Federal executive committee chair James Selfe says the party aims to complete its lists by the end of February. Picture: ELIJAR MUSHIANA
Federal executive committee chair James Selfe says the party aims to complete its lists by the end of February. Picture: ELIJAR MUSHIANA

The DA, which has in the past faced criticism for not being transformed enough, says it will aim to balance diversity, skill and geographic spread on its lists for the national and provincial parliaments ahead of the 2019 elections.

Geographic spread is a key factor as it deals with representation of the various districts in the provinces list.

Diversity in the DA, which has been labelled as too white, was made one of the party’s core values at its 2018 federal congress where leader Mmusi Maimane was re-elected to the top post.

The use of quotas was, however, rejected in its constitution, though the party said it would take “active steps” to promote and advance diversity in its own ranks.

The lists will be key in demonstrating how the official opposition party has implemented this resolution. 

Maimane himself has promised to transform parliament’s benches.

Federal executive committee chair James Selfe said on Monday the party would aim to complete the lists by the end of February. The party will launch its manifesto  in Johannesburg on February 23.

“You would want to ensure that the lists are sufficiently diverse, sufficiently geographically spread and that it contains the requisite skill. And getting the balance right is absolutely crucial,” Selfe said.

A federal executive meeting on the lists will take place early in February, while Selfe said the provincial executives would start meeting from this weekend to discuss potential candidates. This would leave enough time for appeals.

MPs and MPLs will take up their positions if they make it to a high enough position on the party’s lists.

Candidates have already gone through a rigorous selection process, which is now nearing its end, he said.

Selfe said candidates had first appeared in front of an electoral college, after which a pool of candidates were selected. These candidates were then interviewed by a selection panel and must also complete a series of assignments online. Scores are then added up of both the externally evaluated assignments, as well as from the interviews.

Selfe said the federal executive has the power to adjust the provincial lists if the provincial executive does not act on recommendations, but this would only happen in extreme circumstances.