DA contender has ‘a vision for a thriving city’

2011-03-21 00:00

IN a bold move to challenge the ANC’s dominance in local government politics in the capital city, the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has decided to field its first black mayoral candidate — its provincial leader, Sizwe Mchunu, MPL.

Mchunu was appointed the party’s first black leader in the province in the wake of John Steenhuisen’s resignation amid reports of a scandalous relationship with a married DA provincial media officer, Terry Beaumont.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, Mchunu said his name was recommended by the midlands region of the DA and other party structures before he was unanimously chosen to be the party’s uMsunduzi mayoral candidate.

Asked to comment on his nomination, Mchunu said: “Prior to my nomination, I served two terms as the DA’s PR [proportional representation] councillor for uMsunduzi and was also the party’s chief whip in the municipality. I made a lot of contributions for the party during my tenure.

“I am humbled and honoured to be my party’s mayoral candidate for the capital city.”

The DA, which is the third biggest party after the ANC and the IFP in uMsunduzi, was the first party in the province to announce its mayoral candidate for the May 18 election as most parties prepare to submit their lists of candidates before the deadline on Friday, March 25.

Mchunu (32) grew up in Mbali on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Although he is relatively young, he has earned the respect of colleagues and peers within the DA, rising swiftly through the ranks.

Before his appointment as provincial leader, Mchunu served two consecutive terms as a PR councillor in the Msunduzi Municipality, winning the DA Councillor of the Year award in 2003.

The DA said in a statement yesterday, “In council, Mchunu became revered for the manner in which he would take on the ANC and tackle the issues of their failed promises and poor delivery.

“The high regard with which he is held within the party is a product of his unwavering leadership, strength of character and ability to rise to any challenge.”

Mchunu said the DA has a good chance of turning the tables against the ANC in the local government election following the collapse of the municipality under the ANC last year, which has forced the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Nomusa Dube, to put it under provincial administration.

“As a resident of Msunduzi Municipality, I am angry about the collapse of our provincial capital and the manner in which this once proud city has been allowed to fall into decay.

“The blame for this predicament must be laid squarely at the feet of the ANC who have looted this municipality. Service delivery has suffered and residents and ratepayers from all communities have been the victims of this injustice.

“As the DA mayoral candidate I have a vision for Msunduzi that is to see a thriving city where sound financial management and a cleaning out of ineffective employees will bring about real delivery to all residents.

“We have delivered in Cape Town and in many municipalities run by the DA. If elected, we will do it in Msunduzi too,” Mchunu said.

After the the 2009 elections, the DA won seven seats in the KZN Legislature and Mchunu believes recent IFP defections and ANC infighting augurs well for the DA.

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