Plato, Fernandez leading mayor race - experts
Cape Town - No sooner had the submission of applications and nominations for mayor closed than speculation for the two front runners was rife.
Political pundits believe the toss will be between Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and provincial Speaker Sharna Fernandez.
Several DA members have thrown their names into the hat - they include the two, Plato and Fernandez, mayoral committee member for urban housing and transport Brett Herron, DA Gauteng chairperson Heinrich Volmink, deputy mayor Ian Neilson, mayco member for Area South, Anda Ntsodo and councillor Grant Twigg.
Political analyst Daniel Silke said the DA had a difficult task to fill mayor Patricia de Lille’s “big” shoes.
“A mayor is no longer just a party heck. It is someone who has an elevated status in terms of leadership within the council and in the political party.
“They have to appeal to a cross-section of voters,” Silke said.
But political commentator, Simon Grindrod believes none of the candidates will cut it. “Those who were part of creating the crisis cannot be part of solving the crisis. The city council needs a reboot and a fresh start,” Grindrod said.
He said the key objectives for the new mayor would be to regain the confidence of citizens, stabilise the administration, unify the caucus, appoint a fresh mayco and sell a clear vision towards 2020 and beyond.
“A fresh pair of eyes and new thinking are required,” he said.
Another source said the instability and infighting in the DA caucus in the city council was far from over and “it was so broken that it would possibly be never repaired”.
According to another source, the DA would have to compromise on either Fernandez or Plato at council level.
“It can’t have white males leading the city and the province at the same time (if MEC of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde becomes premier)”, he said.
Plato would not be drawn on why he should be mayor. Fernandez was not available for comment.