From a shack to Tshwane mayoral candidate

2015-09-08 12:24
Solly Msimanga (Twitter)

Solly Msimanga (Twitter)

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Pretoria - From growing up in a shack in Atteridgeville to becoming the DA's Tshwane mayoral candidate, Solly Msimanga wants to give back and make a difference.

Msimanga feels this gives him an advantage, especially when it comes to reaching out to those in the city's townships ahead of next year's local government elections.

"I come from living in a shack, my mother raised me in a shack so I know what it feels like," he told News24.

"It's not like I grew up in the suburbs and went to a larney (fancy) school. I can relate to people, I can talk to them in a language they understand. I can get them to see the vision that we [the DA] have."

The Democratic Alliance announced at the weekend that Msimanga would be its Tshwane mayoral candidate.

Warm reception

Msimanga said the DA's support has been growing "phenomenally" in the townships.

In Tshwane, the official opposition party has a branch in all 105 wards.

"Three of our biggest branches are actually in the townships - Soshanguve, Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal," he said.

"People are receiving us with warm hands. This is something that never used to happen. People are getting more and more tired of the empty promises that aren't being delivered on."

He used an example of Ward 27 in Soshanguve where in the past the DA never received more than 2% of the votes. However, in a recent by-election it received 30% of the votes.

"There is some sort of a shift towards the DA and we will make sure in this coming month or two we are going to those communities and they will be able to meet me, I get to talk to them, I get to hear what the issues are."

Taking support from the ANC

Msimanga said the DA would be speaking to the poor, rich, business people, NGOs and other groups.

He said the opposition party was hoping to take a big chunk of support away from the ANC in next year's municipal elections.

At some point the DA was worried about the emergence of the Economic Freedom Fighters but Msimanga said the party soon realised that the red berets were eating into the ANC's support.

"People are starting to realise and they are starting to see the real farce that the ruling party is.

"The mindset is changing," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  pretoria  |  local government  |  politics

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