'Race-based policies have not worked': Steenhuisen

JOHANNESBURG - DA interim party leader, John Steenhuisen addressed some media inquiries about the party's directives moving forward after the announcement of his election on Sunday.

The party will see Steenhuisen at the helm after the resignation of Mmusi Maimane in October.

“I will dedicate every ounce of my fibre and my being and my energy to restoring our party to glory and taking us back on to the path to victory,” he said.

Ivan Meyer, DA interim federal chairperson, affirmed the party would not be going back, he said, “people are asking ‘where are we going as a party?’, we are certainly not going back, we are going forward but with clear solid principles."

Meyer said the party would be committed to constitutionalism, the rule of law, property rights, and individual freedoms.

“There is no going back, this is back to the future and that is the trajectory and that is the leadership of John Steenhuisen.”

READ: Why 'pro-poor' policies on their own won't shift inequality in South Africa

He stated that the ANC's race-based policies have made poor South Africans even poorer and commented on the recently released Stats SA report on inequality in the country.

“I think a lot of people have mistakenly taken them <the Stats SA statistics> as supporting the view that race-based policies must be amplified. I think that they are the prime example to me that race-based policies have failed. Inequality has got wider, there are more poor people now in South Africa than before after two and a half decades of race-based policies.”

The reportInequality Trends in South Africa: A Multidimensional Diagnostic of Inequality, 2017, stated in its summary findings, "despite the high level of inequality in the country, most measures suggested a decrease in inequality within groups between 2006 and 2015."

Steenhuisen said the party's primary focus will be to lift people out of poverty.