Members of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party. File picture: Denis Farrell/AP Photo
Parliament – The DA on Thursday announced nine changes to its shadow Cabinet and senior staff to fill vacancies and to prepare for the 2019 national elections.

Gavin Davis will be replaced as spokesperson, or shadow minister in Westminister terminology, for basic education by Ian Ollis to allow him to work on policy development and communications in the period leading up to the elections.

Ollis's position as spokesperson for labour will be filled by Michael Bagraim, while Derrick America will be the deputy spokesperson for the portfolio.

Dean Macpherson will move from energy to trade and industry to replace Geordin Hill-Lewis, who will focus full-time on his work as chief of staff to party leader Mmusi Maimane.

Ghaleb Cachalia becomes the deputy spokesperson for trade and industry senior DA MP Wilmot James, who has been the party's spokesperson for health, is leaving on sabbatical to take up a visiting professorship at the University of Columbia Medical Centre in New York.

"We wish to congratulate Dr James on this prestigious appointment, and wish him very well for his time at Columbia. His work on infectious diseases is a credit to South African health sciences and to the Democratic Alliance," the party said.

Patricia Kopane will replace James, while Malcom Figg will replace her as shadow minister for public works.

Alan McLoughlin will replace Figg as the spokesperson for appropriations, with Brandon Topham as his deputy.

Mbulelo Bara will take over from Tarnia Baker as the spokesperson on human settlements. Baker is moving to water and sanitation.

Finally, Choloane Matsepe replaces Bara as the shadow deputy at co-operative governance and traditional affairs.