The Democratic Alliance (DA) is expected to vote for a new leader this Sunday.
In the two-horse race, the incumbent John Steenhuisen is seeking a second term against the former Johannesburg Mayor, Mpho Phalatse.
The party concluded the first part of its two-day congress on Saturday afternoon.
The two contenders presented a case to more than 2 000 delegates on why they should vote for them to become party leader at the Gallagher convention centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The first day of the DA’s federal congress saw more than 2 000 delegates convene for the constitutional amendments and policy proposals.
Delegates rejected the proposal for the creation of a post for a deputy leader.
The party is expected to announce its resolutions and the outcome of the leadership race.
The party is gearing up for the 2024 elections and expects its leader to pave the way to victory.
DA Federal Congress 2023:
In her last attempt to woo delegates to vote for her, Phalatse has promised that if she’s voted as DA leader, she will ensure that the party moves from being the official opposition to being the governing party.
“Between the 2016 and 2021 Local Government Elections, our party lost more than 1.4 million votes. A total of 285 of our councillors lost their positions as elected public representatives in communities,” adds Phalatse.
“I want to state categorically here without any fear of contradiction, it is not the length of time in a party that determines one’s effectiveness, it is not the number of years that counts, it is about capability, experience and qualifications.”
Phalatse’s address to the DA’s Federal Congress:
Steenhuisen highlighted his political experience and pledged to work hard to improve the party’s performance during next year’s general elections.
“The DA, must and will, play a leading role in constructing a post-ANC South Africa. When I first joined, the DA in 1997- we were under no illusions about the difficulties that lay ahead. We were a 1.7% party, but we knew that to cement our role in the South African political landscape we would have to put in hard work- and let me tell you, as a councillor for 10- years, I know a lot about hard work.”
DA Federal Conference | Constitutional amendment to address ill-discipline