The Democratic Alliance (DA) has employed the services of a UK-based political strategist in an attempt to clean up its image ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, the strategist – Sir Lynton Crosby – recently aided the UK’s Conservative party in 2017’s snap election.
It also noted that his services could be for costly for the DA, with estimated expenses of up to R1 million a day.
Research company Ipsos recently revealed that the DA is currently polling at about 20% nationally, down from the 22.2% in the 2014 general elections.
This follows a number of rumours of serious tensions at the top of the party – including public spats with former leader Helen Zille, and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
There has also been talk of a breakaway party, with the City Press reporting at the end of May that ‘at least five’ senior figures within the party are unhappy with the leadership of Mmusi Maimane – and were holding talks with Zille to lead the new party.
According to the Sunday Times report, the DA hopes that in signing Crosby it will be able to oust the ANC in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, and boost its numbers in the National Assembly.
The DA’s executive director of communications, did not deny Crosby’s involvement in election plans, although she said she was not at liberty to disclose any of the people and organisations the party was currently engaging with.