South Africa

News24.com | Elections: If there's another lockdown, 'we must find different ways to speak to voters' - Steenhuisen

John Steenhuisen delivers an address in Eldorado Park.

John Steenhuisen delivers an address in Eldorado Park.

The DA has vowed to fire on all cylinders during the upcoming local government elections, despite the impending Covid-19 third wave.

Party leader John Steenhuisen expressed his concern regarding the impact of the virus, ahead of the elections.

READ | Elections: ANC has a 'fallback' plan in case of a stricter Covid-19 lockdown, recording suggests

However, he promised to challenge the deadly virus head-on, to ensure his party wins back the City of Johannesburg.

The party once led the City under former mayor, Herman Mashaba.

Steenhuisen addressed the media on Tuesday while campaigning for the next week's by-election in Eldorado Park, near Soweto.

"The third wave is a big worry because we are the least vaccinated country in the world, and we are 33rd in Africa. Countries like Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone are far ahead of us in terms of vaccination. The third wave in South Africa is a concern.

"We can't have ourselves derailing from democratic processes. Regular elections are the foundation stone of any functioning democracy. We have seen countries having elections, even during their strong lockdowns," said Steenhuisen.

READ | IEC is 'ready' as Ramaphosa announces election date

He said the local government elections this year would be different, especially for party campaigns and rallies.

"If we go into a hard lockdown again, door-to-door campaigns are going to be difficult. We are going to find different ways to speak to our voters."

He emphasised the importance of using social and digital media platforms as well as radio and television adverts to deliver their message. 

"We are in a new normal. It looks like Covid-19 is likely to be with us for longer. Herd immunity is not going to be achieved this year. We must have elections in the country. We are on the ground campaigning," he said.

"There are many frustrations of service delivery, the scourge of drugs and criminality among the Eldorado Park community. The community is actively involved in eradicating these things. 

"This is a community that is willing to work and improve the area. They only need a government that is on its side, and it is what we are offering. We want to take Johannesburg back and bring the change," Steenhuisen said.

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