By: Staff Reporter
On Wednesday morning at the first sitting of the council in the Central Karoo’s economic hub of Beaufort West, the Patriotic Alliance’s (PA’s) candidate Gaba Pieterson was elected mayor. His candidacy was supported by the ANC.
To reach a majority in the 13-seat council requires seven seats, which was achieved with the ANC’s four seats and the PA’s three. The DA has four seats, with GOOD and the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) with one each.
PA president Gayton McKenzie took to social media on Wednesday to congratulate Pieterson and the PA leadership in the Central Karoo.
He wrote: “I would be failing if I don’t mention leader Truman Prince, who folded his political party he formed with many leaders, and they joined PA after listening and questioning me extensively about the vision.”
He also thanked Earl Smiles for having initiated talks between PA and the People’s Movement.
Congratulations @OnsBaizaNie with the inauguration of your third mayor, Congrats new mayor of Beaufort West Gaba Pieterson, look after our people, moenie baiza nie 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽💚💚💚💚 pic.twitter.com/BsF3dMr66n
— Gayton McKenzie (@GaytonMcK) November 17, 2021
Although the PA is often described as a “coloured party”, it has always maintained this is not the case, as the party stands for nonracialism. According to the South African racial classification, Pieterson would be classified as “black African”, although the PA has repeatedly called into question the assumption that coloured South Africans should not be seen as “Africans”.
In a statement on Monday after the election of its first mayor in Laingsburg, the PA said its mayors must provide leadership and change the lives of the people with pro-poor policies, an investment-friendly administration focused on service delivery, and job creation, with no tolerance for corruption.
“This is the PA’s vision for the whole Central Karoo, where we shall be contributing in numerous capacities, both within government and in opposition, where necessary. During the 2021 Local Government Elections, the PA announced itself as having the trust and support of many in these communities, in towns where people have felt disregarded time and again by previous administrations. That can, must, and will, change now.”
The party thanked the ANC and other coalition partners, the African National Congress, Karoo Gemeenskap Party, and KDF, for being true to their word. They had “agreed to cooperate for the good of all our communities”.
“Though our parties are different in several respects, we agree that now is the time to put our communities first and repay the trust they have placed in us throughout the region.
“We must also thank God for entrusting us with the sacred responsibility of sharing power; it is a duty we can never neglect.”