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Democratic Alliance

An Open, Opportunity Society for All.

Federal Leader: John Steenhuisen

Federal Chairperson: Dr Ivan Meyer


Values and Principles:

We stand together with all South Africans who share a community of values embodied by these words: freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity.


In particular, we believe:


1) Freedom - Freedom is the ability of individuals to speak, choose, act, think, and associate independently and without coercion. The DA will champion freedom and oppose state domination.


2) Opportunity - Opportunities, or choices, must not be arbitrarily restricted. In a society based on the value of opportunity, governments focus their efforts on preserving and expanding the choices available to all. Individuals also have a responsibility to recognise and to make use of opportunity.


3) Fairness - Fairness demands us to be impartial and to consider all sides.


4) Diversity - Individuals, when free to make their own decisions, will not be represented in any and every organisation, sector, company or level of management according to a pre-determined proportion. The DA therefore opposes quotas, be they race, gender, or other.


5) Openness - An open society is underpinned by two foundational pillars: Transparency & Freedom of Information. Transparency exists when the exercise of power and authority is made open

to interrogation and scrutiny. Freedom of information, i.e. the right of the public to access information

that is held by the government, is integral to ensuring that citizens can hold their elected representatives accountable for the actions they take on their behalf.


6) Social Market Economy - A social market economy refers to an economy in which participants (firms and consumers) rather than the government decide on what to purchase, where to invest, and how much to produce.


7) Constitutionalism & the rule of law - Constitutionalism is an adherence to the powers, limits, rights, and

responsibilities conferred by the Constitution. Creating a society based on the Constitution is essential for South Africa’s progress and economic growth, because a shared social contract provides the stability and solid ground needed for other areas to flourish.


8) Separation of party and state - Separation of party and state demands public representatives expand their interests and care to all members of society. Simultaneously, to ensure that the resources and authority of the state are employed to serve the nation and not the party.


9) Separation of Powers - Government consists of three separate branches (the legislative, executive, and

judicial). The abuse and concentration of power is best curtailed where the branches are

kept institutionally separate from each other. Due to the nature and complexity of government the different branches, in reality, often work closely with one another, but always should do so in a manner which does not compromise the integrity and independence of any one branch.


10) Federalism - Federalism is the devolution of power between different spheres of government (i.e. national, provincial, and local) to the lowest effective level.


11) Non-racialism - Non-racialism is a commitment, not just to reject racialism and racism, but to fight for the deconstruction of race, and the reconstruction of a non-racial future. The DA unequivocally stands for non-racialism not multiracialism.


12) Redress - Our past is littered with myriad injustices, arising from past conflicts and the racial segregation policy of apartheid. The consequences of these injustices remain, compounded by poor governance, and are reflected in high rates of poverty, unemployment, and general inequality of opportunity. Redress must couple a firm commitment to reconciliation with a commitment to ensuring that inequality of opportunity, which has been the hallmark of our past, is not a feature of the present or the future.


13) Accountability - The social contract is built upon trust. The DA will strive to ensure that the contract between citizens and their representatives is strengthened through accountability, both inside the party and in society as a whole.


14) Evidence-based decision making - Ideas and positions must be able to withstand scrutiny and be open to modification in the face of facts.


15) Excellence - A commitment to excellence necessitates the valuing of expertise, and those with a record of delivering superior outcomes.


16) Resilience - Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity or failure.


17) Compassion - To best represent people, one must be sensitive to their circumstance and experience. South Africa’s history has inflicted on all its citizens much trauma both psychological and physical. Understanding that requires compassion. Compassion cannot be enforced; it must be authentic.


18) Integrity- By integrity we refer to the integration of a person’s words and actions. The DA will actively live the values we profess in this document and hold each other to account.


Other Leadership:

Deputy Federal Chairperson - Alderman Jean-Pierre (JP) Smith

Deputy Federal Chairperson 2 - Solly Malatsi

Deputy Federal Chairperson 3 - Anton Bredell

Chief Whip of the Official Opposition - Siviwe Gwarube

Chairperson of DA Federal Council - Helen Zille

Federal Finance Chairperson - Dr Dion George

Deputy Chairpersons of the DA Federal Council - Ashor Sarupen, Dr Annelie Lotriet,  Thomas Walters

Interim DA Youth Federal Leader - Nicholas Nyati

DASO Federal Leader - Liam Jacobs

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