CAPE TOWN – The race to replace Patricia de Lille as Cape Town’s mayor is hotting up, with her right-hand man, and lifelong confidant Brett Herron officially throwing his hat into the ring to succeed her.
Herron, 52, is the mayoral committee member for transport and urban development said his father, a city councillor in Durban, motivated him to serve his community.
“As a child during the apartheid era, I accompanied my father, Clive Herron, a senior Durban city councillor, on weekend visits as he worked to improve conditions in the city’s townships. That exposure made me acutely aware of the vast inequalities in South African society but also of the potential of local government to transform lives,” Herron said.
“My father taught me a simple lesson about leadership and responsibility: that those who are able to speak out have a duty to do so for those who cannot. The next mayor of Cape Town must have the courage, vision, passion, care, humility, experience and skills to lead this city and its people into a more prosperous, secure future for all,” Herron said.
But does Herron have the credentials to take over as mayor of Cape Town and serve as a voice for the voiceless?
Herron became a City councilor in 2009 and initially served on the housing portfolio committee, where he submitted a motion calling on the City to provide basic services to backyard dwellers.
This led to the City agreeing to allow the roll out of services to backyard tenants who had formerly been dependent on the toilets and services of their landlords.
Later in the same year, he was elected chairperson of the Social Development Portfolio Committee and later as mayoral committee member for community services.
In 2011 he was appointed mayco member for Transport and Urban Development and together with De Lille led the expansion of the MyCiTi bus route.
He has also been actively campaigning the city council for the provision of more social housing, and driving the conversion of City-owned properties for this purpose.