Fourth time a charm for Max?
DA MPL Lennit Max believes the fourth time is a charm in his quest to become the party’s leader in the Western Cape.
Max, who confirmed he would be standing for the position of Western Cape DA leader on October 7, at the party’s provincial congress, has run three times in the past seven years.
With nominations set to close tomorrow, Max’s opponent for the top position is Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.
The former provincial police commissioner ran against City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille in 2015, and lost.
He was also unsuccessful when he ran for the position in 2007 and 2010.
He also lost to Madikizela in February this year, when the party appointed an interim leader following De Lille’s resignation from the position.
“The other three attempts were practice exercises. I feel like I’m ready to go and get gold at the political Olympics of the DA,” he said.
Max said his priority will be to ensure the party’s members in the rural areas were prioritised. “My campaign is really simple. Before I accepted nomination, I consulted with the party’s structures and it was clear from the rural areas that they felt neglected, especially by the current leadership,” he said.
Max added that the last research indicated that DA support in the province had decreased from 63.6% in 2016 to 47% this year.
“We have lost a couple of DA wards to the ANC and those poll results don’t indicate anything good and is a serious red flag for the party.
“The reality is your rural vote is more expensive than your urban vote. In rural areas, people have to travel about 50km to campaign for votes whereas their counterparts, in the metro, travel shorter distances and yet the resources they are allocated do not take this into consideration.
“Our members in those areas are expected to win municipalities that we don’t govern with very little resources and this is something I plan to engage nation leadership on.”
Max, who was in the spotlight recently when he sat on the provincial legislature’s conduct committee that was investigating alleged misconduct by Madikizela over failure to declare gifts that were over R1 500 in value, said discipline in the party ranks was very important.
Madikizela landed in hot water when it was revealed that he failed to declare a R3 000 birthday cake he received from an individual whose company did work with his department.
Max resigned as chairperson of the committee amid rumours.
He was pushed out by party leaders in the legislature, allegedly to ensure that the investigations didn’t hamper Madikizela’s chances of being elected party leader.
“If anyone in the DA is subjected to investigation for contravening the party’s constitution, any breach should have consequences,” Max said.