Election 2014 is an historic opportunity for change in democratic South Africa, the likes of which we have not seen since 1994.
Today we present a preview to our Election Manifesto and outline the strategy behind the biggest Premier campaign in South Africa's history.
For the first time we can choose to elect a new government in Gauteng, the heart of South Africa's economy.
The DA's polling shows that the ANC can be brought under 50% in Gauteng. I can also announce today that Jacob Zuma is the key reason for the ANC's declining support in the province. President Zuma's favourability in Gauteng amongst people who previously supported the ANC stands at a mere 18% - half of what it is in the rest of the country.
The reason, according to our research, is that Gauteng residents believe that Jacob Zuma has changed the ANC. President Zuma's ANC is no longer the ANC of Mandela and Mbeki. It has given up on creating jobs for everyone and has allowed corruption to flourish unchecked.
Everybody agrees that life is better today than it was under apartheid. Our former Presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, deserve credit for reconciling our nation and turning our economy around.
But under Jacob Zuma, things are getting worse. Jobs are being lost instead of created. The only people who seem to benefit are Jacob Zuma and his network of politically-connected business people.
The fact is, since Zuma assumed the Presidency in 2009, more than 1.4 million more people have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Jobs promises have amounted to nothing and corruption on a grand scale is there for all to see through projects like the Nkandla upgrades.
We can choose change, and together we can focus on creating jobs and opportunities for all who live here.
In this regard, the DA's national Manifesto Launch will be held in Gauteng in early March.
Jobs and stopping corruption will be the top priorities in our Manifesto.
An extensive process is also underway within the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng to ensure that we are ready to govern.
I have a plan to bring change and hope to this province. It includes a plan to create an environment for job creation and growth and a plan to crack down on the corruption that continues to deny opportunities to our people.
To create jobs and expand opportunities for all in Gauteng, our Manifesto will focus on:
Massively expanding support to bridge the study-work divide for young people through a Graduate Recruitment Programme, Government Internship programme, and job creation through ambitious Extended Public Works Programmes
A major expansion of support for entrepreneurs through establishing Opportunity Centres and rolling out Opportunity Cards as a central means for people to access advice, credit and cashflow assistance
Passing codes of good practice for supporting informal traders
Creating jobs through directing public money to ambitious infrastructure projects in Gauteng
Making it easier for small business to win government contracts by breaking down large tenders into smaller opportunities and expanding community supplier databases
Fighting job-killing taxation in the form of e-tolls by calling a Provincial Referendum, interdicting the next phase of e-tolling, and fighting the legislation in court. In this regard, the DA's court case against the unconstitutional passing of the E-Tolling Bill is set down for 4 - 5 March 2014
To cut corruption out of government, our Manifesto will have a strong focus on:
Managing public money better through reducing and restructuring the number of Government Departments in Gauteng
Removing corrupt officials from the system through enforcing the Public Finance Management Act
Opening up tender committee meetings to the public to increase transparency on state spending
Pass a law preventing government officials from doing business with the state
Revising the Ministerial Handbook and cutting government perks in Gauteng
In the weeks leading up to the Manifesto launch in March, our Gauteng Election Campaign will:
Reach millions of Gauteng voters through our dedicated activist and staff network
Rollout the biggest outdoor advertising presence in history for a Premier candidate
Ensure the Maimane Campaign Bus reaches every part of Gauteng
Reach young voters at campuses, chisa'nyamas, concerts and social events
Continue our extensive social media campaign on Twitter (@MaimaneAM and @DA_News), Facebook, Instagram and the Official Campaign Blog Maimane.com
Hold Townhall meetings in diverse communities
Host dialogues with business and civil society
Fight E-tolls through our court case set down for 4 - 5 March 2014
In 2014 we can choose the path of change and jobs, or we can choose 5 more years of the same from Zuma's ANC.
As Premier I will make jobs my top priority, stop corruption in government and fight against the unjust taxation of Gauteng residents through e-tolling.
In 2014 those who believe in change will make their voices heard in Gauteng. Our destiny is in our hands.
Mmusi Maimane, DA Premier Candidate for Gauteng