John Steenhuisen will no longer be referred to as interim DA leader after Sunday’s announcement that he has been elected as the official DA leader.
This after two days of DA members locked in a series of virtual engagements at the 2020 DA congress.
Steenhuisen is expected to deliver his acceptance speech from Durban’s Tropicana hotel shortly.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the congress (and leadership voting process) took on a virtual format.
Speaking on Sunday morning, Steenhuisen, claimed that the party is no longer adrift and added that it has grown stronger in the face of adversity.
This adversity, he said, includes the Covid-19 pandemic, the governing ANC and a hostile commentariat and press.
“The DA has shown this year that we will not let adversity throw us off course. And this congress is no exception,” he said.
He thanked party members, staff and public representatives for their efforts and said their work has been effective.
“Your work may feel thankless, and exhausting at times, but we’re on the right track, and we’re making progress. So stay energised and keep your eyes on the goal.”
For now, that goal is next year’s local government elections, he said.
“Living with the effects of our lockdown economy and society has been hard on everyone and it has been so painful to watch so many South Africans lose everything they have built.”
“And it is painful to know most of this, almost all of it, was not necessary. Other than the initial three-week lockdown, to prep hospitals and source equipment back in March, the devastation of the past seven months has achieved very little.
“But there has been one silver lining to this dark cloud. If it weren’t for this very challenging year, we would not have seen the very best of the DA up against the very worst of the ANC.”
“Never before has the water between the DA and the ANC in government been as clear and blue and vast as it is right now.