Mbali Ntuli has a vision for a South Africa
that is fair, tackles structural inequality, and addresses injustices, and believes that
under her leadership the Democratic Alliance can achieve that. She announced her candidacy for party leader
last week and, and although she is seen as an under-dog, she says her experiences make
her exactly what the party needs, to be a viable alternative for South Africa. “I don’t think there is equality in this
country, I don’t think people have a fair shot, no matter how hard they work, because
the system is against you. We need to fix that, structurally. We need to confront that,” she said. Although Ntuli is only 32 years, the former
DA youth leader has been in the party for 13 years, and has worked in all its structures. Ntuli said she had learnt early in life, that
ordinary people could make meaningful change, to create a country that was inclusive and
worked for everyone. Ntuli grew up in the township of Ntuzuma,
but her family moved to the leafy suburbs of Durban North. When she was just eight, her father died. It was then, that the traditional ceremony
to slaughter cows to accompany her father’s spirit, caused an uproar in a community, which
had been exclusively white for a long time. “This and other cultural practices at the
time, were not common in my neighbourhood. You can imagine that this caused public outcry,
and became a hot political topic in KwaZulu-Natal,” she said. However, her family did not cower and, with
the help of the Democratic Party leader at the time, Roger Burrows, the incident helped
change the city by-laws. “He acted as a powerful intermediary between
my family and the community. He intervened to protect our rights and traditional
practices. Burrows had no connection to traditional Zulu
ceremonies, but he understood, that the fight wasn’t about the things he believed in,
but a principled fight for the rights of others,” she said. Ntuli said, that had been her first contact
with politics, and how they could be used to effect change. She will be running against interim leader,
John Steenhuisen, and two provincial leaders, Bonginkosi Madikizela, and John Moodey, something
that could be seen as career suicide if she does not win. But Ntuli said she could not let fear dictate
how and where she served the people of South Africa. “I don’t think of what may be career-limiting,
because then I would never serve South Africa if I am afraid. I never want to feel helpless,” she said. She said she could not stand by, while the
country promised to her generation had not been realised, and decided to start by effecting
change in the DA, a party she believes has the machinery and people in it, that can still
be an alternative. “If we continue with leadership that seems
like it is tone-deaf to realities that people are facing, the DA will just maintain the
status quo, and remain a small party, or just a party in the Western Cape with opposition,”
she said. Ntuli says the country’s inequality has
given rise to political saviours and fascists, a dangerous combination. “We can’t solve the economic crisis without
solving the political crisis. Unfortunately, none of the political parties
is talking enough to anyone. I don’t see a leader who will have mass
appeal outside the DA, across all demographics, age groups, across all types of people, and
can talk with any kind of authenticity about it,” she said. As the party gears towards a conference that
will determine policy direction, Ntuli said she wanted to see policies that the DA could
take to South Africa as fair, practical and workable. The DA’s policy conference is scheduled
for next month, and the elective conference for May 2020. “Whatever happens with this contest will
be the footprint for what we do in the local government elections in 2021. If we decided we are a party that wants to
vote for people, that want to maintain the status quo, or want to be ideologically pure,
then we are going to lose a bigger battle, which is to unite South Africans who come
from very diverse backgrounds”. Ntuli said she was aware of her limitations,
and would surround herself with diverse, and experienced people in the party, who were
older, and had different experiences. “It has to be people, that want to ensure
there is fairness in the DA, because otherwise no one is going to believe that we are going
to fight for a fair South Africa. People that are kind and empathetic, because
we can’t be tone-deaf to what South Africans are going through,” she said. Ntuli does not believe in the “pull yourself
by the bootstraps” concept, and said unless there was willingness to accept that there
were many obstacles that people had to go through, and an effort to address those, the
DA would suffer in the next election. “I want us to return the focus of the party
to re-aligning politics in South Africa. “We have to win again. We need to be the core of a new majority with
people, and parties who share our values, so we can become the next government and make
South Africa work.” Please check in the description box below,
for the links to the sources of this report. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.

She Is Young, Bright And Ready, But Can She Make It To The Top of DA?
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One thought on “She Is Young, Bright And Ready, But Can She Make It To The Top of DA?

  • February 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm
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    When you are chosen for a position, the creator of the universe equips you.

    Reply

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