DA in Gauteng jostles in bid to aim at premier
● The race to be the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier is hotting up as more leaders are set to throw their names in the hat.
Gauteng MPL Makashule Gana has formally applied for the job. MP Ghaleb Cachalia, Tshwane Speaker Katlego Mathebe and Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom are said to be ready to challenge Gana.
The party has extended its deadline for applications to the end of next week.
The DA has set its sights on taking over Gauteng after it took control of Tshwane and Johannesburg in the 2016 local government elections. The party is expected to spend most of its resources on the Gauteng campaign.
Gana launched his campaign in April, just two days after the party’s national elective conference. He has the support of influential leaders in the province. His campaign launch was attended by Gauteng leader John Moodey, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi.
Gana had appeared to be the frontrunner but insiders say Cachalia had been approached by high-ranking DA leaders to stand. Cachalia, the son of struggle stalwarts Yusuf and Amina Cachalia, joined the DA in 2016 and was the party’s mayoral candidate for Ekurhuleni.
On Friday, he confirmed that he had been approached to run but said any further announcements would be made by the party.
“I have been approached by a number of people from a broad spectrum within the party to stand . . . I am still considering.” He confirmed he had been speaking to influential DA figures but did not name them.
Gana said he was focused on his campaign and was receiving a lot of support across DA structures.
Mathebe said she could neither confirm nor deny that she was planning to join the race, as it would be wrong to speak publicly.
Bloom declined to comment, but the Sunday Times was reliably informed that he was planning to join the race.