Brett Herron, the former mayoral committee member for urban development and transport in the City of Cape Town, has resigned from the Democratic Alliance (DA) with immediate effect.
The DA has now lost nine members in the City of Cape Town.
Herron’s resignation follows Patricia de Lille’s exit from the party on Wednesday, after she formally stepped down as Cape Town mayor.
On Thursday afternoon, Herron held a press conference in Salt River, where he emotionally spoke of his efforts to incorporate and build affordable housing in the Cape Town inner city. Currently there is no social housing in the city centre, and activists have been pressuring the City of Cape Town to begin developing urgently to facilitate community integration integrated and to alleviate evictions and homelessness in the city.
“It’s very interesting. No one objected to the land in Delft being released. There we are building 1 000 houses. Not one person objected to that land being released to poor people who need it. But here I stand in Salt River, and we cannot release it for affordable housing. I can’t believe it,” Herron said.
He has accused the DA of preventing him from implementing plans to build social housing in Salt River, near the inner city. His comments come after plans to build affordable housing at the Salt River Market site appear to have been cancelled after the purchase of the land was thwarted.
Herron said these alleged efforts to block social housing demonstrate the DA is not committed to its party manifesto.
“I’ve promised [people in Woodstock] that I am going to bring affordable housing, because that’s what the DA says we are going to do. I promised them we are going to integrate communities, but I have been prevented from doing that,” Herron explained.
He described a “cabal” of powerful people working behind the scenes in the party as being responsible for the alleged deliberate prevention to build affordable housing near and in the inner city.
Herron — who is among De Lille’s closest allies — has been praised by Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi housing activists for his commitment to build affordable housing.
He declined the offer, he said.
The full list of DA councillors and members who have resigned from Cape Town thus far are:
- Shaun August
- Siyabulela Mamkeli
- Suzette Little
- Thulani van der Stemela
- Greg Barnardo
- Philiswa Marman
- Jonathan Cupido
- Patricia De Lille
- Brett Herron
The council will hold a special sitting on Tuesday, where Dan Plato — the former MEC for safety and security — is expected to receive the mayoral chain.