The surprise candidate is DA Gauteng member of the provincial legislature (MPL) Heinrich Volmink.
Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille has 52 days left in office, and a compromise candidate from Joburg looks set to don the mayoral chain in an effort by the DA to prevent further divisions within the party’s Cape Town caucus.

There are five confirmed names in the running to take over from De Lille.

The surprise candidate is DA Gauteng member of the provincial legislature (MPL) Heinrich Volmink.

Also named are Mayco member for urban development and transport Brett Herron, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, provincial legislature speaker Sharna Fernandez and deputy mayor Ian Neilson.

Volmink, of District Six, confirmed that he had thrown his name into the hat. Sources say he is likely to be chosen because he has no connection to the caucus and is seen as a “clean” candidate with an unbiased approach.

“I have worked in Johannesburg and have learnt the hard lessons of governance, especially in the opposition benches.

“But I know Cape Town, I know its people and the needs that are there. I grew up in Athlone, and when this opportunity came up I decided to throw my name in the hat.

“Cape Town has given me so many opportunities. And I think it is time I pay back my community,” he said.

Asked about the possible divisions within the DA caucus, he said: “That is an issue I have to deal with when I am there. In terms of governance, I have a plan that will bring services closer to everyone. But that presentation I am leaving for the selection panel.”

As MPL, he currently serves on the standing committee on public accounts.

Volmink previously served as a MP in the National Assembly.

He is also a medical doctor and specialist in public health medicine, having obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (University of KwaZulu-Natal), his Master of Medicine degree (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand and his Fellowship of the College of Public Health Medicine.

Volmink said he was aware of the water and other financial challenges in the city.

“But those issues I can only deal with when I am there. There is an already strong leadership in the city and I will be working with them to improve things,” he said.

Fernandez also confirmed that she was interested in the position.

She worked in banking for 30 years until she took early retirement in 2009 after contracting Novel Influenza A (H1N1), previously referred to as swine flu virus.

Fernandez took over from Richard Majola, former West Coast District mayor, who is now an MP in the National Assembly.

Last year, Fernandez made news headlines when it emerged that money spent irregularly by her on, among other things, a polony gatsby, had been paid back.

Meanwhile, the selection will be conducting interviews in the coming weeks because De Lille leaves at the end of next month.


[email protected]

Cape Argus