DA Eastern Cape expects highly-contested elective congress in 2017 - Trollip to step down

OCTOBER 6, 2016

Over 500 delegates are expected to attend the Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape's Provincial Congress, which is set to be held in East London in February next year.

"This will be a highly contested elective congress," said Veliswa Mvenya MPL, DA Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson.

"At a DA Eastern Cape Provincial Council meeting held recently at Fish River Sun, incumbent party leader and now Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, announced his intention to stand down as Provincial Leader at the next Congress."

Mvenya said that the 2016 Local Government Elections in August were a tipping point that heralded "the complete realignment of our politics".

"We are growing new leaders in the Democratic Alliance, and we are the only party that can move South Africa forward.

"We will continue to grow our support and build a majority for all South Africans who share our values and vision," she said.

"The DA’s Federal Executive approved a February congress for the Eastern Cape and branches are set to hold their AGM’s during the months of November and December to elect delegates to attend the Provincial Congress in February 2017.

"The Eastern Cape will be a highly competitive battleground in 2019, and we need to have strong Leaders within our structures to take us on that path."

DA Eastern Cape 2014 Elective Congress

At the last Provincial Congress, which was held in 2014, in the Kouga Local Municipality, Athol Trollip, retained his position as DA Eastern Cape leader. 

Before that congress, the DA predicted that it would win the Nelson Mandela Bay from the African National Congress (ANC) and the Kouga Local Municipality in the 2016 Local Government Elections.

Elza Van Lingen, the leader of the DA in the area, then agreed saying; “We have no doubt that the Kouga will fall to the DA in 2016 – the citizens of Kouga have already spoken.” 

Both predictions panned out well for the party. Trollip is now the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor while van Lingen is the Kouga Local Municipality Mayor.

It remains to be seen if holding the congress in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, perhaps the one major municipality that is still in ANC hands, is indicative of the DA's next focus for the 2019 Local Government Elections.

The party has not made it a secret that it harbours ambitions of extending its rule out of the Western Cape and into the Eastern Cape.