Voting for DA new leader ends

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Voting for the Democratic Alliance’s new leaders has closed. More than 2 000 delegates at the party’s congress in Midrand, Johannesburg, have cast their ballots in what is being dubbed a two-horse race between the incumbent John Steenhuisen and the former Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse.

Some political analysts say the  Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen will succeed in his bid for a second term as party leader at the federal congress in Midrand, Johannesburg.

If this happens, Steenhuisen will lead the party to next year’s elections.

The DA will announce its new leader this afternoon.

The Congress will adopt a number of resolutions on a variety of issues. The party has condemned what it calls Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. It has called on South Africa to break away from the BRICS group and protect the Reserve Bank’s independence.

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Mpho Phalatse

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:

John Steenhuisen

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.”

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Reporting by Sya van der Walt and Samkele Maseko