Tertuis Simmers secures leadership role in Western Cape DA
The DA in the Western Cape has elected Tertuis Simmers as leader while the party consolidates its plans to remain in power in the province.
Tertuis Simmers secured his position as the DA’s Western Cape leader after his election on Saturday afternoon.
Simmers was the party’s interim leader for the past 22 months following the resignation of two previous leaders, Bonginkosi Madikizela, who stood against him on Saturday, and Albert Fritz, who faced sexual misconduct allegations.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Bonginkosi Madikizela and Tertuis Simmers to contest for DA leadership at Western Cape congress
While the DA does not make public how many votes candidates secured, insiders say Simmers won about 300 more votes than Madikizela.
The party has spoken out against slates during its congresses, but it is evident there are slates in the DA as certain leaders and their supporters use the same tactics and formats on their posters when they endorse candidates.
Shortly after his election, Simmers, who is also the MEC for infrastructure, expressed his “humbleness” and “excitement” that the delegates had entrusted him with leading the party in the only province governed by the DA.
Tertius Simmers has been elected as the new DA Western Cape leader. He was up against Bonginkosi Madikizela
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) November 11, 2023
“The humbleness is personal,” he said. “The excitement is for you, for all of us, for the DA in the Western Cape, for the DA nationally, and for a resounding victory in 2024 that will return a stronger DA to power in the Western Cape to serve the people of the Western Cape, but also to serve as the best-fit evidence of the profound benefit for all who live in the honest, ethical, caring, equal opportunity light of DA good governance.”
He said his commitment was to deliver an even stronger DA government in the Western Cape.
Madikizela said a congress was where the wishes of the delegates were tested. “Today was that day,” he said. “Congratulations to the newly elected provincial leadership. We forge ahead in unity to focus on growing the DA for a decisive victory in 2024.”
Provincial deputy provincial leader (unopposed)
- Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis
- Provincial chairperson (unopposed)
Provincial deputy chairpersons
- Anroux Marais
Provincial finance chairperson (unopposed)
- Erik Marais
- Grant Twigg
- Xanthea Limberg
- Andrew Stroebel
- Donovan Joubert
DA leader John Steenhuisen said the Western Cape would play a crucial role in the party’s plan to govern some of the biggest provinces in the country.
“If the DA wins the Western Cape with an outright majority, and we drag the ANC out of power in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, then we will get a new national government next year. It’s that simple,” said Steenhuisen.
He said that should the DA be successful in its quest to govern the country, the first province to witness change would be the Western Cape.
“Our very first order of business will be the following: On day one in the national government, the DA will introduce a new Devolution Act that will transfer control over policing, trains and electricity to the Western Cape,” he told the cheering crowd.
Premier Alan Winde will be the DA’s candidate to serve another term as the premier of the Western Cape in next year’s general election. DM