Maimane tells CNN why the DA ‘won’ the elections

Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance, has underlined the successes achieved by the political party in the local municipal elections in an interview on CNN.

The DA claimed control of several major metros including the City of Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg following the results of the municipal elections on 3 August, 2016.

Maimane spoke to Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour.

The host asked Maimane: “What do you attribute your victories to? Is it the anti-establishment feeling that is sort of going around the world or is it step-by-step strategy on your part?”

Maimane said that in many ways the DA sat back and looked at the economic climate in South Africa. “It is absolutely a dire situation when you’ve got nine-million South Africans battling to find work.”

He said that the party needed to be clear about offering an economic plan- a plan that said, “How do we stimulate micro-enterprise? How do we make sure South Africa is investor-friendly? How do we take the democratic project to a point at which, when we talk about change, it’s a material change from the hegemony that the ANC is, which has gotten the idea of a closed crony society to one that is open?”

He said that the plan needed to say: “How can we take the big cities like Johannesburg and make sure that they’re investor-friendly?”

“South Africans heard that message and in fact, our election campaign really anchored itself on the idea of change, and people came out and did that. We also, as I said earlier on, made an offer on non-racialism.

Maimane told the CNN host that one of the critical distinguishing features was that both the ANC and the EFF went out and said: “You’d have to vote as an expression of your race as opposed to an expression of your ideas and ideals.”

“We took it and said: ‘Non-racialism is still an anchor of our democratic project’. It was proven that many South Africans still have a great appetite for it,” Maimane said.

Watch a clip from the interview:

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Maimane tells CNN why the DA ‘won’ the elections