Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says despite criticism from external groups and people writing off the party, under him, the party continues to grow.
“Everywhere, people were writing the DA off. They were speculating about who would replace us as official opposition – and how soon – and what the country’s coalition prospects would look like once we’d faded away,” says Steenhuisen.
Cheers erupted as Steenhuisen took to the stage to deliver the state of the party address at its Federal Congress at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, on Sunday.
Steenhuisen says he inherited a party in electoral decline and a party that struggled to define its values.
He has attributed the growth in the party to ANC’s decline and to the hard work of party members.
“The shifts we are seeing today – the undeniable implosion of the ANC, the growth in DA support in all credible polls and the rise of alternative governments – all point to one thing: a changing of the guard.”
“The ANC’s decline is terminal, and it’s just a matter now of how fast. If this decline in support can be accelerated up until the election, and then held there as they roll out their squeeze campaign, we will see the end of the African National Congress in 2024,” adds Steenhuisen.
The official opposition is expected to announce the results of its new leadership.
On Saturday, the party voted on several constitutional amendments.
Steenhuisen, who’s seeking a second term, is being challenged for the position of federal leader by former Johannesburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse.
He told delegates here that he’s confident that the official opposition will emerge victorious in the upcoming national election in 2024.
Incumbent, John Steenhuisen says the DA will make history by becoming the first official opposition party to being the governing part. Steenhuisen says he can feel it in his heart and bones, that he’ll emerge victorious. #DAcongress2023 #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/YSeQsEFsin
— Tshepiso Moche (@tshepimoche) April 2, 2023
The DA leader is confident that despite all its challenges, the party will continue making serious strides.
He says come 2024, the party will make history by becoming the first party to move from being the official opposition to being the governing party.
“We will have the privilege – and the massive responsibility – to be the first party in South Africa in 75 years to go from opposition into a leading role in government,’ he adds.
DA Federal Congress l John Steenhuisen delivers Federal Leader report: