Ehrenreich would take CT council seat

2011-05-13 13:37
Cape Town - Tony Ehrenreich, the ANC's mayoral candidate for Cape Town, said on Friday he would take a seat on the city council whether he wins or loses the race for mayor next Wednesday.

"I'm standing for a position on the council, so I must serve on the council. It would be improper for me stand for a position and just because I'm not the mayor I don't go and take that up," he told a breakfast meeting at the Cape Town Press Club.

"A number of people have expressed confidence in me, so I must honour the obligation, and act in a politically ethical way."

Despite daunting odds, the Cosatu secretary general for the Western Cape said he was "not even contemplating losing".

Will to concede mayoral position

He said the latest surveys had shown it was unlikely any party would get 50% of the vote, and he hoped there would be genuine co-operation between the ANC and DA.

"The antagonistic discourse that we have seen in the past is something that I want to do away with... Nobody has a monopoly on the wisdom needed to take our city forward."

He suggested that if he won, he could concede the position of mayor to find a politically viable coalition that would serve the city.

"The position of mayor is not a non-negotiable. So I'm not concerned whether I am the mayor or not.

"What I am concerned about, is about being part of the governing establishment in Cape Town that focuses on all of the people of Cape Town, especially the poor, done in partnership with wealthier communities."

Ehrenreich, who memorably said last month he would not be the mayor for "rich buggers", joked that he probably made few friends in the leafy suburbs, but in fact wanted to enlist the help of the wealthy, not alienate them.

Partnership with upper class

He said his remarks were misunderstood as an attempt to turn all of Cape Town into a working class community.

"There's been an attempt to separate what I have been saying from the middle classes and the upper classes.

"There is no doubt that my orientation and my bias is towards the working class. I think that that is where the greatest social injury is that exists in our society, and believe in the name of fairness that that is what we must most urgently respond to.

"But the way we do that can only be through a partnership (that) includes the wealthier communities. The route of division is unsustainable."

Asked about his future within Cosatu, Ehrenreich said if he were an ordinary councillor it was likely he would serve out his term as secretary, which expires in the middle of next year, but he would leave the trade union federation to decide.
- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  tony ehrenreich  |  cape town  |  politics  |  elections
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