The newly appointed DA parliamentary leader, John Steenhuisen has vowed to hit the ground running after being unanimously elected by members of his caucus on Friday night. He takes over from Mmusi Maimane, who resigned last week as both a DA member and leader of the party in parliament.

Steenhuisen assumes his new post during parliament’s busiest session. The medium term budget, oral questions to the president and more than a dozen parliamentary committees will all be sitting this week.

The former opposition party’s chief whip says he is up to the task.

“Obviously the focus now is on stabilising the parliamentary operations. We are still the official opposition, we have 85 seats in parliament and we’ve got a job to do.”

His election and speculations about who will fill other vacancies in the party were met with mixed reactions. Political analysts, Professor Keith Gotchalk says that although the party might still survive this current political turmoil, perceptions that it is a white party aimed at protecting white privileges will stick for some time.

Steenhuisen says his previous post as a chief whip in the National Assembly and the CEO of the party will be filled this week. The DA caucus will meet on Thursday.