CAPE TOWN: Mayoral Committee member for Urban Housing and Transport, Brett Herron announced his resignation from the DA on Thursday, citing a "white cabal " within the party caucus was opposed to the provision of social housing within well-located areas.
The resignation comes two days after city council speaker Dirk Smit laid criminal charges against Herron and Patricia de Lille, who stepped down as mayor on Wednesday, in line with a council resolution based on the Bowmans report on alleged high-level corruption in the running of the city.
Herron brings the number of councillors who have resigned for the DA-led City of Cape Town in a week, to eight.
A proposed mixed income housing project, billed as the first in the country, at Salt River Market has been delayed after the council's agenda on October 25 because "there were technical issues" that councillors wanted to engage further.
"This is no longer a party of principle and due process which I joined. I cannot in good conscience continue to serve the citizens of this country in my current role when it is now proven to me, and clear for all to see, that the DA has no desire or urgency to tackle the critical problems like housing that we should be addressing," Herron said.
Herron charged that the party's manifesto promise to integrate communities was a lie and "I have been wasting my time trying to implement this while behind the scenes the insiders have been killing the projects off."
He also took a swipe at the DA saying "the Democratic Alliance is a lost party and a lost cause...
"It is clear that it's not a party that will ever govern this country. To be elected to govern this country requires leadership and vision. Most importantly it requires an authentic passion and care for the people. So much so that you are willing to champion and lead even when it is difficult and uncomfortable.
The DA does not have this calibre of leaders in their midst or in their "VIP lounge".
The Salt River Market project would have catered for families, some of whom had lived in Woodstock and Salt River for decades, an opportunity, to live closer to the economic hubs.
But Herron said because of his work, pushing for the realisation of integrated housing he had been labelled a “comrade” by some of his DA colleagues.
He said the delivery of social housing was critical to alleviating Cape Town and South Africa’s housing crisis because most of the people on the housing demand database did not qualify for free government RDP/BNG housing.
Regarding the criminal charges laid against him following the Bowman report, Herron said he would co-operate with the investigation even though he regarded the investigation as a witchhunt to defame him. He claimed that cadre deployment was rife and party loyalists were "gratuitously" embedded in the administration
He claimed that cadre deployment was rife and party loyalists were "gratuitously" embedded in the administration. Herron would not say what his future plans were but added that he would continue to work for a better country.
"I would like to thank the citizens of Cape Town for the opportunity to serve them".
He also revealed that despite the charges, deputy mayor, Ian Nielsen had offered him a position in the mayco, which will soon be reconstituted.
Two other former Mayco members, Shaun August and Suzette Little were among the five councillors who resigned last Thuirsday