Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon introduced the party's candidates for the upcoming elections, saying they represented the will of all South Africans.

Speaking at a function at the Durban City Hall on Saturday Leon said when the candidates finally took their seats in parliament they would be the "living, breathing embodiment of the people's will".

"They will be on the front lines of our campaign for real change in South Africa.

Leon advised the assembled candidates that everything they do from now on would be for the people who elected them.

"I say this because there is a tendency in our country for public servants to put their own interests before the interests of the people," he said.

Leon added that although the candidates came from diverse backgrounds they shared common identities as South Africans.

"We share a common belief that South Africa needs real change, right now, and that South Africa deserves better."

All of the candidates - new and old - had to complete a training course.

"These programmes made sure that we would choose candidates who would hit the ground running once they took office after the election."

The list of candidates held some surprises and a few predictable placements.

Leon predictably heads the Gauteng national list, followed by sitting MP's Ian Davidson, Richard Ntuli, Janet Semple and Chief Whip Douglas Gibson.

In seventh place is also Raenette Taljaard (MP), followed by Dan Maluleke with Sheila Camerer (MP) in 11th place and Hendrik Schmidt (MP) in 13th.

While the DA's director of strategy Ryan Coetzee occupies the 14th spot.

Other MP's Mike Waters is in 17th place and Mannetjies Grobler in 20th spot.

Leon's spokesperson James Lorimer is number 27 on the list.

The DA's Western Cape national list is headed by Pierre Rabie (MP) followed by Helen Zille (MPL), Sydney Opperman (MP) and James Selfe, chairperson of the DA's federal executive, in sixth place.

Veteran MP Dene Smuts is in 11th position.

In the Free State national list Sandra Botha (MP) is in top position with Roy Jankielsohn (MP) second.

The KwaZulu-Natal national list is headed by veteran MP Mike Ellis with former SABC radio and TV presenter Dianne Kohler-Barnard in second spot.

Sitting MPs Sandy Kaylan is in fourth spot and Mark Lowe in 6th position. Gloria Borman (MP) is in 14th position and Graham McIntosh (MP) is 19th on the list.

The North West national list is headed by Paul Swart (MP) followed by DA national chairperson Joe Seramane in second spot.

On the national list for Mpumalanga former Conservative Party MP Rossier de Wille occupies fourth position, with Mannie da Camara (MP) behind him in seventh spot.

The Limpopo national list is headed by Desiree van der Walt.

The Northern Cape has decided not to release its lists until the end of the month. - Sapa