DA's Hill-Lewis vying to become party's Cape Town mayoral candidate

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The DA's Geordin Hill-Lewis.
The DA's Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Jan Gerber, News24
  • DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis announced he is standing to become the DA's mayoral candidate for Cape Town.
  • He has a vision of a "more assertive Cape Town", testing the limits of devolution.
  • He is in his tenth year as an MP and currently the party's spokesperson on finance.

Senior DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis has thrown his hat in the ring in a bid to become the party's mayoral candidate for Cape Town.

In a letter to DA councillors in Cape Town, which found its way into the public domain, Hill-Lewis stated: "You are the engine that makes the city work, so I wanted you to hear directly from me: I am running to be the DA's Mayoral Candidate for Cape Town."

Hill-Lewis confirmed to News24 that he was in the running.

In his letter, he said his "offer to the residents of Cape Town is the courage and clear vision for all of us to take our city's power back from the national government".

"I am running for mayor because I believe I have the passion, drive and courage to realise the vision we all share: that Cape Town can be so much more than it already is."

He said Cape Town should stand as a "model of the best of South Africa and the best of the DA too".

"To do so, we must have leadership in the city with the courage and determination to drive this clear vision. This leadership must be bold enough to drive change through the city bureaucracy, and focused enough to test all the limits of devolution."

READ | DA elects Francois Rodgers as KZN leader

Hill-Lewis, currently the DA spokesperson on finance, said national government's financial crisis would cut across every sphere of government and in every service area.

"And this means that you - as councillors - will face ever more difficult questions from frustrated communities. That won't cut it."

"Instead, I have a vision of a more assertive Cape Town, leading the national debate and protecting its residents - an exciting vision that will motivate voters about the DA again."

Hill-Lewis wrote that he understood that some councillors would question his lack of experience at local government level.

Facts

"I know I have much to learn, specifically from you. Those of you who have worked with me closely know that I get to the facts of a matter quickly, consult colleagues and experts, read voraciously, see for myself on the ground, and do not relent until solutions are found."

He said he was committed to leading with "a diverse team that can contribute a mix of energy, youth, and institutional memory".

Hill-Lewis was currently the constituency head for the DA in George and the southern Cape.

Asked if this had led to him eyeing local government after 10 years on the parliamentary benches, he said it played a role because he saw how committed leadership was able to make a difference at a municipality.

He described the turnaround in George over the past 18 months as "extraordinary" and said it was all down to energetic councillors.  

Hill-Lewis' background

Hill-Lewis joined the DA when he was in matric. He became an MP in 2011 and was, at the time, the youngest MP in the National Assembly and served as chief of staff for former leaders Helen Zille and  Mmusi Maimane. 

He holds a Master's degree in Economic Policy from the University of London and an Honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Cape Town.


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