A 23-year-old woman from Kraaifontein has nominated herself to be the next DA premier of the Western Cape.
Kelly Baloyi, a Stellenbosch University political science graduate, is among seven candidates vying to take over from Helen Zille as premier.
The DA’s federal council chairman, James Selfe, announced the list of candidates on the party’s website on Sunday July 1.
He described the selection process as “rigorous” and said the nominees would appear before selection panels.
“This is a competitive process because our aim is to end up with candidates who will take our offer to the voters and represent their interests.”
Ms Baloyi said she felt ready to lead the province.
“As a young girl, I always knew that I have the ability to lead the people of South Africa in some way or another.
“I might not have an extensive track record like the other candidates, merely because of my age, but with the grounds I have covered thus far, I can proudly say that I am capable of covering this role.”
She said that as premier she would find innovative ways to create jobs for young people, save money by reducing the number of MECs, find better ways to fight crime on the Cape Flats, give a voice to the youth, improve the lives of women, tackle housing and improve safety in schools, among other things.
“I believe we need to go back to the basics, knowing that it is all about the people,” she said.
“I am privileged to have worked in my community, knowing how important that bond is between the people. We are representatives, we must listen and represent accordingly, not implement and then listen.”
She said it was important to prepare school pupils for further study or entrance into the workplace.
“Education will be a big focus for me, equipping those at our schools for tertiary education or the workplace and giving them the necessary skills.
“Also, working together with NGOs or organisations who will be providing skills to their communities — there’s a need for us to be connected.”
In an interview with a daily newspaper, Ms Baloyi compared Parliament to an old-age home.
Asked about that statement, she giggled and said: “I will not change that statement or take what I said back because there are lots of parliamentarians who are from the older generation.
“This is just a suggestion. Why do we not make our deputy ministers young people? So the senior staff who are ministers can pass on the skills in order to take Parliament forward.”
She said she would be a perfect fit for the premier’s office because she had fresh idea that could benefit the Western Cape.
“I am young and a female; we are in need of someone like that — an ordinary person who has the knowledge to address certain issues… we need new and different ideas and perspectives, as well as engaging with the ideas from the people of the Western Cape,” she said.
Ms Baloyi ran a poetry project, “16Days16Poets”, as part of last year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign (“Poetry campaign targets violence against women,” Northern News, November 8, 2017).
She said also worked with the Be The Difference Foundation, which helps women battling ovarian cancer.