Athol Trollip will run for Nelson Mandela Bay Mayorship not Federal Leadership

APRIL 14, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader, Athol Trollip, will now stand as the party’s Mayoral candidate for the Nelson Mandela Bay in the 2016 Local Government Elections it emerged on Monday.

The announcement comes when Trollip also quashed speculation that he would not be in the race to succeed outgoing DA Federal Leader, Hellen Zille, at the party’s congress next month.

After much speculation in the media, I am not standing for the position of Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance.

“I have been nominated to stand as Federal Chairperson and it is a position I continue to campaign for ahead of the congress on 9 May 2015,” Trollip said in a statement.

“The support I receive on a daily basis is humbling and inspiring. I will get behind and actively support whoever is successfully elected as Federal Leader.

“There is no doubt that the DA is headed towards a new chapter in our history and that of South Africa. I look forward to being a part of it.”

The DA has previously said it was confident that it will take the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the 2016 local government elections.

Trollip previously said that Port Elizabeth is a city of two faces.

“One which projects an image of modern and progressive society and the other an image of poverty, refuse strewn squalor and dysfunctional street lighting that allow crime to reign with impunity in the black and brown communities, out of sight from tourists and affluent citizens.”

In an article titled Nelson Mandela Bay – The Next Big Thing in the DA’s SA Today magazine in September 2014, Zille, made it known that the DA was going all out to try and wrestle control of the Nelson Mandela Bay from the ANC.

“The DA’s growth in Nelson Mandela Bay in recent Local Government, as well as National and Provincial Elections, gives us the inside track to take control of the municipality in 2016.

“Between 2006 and 2014, the ANC’s support in the metro dropped from 67% to 49%. During the same period, support for the DA climbed from 25% to 40%. You don’t need a graph to see where this is going. Along with Tshwane (49%), there are now two metros other than Cape Town where the ANC was pushed below 50% in 2014,” she wrote.

“This is a city that doesn’t want to wait another ten or twenty or thirty years to realise its potential. This is a city that’s had enough. We’ve seen it in the results of recent by-elections in the metro. We’ve seen it on the campus of the NMMU, where DASO swept to victory in the SRC elections. The ANC is the old, the DA is the new.

“Nelson Mandela Bay is ready to be big. And through it, the Eastern Cape – the second largest and third most populous province in South Africa – is ready to stop being merely the labour reservoir of South Africa.”

For the DA, winning the Nelson Mandela Bay would give it impetus to win East London and from there the rest of the Eastern Cape – a situation the ruling African National Congress (ANC) would not want to see happening.

In October 2014, during its 2016 Local Government Elections campaign, the ANC's leadership was adamant that they are not going to lose the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to any political party.