The feisty former chief whip of the Democratic Alliance (DA), John Steenhuisen, has been chosen as the party’s parliamentary leader.

Annelie Lotriet, chairperson of the DA’s parliamentary caucus, announced yesterday that Steenhuisen was the only nomination and was thus elected unopposed.

Nominations for the post officially closed on Friday night.

‘I can confirm that the position was uncontested with only one nomination,’ Lotriet said.

She added: ‘The DA’s parliamentary caucus looks forward to working with Mr Steenhuisen and he can be assured of our support.’

Weekend media continued to devote much attention to the changes in the DA, most focusing on what reports suggested was a racial schism in the party.

The IRR notes that the bulk of the commentary about the DA continues to misperceive opposition to race-based empowerment as opposition to effective redress. IRR analysis – corroborated, ironically, by statements from senior government leaders – shows that using race as the foundation of affirmative legislation over the past 25 years has failed to address lingering and widespread disadvantage in South Africa. The IRR has advanced a policy alternative that – not unlike the State’s social grant system – would focus on disadvantage itself and give practical assistance to people most in need of it.