ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
De Lille takes swipe at Moonshot Pact, coalitions as she wins second term as Good party leader
‘Let me be clear again: Good is no bedfellow of the ANC,’ said party leader Patricia de Lille during the party’s national elective conference at the weekend – its first since it was formed almost five years ago.
Patricia de Lille was elected unopposed as the leader of the Good party during its elective conference in Cape Town on Saturday, 11 November. It was attended by about 500 members at City Hall.
It was the party’s first national elective conference since its formation on 8 December 2018. Besides reports by party leaders, RISE Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi was a guest speaker.
Before the election of leaders, De Lille delivered a fiery speech, which ranged from coalition talks to her successes in government.
Moonshot pacts and ‘enemies of progress’
“South Africans will go to the polls in what is arguably the most crucial election since 1994,” said De Lille about next year’s general elections. This sentiment has been echoed several times by political parties and civil society.
De Lille said: “When a liberation party fails, chaos can reign in its place.” This end of the electoral dominance by a party “breeds pockets of populism, extremism and misguided opportunism”.
“At the same time, the forces of the right are consolidating, including the makers and beneficiaries of apartheid, under the auspices of a Moonshot Charter. We cannot let the enemies of progress retake the reins of power,” she said.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Raring to ‘Grow’ — De Lille’s Good party in ‘precarious position’ in run-up to first elective conference
At another point during her speech, she referred to the “Moonshot Pact, or whatever the name of that thing is this week”.
The multiparty pact involves the DA – De Lille’s former political home – the African Christian Democratic Party, the Freedom Front Plus, the IFP, ActionSA, the United Independent Movement, the Independent South African National Civic Organisation and the Spectrum National Party.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Multi-Party Charter for South Africa agrees on key power-sharing principles
“As we enter the era of coalition politics, our political culture must change with it. South Africans are sick and tired of the adversarial character of our politics that plays out in everyday political discourse,” said the veteran politician, adding that “they want our leaders to check their egos at the door and come together to forge sensible solutions to South Africa’s complex problems”.
De Lille said not all coalitions were dysfunctional like the one in the City of Johannesburg, which has had numerous mayors and motions of no confidence since the 2021 local government elections. “Lloyd, that is the worst example,” said De Lille, addressing Lloyd Phillips, Good’s sole representative in the city council.
De Lille said there were stable coalitions in the country, some of which Good was part of. She cited Theewaterskloof, which is governed by a coalition of Good, the ANC and the Patriotic Alliance.
The municipality and coalition recently came under fire after Daily Maverick reported that its officials from Good and the ANC went on an “official state visit” to France to watch the Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand.
Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Official state visit’ to watch Rugby World Cup final kicks up Theewaterskloof Municipality funding spat
De Lille did not mention this incident in her speech.
‘Good is no bedfellow of the ANC’
De Lille touched on being the only opposition member in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet: “Some people have questioned my decision to take up a Cabinet [position] in 2019, and they still do, but they’re jealous.”
After the 2019 elections, De Lille was appointed minister of public works and infrastructure, and in February this year she was made tourism minister in a Cabinet reshuffle.
“Let me be clear again: Good is no bedfellow of the ANC,” she stressed, adding that since the 1994 elections there has been an opposition member in Cabinet.
De Lille has a contentious history with the DA (she referred to them as “blue liars), as a member of which she became an MEC in the Western Cape as well as Cape Town mayor for eight years. During a nasty and prolonged split with the party in 2018, she officially launched GOOD in December that year.
“I think [DA leader] John Steenhuisen is praying every night to become minister,” she said.
New leaders elected
Twenty-eight officials were elected to the party’s leadership council, its highest decision-making body between conferences.
De Lille, who will serve a second term, ran uncontested, as did Brett Herron who was elected secretary-general. City of Cape Town councillor Suzette Little is the party’s new deputy secretary-general and Matthew Cook is the new chairperson, with Thabo Pheku as his deputy.
The party also elected representatives for women (Rachel Wapad), youth (Kaden Arguile), LGBTQIA+ (Carlos Mesquita), persons with disabilities (Joy Davids) and sports and culture (Lulama Benge).
The elected councillors’ representative was Johnathan Cupido.
The representatives on the provincial leadership council are: Hubert Hendricks and Lawrence Troon (Eastern Cape); Dewan de Swardt and Ulinda Lotz (Gauteng); Yandisa Tshotwana North West, uncontested); Elizabeth Johnson and Anna Swanepoel (Northern Cape); and Theewaterskloof deputy mayor John Michels and Ryan Don (Western Cape. DM