Meet the councillor vying to be new leader of the DA in the Western Cape
Doctor Arlene Adams‚ a low profile City of Cape Town councillor vying to become DA party leader in the Western Cape‚ has given herself a 25% chance of clinching the top job.
Adams surprised many on Wednesday when the party confirmed that she was among four candidates vying for the position. She is running against Western Cape housing MEC and deputy leader‚ Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ member of the provincial legislature and former provincial police commissioner Lennit Max and City of Cape Town chief whip‚ Shaun August.
“If you don’t enter a race‚ you lose 100%. For a candidate‚ I have given myself a 25% chance. That’s good enough. What I have to do afterwards is obviously lobby for votes. Nothing in politics is guaranteed‚” said Adams. The 53-year-old is a newcomer‚ not just to the DA‚ but also to politics‚ having joined the party in 2012 while still a lecturer and researcher.
But she told TMG Digital that she was availing herself to represent women who did not take a chance to contest leadership positions. “I am stepping forward as a woman representing‚ embodying those people who do not speak and I am hoping they will understand that’s what the DA is about.
The DA is about diversity‚ the DA is about giving people an opportunity.” she said. She said the vision to lead had been brewing for years and she had to speak up and say “I am available” for the sake of women who were insecure.
“I can speak to the young leaders. I can speak to the academics. I represent women of all levels of our society.” Asked about the fact that she was the only female candidate to contest a position previously held by a woman‚ she said: “I must be honest with you‚ I really thought there were going to be more women putting themselves forward. I really thought that the pool would be bigger.”
However‚ the real contest is set to be between Madikizela and August. Madikizela’s advantage is that he served as a deputy to De Lille when she crisscrossed the province last year campaigning to dislodge ANC leaders in various municipalities.
August‚ on the other hand‚ led the party as Cape Metro chair when the DA achieved a two-thirds majority in last year’s local government poll. Max‚ although an experienced politician‚ has failed in attempts to lead the party three times in 2007‚ 2010 and in 2015.
- TMG Digital/The Times