Tshwane mayoral Randall Williams. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Tshwane mayoral Randall Williams. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

DA announces mayoral candidates says party open to coalitions

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Aug 24, 2021

Share this article:

Pretoria - The DA announced its mayoral candidates yesterday, with party leader John Steenhuisen saying that his party was open to coalitions but would not compromise on values.

The candidates for the five major cities of Tshwane, Joburg, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town were announced ahead of the municipal elections which are scheduled for October 27.

Announcing the mayoral candidates, Steenhuisen pleaded with the ANC to do likewise.

“I would like to challenge the ANC to do what we have done for the sake of our democracy. Make this election the open contest it has always meant to be. Put your candidates out there in front of the people alongside ours,” he said.

According to Steenhuisen, the DA selected candidates who were “fit for purpose” and ready to campaign in their respective cities.

For the City of Tshwane, one of the hung municipalities after the 2016 local government elections, the DA announced the incumbent executive mayor Randall Williams as its mayoral candidate.

Williams has been in office for almost 10 months.

He was expected to be the party’s choice to continue with the work he started in November last year.

He assumed office after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled against the Gauteng government’s decision to dissolve the council and place it under administration.

A qualified lawyer,  Williams can expect to go head to head with ActionSA’s mayoral candidate Abel Tau, a former DA regional leader.

In his acceptance speech, Williams spoke about how he had stabilised the City of Tshwane’s finances after the metro was “plunged into chaos” by the Gauteng government's decision to dissolve the council.

He said his achievement was reached through co-governance with smaller parties.

“What this has shown us is that we can do so much with the majority – so that we can govern the city outright and fully implement the policy position of the DA to take the city forward,” he said.

He shot down the suggestion that his party had been in coalition with the EFF, saying both parties had a “loose arrangement.

“What we had with the EFF in 2016 was a loose arrangement, that they will determine on a particular day whether they will vote with us on a case-to-case basis.”

In retrospect, he said, the relationship with the EFF was “very unstable”, adding it was not “something we should do going forward”.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the party picked current mayor Nqaba Bhanga as its mayoral candidate, to make sure it wins the metro with an outright majority this time around.

Former social development MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse was named the mayoral candidate for Joburg. She is expected to face stiff competition from former mayor Herman Mashaba, who quit the DA to form ActionSA.

Phalatse said her focus was not on her opponents, but the residents and the campaign to win votes for the DA.

“People of Joburg, and indeed South Africa, I begin this campaign with a deep appreciation for the reality of the city. Residents do not need meaningless dream-like rhetoric of making Joburg a ‘world-class African city’. You need reality, hard work, selfless commitment, vision – and we will start by getting basic service delivery back on track,” she said.

In Ekurhuleni the DA has fielded Refiloe Nt’sekhe as its mayoral candidate. She said she was “aware of the complete and systemic collapse of the municipality”.

“Power outages for days, weeks on end, interrupted and unplanned water outages, roads in disrepair, and urban decay is rife while poverty and squalor are the hallmarks of the incompetence of the ANC and their coalition partners,” Nt’sekhe said.

City of Cape Town mayoral candidate, Geordin Hill-Lewis, also a DA Member of Parliament, expressed confidence about retaining the metro for the party.

“From tomorrow (today) morning we will be spending time criss-crossing Cape Town, every community, to win those votes and talk about our message for the campaign,” he said.

Pretoria News

Share this article: