly, the DA is the only party with a real plan to ensure meaningful economic growth that will create real, permanent jobs and address the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The DA also has a dynamic and diverse group of people from all walks of life who will represent South Africans and those policies in Parliament, with an incredible number of young South Africans who will voice the interests, concerns and needs of our youthful population. This includes people like Lindiwe Mazibuko, Natasha Michael, Makashule Gana, Phumzile van Damme, Zak Mbhele, Geordin Hill-Lewis, Nqaba Bhanga, Solly Malatsi, Andrew Whitfield, Yusuf Cassim, George Michalakis, Gordon Mackay and Dean Macpherson.

The party also has Tim Harris.

DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says: “Give the DA a chance, and let us show you what we can do.”

In this election, I am not voting against the ANC.

This year, I am voting for the DA and for all of the above – a party with a track record of clean governance, fighting corruption and delivering for all. A party with the people and the policies to make history, to unleash the potential of South Africa and reignite the hope for a prosperous future.

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