Londt chairs region for second term
The DA MP Jaco Londt has won a second term as chairperson of the East Region with ease. His position was challenged by Eden Mayor Memory Booysen, but more than double of their DA colleagues voted for Londt. They were the only two candidates up for the position. Londt won with 67,3% (173 votes), while Booysen managed to secure 32,7% (84) of the votes. The voting took place at the DA Western Cape East Regional Congress in Hartenbos on Saturday 23 September. The East Region stretches from Grabouw in the west and Murraysburg in the north-east to Uniondale and The Crags in the east.
Booysen was elected as one of three deputy chairs, along with Knysna Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and Annelie Rabie. MP Tertuis Simmers is the new secretary for the East Region. The rest of the positions are: Dirk Kotze on finance and Rudolph Smit as the representative for the Association of Democratic Alliance Councillors (Adac). The four additional members are Hessequa Mayor Grant Riddles, Sumeia Ndayi, Kannaland Speaker Aletta Theron and George Councillor Stag Cronjé. The two nonpublic representatives are Shaun
Meyers and Elrico van Rooyen.
Party to provide better overview
"I will never expect someone to do something if I'm not prepared to do it myself. But when I do it, I expect everyone to stand together and you to do your bit as well," said Londt after his election.
Londt said where the party is in power, it should provide better overview through their regional and provincial leadership. "We can't afford to win a municipality and then govern badly. As the East Region we must do our part to contribute to a two-thirds majority in the Western Cape. We also need to get the ANC under 50% on a national level and give the DA a chance to form a national government."
Londt said the East Region often draws the short end of the stick. "It is up to myself and the Regional Executive to make sure we get a fair share of the resources, to make a better impact.
"We basically reached all our targets in our first term. I am grateful that the vast majority of the delegates checked my record and felt I deserve to continue and build on the previous successes." Booysen left for Sweden last Sunday (24 September) to attend a two-day congress in Stockholm.
Disbanded branches 'ready to talk'
Several disbanded DA branches in George weren't allowed to send representatives to the congress. Only eight branches have been given permission to send representatives, the rest didn't make the cut during an audit earlier this year by the DA's Federal Executive Auditor.
Widespread unhappiness resulted when it came to light that these branches will not be able to cast a vote during the congress.
Marchell Kleynhans, a nominee for the position of secretary and former George councillor, was the main complainant. Kleynhans said on Tuesday that all legal processes considered by disgruntled members are now on ice. "The DA leadership indicated that they would like to discuss the matter and try to reach a solution. I really think it's important that we reach a solution. At the end of the day I am still a loyal DA member. We respect the election and we have trust in the party. We support Simmers 100% in his role as secretary."
Chairman of the DA Federal Executive Committee James Selfe confirmed that Kleynhans has agreed to drop his challenge of the processes that preceded the congress. "He [Kleynhans] has shown much maturity and wisdom in putting the project of saving South Africa in 2019 ahead of his own interest," said Selfe.
I will never expect someone to do something if I’m not prepared to do it myself.
The DA’s new Regional Executive Management. In front, from left are Memory Booysen (2nd deputy chair), Annelie Rabie (3rd deputy chair) and Eleanore Bouw-Spies (1st deputy chair). At the back are Aletta Theron (3rd additional member), Jaco Londt (regional chair), Shaun Meyers (Federal Council delegate), Tertuis Simmers (secretary), Grant Riddles (1st additional member) and Dirk Kotzé (finance chair). Absent: Elrico van Rooyen and Sumeia Ndayi.
Londt gets the royal treatment from his supporters after the announcement was made last Saturday.