Brett Herron — the former Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor who advocated for social housing in Cape Town — has officially joined Patricia de Lille’s new party GOOD.
De Lille announced the name of her party on Sunday, outlining some of the policy positions that would form the focal point of her 2019 election campaign.
Herron, who had yet to declare his support for the party, was in attendance at the press conference on Sunday. On Monday, he confirmed he had joined the party.
Herron resigned from the DA in November.
“I’ve been working with Patricia on policy positions and values. As they evolved and spoke to my heart, it was an obvious move [to join them],” Herron said.
Herron played a key role in the City of Cape Town government, where he was the mayoral committee member for for urban development and transport. He left the party shortly after De Lille resigned as mayor and as a member of the DA in October.
In his resignation announcement, Herron — who is a fervent supporter of social housing in the Cape Town city centre — accused the DA of blocking attempts to build affordable housing in the central business district. To date, there is no low cost housing which exists in the profitable node of Cape Town.
Herron said that the GOOD party’s policies revolved around addressing the legacies of apartheid, including apartheid spatial planning where poor black people live on the outskirts of the city and far from economic opportunities.
“The GOOD movement is the only movement addressing spatial justice head on,” Herron said.
Education, housing, land and labour are some of the central challenges that have been incorporated in the party’s policies.
De Lille, on Sunday, denied that the party was a resurrection of the Independent Democrats — her former political party before she joined the DA — and instead said that the GOOD party is a “new movement”.
The message of the party, she said, was to bring change to improve the lives of marginalised South Africans.
“The GOOD movement will remind South Africans that you don’t need to be black to fight racism; you don’t need to be a woman to fight for gender equality; you don’t need to be gay to fight homophobia,” she said.
Herron is the latest former DA councillor to join De Lille after at least five others — including Shaun August, Siyabulela Mamkeli, Suzette Little, Jonathan Cupido, and Gregchan Barnardo — have joined the GOOD party.
Since he joined the party, Herron said, people from across Cape Town have been calling in support of GOOD. He said that much of this support has come from residents living in Khayelitsha — where he worked as a councillor in 2016.
Khayelitsha is an area where the ANC enjoys support in Cape Town, but Herron said: “I think we are going to disrupt that to some extent.”
Both De Lille and the ANC head of elections in the Western Cape Ebrahim Rasool have said their parties are open to coalitions.
The DA have been muted in their public reaction to the GOOD party, but two weeks ago the Cape Town DA chairperson Grant Twigg warned party members not to discuss De Lille’s new political organisation.
In a text message, Twigg wrote to members: “Dear DA members, please refrain from engaging or commenting on the recent announcement of Patricia De Lille. Our focus is the DA and building #1SA4All.”
De Lille will officially launch the party in January 2019.