Cape Town – With the municipal elections approaching, Geordin Hill-Lewis of the DA has become one of the favorites to run for mayor in Cape Town, vowing to fight crime, boost the local economy and create jobs.
The official opposition organized its virtual rally “Time for Change” yesterday to mark the start of its campaign ahead of the local government elections on 27 October.
Hill-Lewis is presented as the favorite to take the reins of Cape Town ahead of current Mayor Dan Plato.
The other key metros are Nelson Mandela, where the DA has nominated Nqaba Bhanga as mayoral candidate, but Johannesburg and Tshwane have not given any indication of who will run for the post.
DA Federal Council President Helen Zille said her party’s call to move forward with the October local elections was to defend the Constitution and avoid setting a fatal precedent.
Zille said parties campaigning for a postponement were simply not ready for the election and were using all means to ensure that these elections did not go ahead.
Hill-Lewis, who has campaigned vigorously since his decision to run for mayor was announced, said he was not taking his chances for granted, despite being touted as a favorite for the job .
Hill-Lewis entered Parliament in 2011 at the age of 25, where he served on the Civil Service and Administration Committee from 2011-2012, and then Commerce and Industry from 2012-2018. He currently sits on the finance committee.
He obtained his Honors in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from UCT as well as a BCom Diploma in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and an MA in Economic Policy: Finance from the University of London.
He said: “The race for mayor is a very close and hotly contested race, and I am up against the outgoing President who is a close colleague of mine and has nearly three decades of experience. So I don’t take anything for granted, ”he said.
Hill-Lewis said he was determined to protect Cape Town from the collapse of the national state. “Each national service is in a state of varying collapse. The only way to secure Cape Town’s future is to lead the charge on electricity, public transport, crime and security.
“We are the only party that can do it. All other parties are either complicit in this national collapse or too small to address it.
“When we do, it will significantly boost Cape Town’s economy – helping more people find jobs and lift themselves out of poverty. It is the only sustainable way to make Cape Town more inclusive and to give dignity to many more people. “
Political analysts weighed in on the changing face of the DA’s main structures as the party battled internal battles and to retain its voters.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said whoever gets nominated for mayor will highlight the party’s challenges, especially when it comes to race.
“The party is struggling to retain its white voters and I don’t think those voters would even want to be attracted under the current circumstances,” he said.
“The big elephant in the room is that if Plato is replaced by the other candidate, it will attract the perception that the party is showing the door to black leaders and that it would be an idea sparked by the issues that preoccupy them. Being a political party in South Africa that wants to act like a race is not a problem in this country is a big part of the AD problem.
Political analyst Daniel Silke said the DA needs to think long and hard before electing a candidate for mayor in Cape Town. “The problem for the DA is clearly once again whether it really needs a core of demographically representative leadership in the areas it governs or in the areas where it is strong.”
He added: “The DA faces this dilemma because for them the issue is who is the best person for the job, regardless of race. The reality of South African politics is that optics really matter and most importantly given the fact that the DA is on the defensive against the other leadership appointments that have taken place, and especially given the unpleasant departure of many senior officials. Black leaders within the party, the really now optics are an important issue facing the prosecutor. “
Silke said that although the DA won a majority of 154 seats on the city council, the party should not take huge risks with the electorate. “Nothing is guaranteed … while some of the strongest support for the AD is certainly to be found on the Cape Flats in and around Cape Town, we have seen the movement of voters of color in southern Johannesburg far from the AD and the Patriotic Alliance won two. drives the DA away just a few days ago. I don’t think the DA can just claim that they are in such a strong position (in Cape Town) that they can make decisions that can potentially alienate some of the strongest bases of support. “
Silke admitted that the party had a difficult balance. “The DA has a tough job here. He really needs to find suitable candidates who are demographically representative of the electorate in which they find themselves. Regardless of the talent or suitability of some candidates, this needs to be weighed against the DA’s optics and desire to maintain its demographically mixed support base. “