THE Democratic Alliance is making inroads in the Eastern Cape and says they will not wait for “Jesus to retu before they take the province from the ruling ANC.

The party is planning to use former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela, who recently joined them from the Congress of the People, to “lure” her former backers.

They feel Balindlela is a threat to the ANC as many people, mostly in rural areas, loved her when she was premier, and still do.

DA deputy provincial leader Veliswa Mvenya said this as the party launched the Amathole DA constituency in Stutterheim on Saturday, which will be headed by Balindlela.

“We won’t wait until Jesus comes, he is here with us. Look at the inroads we’ve made in the province already. People are inviting us to their rural areas and with Balindlela by us, we are taking the province. 2014 is the year of the DA,” said Mvenya.

“The ANC will wait for Jesus while we take the province next year.”

He was referring to a comment by President Jacob Zuma that the ANC would rule “until Jesus comes again”.

Mvenya said last week more than 600 rural Mount Ayliff supporters had joined the DA.

“People are tired of the ANC and this is helping us a lot. Already in the former Transkei, knowing it’s a rural area, we have 16 councillors and we are growing,” said Mvenya.

Mvenya, together with provincial leader and Member of Parliament Athol Trollip, launched the party’s 13th provincial constituency, which will be led by Balindlela.

Party representatives from Amahlathi, Ngqushwa, Nkonkobe and Great Kei local municipalities were part of the event.

Trollip said Balindlela had joined the DA without being recruited.

“She joined us knowing what we really want for this country. We are to govern this country starting with the municipalities,” said Trollip.

Trollip said the area Balindlela would lead was badly neglected.

“There is political infighting and all these municipalities are badly run. Only Amahlathi looks better than these. With her here we have already seen huge progress,” said Trollip.

Balindlela said her decision to join the DA was made because of her love of the Eastern Cape.

“That decision was made because I love the people and, mostly, those of my poor Eastern Cape. We as politicians need to cater for the poor, not for ourselves first.

“My move to this party is motivated by the great leadership and ideas these leaders have for the poor.”

Balindlela said already she had managed to win hundreds of ANC members to the DA.

“If people know that you are working for them they will support you.

“In Amahlathi alone we have launched six branches already and in Kei Road more people have left the ANC for DA.

“We are taking over the province – the blue wave will hit this province next year,” she said.

Mvenya said Balindlela was not even recognised by the Eastern Cape premier at the province’s State of the Province Address last week.

“She was a special guest. She is a former premier. We see no reason that her name was not called there when everyone was greeted.

“We feel that the ANC is feeling the pressure,” said Mvenya. —