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DA reveals its NC premier candidate


“We are sick of tsotsis, like John Block, running this province,”

Mmusi Maimane is seen with the provincial leader of the DA and premier candidate, Andrew Louw. Picture: Danie van der Lith

DA LEADER Mmusi Maimane has announced the party’s Northern Cape premier candidate for the 2019 general elections.

During the announcement on the weekend, Maimane said that the DA “fully intended” to become the biggest party in the Northern Cape in 2019.

“We plan to hit the ground running in government so that we can help unlock the potential of this largely forgotten province. To do so, we will apply the same principles as we did in the Western Cape, which saw that province become the biggest provider of new jobs in the country in recent years.

“Last year, three-quarters of all new jobs added were in the Western Cape. This was only possible thanks to the DA’s obsessive focus on enabling growth and enterprise in the private sector, rather than making job creation a function of the state. We need to do the same here in the Northern Cape. We need to create a corruption-free, hassle-free environment in which businesses can flourish, and we need to identify and enhance the industries that are key to development and growth here,” Maimane said.

He added that one such industry was energy and particularly renewable energy.

“Through smart infrastructure investment and good clean governance, we can make the Northern Cape an energy hub and create thousands of new jobs here.”

Maimane said that the ANC had “forgotten” about the Northern Cape and that the party only deployed “tsotsis” here.

“We are sick of tsotsis, like John Block, running this province,” Maimane said.

He stated that the DA would put the Northern Cape back on the map when it comes to development, growth and jobs, under the leadership of its premier candidate, Andrew Louw, who Maimane described as “the original makoya” from Galeshewe.

“Louw has served as DA provincial leader in the Northern Cape since 2010, during which time the party has gone from strength to strength, both in terms of electoral results and in its fight for better services, better living conditions and accountable governance for the people of the Northern Cape.

“He was born in Kimberley in 1969. He grew up right here in Galeshewe, in Boikanyo Street, and attended Venus Primary School and Homevale Secondary School.

“His childhood was marked by poverty but thanks to the sacrifices of his parents and a close-knit community, his poor childhood served as a motivation to one day be of service, rather than to define his path in life.

“Growing up in Galeshewe, Louw knew very well about the damaging effects of an uncaring government. All around him he saw people whose futures had become severely limited by the circumstances of their birth and their surroundings. This moved him to want to make a difference in these communities and to become a voice for those who couldn’t speak for themselves.”

Maimane added that Louw joined the DA 12 years ago, first as an activist and later as a candidate for ward councillor in Ward 14 – an election battle he lost by a mere 23 votes.

“Undeterred by this narrow setback, he went on to serve as a PR councillor for the DA until he became a Member of Parliament in 2009, serving as the shadow minister for Labour. Since becoming provincial leader in 2010 he has defended his position at two congresses, both with landslide victories.

“During this time, Andrew guided the DA to increased electoral returns in every national, provincial and local election, as well as a host of by-elections. In the 2014 elections he helped grow DA support from 15% (2009) to 23.5%; and from 2009 to 2016 the number of DA councillors in the Province grew from 69 to 107,” Maimane noted.

The DA leader added that Louw would, however, have to “blaze his own trail as premier”, as the ANC premiers who preceded him “left him with very uninspiring shoes to fill”.

Maimane went on to state that the issues affecting communities throughout the Northern Cape “did not belong in a modern democracy”.