Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

DA willing to work with any party in SA but with conditions, says Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen says the last five years provided a significant lesson for the party on how to manage coalitions.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has outlined his party’s conditions for entering into a coalition government with other parties after the upcoming local government elections.

ALSO READ: DA reveals mayoral candidates, challenges ANC to reveal their list

Speaking at a media briefing in Nelson Mandela Bay on Monday, Steenhuisen said the DA was willing to work with any political party in the country, but provided that they share the same values and principles as the official opposition party.

“The four key values and principles are non-racialism, respect for the rule of law and the Constitution, a social market economy, and bringing and building a capable state by making sure that you have the right people in the right positions for the right reasons,” he said.

We will work with any party that wants to achieve that and that shares those values and principles.

– Steenhuisen

Steenhuisen said the last five years provided a significant lesson for the DA on how to manage coalitions after it took control of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay from the ANC through coalitions following the 2016 local government elections.

“I think what we have learned over the course of the last five years is that when parties deal with you that don’t always share your values, it always ends in tears,” he said.

He said the DA lost the City of Johannesburg, which was run by the former mayor and current leader of ActionSA Herman Mashaba, because they compromised their values and principles to keep their coalition together.

“And so let it be known that this party is intent on building the rational centre in South African politics. That means working with others, but it cannot be coalitions for the sake of coalitions.

“And it cannot be governance for the sake of governance because when you do that you actually end up as you saw in Joburg undercutting our own values proposition and voters start to lose trust in you.”

DA mayoral candidates

The DA also announced its mayoral candidates for the country’s five major metros ahead of the upcoming local elections, scheduled for 27 October 2021.

The official opposition nominated DA Gauteng MPL and spokesperson on social development, Refiloe Nt’sekhe, as its mayoral candidate for the City of Ekurhuleni.

Current Tshwane mayor Randall Williams was nominated to continue his term of office and for the City of Johannesburg, the party nominated its councillor Dr Mpho Phalatse.

For Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), the DA nominated current mayor Nqaba Bhanga.

DA MP and finance spokesperson, Geordin Hill-Lewis, was nominated for the City of Cape Town ahead of the incumbent mayor, Dan Plato.

Last Friday, the Constitutional Court reserved judgment on the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) urgent application seeking the postponement of the local polls to February next year.

The IEC filed its application at the ConCourt after former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke’s inquiry into the feasibility of holding elections this year found that the elections would likely not be free and fair due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions on gatherings.

The DA opposed the commission’s application to defer the polls.

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