Interest in poll strong, says DA

Party to contest every Bay ward

THE number of applications to the DA from people wanting to be councillor candidates in next year’s local government elections has tripled compared to 2011. The party has recently started an elaborate process of sifting through about 300 applications from aspiring public representatives in the hopes of naming next month its candidates who will be contesting the Bay’s 60 wards.

Its proportional representation list will also be finalised next month.

The DA officially started its election campaign in the Bay in September, boldly proclaiming that it would take over the City Hall after the municipal elections.

Since then, its activists and councillors have been on the ground trying to win over the public’s confidence and to secure their votes.

The DA’s Bay mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, said while applications were opened up to all, the party also head-hunted a select few individuals they believed would add value should they become the governing party.

“We have approached people who will add value to government,” he said.

“It’s people with expertise in legal and engineering and various other fields.

“We also have some confidential candidates who don’t want it known that they have applied to be a DA councillor because it would get them in trouble at their jobs. Those candidates are interviewed separately,” Trollip said.

Candidates who apply to be councillor candidates have to go through an elaborate screening process, which starts off with online tests and aptitude assessments.

The applicants then go through a process of elimination, where their criminal records and backgrounds are checked, whereafter they sit through electoral colleges and are interviewed.

The selection panel ranks the candidates and those topping the lists then go through a more detailed interview process.

Trollip said they were looking at announcing their candidates next month, and by the end of the same month they would introduce them to the public and put up posters.

“It’s a fair, democratic process and it gives everyone a fair opportunity to contest,” he said.

“There are strict prescripts in our constitution that we must adhere to.

“For instance, the lists must be racially and gender diverse, and it must be geographically representative.

“The number of applicants has grown considerably [compared to 2011]. In some cases, it’s grown up to three times.

“What’s very encouraging is that this time we will put up a DA candidate in every ward.

“I’m convinced that we will come up with a list of competent people that are able to govern.”

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