DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File picture Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File picture Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

DA to hold elective congress on virtual platform - Helen Zille

By African News Agency Time of article published May 17, 2020

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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance's elective congress will be held using a virtual platform on October 31, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the party’s federal executive (Fedex) resolved at a special meeting on Saturday.

This was in line with the mandate of the DA's federal council to hold an elective congress this year, DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille said in a statement on Sunday.

To achieve this, the Fedex resolved that Zille, as federal council chairperson, and DA chief operations officer Liana van Wyk would prepare a detailed proposal on plans for holding an elective congress via an accessible, secure, digital platform, with systems in place to ensure that every delegate would be able to participate fully and fairly. This proposal would be submitted for scrutiny and ratification at the party’s online federal council meeting in July, she said.

Since the start of the hard lockdown, the DA had been transferring its systems to digital platforms. By the time the party held the elective congress, almost every major party function would be operating online, and the process of adaptation continued.

"So far, our federal executive, provincial and regional executives, constituencies, the parliamentary caucus, the provincial caucuses, and many of our council caucuses have moved their work onto online and videoconferencing software to ensure that the business of our internal democracy continues, and that the DA represents the needs and aspirations of voters during this difficult time," Zille said.

The DA was the first party to run a fully online mayoral selection process recently, as well as the first ever virtual political town hall meeting in South Africa.

"We will be the first party to run a fully online local government policy conference scheduled for May 29, to begin the process of compiling our local government manifesto for the 2021 election.

"Our biggest strength as a party is resilience. We are able to diagnose problems and develop innovative solutions to them. This has never been more apparent than during the Covid-19 lockdown crisis.

"We will continue to offer South Africans coherent policy solutions as we work to reconstruct our ravaged post-lockdown economy. In order to be able to do this, our internal democratic processes must continue unimpeded," Zille said.

African News Agency/ANA

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