Maimane: My election campaign isn't negative

Mmusi Maimane says his election campaign is about far more than just an attack on President Zuma.

DA Premier Candidate Mmusi Maimane unveiled his election manifesto on 13 January. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane has dismissed accusations that his election campaign is negative and says it is about far more than just an attack on President Jacob Zuma.

Maimane unveiled his election manifesto yesterday in Rosebank.

Key focuses include job creation and fighting against e-tolling and corruption.

He has since been criticised for basing his election campaign on Zuma's faults instead of spelling out what his party hopes to achieve

Political analyst Sipho Seepe says the DA should steer clear of focusing on the mistakes of other parties.

"He needs to say what he is actually going to do, and I think he is actually failing in that space."

But Maimane says his message is about change and says his campaign is ambitious.

"Within the last five years, we've lost 1.4 million jobs under Zuma's leadership and the levels of corruption are escalating."


Meanwhile, Maimane said yesterday that the province's people are too sophisticated to fall for what he calls "the populist ideals" of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

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

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

Maimane insisted 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.