Ross van der Linde

Chief operations Officer, Democratic Alliance

�Powerful policies will solve South Africa's problems, not
powerful personalities.�
Is this an offi cial statement from Ross van der Linde, former
media director of the Democratic Alliance, or a personal
manifesto from a liberal democrat who wants to get people
debating about real issues not personal agendas?
Either way, it's a politically informed opinion from a
24-year-old who, according to generational profi ling, should
probably be doing some menial job that doesn't require too
much effort or responsibility. Instead, Van der Linde gets
to work (read: Parliament) before 8am and spends his day
engaging with the press, reviewing draft documents and
statements and meeting with MPs.
In his current position Van der Linde doesn't have to
choose between his two loves � media and politics �
which he did when he started out in politics, working in the
DA's parliamentary research department. It didn't take long
before he was appointed press offi cer, just ahead of the 2009
elections, and then head of the party's media department.
As the newly appointed Chief Operating Offi cer, Van der
Linde oversees and manages parliamentary operations and
focuses on political communications, which means getting
the DA's message across and keeping tabs on the political
stories being reported in the press.
It's a perfect fusion for a man who graduated top of
his politics class at Rhodes university and obtained an
honours degree in philosphy, politics and economics from
the university of Cape Town, while dabbling in a bit of
journalism on the side, including a brief stint as a sports
reporter for e.tv.
But politics is defi nitely this Jo'burg boy's true calling.
It's the reason he's committed to building a competitive
political system and why he's so proud to have had a hand
in modernising the DA's parliamentary operation. Because
effective systems help to promote more proactive policies �
policies he hopes will solve South Africa's problems.
�Cat Pritchard

Lunch spot: Eastern Food Bazaar, Cape Town