- 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 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 new leadership during its provincial council on Saturday.
Partys from across the province an interim provincial leader and interim provincial delegate 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 appointed as the interim provincial leader on Saturday.
Also competing on the representative leader ballot was Meagan Goedeman, Wendy Philander, and Antionette Steyn.
Jaco Londt, the DA chairperson, said the newly appointed provincial leaders now had the responsibility 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 sets 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 action 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.
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 uncremonious departure of Madikizela in the wake of a qualifications scandal.