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JP Smith overcomes Zahid Badroodien challenge and is elected DA Cape Town metro chairperson

JP Smith overcomes Zahid Badroodien challenge and is elected DA Cape Town metro chairperson
From left: City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation Councillor Zahid Badroodien. (Photo: Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan) | City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

After almost three decades as a supporting member of the Democratic Alliance, JP Smith has landed the party’s top job in Cape Town.

JP Smith was over the weekend elected to lead the DA in Cape Town during a one-day regional congress.

Smith, who also serves as a DA deputy federal chairperson nationally, was up against former DA youth leader and current mayoral committee member for Water and Sanitation Zahid Badroodien. 

Smith also holds the position of deputy leader of the Cape Town caucus, and Western Cape provincial deputy chairperson. 

As reported by Daily Maverick on Friday, Smith was a favourite to win the contest. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Veteran campaigner JP Smith up against young contender Zahid Badroodien for key DA position in Cape Town

The newly elected officials include three deputy chairpersons Ricardo Mackenzie, Patricia van der Ross and Phindile Maxiti.

Theresa Uys was elected uncontested for the secretary position and Ian McMahon was elected chairperson of finance. 

The additional members are Abdulkader Elyas, Grant Twigg, Rob Quintas and Mzwakhe Nqavashe.

Presiding officer Desiree van der Walt will lead the region into the 2024 election campaign and beyond.

“As a party that prides itself on its democratic internal election processes, today’s proceedings show residents that the values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity are central to the party’s belief systems, and that, although our internal structures allow for rigorous contestation amongst party members, we are still unified under the banner of the DA,” said van der Walt.

Smith said the party has a big task ahead in unseating the ANC everywhere. “The goal is saving South Africa next year because another five years of an ANC government might not leave much of South Africa to save.” 

The DA in Cape Town has the monumental task of garnering maximum votes for the party in next year’s general elections, which will have a significant impact on its plans to retain the Western Cape and increase its national support.

The party also wishes to govern the province alone, and that requires it to get more than 50% of the votes. Should this not happen and the DA still has the majority votes, they are likely to go with one of their Moonshot Pact partners for a coalition partner. 

The DA in the Western Cape is also set to convene its provincial congress in November where comeback kid Bonginkosi Madikizela is set to go up against current provincial interim leader Tertius Simmers. 

Madikizela resigned as Western Cape DA provincial leader and as MEC for Transport and Public Works in 2021 after a Daily Maverick investigation found he had lied about having a BCom degree. 

Madikizela was first elected as DA provincial leader in 2018 and was re-elected in November 2020

Read more in Daily Maverick: Bonginkosi Madikizela resurfaces aiming to make the grade as Western Cape provincial leader

Madikizela mostly enjoys more support in Cape Town, while Simmers is supported mostly along the Garden Route. 

Simmers also appears to be backed by Smith and his supporters. He currently serves as the MEC of Infrastructure formerly known as human settlements. 

Meanwhile, Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis is also expected to contest the deputy provincial leader position against his mayoral committee member Carl Pophaim. DM

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