John Steenhuisen | Biography, Age, Wife, Children, Politics, DA Leader

Quick Facts

Full NameJohn Henry Steenhuisen
Date of BirthMarch 25, 1976 (age 48 years)
Place of BirthDurban, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
EducationNorthwood Boys’ High School, Durban
Political AffiliationDemocratic Alliance (DA)
Notable PositionsLeader of the DA, Parliamentary Leader of the DA, Member of Parliament
SpouseTerry Castelo
ChildrenTwo daughters

Early Life and Education

John Henry Steenhuisen was born on March 25, 1976, in Durban, South Africa. He attended Northwood Boys’ High School in Durban. While he did not pursue formal higher education, his entry into politics at a young age allowed him to gain significant practical experience in public service and leadership.

Early Political Career

Steenhuisen’s political career began in local government. At the age of 22, he was elected as a councillor in the Durban City Council, representing the Democratic Party, which later became the Democratic Alliance (DA). His early involvement in politics laid the foundation for his future leadership roles within the party.

Rise in the Democratic Alliance

Steenhuisen’s dedication and political acumen saw him rise quickly within the ranks of the DA. He was elected as the DA caucus leader in the eThekwini Municipality and later served as the party’s provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal from 2009 to 2010.

Member of Parliament

In 2011, Steenhuisen was elected to the National Assembly of South Africa. As a Member of Parliament (MP), he gained a reputation for his sharp debating skills and his commitment to holding the government accountable. He served as the DA’s Chief Whip from 2014 to 2019, a role that positioned him as a key figure in the party’s parliamentary activities.

Parliamentary Leader of the DA

In October 2019, following the resignation of Mmusi Maimane, Steenhuisen was elected as the Parliamentary Leader of the DA. His leadership during this period was marked by efforts to unify the party and strengthen its role as the official opposition in the South African Parliament.

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

On November 1, 2020, John Steenhuisen was elected as the leader of the DA during the party’s Federal Congress. His leadership has focused on rebuilding the party, improving its electoral performance, and promoting a vision of a non-racial, inclusive, and prosperous South Africa. Steenhuisen has been vocal about issues such as economic reform, government accountability, and social justice.

Personal Life

John Steenhuisen is married to Terry Castelo, and the couple has two daughters. Known for his approachable and down-to-earth personality, Steenhuisen enjoys spending time with his family and engaging with his constituents.

Legacy and Impact

John Steenhuisen’s career in politics has been characterized by his unwavering commitment to democratic principles, transparency, and effective governance. As the leader of the DA, he has worked to position the party as a viable alternative to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and to advocate for policies that promote economic growth, social cohesion, and accountable governance.


John Steenhuisen’s journey from a young councillor in Durban to the leader of South Africa’s official opposition party is a testament to his dedication, resilience, and leadership. His contributions to the political landscape continue to shape the direction of the DA and influence the broader discourse on South Africa’s future.

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