Democratic Alliance (DA) federal congress presiding officer Greg Krumbock said on Friday that it is crucial that the party deliberate and vote on resolutions which seek to address the many issues that confront the people of South Africa, as it heads into its Federal Congress over the weekend, where it will elect a new leader.
The DA said all preparations were complete for the Congress, with nearly 2 000 delegates expected at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg on April 1 and 2.
In contention for the party’s top position are former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse and party leader John Steenhuisen.
Nominations for the candidates standing for election closed on March 13.
The party said it was pleased with the diversity of its candidates as well as the provincial representation and the age diversity, also confirming that the nomination process was thorough and democratic.
“We are a truly inclusive party with 45% of our delegates and activists being non-public representatives coming from our branches. The size of the event speaks to the tremendous growth of the DA over the years. The party has exponentially grown since 2015 when we had just over 1 200 delegates,” Krumbock stated.
He said deliberations at the Federal Congress must include resolutions on building the economy and creating jobs, urban and rural safety, and the restoration of the Parliament.
Krumbock said during the congress, the DA would discuss and vote on 43 resolutions that would drive its policy agenda and give practical expression to its values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
The resolutions presented would build on and extend the party’s policy offering to create an inclusive society and the resolutions would also speak to key areas of exclusion with a focus on how the DA would address them as a party of national government.
The DA now governs millions of South Africans in several metros and local municipalities across the country.
Krumbock said the DA prided itself on its sound internal democratic processes, which he said would be showcased during this weekend’s Federal Congress.
He stated that the DA was now South Africa’s government in waiting, and the results of the DA’s Federal Congress would likely determine the future of South Africa and the country’s democracy.
He highlighted that opinion polls conducted by the Social Research Foundation, Rapport newspaper, and even internally by the DA and the African National Congress (ANC) have all pointed to the ANC losing its majority which would see South Africa, for the first time ever, face a national coalition government.
“Change is on the horizon for our country, and with the DA waiting in the wings, it is the leaders whom the party elects during the congress who will lead South Africa into a new coalition dispensation. When you look at it this way, you realise that the DA’s Federal Congress is a milestone event for South Africa, the results of which could reshape our country for generations to come,” he said.
Meanwhile, Krumbock explained that the party would be using the online OpaVote platform for its leadership elections.
He said the system was fast, explaining that the possibility of human error on the system was slim. He said the party had been using the system in the past three or four years.
“We believe it is a proven system. The DA has been using it for a number of years and in all those years we have never once had a query of dispute about the integrity of the system and the secrecy of the ballot.”
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