Why DA members should vote for me

 

They are set to go head to head this weekend for the coveted DA leadership position at the party’s national federal congress in Port Elizabeth.

Reporters Avuyile Mngxitama-Diko and Rochelle de Kock spoke to two of the contenders, Mmusi Maimane and Wilmot James, about why they believe they should take over the reins from Helen Zille.

EDUCATION:

Maimane has three degrees: a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of South Africa, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Masters in Theology from the University of Wales.

PREVIOUS WORK:

National spokesman for the DA; DA Johannesburg mayoral candidate in 2011, and leader of the DA in the Johannesburg council. Joined the DA in 2011

CURRENT LEADERSHIP POSITION:

DA leader in the National Assembly and deputy federal chairman. Home town: Soweto Number of spoken languages: Seven Twitter followers: 102 000

Q: What is your stance on black economic empowerment? How do you think it should be implemented?

A: We think BEE is too focused on ownership and that it allows the same narrow elite to be empowered repeatedly.

We would adjust the BEE scorecard to make it more broad based.

This would include more incentives for companies to create new jobs and develop staff so staff can be equipped to take up management positions

Q: Do you think the National Development Plan should be implemented, and how?

A: We agree with much of the NDP’s focus on growth and jobs, but we don’t believe it is a panacea for growth and jobs. We have our own plan to grow the economy at 8% per annum. This is the plan we would implement if elected to govern.

Q: What do you think the DA’s role is in parliament and how have you performed in this role?

A: Our job is to hold the government to account without fear or favour.

We have done that extremely well over the last year by using parliamentary mechanisms at our disposal.

The DA asks the most questions, submits the most motions, and gives the most compelling speeches in parliamentary debates. And we do it all without breaking the rules or resorting to theatrics.

Q: What is your vision for the DA?

A: To emerge as the first truly non-racial party in a democratic South Africa. This means putting forward proposals to redress the legacy of apartheid without keeping people trapped in racial categories.

I believe the DA can truly transcend the racial barriers that keep us socially, politically and economically divided.

Q: What makes you a better candidate than Wilmot James?

A: I have huge respect for Wilmot James and he is a competent candidate.

My offer, however, is very different. I want to grow the DA into new markets, to connect with those who share our values but don’t yet vote for us.

I want to turn the DA into a political force to be reckoned with on a national scale. WILMOT JAMES Age: 61

EDUCATION:

BA Honours (Cum Laude) from the University of the Western Cape; MSc from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

PREVIOUS WORK:

Worked in higher education including at University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, Yale University and Edinburgh University.

Served on the boards of Sanlam and Media24, been a trustee of the New York-based Ford Foundation, and published 17 books.

Currently an honorary professor in the division of human Genetics at the University of Cape Town and a senior fellow at the Hannah Arendt Centre at Bard College in New York. DA federal chairman; DA shadow minister of health; DA constituency head for the Athlone constituency Home town: Cape Town Number of spoken languages: Two Twitter followers: 4 926

Q: What is your stance on black economic empowerment? How do you think it should be implemented?

A: We have to ensure there is opportunity for people who were shut out by our past. However, BEE has been turned into a form of “crony capitalism” which benefits the few, most of them connected to the ANC.

We have to extend opportunity to people who were shut out by our past by ensuring that the business support framework extends to every corner of our country, that barriers to entry in business are streamlined, and that people have access to venture capital.

Q: Do you think the National Development Plan should be implemented, and how?

A: We must be an alternative to the ANC, rather than an alternate ANC.

We must therefore focus on the DA’s Growth and Jobs Plan, rather than flirt with the ANC’s National Development Plan.

We must do this so that we create opportunity for people who were shut out by our past.

Q: What do you think the DA’s role is in parliament? Please rate the party’s performance in this parliament and detail what should be done improve its role?

A: We have to use parliament more effectively to fight the new indignity of our times, which is the indignity of not having work.

We have to use parliament to fight on bread-and-butter issues that matter to people.

We have to use parliament to fight for people who do not have work, to fight for people who are victims of crime and to fight for people who do not have access to healthcare.

Q: What is your vision for the DA?

A: The DA must be the party that realises the dream of 20 years ago; a dream that South Africa would take care of our children, black, coloured, Indian and white; a South Africa that would never allow them to go hungry; a South Africa that protects their health, advances their education and never exposes them to harm.

Q: What makes you a better candidate than Mmusi Maimane?

A: I will lead the DA in a new direction that will grow our support and realise the dream of 20 years ago.

Under my leadership, the DA will be an alternative to the ANC, a party which focuses on our Growth and Jobs Plan, rather than an alternate ANC, which flirts with the ANC’s National Development Plan.

That is how the DA will win more municipalities, win more provinces, and be in national government by 2024.

OBJECTIVE: Mmusi Maimane wants the DA to be the first truly non-racial party OBJECTIVE: Wilmot James wants to take a new direction
OBJECTIVE: Mmusi Maimane wants the DA to be the first truly non-racial party OBJECTIVE: Wilmot James wants to take a new direction

-The Herald 

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