The major political players in South African politics – the DA and the ANC – have released their mayoral candidates lists for the country’s major metros, including a few surprises.
The EFF said that it does not have any mayoral candidates, and would not put any lists forward like the DA and the ANC.
A recent Ipsos poll showed that the DA may be on course for an upset in at least two major metros – Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay – while a potential coalition could push the ANC out of the top spot in Johannesburg.
With the ANC finally revealing its mayoral candidate for Tshwane – not without controversy – the game is now on to fight for the right to govern in August 2016.
Here are the major players in the metros that will be on everyone’s radar during this election season.
City of Tshwane
Solly Msimanga vs Thoko Didiza
The ANC on Monday announced that former minister of public works Thoko Didiza would be running for mayor of Tshwane.
Didiza was not the party’s first option, but was on reserve after the three names put forward by the national branch was rejected by the provincial branch of the party. Didiza has been a long-time ANC politician, but is not seen as a Zuma-fan.
Didiza was one of 10 ministers who threatened to resign after former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled in 2008. While she ultimately did not follow through, she has spent more time out of government, serving as a project consultant for the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa.
The Ipsos poll showed that the DA would beat the ANC in Tshwane in the coming elections.
As the DA’s candidate, Solly Msimanga has served as the regional chairperson of Gauteng North and has been a senior councillor in the City of Tshwane. Msimanga was announced as the party’s candidate for Tshwane in 2015.
Nelson Mandela Bay
Athol Trollip vs Danny Jordaan
ANC mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan has faced an onslaught of accusations as the party-appointed mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, as well as president of the South African Football Association.
Jordaan was widely credited for the success of 2010 Soccer World Cup – but then also faced scrutiny when news broke of corruption and bribery within FIFA.
The DA has engaged in a scathing campaign in the province, placing many of the Eastern Cape problems at the feet of Jordaan, and playing up his role in the corrupt activities of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane accused the ANC of destroying the metro’s economy, pointing to figures released by the Auditor-General on the state of the country’s municipalities.
“In the latest report we see that this number for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was R457 million. For the 2014/2015 financial year. That’s almost half a billion rand that should have gone towards better services‚ better infrastructure and better maintenance‚” Maimane stated.
The metro was also the second highest contributor to a total figure of R14.75-billion for irregular expenditure, at R1.34 billion, after Rustenburg in the North West (R3 billion).
On the DA front, mayoral candidate Athol Trollip is not without his own controversies. In 2015, Trollip was one of the party members in the race to take Helen Zille’s place as party leader.
At the time, Trollip held the view that current DA leader Mmusi Maimane was too young and inexperienced to lead the party. The mayoral candidate was accused of impeding transformation within the DA.
According to the Ipsos poll, the DA is on the path to secure victory in the metro, which would give Trollip the chance to make good on the party’s promises.
City of Johannesburg
Herman Mashaba vs Parks Tau
In Johannesburg, political newcomer and businessman Herman Mashaba will be leading the DA in battle against the incumbent ANC mayor, Parks Tau.
Mashaba is the founder of Black like Me, and in December 2015 announced his entry into politics as the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg. By his own admission, Mashaba was a supporter of the ANC, but had become disillusioned by the widespread corruption within the party.
ANC candidate Parks Tau has been mayor of Johannesburg since 2011, and along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura, has made waves as a somewhat dissenting voice in the ANC.
Tau has stood in opposition of the e-tolling project forced on the people of the city, and has also stood with the Gauteng government in many of its criticisms of national government.
However, he remains an ANC man, and as such has been met with the same campaigning from the DA.
While the Ipsos poll did not show the DA taking over from the ANC in the coming elections, the gap between the two could be so narrow that a coalition with one of the other parties (such as the EFF) could push the ANC out.
The table below shows the mayoral candidates for the DA and ANC in the country’s biggest metros.
|Metro||ANC candidate||DA candidate|
|City of Johannesburg||Parks Tau||Herman Mashaba|
|City of Tshwane||Thoko Didiza||Solly Msimanga|
|Ekurhuleni||Mzwandile Masina||Ghaleb Cachalia|
|Midvaal||Tefo Stefans Molakeng||Bongani Baloyi|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||Danny Jordaan||Athol Trollip|
|City of Cape Town||Xolani Sotashe||Patricia de Lille|
|eThikwini||Zandile Gumede||Haniff Hoosen|