The DA has once again taken a risk of nominating a newcomer as its mayoral candidate for the City of Johannesburg.
This is in spite of a decline in votes for the party during the 2014 national elections where its Gauteng premier candidate was Mmusi Maimane who now leads the party.
Over the weekend, it announced businessman and Black Like Me founder Herman Mashaba as its mayoral candidate for local government elections expected to take place by August.
The party is punting him as a good administrator who can turn the city but mum on his ability to garner support for the party.
The DA support declined from 34.6% in the 2011 municipal elections to 32.7% in the 2014 national poll. Maimane also made his political debut as the city’s mayoral candidate in 2011.
Gauteng DA leader John Moodey yesterday said Mashaba’s political inexperience would not make the party lose support.
“The fact that he is new in politics is not going to disadvantage the campaign. Mr Mashaba’s name is a brand itself. He is well known because everybody knows his success story as a businessman,” said Moodey.
He said there was a positive reception for Mashaba’s appointment from the party’s rank and file in the region, adding that he and fellow nominee and DA councillor Rabelani Dagada were the only members who put up their names.
“There have been very positive responses from our members to the appointment because they know that he is going to give people hope,” Moodey said.
He added that the party was looking at gaining control of at least one metro municipality in the province.
Mashaba said he would use his business experience to run the city effectively if the party secures enough support for him.
“I will apply the same brand of leadership that I used to build Black Like Me into a business that thrives and feels at home in millions of homes around South Africa.”
Mashaba called on the DA supporters to boot him out if he does not deliver.
“If you elect me as mayor and I do not deliver on the DA’s promises, take back your vote and vote me out. That is the power of the vote, and the power of the people,” he said.