Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is set to take on the DA in the Western Cape as a premier candidate for her new political party, called "Good", in the 2019 elections.

The new party has been viewed with scepticism by analysts, who compare it to failed attempts to found new political parties in recent years, including Mamphela Ramphele’s Agang and a new formation spearheaded by former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, which barely got off the ground before it was hit by infighting.

But De Lille, unlike Ramphele and Khoza, is a political animal who has proven to be a survivor who has traversed political homes that were poles apart ideologically with relative ease.

She has moved from the Pan Africanist Congress to the Independent Democrats and then to the DA, where she served as the party’s longest-serving mayor of Cape Town. She is hoping to tap into a significant pool of undecided and disillusioned voters, with the ANC fighting hard to restore its credibility after a decade of misrule under former president Jacob Zuma.

The DA has also suffered setbacks since its most successful electoral feat in 2016, when it snatched three key metros from the ANC – Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.

It has since lost the mayoral seat in Nelson Mandela Bay and faces a crisis around its municipal manager in Tshwane, while allegations of tender collusion benefiting the EFF is the latest scandal to rock its Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.

The falling out with De Lille has inflicted damage on the DA in the Western Cape, as well as in other coloured communities.

The most successful political newcomer thus far, the EFF, is hoping to increase its share of the vote, but it is mired in allegations of corruption against its senior leaders.

Much will depend on De Lille’s ability to mobilise support quickly, with limited resources, but she does have the potential to disrupt the status quo in the Western Cape and potentially the Northern Cape.

Running for Western Cape premier would pit her against the DA’s Alan Winde, whose candidacy has had a lukewarm reception, according to sources.

ANC head of elections in the province Ebrahim Rasool on Sunday said the party had snatched two wards from the DA in recent by-elections.

Rasool and De Lille have both said they are open to coalitions.

DA national spokesman Solly Malatsi said another political party, referring to De Lille’s, would only serve to "strengthen the coalition of corruption between the ANC and the EFF".

Patricia de Lille announced on November 18 2018 that she would be starting a new political party to challenge the 2019 elections. We hit the streets of Cape Town to find out what Capetonians thought of De Lille's new party.