Former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga is vying to become the next DA leader in Gauteng.
Msimanga, the DA caucus leader in the provincial legislature and interim provincial leader, hopes to succeed John Moodey, who has resigned from the opposition party.
He raised his hand for the position ahead of the upcoming provincial congress scheduled to take place virtually at the end of this month. The other candidate is James Lorimer, a DA member of parliament.
Msimanga said his focus as the party leader would be redirected to the 2021 municipal elections. He believes he can provide leadership and guidance to all structures and ensure they become ready for electioneering campaigns “and ultimately ready to govern” in Gauteng.
He also wants to bring the Tshwane legal battle – over administration of the capital – to an end, provide “support to residents and recover and reinstate service delivery as a matter of urgency”.
“Democracy needs to prevail. This is not just important to Tshwane but our country,” he said. He said he would also assist the Joburg region to regain control of the metro after the ANC took over at the end of 2019.
In the last municipal elections the DA won control of both metros, but was not able to hold onto it in either. In the third, Ekurhuleni, the ANC won but is optimistic the DA can take all three in 2021.
In the next few weeks, Msimanga plans to engage with people throughout the province to canvas for their views in developing a united vision for Gauteng.
“We will continue as a united Gauteng team to drive these issues and accountability in smaller municipalities to ensure that the residents of Gauteng, regardless of where they reside, gets the same priority as those in the (big) metros.”
Born in Atteridgeville, Msimanga was the DA’s premier candidate for the 2019 elections and the party’s provincial chairperson from 2014 to 2017. He was mayor of Tshwane from 2016 to 2019 when he joined the provincial legislature.
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