De­fect­ing DA coun­cil­lor says she did it for her con­stituents

Cape Times - - OPINION -

OUT­GO­ING DA coun­cil­lor Carin Bry­nard (Cape Town ward 102) has found a new home at the Cape Party.

Bry­nard, first elected in 2006, re­signed from the DA at the end of Au­gust after nu­mer­ous fall­outs with con­tro­ver­sial Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille.

“Pa­tri­cia’s dic­ta­to­rial style and bag­gage from her days as leader of the In­de­pen­dent Democrats (ID) has split the DA cau­cus in the city coun­cil,” says Bry­nard, who is serv­ing her third term as a coun­cil­lor.

De Lille first rose to promi­nence in the PAC in the late 1990s as a fire­brand MP, be­fore form­ing her own party in 2003.

By 2010, the ID had all but folded, with nu­mer­ous al­le­ga­tions of nepo­tism on the part of De Lille.

“Pa­tri­cia has a his­tory in the rad­i­cal anti-white PAC, and this ide­ol­ogy con­tin­ues to drive many of her ap­point­ments. The peo­ple of Cape Town voted for a DA mayor but in­stead got a PAC mayor,” says Bry­nard

De Lille is said to have no fewer than 400 staff mem­bers as mayor, which is con­sid­er­ably more than her pre­de­ces­sors, Dan Plato and Helen Zille.

Bry­nard’s de­fec­tion is the lat­est in a string of set­backs for the DA in the City of Cape Town.

Last week the party’s fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive sus­pended both De Lille and Mayco mem­ber for Com­mu­nity Safety JP Smith from DA ac­tiv­i­ties. This fol­lowed a public fall­out be­tween the pair over De Lille’s role in shut­ting down the city’s Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit, which probed al­le­ga­tions that De Lille had used public money for se­cu­rity up­grades to her prop­erty in Pinelands.

“I have stud­ied the Cape Party’s man­i­festo, and after meet­ings with the lead­er­ship team, I have de­cided that the Cape Party is the best ve­hi­cle for­ward for my con­stituents” says Bry­nard.

She cited the party’s com­mit­ment to de­vo­lu­tion as key to her de­ci­sion to join. “The Cape Party al­lows mem­bers much greater free­dom to rep­re­sent their con­stituents,” adds Bry­nard.

She lamented not be­ing able to suit­ably ser­vice the needs of her con­stituents and con­tends that vot­ers in wards such as hers are taken for granted by the DA-led city coun­cil. “Fund­ing re­stric­tions for ser­vices are hurt­ing ratepay­ers in ward 102. Rates and taxes are not ploughed back pro­por­tion­ately to ratepay­ers in the ward. In many in­stances I have no an­swers for my con­stituents and the tug-of-war be­tween what is best for my peo­ple and what is best for my party is some­thing I have wres­tled with for too long.”

Her res­ig­na­tion has cre­ated a va­cancy in ward 102 (which in­cludes Brack­en­fell and Kraai­fontein), where a by-elec­tion is ex­pected on Novem­ber 29.

Bry­nard says she has cho­sen her con­stituents over her party and hopes they will give her a fresh man­date to serve.

CARIN BRY­NARD

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