A month before manifesto launch, DA policy head resigns

The Democratic Alliance’s head of policy Gwen Ngwenya has resigned — a month before the party’s manifesto launch.

The party confirmed her resignation as head of policy but said she would continue to serve the party as a member of Parliament.

“We thank Gwen for the work she has done on developing the party’s policy platform, this will now culminate in the launch our election manifesto. She will continue to serve the party as a member of Parliament,” DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi told the Mail & Guardian.

Ngwenya sits on the parliamentary portfolio committees of energy, justice and correctional services and the standing committee on finance.

According to a Business Day report, Ngwenya resigned over differences with leadership on the party’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policy (BBBEE).

Ngwenya was appointed to the position at the start of 2018. During her year as head of policy, she had to weather the storm that erupted last August over whether the party would would “dump” what it called a “disastrous” BBBEE policy.

At the time there seemed to have been a communication breakdown over social media on the decision, with senior party leaders attacking each other and disagreeing on public platforms over whether the party had actually taken a decision to scrap the empowerment policy aimed at redressing past inequalities.It was revealed that the DA’s federal council had decided to ditch BBBEE, claiming the policy was “just not working”.

READ MORE: DA leaders pick sides amid confusion over party’s decision to ditch BEE

Ngwenya confirmed that the DA’s highest policy decision-making body took the decision in July 2018. However, federal council chairperson James Selfe disputed the decision.In a desperate bid to clear up the confusion Ngwenya and Selfe issued a joint statement saying the policy had “dismally failed” and “doomed millions to the disparity of unemployment and enriched the politically connected elite”.

Ngwenya was not available for comment at the time of publishing.

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