DA: Gauteng too sophisticated for EFF

The DA’s Gauteng leader Mmusi Maimane says the party is not worried about Julius Malema.

The DA's Gauteng leader Mmusi Maimane speaking at a briefing on the party's manifesto for the 2014 elections on 13 January 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng leader Mmusi Maimane says the province's people are too sophisticated to fall for what he calls "the populist ideals" of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

The DA outlined its election manifesto for Gauteng in Rosebank on Monday, where Maimane told reporters the EFF's ideals would not provide the clear cut strategy needed for a better future in Gauteng, South Africa's economic hub.

"Firstly, we can't play into politics of populism. Gauteng is far too sophisticated and much more in need of a coherent plan to take the issues forward."

Maimane says the DA is focused on such a plan, with job creation at the top of their agenda.

He says bridging the study-work divide of young graduates will be the party's main focus should they win the vote of the province.

Maimane insists Malema's party poses no threat of 'sucking oxygen' out of the DA's plan to take the province in the upcoming elections.

"In reality, the people of Gauteng understand it to be a two-horse race between the ANC and the DA. So I'm not anxious."

The DA won 33.4 % in the 2011 local government poll.

Last week, the EFF announced its own plans for the elections, with Malema slamming capitalism and praising Zimbabwe's land reform programme.

He said whites had already received enough compensation because they had been allowed to keep their land for 20 years.

The ANC has also launched its manifesto, with a large event held in Mbombela at the weekend.

The ruling party promised to continually improve, pledging to create millions of jobs and save lives through the National Health Insurance programme.