DA supporters. Picture: ALON SKUY
DA supporters. Picture: ALON SKUY

DA hopefuls have until Friday to submit their names for the race to become the party’s provincial premier candidates in the 2019 general election.

The election has been touted as the most hotly contested since 1994.

The DA’s stronghold is in the Western Cape and the party is aiming to add Gauteng and the Northern Cape to the provinces it runs.

The party’s Anchen Dreyer, who is on Gauteng’s selection panel for the provincial lists to the legislature, said the selection of the premier candidates would be in the hands of the 20-person selection panel.

It comprises 10 federal executive members and 10 provincial executive members.

Dreyer said the process was not based on a popular vote but on how the candidate was scored by the selection panel.

In Gauteng, Makashule Gana, a member of the legislature, was first to throw his name into the hat and has already started campaigning to be the DA’s premier candidate. It is understood DA MP and a former mayoral candidate in Ekurhuleni, Ghaleb Cachalia, had also submitted his name for the position.

The Sunday Times reported that DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom and speaker Katlego Mathebe could also be in the race. When approached for comment Bloom, who lost out on the 2013 premier candidacy to Mmusi Maimane, said he was not "saying anything".

In the Western Cape, DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said earlier in June he would be standing for the premier position.

Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde has also said he has thrown his hat into the ring and will be contesting against Madikizela.

"I think when the opportunity arises we need people to stand up and say we are available," Winde said, adding he hoped more people would come forward to enter the contest.

Western Cape finance MEC Ivan Meyer said he had been approached by, among others, "members of Parliament, mayors, speakers and councillors", to make himself available for the position. He said he was busy consulting extensively with his family and was considering all his options.

Meyer said he saw his role as supporting the provincial leadership to drive the DA’s electoral campaigns on the ground and retain the Western Cape.

"Whoever becomes the next premier must continue the track record of good governance [in the province]," Meyer said.

In the Northern Cape, DA leader Andrew Louw has submitted his name for premier.

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