DA Leader John Steenhuisen’s opening remarks at the #NationalConvention2024

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
16 Aug 2023 in News

Note to Editors: The following opening remarks were delivered by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen at the opening of the two day Multi-Party Convention.

Good morning,

The next two days are not about politics or politicians.

The next two days are about the people of South Africa.

The outcome of these negotiations must be judged based on whether they provide concrete solutions to improve the lives of the South African people.

For that to be the case, this cannot and must not be a purely anti-ANC project.

It must be a pro-South African project.

Tomorrow evening when this process is complete, judge the politicians sitting here on whether the outcome promises tangible improvements to your life.

Ask whether we are collectively providing solutions to issues like unemployment, load shedding and crime.

If the answer is yes – if these parties emerge with an agreement not only to defeat the ANC but to rescue South Africa – then I ask that you judge it as a success.

Our country does not have a second to waste.

Now is the time for all leaders gathered here to put aside pettiness, ego and the past, so that we can focus on the future.

The DA is irrevocably committed to this project.

It is something I publicly committed my party to following our Federal Congress.

To all my fellow leaders at this table, I say thank you.

Thank you for how far we have already come.

Many people thought we would never even be able to get to this point of sitting around the same table to find common solutions.

Yet, here we are.

And now our biggest test looms before us.

Over the next two days, we will have honest and robust discussions.

But I know that they will be based on the passion we all share for this beautiful country, and for the people who call her home.

The people gathered here today represent a broad spectrum of the South African people.

Seated before you are people from Durban, Mthatha, Hammanskraal, Stilfontein, Mtubatuba and Cape Town.

South Africans, all of us.

And what we are doing here over the next few days are for all the people of South Africa.

This is the outcome we seek.

An agreement for the people of Durban, of Mthatha, of Hammanskraal, of Stilfontein, of Mtubatuba, of Cape Town, and for every town and city in this country.

Judge the outcome of the next two days on whether we provide solutions to the problems you face in your daily life.

I will repeat what I’ve said before: this project must not be owned by politicians.

It must be owned by the people.

And if you are satisfied with the outcome of our discussions, then I ask that the people claim their ownership by going out to register to vote in massive numbers.

The moment for change has arrived.

I pledge the DA’s full support to making sure we seize it with both hands.

Thank you.