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John Steenhuisen shoo-in for another term as DA leader at elective conference

Mar 30, 2023

Hannah Omarjee |
30 March 2023| 11:30 CAT
3 min read

Photo Credit: Polity. Org

John Steenhuisen is set to win another term as party leader ahead of the DA’s elective conference on 2 April 2023. Both Steenhuisen and former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse are vying for the position. Helen Zille will be going for the position of Federal Council Chairperson, and she is assured of the position, being the only candidate.

Political analyst Kim Heller said, “What we are going to have is an all-white leadership victory, which is perhaps not inappropriate for the DA.”

Heller said Phalatse is a good contender with a good sense of community; she’s highly educated and experienced but doesn’t stand a chance against Steenhuisen. Heller believes that Steenhuisen will execute whatever Zille asks as they are a duo that march together to the same beat.

According to Heller, although the party is trying to appeal to a broad base of black voters, they are still a majority white party. Even if a black person may be in a leadership position within the DA, the white leadership still micromanages them. Hence, there was an exodus of black people from the party. Other leaders will impact the party only if they toe the line. Heller said, “I think she (Zille) also has influence, not only over John, but of everybody. It’s as if it’s her party.”

The DA has been trying to push the agenda that where they govern, life is better for the people, but Heller believes that’s somewhat uneven.

Heller said, “Certainly, they’ve had a very good track record in well-kept white areas as opposed to unkempt black areas.”

The ANC has significantly lowered the bar for South Africans, and the DA uses this to gain disgruntled voters with the promise of better living conditions and service delivery. According to Heller, the DA has had a lot of sway over some rulings and legislations passed within Parliament.

The DA and ANC are working together instead of against Ramaphosa, leading one to believe a DA-ANC coalition is on the table for the future.

Listen to the full interview on Sabahul Muslim hosted by Ml Junaid Kharsany here.


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