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Analyst: DA could suffer at polls over stance on race-based policies

The DA's interim leader John Steenhuisen told a media briefing on Sunday that resorting to race-based policies would not improve the fortunes of the organisation.

(From left) The DA's federal council chairperson Helen Zille, interim leader John Steenhuisen, interim federal chairperson Ivan Meyer and national spokesperson Solly Malatsi pictured on 17 November 2019. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been warned that its rejection of race-based policies would cost it at the polls.

John Steenhuisen has been elected interim party leader after former leader Mmusi Maimane stepped down last month.

Steenhuisen told a media briefing on Sunday that resorting to race-based policies would not improve the fortunes of the organisation.

He said he acknowledged that apartheid was brutal and that those who still suffered the effects of that unjust system needed to benefit from redress policies, saying most of those people were black.

But he said the DA did not need to resort to crude race classifications to deal with redress.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said that the DA could escape the fact that black people were previously disadvantaged.

“I really think the DA needs a policy conference where they consider these things very deeply. They need to take a position on things such as affirmative action.”

He said Steenhuisen would not succeed in trying to be everything to everyone.