The DA suffered a bruising few years after getting into a coalition with the EFF, where disagreements resulted in the DA eventually losing control of the City of Johannesburg.
DA leader John Steenhuisen addressing party delegates on 31 October 2020 at the DA’s virtual federal congress. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter
JOHANNESBURG – Newly elected Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen on Monday said under his leadership the party would not enter into what he described as “informal relationships” to be able to run municipalities.
The DA suffered a bruising few years after getting into a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), where disagreements resulted in the DA eventually losing control of the City of Johannesburg.
Steenhuisen said his party would seek to win as many municipalities outright as possible and seek coalitions only if there is a need.
“What we will not do is go into haphazard relationships where you have to survive from council meeting to council meeting. That is unstable,” Steenhuisen said.
“We would be committed to written coalition agreements with very clear values and principles, the reason for the creation of the coalition is there [and] what the red lines are. And we must be prepared to walk away from those coalitions if they compromise the core values and principles,” he added.
He spoke to the Clement Manyathela Show on Radio 702.
The DA, which is in a coalition with various smaller parties, managed to clinch back control of the City of Tshwane last week after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld a High Court decision setting aside Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s decision to dissolve the municipal council.
Listen to John Steenhuisen’s full interview on Radio 702 below:
STEENHUISEN DEFENDS ZILLE
Meanwhile, Steenhuisen defended Helen Zille claiming many who left the party used her as a scapegoat.
Zille was re-elected DA federal council chairperson at the party’s weekend virtual elective conference. She garnered 69% of the votes against Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty.
Steenhuisen said he was looking forward to working with Zille, even if they did not agree on everything.
He questioned why Zille’s ability to play her role was questioned when no such thing had happened to her predecessor James Selfe.
“I think that Helen Zille is far too often scapegoated as some sort of bogeyman who is hellbent on destroying the DA. But she was the most capable premier in post-democratic South Africa. She has not only spoken about a capable state, she has delivered it in the Western Cape. She has not only spoken about fighting poverty, she has fought it in the Western Cape,” he said.