Maimane: ‘I’m not asking you to marry me, I’m asking you to vote for change’

The DA leader says he doesn’t expect voters’ loyalty for life, or to like the DA, but to give the party a chance for five years to fulfill its election promises.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane at Dobsonville Stadium on 4 May 2019 for the party’s final election rally. Picture: Kayleen Morgan /EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Saturday appealed to voters to elect the official opposition into power during next week’s general elections, saying where the DA governed, it proved a record of delivery.

Addressing thousands of supporters at the DA’s final election rally in Dobsonville, Soweto, Maimane said he didn’t expect voters’ loyalty for life, or for them to like the DA. But he asked voters to give the party a chance for five years to fulfill its election promises to the electorate.

“I’m only asking you to give change a chance. I’m asking you to lend us your vote for the next five years. That’s it. Five years at a time,” Maimane said.

“When we reach the end of this period, judge us. See if we did the things we said we’d do. If so, then lend us your vote again for another five years. But if we didn’t - if it turns out we broke our promises to you - then fire us again.”

Maimane said voters had the power to change the country’s political direction on 8 May, but only if they used their vote correctly.

The DA leader proposed a deal to voters saying if it was elected into government, it would put an end to corruption, grow the economy to create millions of jobs, reduce the cabinet by half of its members, and uphold the rule of law, among other promises.

“This is not a popularity contest. It’s not a pageant. This about competence. I’m not asking you to marry me, I’m merely asking you to employ a government with a proven track record.

“If I dishonour this contract, then you have every right to walk away from it. Then you have every right to fire the DA. But let us first prove to you that we can do this job,” he said.

Maimane also said citizens’ votes “cannot simply be an expression of who you are: your race, your language, your culture or your religion”.

Instead, he said, voting should be an expression of what voters want for the country, their futures and their children.