The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on party structures, its members, and citizens to submit their inputs on the party's draft Values and Principles document ahead of its policy conference, expected to be held on April 4 and 5.
Outlining the document in Johannesburg on Monday, DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya said it will be tabled for delegates to amend and hopefully adopt during the conference.
Ngwenya explained that the Values and Principles document is one of three core documents – the others being Economic Justice Policy and Local Government Priorities – to be discussed by delegates.
She stated that the documents were particularly important because trust in South Africa was broken and that there was a significant trust deficit between people and their elected leaders.
“We thought it was important to not start with the policy first but to start with the underlying values and principles which then form the point of departure for policy documents that will soon follow.”
Ngwenya further alleged that this approach differentiated the DA within a political landscape where politicians were not known to hold themselves to a clearly stated set of values which could be scrutinised by the public.
This approach, she said, contained clearly what the DA meant by a commitment to ideals such as freedom, a social market economy, evidence-based decision-making, redress and nonracialism.
“People say there is policy uncertainty - we listen. It is the first step we take to ensure that we provide [certainty]. But most importantly, we co-sign. We have no doubt that when the people put their trust in us, it is what they are signing up for. We want this to look like a social contract between the DA and the citizens,” she explained.
The DA has always prided itself on being a values-based party, she said, adding that she believes that the DA accounts better than other political parties.
“The final document will be the outcome of the policy conference. We are inviting party structures to comment and provide input to this baseline document. Party structures must work with constituencies within communities . . . we very much hope that they will comment and take apart in this process as well. We do not want to put together a final draft without giving people an opportunity to be part of this process.”Proof Reader