Democratic Alliance party leader Helen Zille says the party is already geared for next year's general elections. She addressed the South African National Editors Forum's council meeting last night in Cape Town, discussing the elections and how the party's structures function, among others.
She would, however, not be lured on speculations about Mamphela Ramphele launching her own political party. But she said if Ramphele decided to join the DA, she would have to go through the party's processes for a position.
Zille says it takes a long time to build the institutions of a political party.
"Mamphele and I have raised children together, we've known each other for a long time, we chat often and so obviously I know quite a lot, but I just don't like to speak for other people. I like them speaking for themselves, we often agree on things, we sometimes disagree on our approach to things, but we've remained good friends If she had to stand for a position she would have to go through the processes like everyone else. I know, you know, if we went to a congress she would be elected to very high office on the basis of her record and her capacity and her sharpness and her analytical ability and those things," says Zille.
Zille says the DA's campaign for next year's elections is underway with the launch of the party's Blue Blitz Weekends.
She says the key to a democracy is accountability and it does not happen unless a government feels that it could be displaced at the ballot box.
"Unless a governing party knows that voters can vote against it and vote them out they won't bother what appears in newspapers and they won't bother about the pressures of civil society because they know that the voters will keep on voting for them anyway and that is why it is critical to have political parties and that's why it's critical to have people changing their vote in a democracy," adds Zille.