03/02/2018 14:31 SAST | Updated 03/02/2018 14:31 SAST

Maimane: DA Growing In Kwazulu Natal, But Must Not Lose Focus

Maimane said it was vital that the party realise the political landscape was changing.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Leader of South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane speaks during a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Durban – The Democratic Alliance has grown steadily in KwaZulu Natal, but must not lose focus of its core values.

This was the message from DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the DA's KwaZulu Natal provincial congress on Saturday morning.

"This province has defined our national political trends over the last decade, and it is the province where so much of our party's future fortunes will be decided."

"Looking out at this Congress today, I see a party that is truly alive and growing - bigger than it has ever been, the official opposition in this province," he said.

Political landscape shifting

Maimane said it was vital that the party realise the political landscape was changing.

"As I look out from this stage, 18 months after that triumphant August of 2016, the view ahead is filled with danger and risk," he said.

"No longer can we satisfy ourselves by merely taking on the man from Nkandla, who has so harmed our country this past decade, and who gave us an easy target to aim at," he said.

DA led government not always up to standard

Maimane made veiled references to the internal challenges the party is currently facing in Cape Town.

"We have even confronted the ugly and uncomfortable truth that not every DA government will always live up to the standard we set for ourselves. Some will "fall short of the glory", as the Apostle Paul wrote," he said.

"We have mayors who have high office with great power. But they must use their power to confront the plight of the poor and the left out."

"If you are not concerned and obsessed with the fundamental injustice and unfairness in our society, then as our former Leader Tony Leon once put it, "the exits to this hall are clearly marked, and you should please use them now," he said.

He also took a swipe at new ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, saying the change in ANC leadership made no difference in the lives of the poor and downtrodden.

"Especially when the new leader was there watching all the sins of the old," he said