Msi­manga coy on Gaut­eng pre­mier can­di­dacy in 2019

Mail & Guardian - - News - Di­neo Bendile

Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga says he hopes the Demo­cratic Al­liance will al­low him to com­plete his fiveyear term at the city’s helm, de­spite calls from within for him to stand as the party’s 2019 can­di­date for pre­mier in the prov­ince.

Speak­ing to the Mail & Guardian this week, he was coy about his as­pi­ra­tions to be pre­mier, say­ing: “I will let the party de­cide where I should go, but if I have my way I should con­tinue to run as the city mayor.”

Msi­manga said he pre­ferred not to have his term in­ter­rupted by the 2019 elec­tions. “I would re­ally love to fin­ish what I’ve started. I’m hop­ing to have the full five years run­ning the city so that I can get to putting some of the things that we’ve wanted into prac­tice,” he said.

“Whether the party then de­cides at some point that I need to run for the pre­mier of Gaut­eng is some­thing that is not top of my to-do list.”

The DA has set its sights on tak­ing con­trol of Gaut­eng in the 2019 national elec­tions and de­creas­ing the ANC’s support to be­low 50% na­tion­ally. Part of its strat­egy in the prov­ince in­cludes in­creas­ing its vol­un­teer base to at least 30 000 to al­low for more door-to-door en­gage­ment.

Msi­manga’s name has been men­tioned along with Gaut­eng MPL Makashule Gana, Mid­vaal mayor Bon­gani Baloyi and cur­rent DA Gaut­eng leader John Moodey.

Moodey, how­ever, in­di­cated to the M&G that he had no in­ten­tion of stand­ing as pre­mier and in­stead wanted to be in­volved in de­cid­ing the party’s strate­gic di­rec­tion by run­ning for an­other term as Gaut­eng leader at the party’s pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­gress on Novem­ber 18. Moodey is go­ing up against party new­comer and Ekurhu­leni may­oral can­di­date Ghaleb Cachalia.

Al­though Msi­manga re­fused to de­clare which can­di­date he would back for leader, he hinted at support for Moodey, say­ing the party needed ex­pe­ri­ence to win Gaut­eng in 2019.

“We need to have some­body who un­der­stands the strat­egy and who’s got the bat­tle scars to prove we can take this away from the ANC. We can­not rely on some­body who doesn’t have the ex­pe­ri­ence or doesn’t un­der­stand the strate­gies that have been put in place to get us to this point,” Msi­manga said.

As a DA rep­re­sen­ta­tive in gov­ern­ment, Msi­manga is tasked with ex­e­cut­ing the DA’s pro-poor poli­cies, which he said weren’t new but were only now be­ing re­alised with the party’s in­creased power. He said the DA’s cur­rent tra­jec­tory was likely to cause an up­set in the 2019 elec­tions.

“Peo­ple still think that we are dream­ing, but we know we’re not and the ANC also knows that this is not a pipe dream any­more. They stand a huge chance of los­ing the big­gest prov­ince,” he said.

“We need some­body who un­der­stands the strat­egy and who’s got the bat­tle scars to take Gaut­eng away from the ANC”

‘Old guard’: Davis says that he has al­ways been be­hind a pro-poor DA

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