Giving people power & lifting millions out of poverty: 5 key points from Steenhuisen’s victory speech

John Steenhuisen was elected as DA leader at the weekend, securing 80% of the vote in a landslide victory over Mbali Ntuli.
Picture: Freddy Mavunda © Financial Mail

Newly elected DA leader John Steenhuisen has promised to fight to give power and opportunities to “every law-abiding, honest and hard-working citizen”, regardless of their background.

Steenhuisen was elected leader of the opposition party over the weekend after he won the bid against KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli.

The party hosted a two-day virtual elective conference in which Steenhuisen won 80% of the votes from party delegates.

In his acceptance speech, Steenhuisen said “people power” would be the order under his leadership.

Here are five key points from Steenhuisen’s acceptance speech.


People crying for power 

Steenhuisen said over the years people have been crying for power, but instead they feel further away from where power lies.

“Over the past quarter of a century, you have been robbed of your destiny, your dreams held hostage by bureaucrats and central planners.

“Think of any problem you encounter in your daily life. At the root of it, you will find a state that is utterly incapable and corrupt, yet absolutely hellbent on telling you what to do.”


Excessive state control

According to Steenhuisen, excessive state control was the reason the government was spending tax money to fund SAA, an airline people “do not need”.

“People who are destitute and vulnerable may soon stop receiving social grants because corruption is bankrupting the state. In every domain of your life, the incapable state is in the way of you getting ahead.

“What is the government’s solution to the problems caused by excessive state control? Their solution is even more state control – because the more the central planners fail, the more furiously the central planners plan.”


Liberalism can help people build lives of value

Steenhuisen said liberalism, in its purest form, was a commitment to give power to the people so they can decide for themselves how to build lives of value.

“This means building a capable state that protects citizens from any harm, like violent crime, and delivers the quality education, health care and other services all people need to unlock opportunity.”

Putting power in the hands of the people 

He said under his leadership, the DA will take power away from the state and put it in the hands of the people.

“The one thing that unites South Africans above all else is the desire to determine one’s own destiny.

“We have many problems in this country, but the people of SA is not one of them. There is nothing wrong with SA that cannot be fixed with all that is good about South Africans.”


Lifting millions out of unemployment and poverty

The DA will never again turn its back on its core principles.

“Our task is to show how our policies can lift 13 million people out of unemployment and 30 million people out of poverty. We are ready to show SA another way is possible.

“A better future beckons on the horizon under a DA government that will replace state control with people power, a future marked by world-class service delivery in the towns and cities where we govern.”

By Unathi Nkanjeni – TimesLIVE

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