ID talking to parties: De Lille
DA set to swallow ID
DA not a party for minorities - Zille
Kempton Park - The Democratic Alliance announced on Sunday it would merge with the Independent Democrats to better challenge the ANC in the 2014 election.
Leaders Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille said they hoped their new alliance would capitalise on growing frustrations with the ANC over crime and the provision of education, health care and electricity.
"We've realised that the ruling party has become increasingly corrupt and is abusing the Constitution," said Zille.
"This event today (Sunday) must merely be seen as the first step in the important task of consolidating the opposition and offering voters a true alternative government," added De Lille, who took a DA membership at the event.
De Lille said all ID public representatives would immediately take on dual DA-ID membership.
Since taking office in May last year, President Jacob Zuma has had to steer the country through its first recession in 17 years and deal with township protests over slow delivery of services as well as a series of strikes staged by union allies.
The DA, drawing much of its support from the region around Cape Town, received nearly 17% of the vote in the last election nationally, placing second behind the ANC which won overwhelmingly with 66%. The ID won less than one percent.
'Marriage' will last
The parties said the ID would be phased out as a separate organisation and its members would join the DA within the next four years.
ID local councillors will be entitled to hold dual membership until local elections next year, while MPs and provincial legislatures will be entitled to hold dual membership until 2014.
Zille promised they would offer an "alternative" to South Africans.
Said De Lille: "I can therefore proudly state today that this is a marriage that will last, because very importantly it has the blessing of our members."The merger was set to be completed by 2014.She said it was merely the first step in consolidating the opposition."In this regard, negotiations with Cope and the UDM will continue once they have received the mandate from their respective conferences."
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