If you want to bring change, make sure you’re on the voter’s roll 

Fellow South Africans,

As we celebrate the start of a brand new year, we must think ahead and decide for ourselves what we want from 2019.

It’s going to be a massively important year for South Africa as we head to the polls for the sixth time as a democracy. Each of us must use the next five months to think very carefully about the South Africa we want for ourselves and our children, and how we can get there.

Fellow South Africans, we have our destiny in our hands. We can put South Africa on a new road.

Your vote can change the course of your province too, and it is particularly here in Gauteng where we have the potential to bring about big change.

This is going to be the most closely contested province in the country, and victory for a DA-led provincial Gauteng government is certainly within our reach. Just think what that will mean for education, for healthcare and for the economic development of this great province.

We can win Gauteng, but to do so, every single DA supporter must register to vote.

And then, when we go to vote, the ballot paper will show a whole lot of new parties, many of which will be trying to ride the destructive wave of populism created by the ANC and the EFF. We cannot allow the populists to succeed. We must ensure that our DA message of “change that builds one South Africa for all” is the one that prevails.

But while we will see all these new parties on the ballot paper, our choice in May will really be far simpler. We will have to decide whether we want five more years on the road we’re on – with rising poverty, rising unemployment, rising crime and corruption that has become a way of life – or whether we want to set off on a different road.

On the one side of this choice you will find the ANC and the EFF, who are essentially the same thing since the ruling party outsourced its policy to the EFF. They represent greater control by the state over everything, less freedom in our economy and the same corruption that has brought our country to its knees.

They represent the threat to our Constitution, the threat to property rights and the threat to our struggling economy.

On the other side of the choice is the DA. Here you will find policies that will free up our economy, which means more investment, more trade and more jobs. You will also find a zero tolerance for corruption, which means clean, accountable government.

That is the simplicity of our choice as a nation. I know the ANC/EFF coalition of corruption will try to focus you on the past, but our country needs a government that looks ahead, towards the future. Election 2019 has to be about South Africa’s future.

And while we may still have five months before we cast our votes, the battle has already begun. One of the most important steps towards change is making sure voters are actually registered. That is where half the battle for real change is won.

Consider that in the last national election in 2014, 7.3 million voting-age South Africans were not registered to vote. That’s almost a quarter of all voters who had no say in how our country is run. Just imagine if all those people had cast their vote, how differently things could have turned out.

Don’t let the opportunity to register pass you by. The final registration weekend is set to take place on the 26th and 27th of January. If you are a first-time voter, or not yet registered, make sure you visit the voting station in your voting district between 8am and 5pm on both the Saturday and Sunday with either your green ID book, your smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

And spread the word among all your friends and family. This is your only chance to influence the future of your country. Make sure you use it.

We can win in Gauteng, and we can change this province for the good. Ten years ago we were in the same position in the Western Cape. We knew we could pull off a victory, but we also knew it would be close. The people of the Western Cape came out in their numbers and put their faith in a DA government back in 2009.

Today the Western Cape is, by far, the biggest creator of jobs in South Africa. It has the best healthcare, the best basic education, the cleanest government and the best track record on land reform. That’s what you get in a DA government, and that’s what we can bring to Gauteng too.

Each of you can play a part in delivering a caring, accountable government to Gauteng and to South Africa. But first, your name has to be on the voter’s roll.

So let’s go and register to win before we go out in May and vote to win.

Issued by the DA

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