Confident Ramulifho says DA can take Gauteng without a coalition

It should be a walk in the park for the DA to win Gauteng with an outright majority in the 2024 provincial elections.

This is the ambitious belief of DA Gauteng leader hopeful Khume Ramulifho, who on August 12 in the provincial elective conference will seek to dethrone incumbent Solly Msimanga.
Ramulifho was speaking to the Sunday World this week about his plans for a party he joined since its inception.

According to him, the DA should not be thinking about coalitions in Gauteng, a province with eight-million electorates who did not bother to vote in the provincial elections in 2019.
This is the constituency he aims to focus on should the DA delegates give him the nod to lead them to a promised land.

In his view, all the DA must do is to drum up the apathetic voters who could consider voting for them to register and ensure they turn up at the voting stations.
With ANC’s “dismal failure since 1994”, Ramulifho believes that gatvol voters are most likely to flirt with the DA, if tickled the right way.

And bringing “integrity, experience and leadership”, mounting a winnable election campaign, is not a far-fetched dream. He dismissed any suggestion that the DA would consider going to bed with the ANC, which they seek to depose from power.

“I am of the view that we can win this province with an outright majority without a coalition if you look at the numbers of eligible voters. There are 12 million eligible voters in Gauteng. Out of that, about six million are not registered. So, if you run a strong campaign, especially for young people, to encourage them to register, we would be able to win the province with outright majority.

“So, the focus is to say, let us prioritise registration by getting all those willing to support the DA to register, and come elections, we will continue to persuade and motivate them to vote for the DA.

“Just look at the 2019 elections, just about 4.2-million voted, two million less than the people who are registered, so there is a pool out there we would like to reach out to. These coalitions are a result of low turnout. Vote for a leader with integrity, vote for a leader with experience and vote for a leader who will show leadership.”

According to him, leaders who are involved in “scandals and are on the news everyday” will impede the party from gaining an outright majority.

He believes these leaders are fermenting a trust deficit between politicians and the electorate. He says he comes with a clean slate, of more than 20 years in DA structures.
Ramulifho dismissed assertions his election could further alienate the DA traditional voters, who are predominantly white. In fact, he insists, the phenomenon of traditional voters for any party has long reached its expiry date.

“This thing of traditional voters, we no longer have that. Even the ANC, they used to say we have traditional supporters, where are they? The ANC support is declining because their so-called traditional supporters are no longer traditional.

“We need to understand that when voters give you a mandate, it’s a contract. Every five years it can be renewed or not. We must dismiss this myth that you always have a base that you do not need to serve.”

The curse of black DA leaders being chucked out from the party will never visit him, he said, because unlike those that had fallen out of favour, he understands “the culture of the DA and how things are done here”, something he says was the Achilles heel for the likes of Mmusi Maimane, Herman Mashaba, Lindiwe Mazibuko and Bongani Baloyi.

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