- DA mayoral candidates are said to have gone through a vigorous selection process.
- Cape Town mayor Dan Plato did not make the cut to contest for the upcoming local government elections.
- The party called on the ANC to do the same by revealing its mayoral candidates.
The DA has announced five of its mayoral candidates who will contest the upcoming local government elections, with the notable omission of Cape Town mayor Dan Plato.
On Monday, DA leader John Steenhuisen told a press briefing that the party spent a year on its candidate selection process.
This included extensive interviews, practical assignments, and assessments by independent panels to elect its mayoral candidates.
Randall Williams- City of Tshwane
Nqaba Bhanga - Mandela Bay
Mpho Phalatse - Johannesburg
Refiloe Nt'sekhe - Ekurhuleni
Geordin Hill-Lewis - Cape Town
"These men and women have proven to us that they not only carry the DA's vision for building a better South Africa into everything they do, they have also demonstrated that they are not afraid to put in the effort that this will require," Steenhuisen said.
Steenhuisen said the candidate selection process was rigorous in emphasising that the official opposition couldn't afford to get it wrong.
Previously, party insiders told News24 that there was currently a dispute on who should serve on the selection panel.
And that Plato had sent an internal letter to the council caucus outlining why he should be re-elected as mayor.
Steenhuisen said the candidates would be signing performance appraisals to assess their work.
On coalition governments, the DA said it was willing to work with any party provided they were able to achieve and share principles in light of making the country better.
Steenhuisen added that the party would this time around not compromise its party principles, but focus on building the rational centre in South African politics.
"It cannot be a coalition for coalition sake and governance for governance sake. We are willing to work with any party in South Africa provided they share the same core values and principles of ours. Non-racialism, respect for the rule of law in the Constitution, the social market economy, and building a capable state you have the right people in the right positions for the right reasons," he said.
Steenhuisen said eThekwini was a strong province and that the ANC had a stronghold of the metro.
The party was, however, following a different strategy in the metro and plans were in place.
He said the ANC's factional battles in the province could cost the party and that the DA would capitalise on the party's woes to grow its constituency in the province.
"eThekwini is a very complex municipality. The ANC majority there is relatively strong. And relatively stable. We are following a different strategy. We believe eThekwini is going be eminently interesting after the election because of the factional battles within another party [ANC] that is in control of that particular municipality," he said.
The DA also called on the ANC to announce its mayoral candidates to contest the upcoming local government elections, set for October.
"The ANC certainly does not seem to have any desire to announce its mayoral candidates. It's still not too late for this to happen. I'd like to challenge the ANC to do what we've done, for the sake of our democracy. Make this election the open contest it was always meant to be. Put your candidates out there in front of the people, alongside ours," he said.
Hill-Lewis said the political organisation would only focus on electing a new deputy mayor for Cape Town after the local government elections.
"We have a campaign to win. We do not take any votes in Cape Town for granted. So I'm focused from today on that campaign. And from tomorrow morning we'll be spending time crisscrossing Cape Town in every community, to win those votes and to take about our message for the campaign. That's what we have to do first. We have to win Cape Town, that is the priority now," said Hill-Lewis.