Dharmesh Dhaya hopes to take DA to new heights if elected federal chair
In his private life, interim DA federal chair hopeful Dharmesh Dhaya flies helicopters and climbs the highest mountains in the world — and now the adrenalin junkie hopes to lead the official opposition party to dizzy heights.
But first he has to convince the majority of delegates on November 17 that he is the right person to replace party stalwart, Athol Trollip, who quit the position in October.
Dhaya, a Buffalo City Metro DA caucus chief whip, SBF constituency chair in King William’s Town and provincial executive council member, is now ready to graduate to the big league and occupy one of the most senior positions in the DA.
The former IT manager at China Garment Manufacturers factory in Dimbaza — who has also worked at Gibb Consulting Engineers — said the party was looking for “young blood”.
“I see myself as a custodian of the future,” he said. “I don’t believe the DA is broken — it’s just a question of getting the right people in the right positions.
“This is why I have thrown my name in the hat to lead from the front, because that is a good leadership style.
“In my personal capacity I fly helicopters and climb high mountains around the world, so I understand what it means to work under pressure — to lead groups of people from diverse backgrounds.
“Now I want to take that aggressive survival mode and infuse it into the DA.
“As somebody coming up I have something unique to offer the DA — a fresh outlook, a positive outlook and an aggressive outlook."
He has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Russia, which is the highest mountain in Europe, as well as Aconcogua in Argentina, which is the highest mountain outside of Asia.
“Climbing high altitude mountains is not unlike leading a political party DA — you need the right team with the right attitude and the right equipment.”
Dhaya believes former leader Mmusi Maimane and Trollip neither failed nor did anything wrong while at the helm.
“Athol did a fantastic job, he steered the ship in rough seas. I see him as a mentor.
“But the scope of the job has changed drastically and the landscape is changing.
“I’m extremely confident that I will convince delegates to vote for me.
“Obviously it’s a huge challenge — it’s a huge step for me.
“I bring a more aggressive, dynamic approach to facilitate organic growth.
“I want to shake up politics and move us high into the blue DA sky.”