Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist


Gwen Ngwenya leaves DA again as party finalises work for federal congress

The DA is set to elect new leaders next weekend.


Gwen Ngwenya has resigned from the Democratic Alliance (DA) for the second time ahead of the party’s federal congress.

Ngwenya reportedly left her position as DA head of policy to the party’s leadership this week despite having completed all her preparations for the elective conference.

‘Incredible opportunity’

While the now former DA member refrained from commenting on her future, the party’s federal council chairperson, Helen Zille confirmed that Ngwenya had accepted an “excellent position” in the private sector.

“This is an incredible opportunity that no political party in South Africa can offer [her]. The DA is sorry to lose Gwen, but we wish her all the best,” Zille told City Press.

ALSO READ: Drama may yet haunt DA’s federal congress

She will manage policy for a company that does business in 72 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Ngwenya stepped down as DA policy head in January 2019, citing in her resignation letter a lack of budget, a lack of support from DA leadership and having to work with inexperienced staff.

https://twitter.com/GwenNgwenya/status/1639882577254162434

However, she returned to the part towards the end of November.

“Excited to be back in the DA and working on policy. There seems to be a real appetite for it, which is fantastic. Looking forward to working with colleagues to producing the best policy platform in South Africa, and for South Africa,” she said on Twitter at the time.

Existing policies

Zille confirmed that DA MP Mat Cuthbert would temporarily replace Ngwenya, with the party expected to have policy discussions at its federal congress.

“The majority of the work for the congress has been done and everything went smoothly. The handover was done with sufficient time and everything is under control. We will fill the position after the congress,” she said.

According to Cuthbert, the DA will only expand “issues such as the independence of the A Reserve Bank, a load shedding-free South Africa modelled on our arrangement in Cape Town and the stabilisation of the economy” since there were no additions to the party’s current policies.

READ MORE: Lungile Phenyane withdraws from contesting two positions at DA federal congress

“With the election of John Steenhuisen as DA leader, we had already started to hone the party’s policy in such a way that if we were to enter the Union Buildings next year, we could implement it immediately to continue service delivery. There has been a lot of progress in that area, mostly thanks to Gwen.

“An example of this is our economic policy, which we will release closer to the election campaign. Wide consultation was done to present a complete document,” he said.

Delegates

The DA will host its biggest yet congress with more than 2 000 delegates expected to attend at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 1 and 2 April.

The party will elect its federal leader, federal chair and three deputy federal chairs at the conference.

Incumbent DA leader John Steenhuisen and former Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse are contesting for the federal leader post, while Zille is expected to secure re-election as federal council chair.

NOW READ: Mpho Phalatse on why she thinks she has what it takes to lead the DA