Dear Media Colleagues,
Welcome to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) virtual Federal Congress 2020.
Thank you for choosing to be part of this historic event as the Party embarks on its biggest Federal Congress to date.
This virtual Journalist Information Pack contains important information to assist in reporting on Federal Congress 2020.
This Information Pack may provide clarity on the content or processes of Federal Congress, and for further detail please get in touch with us by using the contact details provided at the end of the pack.
The media pack has information on the following:
- Congress Programme;
- Media Room Details;
- Live-streams of Congress
- How Voting Works; and
- Congress Spokespersons
Saturday, 31 October 2020
09h30 Congress Opening Ceremony begins
10h45 Candidate speeches
11h15 Voting for Leadership Candidates begins
12h15 Constitutional Amendments begin
17h00 Leadership voting to close
17h05 Constitutional Amendments continue into evening
Sunday, 1 November 2020
08h00 50 minute Closed Session (not viewable by media)
09h00 Address by John Steenhuisen
09h25 Congress Resolutions
13h20 DA Ancillary Organisation Reports (Youth, Students etc.)
14h00 Election Results Announcement: DA Federal Leadership
Federal Leader’s Acceptance Speech
- Mbali Ntuli
- John Steenhuisen
Federal Chairperson (uncontested):
- Ivan Meyer
Chairperson of Federal Council:
- Mike Moriarty
- Helen Zille
Federal Finance Chairperson (uncontested):
- Dion George
Deputy Chairpersons of Federal Council (uncontested)
- James Masango
- Thomas Walters
Deputy Federal Chairpersons:
- Anton Bredell
- Annelie Lotriet
- Refiloe Nt’sekhe
- Jacques Smalle
VIRTUAL MEDIA ROOM
Access to the Virtual Media Room on Zoom will be provided to accredited journalists every morning, through a link on our dedicated Congress Media WhatsApp Group.
Accredited media will have access to a Virtual Media Room, on Zoom, from Friday 30 October at 13h00.
Here DA media support staff will be at hand to process any and all media queries or requests. The room will function literally as a virtual media room, akin to a physical media room at any previous DA Federal Congress.
Congress spokespersons will also provide regular updates in the Virtual Media Room on the deliberations and outcomes on key constitutional amendments and resolutions. This will be the only platform on which DA Federal Congress press briefings will take place.
The schedule of these briefings will be Ad Hoc, and will be announced on short notice. Live briefings will take questions from media.
When joining the Virtual Media Room on Zoom please ensure that you indicate your name as follows: First Name Last Name + Media House
Federal Congress 2020 will be streamed live on the DA website and YouTube page. Here you may view the virtual Plenary of Congress without any log-in needed, but there will be no interaction on this platform – it is solely for viewing. Links will be provided on the WhatsApp group.
This live-stream will include all open sessions of the Federal Congress, the Congress Opening, the announcement of election results and the acceptance speeches of the newly elected leadership on Sunday. As there is no physical manifestation of the Congress, this live-stream will be the location for all journalists to view Congress.
We have also set up a video library for all accredited journalists and will supply a library of video clips of key moments of Congress.
HOW VOTING WORKS:
This year, 2000 delegates from across the nation will connect to Federal Congress on an online platform, either from their homes or from a variety of physical venues provided by the party in easy access of all delegates. These physical venues are a hybrid of Congress participation sites, and voting stations – hence we call them “hybrid venues”.
Delegates will not only elect our Party Leaders, but will also vote on key Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments, on this virtual platform.
There will be two distinct methods/types of voting:
- Using the OpaVote online voting system: a vote by secret ballot for DA leadership, by all delegates.
- For Constitutional amendments and resolutions: A Zoom Poll Vote and Voting with cards at the physical hybrid venues.
The OpaVote platform will be used for the leadership vote by all delegates and every single delegate, at home or at hybrid venues, will receive a unique voting code sent by SMS to their cell phone number. That code is unique to each delegate and can only be used to cast one vote.
Those voting at home will use their laptops or devices to vote via the OpaVote site. While those delegates at hybrid venues will vote for leadership candidates using OpaVote on shared laptops set up for that purpose at each hybrid venue, where they will only be able to vote after entering their unique secret code sent by SMS.
Voting will open just after 11h00 on Saturday and will be open for 5 hours. This will ensure that there will be more than enough time for delegates to vote, no matter their location or circumstance.
Once voting has been completed on Saturday, all vote data, but not the actual voting outcome, will be backed up on a flash disk in the presence of candidate agents and an independent auditor, at the Federal Congress ‘nerve centre’ in Cape Town. The flash disk plus a backup will be placed in a sealable envelope, and then placed into a locked safe overnight.
Candidate agents will accompany our national auditor who will place and lock away the sealed envelope with the disk and a backup in the safe. The national auditor will have the only key to the safe and will keep the key with them.
The voting data will remain secured in the safe overnight and on Sunday the national auditor, again in the presence of the candidate agents, will retrieve the flash disk and break the seal on the envelope. The OpaVote data will then be downloaded, run through the system to calculate the outcomes, will produce the results, and those results will then be announced after 15h00 on Sunday.
Voting on Constitutional Amendments and Resolutions:
Delegates following Federal Congress from home via their own device, will have an opportunity to vote for Constitutional Amendments and Resolutions via the Zoom Poll Vote.
Once the chairperson announces, the poll will pop up on the Zoom screen and delegates at home will have 90 seconds to vote per question. They have three options per question: yes/no/abstain. The results of these votes will be computed automatically.
At the hybrid venues, each delegate will receive voting cards at registration and will vote for Constitutional Amendments and Resolutions by holding up one of the three voting cards:
- Green = Yes
- Red = No
- Yellow = Abstain
The deputy presiding officers at hybrid venues will count the physical votes at their hybrid venue, and then input the results into a results system. Once the Congress ‘nerve centre’ in Cape Town has all of the votes from across all venues, the Chairperson will announce the results.
DA FEDERAL CONGRESS MEDIA TEAM
Federal Chairperson and Chair of Congress: Dr Ivan Meyer
National Spokespersons: Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Solly Malatsi
For media enquires:
Bongisa Mhaga – 061 109 2590
Debreé Kluge – 072 034 4970
Marshallé Frederiks – 081 834 0792