Inclusivity, diversity and equality are the key objectives leadership hopeful Mbali Ntuli has raised during her last address to DA delegates before they vote at this year’s federal congress.
She and her contender, interim leader John Steenhuisen, were each given five minutes to address more than 2 0000 delegates.
An impassioned Ntuli, who was speaking at one of the DA’s hybrid venues in KwaZulu-Natal, said she ran her campaign showing her vision for the party to represent and include every South African in all decision-making in a way that the party is able to negotiate shared human values.
“I don’t think disagreements or seeing things differently is a bad thing. The idea of diversity as part of our principles is the one that should be cherished the most as the DA. I want to move our party into a place where everybody has equal ability to say where they believe the DA should be going and how we should be talking to voters on the ground because we only exist to try and win votes and show people what the DA could do,” she said.
During her campaign trail, Ntuli has been heavily critical of the party.
In a letter to delegates in September, she described behaviour in the party as “cult-like” and spoke of fear and the politicising of disciplinary processes.
Ntuli bemoaned the party’s leaders and said that since 2014, she observed an existing “insider and outsider clique” in the DA which was destroying the party.
“I want us to reinvigorate the imagination of what South African politics should be like. That is why I’ve said we need a new way of politics. A way that shows that we are serious about taking this government, which has had impunity and looting and corruption, out of office, and we will make South Africa work by professionalising the public service,” she said.
Her ideas include resourcing councillors who are at the coalface of governance to create individual profiles and brands to show the DA is serious about governance.
“We have great governance where we have been able to show citizens that they need to lend us their votes. We need to leverage that,” she said.
If elected, she says, she will also empower the party branches, its youth and women’s structures with better resourcing, adding that the DA needs to tap into every single type of person in the party and the country and show that they can belong.