John Steenhuisen: Learning from the Springboks, a unified MPC team will win in ’24

Freshly returned from studying coalitions in Germany and watching the Springboks beat France, John Steenhuisen shares the lessons. With the Multi-Party Charter within five percentage points of a steadily declining ANC, the DA leader outlines the strategy to deliver victory for the opposition and a fresh start for South Africa after the 2024 elections.

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Straight Talk with John Steenhuisen: Stronger together

By John Steenhuisen: Democratic Alliance Leader

On Sunday morning, I returned from a coalition study tour to Germany filled with hope for the country’s future. I’d spent a fruitful week with other South African opposition party leaders, learning about coalitions and seeing first-hand how they have delivered prosperity to a country that lay in ruins seventy years ago.

Watching our incredible 29-28 victory against France in the Rugby World Cup match that night, the lessons for the upcoming national and provincial elections in 2024 practically jumped out at me.

A monumental team effort can get you across the line. Every point counts. We are stronger together.

A new independent poll by the Brenthurst Foundation indicates ANC support at 43-45% and the Multi-Party Charter at 38%, suggesting the gap between us is now just 5-7 per percentage points.

With a massive team effort, we can close that gap and get across the line next year, to bring in a multi-party government anchored by the DA, that will quickly bend South Africa’s trajectory towards progress and prosperity.

This teamwork is well underway. South Africans are coming together in a way that hasn’t been seen since 1994.

Yesterday, the Multi-Party Charter welcomed the ACDP as our newest member. Together, the eight leaders stood on the steps of the National Council of Provinces and affirmed our commitment to working together.

We also reported back on our coalitions study tour, with the main message being that trust and a common understanding between partners is vital. This is why our parties have come together well ahead of the election and are meeting three times a week to build relationships and seek alignment.

Civil society is also uniting for change. On 5 October, five civil society organisations convened the launch of #ConvergenceSA, an umbrella initiative to strengthen the voice of civil society calling for a new government in 2024. This brings together like-minded leaders and organisations from churches, unions, business and advocacy groups, such as BLSA, Neasa, Cape Forum, Outa, the South African churches, and the Solidarity Movement.

The Multi-Party Charter heartily welcomed this development, in the firm belief that there is strength in unity.

Poland showed exactly that this week, when Poles turned out in record numbers to give a solid 54% mandate to a liberal opposition alliance that had come together to save the country from creeping state capture and illiberal populism under the nationalist Law and Justice Party.

So yes, I am filled with hope for South Africa’s future. But let me make one thing clear. A coalition government next year must be anchored by a strong DA. Every single German coalition has been anchored by a big, stable party. Only a strong DA can bring the stability required for a successful multi-party government next year. And only the DA has the resources and experience necessary to govern.

Much like a shopping centre, it is the big, stable anchor tenant that is the magnet attracting people and enabling smaller tenants to contribute effectively to the overall success of the system. Working together, the whole becomes more than the sum of the parts.

Success in 2024 requires a monumental team effort and you have a part to play. Please urge your friends and family to register to vote DA next year. They can check their registration status or kickstart their registration process at www.check.da.org.za. As we saw on Sunday night, we are stronger together, and every point counts.

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