DA admits it may lose the Western Cape

The DA brought out some big bikes and flag-wavers at its rally at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto yesterday. The party said it needed a big turnout in the Western Cape on Wednesday to retain its majority in the province.
The DA brought out some big bikes and flag-wavers at its rally at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto yesterday. The party said it needed a big turnout in the Western Cape on Wednesday to retain its majority in the province.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The DA has admitted that its chances of retaining the Western Cape rely on a high voter turnout in the province.

Independent surveys project the party may get less than 50%, and DA CEO Jonathan Moakes told our sister publication the Sunday Times that "all indications" pointed to an outright majority "provided every single DA voter turns out".

The party's admission that it might lose the Western Cape also seems to be a strategy to galvanise its supporters.

Public differences among DA leaders over policy direction on issues such as BBBEE and affirmative action, and its spat with former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille are some of the issues said to have alienated voters.

Moakes downplayed the surveys of other polling agencies, arguing they had a history of getting it wrong where the DA was concerned.

"I cannot comment on internal polling, but I will state that we are of the view that companies such as Ipsos and Markdata use flawed methodology and have a history of under-counting the DA," he said.

DA insiders said their internal polling showed that their disgruntled supporters could take their votes to parties such as the Freedom Front Plus and the ACDP, with a small number opting for De Lille's Good movement.

Though they were uncomfortable about the Western Cape, the well-placed sources also said the party's polling indicated that it was likely to increase support for the first time in KwaZulu-Natal, especially in the eThekwini region, where voters unhappy with the ANC were said to be gravitating towards the DA, the EFF and the IFP.

The sources said the DA was expected to increase its KwaZulu-Natal support base to 20%, from less than 13% in 2014.

"Trends that we see from our campaign indicate that we are seeing significant growth from black voters in particular," said Moakes, adding that the DA's job-creation offer seemed to be resonating with voters in KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces.

"There does appear to be significant enthusiasm behind the DA in KZN. This can be attributed to a perception amongst the electorate that the ANC are corrupt and beyond repair. Our offer of a job in every home is resonating very strongly."

The voting results of the 2014 national elections in the Western Cape:

President Cyril Ramaphosa took his last ANC campaign train on Friday, visiting some of the biggest townships in Cape Town. He visited, among others, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, which is a DA stronghold. He said a huge voter turnout by ANC voters was required to oust the DA.

The head of Ramaphosa's office at Luthuli House, Zizi Kodwa, said it was clear the DA was in panic mode about the Western Cape.

"We've closed the gap in the Western Cape. As we speak now, it's neck and neck. All that's important is that we must work hard in terms of our people to come out, so the turnout of that particular day [Wednesday] is very important.

"Because what the DA has done, if you look around, they've relied on the issue of corruption to project themselves as alternative to the ANC," said Kodwa.

"We're no longer talking about corruption, we're dealing with corruption and they identified corruption with a certain individual in the ANC. Those two are no longer the issue, so they've become irrelevant. They've opted [for] fear-mongering," said Kodwa, in reference to DA posters calling for the ANC and EFF to be kept out of power in the Western Cape.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa saying he had accepted a "bribe" and was there when South Africa was looted. Maimane was addressing the DA’s supporters at the final election rally in Dobsonville on May 4 2019.


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