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Steenhuisen promises better treatment, resources for DA activists

John Steenhuisein and former DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli are vying for the position of party leader.

Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen pictured on 9 January 2019 during a press briefing. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen has written to delegates ahead of the party’s elective conference promising better treatment and resources for its activists.

Steenhuisein and former DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli are vying for the position of party leader.

The interim leader admitted in an internal memo to delegates that the party had not always equipped its activists who worked on the ground and rallied support for the DA with the requisite tools.

Steenhuisen said expanding the role of activists was a critical role part of his plan on setting the party back on the right track.

In his letter to delegates, the interim DA leader said activism would be the foundation of the party’s success.

Steenhuisen said it was important to go beyond arming activists with just clipboards and pens.

He admitted not enough had been done by the DA in this regard, saying activists had often been treated like survey workers - a message his opponent Ntuli has carried for numerous months.

She has told Eyewitness News she understood more resourcing was needed for those who rallied South Africans behind the party’s message.

“So, this has been a big part of what I’ve been saying and I’m someone who’s constantly on the ground, so I know first hand what it feels like for activists to walk door-to-door, to walk on campuses, to knock on campus doors and to be a young person who has led the DA youth.”

The two will face off at the end of the month when the DA’s elective conference takes place.

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