Political analysts have punted Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato and Provincial Speaker, Sharna Fernandez as the two forerunners for the seat of Cape Town’s soon-to-be vacant position of Executive Mayor.
Other Democratic Alliance members who have thrown their names in the hat include Mayco member for Urban Housing and Transport Brett Herron, Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson, DA Gauteng Chairperson Heinrich Volmink, councillor Grant Twigg and Mayco member for Area South, Anda Ntsodo.
Speaking to IOL, political analyst Daniel Silke said that the DA now has the very difficult task of filling the big shoes of current mayor Patricia De Lille.
“A mayor is no longer just a party heck. It is someone who has an elevated status in terms of leadership within the council and in the political party. They have to appeal to a cross-section of voters,” Silke said.
Simon Grindrod, a political commentator, disagreed and told IOL that he believes that none of the candidates will cut it. “Those who were part of creating the crisis cannot be part of solving the crisis. The city council needs a reboot and a fresh start.”
Plato had previously served as mayor between 2009 and 2011, and was also a ward councillor for Belhar and Ravenmead.
There are many political analysts who have also pegged Volmink as a very serious contender for the mayoral chain. Although he is based in Johannesburg, Volmink was born and raised in the Cape’s District Six and has no connection to the DA caucus. He also is viewed as a “clean” candidate and is known for being unbiased.
Volmink told IOL that he seeks to improve Cape Town’s governance through enhancing the current infrastructure and service delivery.
Although many expected Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, to run for mayor, he opined that he is best suited to work behind the scenes.