DA mayoral candidates announced

By the Daily Friend

The Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday announced its mayoral candidates for five of the country’s metro municipalities for the upcoming local government elections.

The candidates were announced by DA leader John Steenhuisen at an online press conference.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, a current member of parliament and the party’s shadow finance minister, was announced as the candidate for Cape Town, a city the DA has governed since 2006.

The candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) was announced as incumbent, Nqaba Bhanga. Bhanga is also the leader of the party in the Eastern Cape and has served as the mayor of the city since the end of last year. Governance in NMB has been chaotic for some time and the DA will be hoping they can secure an outright majority in the city in the upcoming elections, having just failed to do so in 2016.

Another incumbent, Randall Williams, is the party’s candidate in Tshwane, having served as the mayor in that municipality since October 2020. Williams, a former civil servant and former member of the French Foreign Legion, first entered politics in 2016 when he was elected to the Tshwane city council and was appointed to Solly Msimanga’s mayoral committee. As in NMB, the DA missed out on an outright majority in Tshwane despite being the single biggest party. They will be hoping the party can cross the line this time.

In Ekurhuleni, Refiloe Nt’sekhe will be standing as the DA candidate. She is currently the party’s deputy federal chairperson and also serves in the Gauteng provincial legislature.

The final candidate announced by the party was Dr Mpho Phalatse, whom the party has put forward in Johannesburg. A medical doctor, Phalatse served on the city’s mayoral committee under former mayor Herman Mashaba. She courted controversy in 2018 when she stated that the City of Johannesburg was a friend of the State of Israel. She was suspended by Mashaba, but subsequently reinstated.

It is still unclear whether local government elections will go ahead on their originally scheduled date of 27 October 2021. The Constitutional Court heard submissions from a number of interested parties last week on whether the poll should go ahead, including one from the Institute of Race Relations, which is opposed to any postponement.

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