DA elects new Western Cape leadership in run up to 2024 elections

JP Smith
JP Smith

  • The DA in the Western Cape has elected Tertuis Simmers, for the position of interim provincial leader.
  • The City of Cape Town's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith has been elected interim deputy provincial leader.
  • The party hopes to retain the Western Cape and bring the ANC below to 50% in the 2024 national and provincial elections. 

The DA in the Western Cape has elected new leadership during its provincial council on Saturday. 

Party delegates from across the province elected an interim provincial leader and interim provincial deputy leader.

Tertuis Simmers, also the provincial Infrastructure MEC, stood unopposed for the position of interim provincial leader, while the City of Cape Town's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith, was elected as interim deputy provincial leader on Saturday. 

Also competing on the deputy leader ballot was Meagan Goedeman, Wendy Philander, and Antionette Steyn. 

Jaco Londt, the DA provincial chairperson, said the newly elected leaders now had the responsibility to ensure that all structures in the party were geared toward spreading the message of its proven successes.

"Not only in our province, but also in communities in the rest of the country. We aim to retain the Western Cape and continue to be the DA's flagship of good governance, and ultimately contribute to bringing the ANC below 50% in the next national and provincial elections in 2024," he said. 

Londt added they were confident that Simmers' and Smith's appointments heralded a new beginning for the party.

"We are confident that today brings a new beginning for the DA in the Western Cape and that our new leadership will take the party from strength to strength," he said. 

Smith told News24 the DA had a critical role to fulfil in terms of giving South Africans the opportunity to escape a further five years of ANC governance, which he said South Africa could ill afford.

"To achieve this we need to retain control of the Western Cape and gain control, possibly in coalition, of other provinces, with the overall goal of bringing the ANC below 50% at national level in 2024. This requires some actions in the Western Cape on a governance and political level over the next two years," he said. 

Smith added he had communicated four elements of that plan of action to the delegates over the past week and had already started working to ensure that they implemented them.

"I was humbled today by the clear mandate granted by the delegates," he said. 

 DA Interim Provincial Leader, Tertuis Simmers, DA
DA Interim provincial leader, Tertuis Simmers, DA provincial chair, Jaco Londt and Matzikama Mayor, Councillor Van Der Hoven, welcoming councillor Christo Boks and leader of the PA in Matzikama, Brenden Owies, into the party.

Philander, who is a member of the provincial legislature and chairperson of the DA Women's Network (Dawn) in the province had previously contested for the position of provincial leader,  but lost to former leader Bonginkosi Madikizela in 2020.

She lost again to disgraced former MEC Albert Fritz following the unceremonious departure of Madikizela in the wake of a qualifications scandal.

In April, Simmers was officially elected DA interim provincial leader following the resignation of Fritz earlier this year. Fritz, who served as social development MEC, resigned from his position as the party's leader in the province.

ALSO READ | Walkout saves DA mayor and chief whip from motion of no confidence

Allegations of sexual misconduct had hovered over Fritz for the past month.

Earlier this week, the DA welcomed two new members from the Patriotic Alliance (PA) from Matzikama municipality just after the party ditched the DA following a massive fallout.

PA Matzikama leader Brenden Owies and councillor Christo Boks were welcomed to the DA at a press conference on Tuesday.

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