Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, addresses a rally in Soweto, May 4 2019. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/BLOOMBERG
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, addresses a rally in Soweto, May 4 2019. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/BLOOMBERG

With a few days before SA heads to the polls, the DA hopes to resist the squeeze from the ANC, which historically ups its ground forces to mobilise voters as part of a last push to garner support.

The DA held its closing rally in Dobsonville in Soweto at the weekend, where it called on voters to be brave and make their mark for the party on Wednesday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane linked ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s failures with those of the ANC when he addressed thousands of supporters clad in the party’s blue.

“Cyril Ramaphosa is no saviour. He is part of the ANC that caused so much despair and suffering these past 25 years. And now they want another five years to loot,” Maimane said.

Maimane urged South Africans to be brave and “perhaps do something you haven’t done before when you go to vote on Wednesday”.

Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president bolstered the party after years of scandal with his message of reforming the state and reversing the effects of his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

The coming elections are set to be the most contested since the dawn of democracy in 1994, with 48 parties on the national ballot.

The DA has set its electoral targets high by saying it wants to push the ANC below the majority of support in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, as well as increase its share of the vote in the Western Cape — which it governs — and nationally.

It has also placed strong emphasis on provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape in a bid to hurt the ANC’s national share of the vote.

The DA’s chief executive Paul Boughey told Business Day the party is on track to obtain its primary targets. Referring to the national picture, for which none of the pollsters have been able to provide a coherent forecast, he said: “KwaZulu-Natal is for the national picture the most important province for SA’s democratic future.”

He said there is no doubt the ANC is experiencing historical weakness in the province that once saved it from electoral weaknesses in urban provinces such as Gauteng, where the party held on to the government with just less than 54% of the vote.

DA national chair Athol Trollip said the DA would show record growth in the Eastern Cape, a province historically important to the ANC.

Federal executive chair James Selfe, who expects the ANC will get anywhere between 55% and 60% of the national share of the votes, said he is confident the DA will grow its support nationally from the 22% it won in 2014.

“What we will try and do is to maxify our votes in each of these provinces and try and resist the squeeze the ANC inevitably places on our voters in the last week. But it seems to be holding out,” Selfe said.