Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has dispelled murmurs about him being removed from his seat, following the party’s performance in the national elections.
With a little over 85% of the votes tallied, as of 12:45 on Friday afternoon, the DA is second on the polls with 21.47% of the overall vote, so far slightly down from the figure it achieved in 2014.
Although not a significant dip in returns, the party was expected to capitalise on the projected decline of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which has dipped well below 60%, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have gained serious ground in their bid to become the official opposition – cracking a 40% increase on the performance from the previous polls.
Maimane geared for the DA’s next chapter
However, Maimane said he was proud of what the party had managed to achieve amid the rise of populism and nationalist agendas.
“Even though we’ve lost some votes, I can guarantee you that we’ve held the centre,” he told reporters at the IEC Results Centre on Friday.
“We as a party will go back and work even harder to regain those votes, and I will lead this project going forward because it’s a project I’ve always been engaged with. It’s a project that I will go and speak to young people, old people, black people, everybody – to say ‘let’s continue this mission.”
Maimane said the DA had shown that where they govern, life gets better, citing the fact that the party will, in all likelihood, retain power in the Western Cape, while still in with a chance in Gauteng.
“I’m proud of what this party is doing, and I wanna say – humbly so – even for South Africans who said they’ll vote one way, I can promise you now, we’re gonna work hard to get votes. We’re gonna work hard to get there. And this is a party for all South Africans.”