New branches for the growing DA

2014-07-14 00:00

TAPPING into its growing support base in the eThekwini Municipality, the Democratic Alliance is now forming new branches.

In the Durban West area alone the party intends forming 20 branches by the end of this month.

The Durban West area is demarcated by the DA to include areas such as Westville, Pinetown, Clermont, KwaNdengezi, Shongweni and Mpumalanga.

The area has 25 wards and the DA currently has a total of 14 branches.

Constituency chairperson Tim Brauteseth said yesterday the party has embarked on the creation of branches in order to grow the its support base. “There are areas where we don’t have branches, but we noticed in the election there is support in all wards.

“It is an on-going process. Our goal is for every branch in every ward.”

Brauteseth said part of the plan was to recruit members in the areas where it previously had no branches.

“We are recruiting members all over. We see willingness from residents to join us and they see us as a genuine alternative to the ANC because we have good policies. We believe in open opportunity for all.

“People are tired of promises that are being made by the ANC and they want to see action. So citizens are moving to the DA to see if we can create that open opportunity for all,” he said, adding that the party was building ­relations with voters and listening to their concerns.

According to Brauteseth, a total of 25 members form a branch after the membership had been audited.

“We don’t want false membership. Once that [audit of members] is done, an inaugural meeting is held to elect leadership.”

The membership in the branches varies from 100 up to more than 500. “Membership does not always equate with [voter] support,” he said.

In the recent by-election in Pinetown’s Ward 18, the party had more than 300 members in the ward but managed to secure more than 500 votes.

The party enjoys growing support in black areas and about three-quarters of the total number of branches in Durban West were from these areas, he said. “The DA is a party for everyone. In any branch colour does not matter.”

In the May elections, the party emerged as the official opposition in KZN and registered growth in both Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

It won the last four by-elections in Durban, including two in Chatsworth and Phoenix.

The party now plans to increase its support by up to 30% in the 2016 municipal elections.

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