Why I'm standing for DA Gauteng Vice Chairmanship - Ashor Sarupen

Party's Ekurhuleni Chief Whip says he would bring youth and experience to position

Following extensive consultation with DA members serving in various structures of the party, I have decided to make myself available for election to the position of Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the DA in Gauteng on 10 March 2012.

Given the threats to our Constitutional Democracy, the massive socio-political problems of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, poverty, crime and social decay that our country faces, and the urgency with which the DA needs to address these problems, I feel I have no other choice.

A DA victory in Gauteng during the 2014 General Election is crucial. Much work, however, needs to done to ensure that the DA becomes the next government in Gauteng and nationally.

While more South Africans than ever before choose the DA as their political home, we need to make fundamental organisational changes to ensure that we reach the communities whose support we have yet to earn, and show them that their interests are best served by the DA. We must articulate our Vision, Mission and policies in a manner that will resonate with people from all walks of life, and ensure that we are ready to put in place the programmes needed to solve the problems our country faces.

Despite my relative youth, I would bring considerable experience to the position. I had the honour of participating in the DA's Young Leadership Academy in 2009. In the period between 2009 and 2011 I served as a staff member, responsible for media and research, in the DA's Gauteng Legislature Caucus. Previously, I was elected to the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee at the age of 21.

In March 2011 I became the youngest councillor ever elected to the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality, and following the Local Government Elections in May 2011, I became the Chief Whip of the Ekurhuleni Caucus, having the distinction of being the youngest party chief whip the DA has ever had, as well as the Chief Whip of the DA's fourth largest caucus nationally.

If elected, I would, at the age of 23, become the youngest person to serve on the provincial management team of the DA in Gauteng. The DA's philosophy of an Open Opportunity Society for all means that anyone, regardless of race, age, gender or background can serve, as long as they are fit for purpose.

Only in the DA would such opportunities be open to me, and I am proud to be in a position to take the next step in demonstrating to voters that the DA practices the values it advocates within its own ranks.

Over the coming weeks I will meet with DA members from across Gauteng to discuss what we need to achieve, a vision and framework for reaching these goals, and what I will bring to the position, in order to us to attain our goal of victory in 2014.

Statement issued by Clr Ashor Sarupen, DA Ekurhuleni Chief Whip, February 3 2012

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter