By Naadiya Adams
Recently elected leader for the DA in Gauteng and former Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga, is determined to win back lost ground from last week’s by-election.
Speaking to Radio Islam’s Mufti Yusuf Moosagie, Msimanga described how this position is different from Mayor as he sits at the head of the political table in the province, and has a great deal more influence where he is able to direct the party’s movement in the province.
Msimanga admits there’s been a decline in support and that a lot has to be done in the province.
He’s attributed some of the decline to the party’s inability to communicate with voters, while the infighting has also been a huge contributor.
Parties need to engage with voters on the ground and Msimanga says the DA has learnt that. The public DA representatives need to be people that communities can trust to ensure that they become champions of service delivery, says the politician.
While the DA may seem to have lost it’s way, Msimanga believes that when you support a party it should not be based on the people who lead it but rather on the cause the party stands for, and race should not be a deciding factor.
Lenasia by-elections took place last week, the DA performed poorly in this region, Ward 9 was taken by the AL-Jamah Party. Msimanga cites structural internal issues on the ground as people felt the party was not visible enough.
Land invasion issues were also in part to blame but Msimanga says this issue had been taken to provincial government but government had delayed the matter.
The newly elected head says the DA has been a victim of smear campaigns by other parties with divisive natures. He says dividing people based on race or religion is not the backdrop for a rainbow nation.
“South Africa is becoming more and more divided into racial blocks. We have been saying for the longest time that we can all prosper and we can all develop together, unfortunately there are parties who thrive on dividing people on race and unfortunately we have seen during the by-election there are parties who want to divide people on religion…and at some point we now have to say as a country as diverse as ours, how do we come together and how do we ensure that people are able to complement each other.”