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Zille warns DA members of complacency

Helen Zille has told Democratic Alliance members that complacency is the greatest risk the party faces.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Saturday told the Democratic Alliance's (DA) provincial leadership congress in Cape Town that complacency was the greatest risk the party faced.

Zille told delegates at the Cape Town International Convention Centre that in politics, a party was at its most vulnerable after its greatest victory.

She says when a party thinks it is safe - it is in fact at its weakest.

"We must never assume we will automatically keep on winning [in the Western Cape]."

The DA leader told the party's provincial leaders that there was no time to be complacent, warning that voters would elect other parties if they believed the DA was becoming self-serving.

Zille began her address by paying tribute to outgoing provincial leader Theunis Botha, saying his dedication had been key in the gains the party had achieved.

She then took a swipe at the country's ruling ANC party, saying the recent violent strikes were a symptom of what was happening in that organisation.

Zille read out the names of five people whose lives were claimed in recent protests.

Since August, the country has been gripped by wildcat strikes in the mining and transport sectors.

Workers have been demanding wage increases from their employers.

Municipal workers have also announced planned strike action, which is anticipated to begin next week.

Zille called on party members to continue working hard, to ensure the DA governs more provinces by 2014.

LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS

Delegates attending the congress also elected new leaders for key positions.

Western Cape social development and sport MEC Ivan Meyer, the sole nominee for the provincial leadership position, was elected unopposed.

Botha was voted in as deputy provincial leader, while local government MEC Anton Bredell was elected provincial chairman.

Zille praised the nomination process, saying that unlike in the ANC, leadership changes were welcomed and did not result in "in-fighting, corruption, bribery, threats and intimidation".

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