Where ignorance fears to tread.
27 August 2016 01:22 (South Africa)
Politics

Power to the tweeple as DA hosts another Twitter Town Hall meeting

  • Carien du Plessis
    carien du plessis
    Carien du Plessis

    Jill of all trades but really, mistress of none, Carien loved her job as political journalist so much that she decided to get married to it. For now, in any case. She’s a party animal and you’ll often find her at gatherings of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, and the DA, amongst others. Loving children greatly, she also runs after the ANC Youth League a lot of the time. More often though, you’ll find her just running aimlessly, and she has earned herself the title of Comrade by partaking in the annual jog between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

    After spending her student days at political rallies, campus newspapers, and in lecture halls, and after an extended overseas working holiday, Carien started newspaper reporting in 2003, pissing off (the issue of female dogs apply here) and even pleasing some of her subjects. Then the age of enlightenment dawned on her, too, and in 2011 she crossed the floor to work for the Daily Maverick full-time.

    Her ultimate ambition in life is to become a travelling chocolate writer of international fame.

  • Politics
#DAQA

Less than four months after the local elections, the DA has again started its popular Twitter Town Hall meetings, and the tweeple are curious, with questions ranging from Julius Malema’s disciplinary to “racism” in the DA. CARIEN DU PLESSIS followed the #DAQA.

They started before the elections as a way of engaging with their logged-on voters, and were apparently very successful.

On Sunday night, DA leader Helen Zille (@helenzille) again roped in her team, including party spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko (@lindimazibuko) and party strategist Ryan Coetzee (@ryancoetzee) to answer the couple of hundred tweets that poured in.

According to the DA’s spin, the Twitter Town Hall “provides a unique, engaging and highly personal opportunity to ask the DA any question about South Africa, its people and its politics, and get an immediate response”.

And they lived up to the promise. Questions included what the DA’s view is on ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s impending hearing this week (Zille said it’s all succession politics), what the party thinks of relaxing labour laws (it’s in favour of this), and what its stance is on press regulation following apparently skewed reports on a Western Cape government communications tender (Coetzee: “We believe the press should self regulate. We don't believe in state regulations. And there is the constitution...”).

It wasn’t all smooth. Zille got impatient with @unathikondile’s persistent and critical questions (“I am busy answering important questions from people who are serious about the future”) and one of @alexlansdowne’s great concerns was why #DAQA, #DAQA, #DAQA (etc) wasn’t trending in South Africa.

Zille’s account at some point couldn’t handle the “huge volume” and slowed down while @paulachowles tweeted: “Not sure if 140 characters lends itself to any substantial debate but nice way to make yourself accessible”.

It’s likely that we’ll see a lot more of these meetings, as Coetzee said the party’s 2014 election campaign was “in advanced stage and already being actioned”. DM



  • Carien du Plessis
    carien du plessis
    Carien du Plessis

    Jill of all trades but really, mistress of none, Carien loved her job as political journalist so much that she decided to get married to it. For now, in any case. She’s a party animal and you’ll often find her at gatherings of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, and the DA, amongst others. Loving children greatly, she also runs after the ANC Youth League a lot of the time. More often though, you’ll find her just running aimlessly, and she has earned herself the title of Comrade by partaking in the annual jog between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

    After spending her student days at political rallies, campus newspapers, and in lecture halls, and after an extended overseas working holiday, Carien started newspaper reporting in 2003, pissing off (the issue of female dogs apply here) and even pleasing some of her subjects. Then the age of enlightenment dawned on her, too, and in 2011 she crossed the floor to work for the Daily Maverick full-time.

    Her ultimate ambition in life is to become a travelling chocolate writer of international fame.

  • Politics

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