The DA has officially opened its new campaign headquarters, complete with a war room, as it prepares its 2019 election campaign fight.
Relocating its main operations from the Western Cape to Gauteng, the DA will now be based in Bruma, Johannesburg, in a new three-floor building called Nkululeko House or Freedom House. It will serve as the political and operational headquarters of the party leading to 2019 and beyond.
Since the DA's formation in 2000, its headquarters have been in Cape Town, where it enjoys significant support.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the move to Gauteng shatters the perception that the DA is a regional party. He said the DA was instead increasing its representation across the country.
"We are now well and truly a party for all South Africans, with a national footprint in towns, cities and provinces across the nation."
Nkululeko House will be the party's campaign headquarters and home to a large contingent of the DA's federal staff structures, including the national campaign "war room", the polling and research department, the national call centre, the leader's office, the Gauteng provincial office and the party's corporate services directorate, Maimane said.
The party is readying for what is expected to be hotly contested national elections in 2019 with ambitious plans to take over Gauteng by reducing the ANC's majority to less than 50%.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane with John Moodey and Athol Trollip at the official opening of the party's new campaign headquarters in Bruma, Johannesburg. (Mahlatse Mahlase, News24)
"We plan to govern this province come 2019, and we plan to grow our support base in every other province across the country," Maimane said.
The opening of the new headquarters comes ahead of the DA's most contentious congress to date at the Tshwane Events Centre (former Pretoria Showgrounds) this weekend.
Maimane's position as leader of the party is uncontested, but the position for chairperson is currently contested.
It will be the battle of the mayors with Nelson Mandela Bay metro Mayor Athol Trollip facing off against Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga.
The congress also comes at a time when the DA is facing deep divisions over policy and representation within the party.