THE DA has defended a recruitment drive described as unusual in its attempt to inject new blood in its ranks.
An advert in the Sunday Times's Money & Careers section this week sought out good communicators who are able to speak more than one language, have strong leadership skills and can commit to a demanding schedule.
The party has advertised for candidates to contest the provincial and national elections next year.
"Unusual," political analyst Harald Pakendorf said.
"I know of people who are now MPs who were not [previously] active members of the DA. They were selected through this process and joined the party afterwards, which is unusual."
But DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane said this process had been in place since 2009 and had yielded excellent candidates. In fact, he said, this was how the current parliamentary leader of the party, Lindiwe Mazibuko had been found.
"I think the DA has cast its net wider by making sure that it also goes beyond racial barriers," Pakendorf said.
Maimane said they would run "rigorous psychometric testing" of everyone aspiring to public office.
The party also ran a young leaders' programme to carry the party into the future. "We have a principle called 'fit for purpose' which suggests that people who go into public service must always be exactly that – fit for the purpose." – Philani Nombembe