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DA's Ghaleb Cachalia: I Have Decided To Stand For The Party Position Of Leader In Gauteng Province

Politics is my blood. Since the turn of the last century, successive generations of Cachalias have evinced an unbroken record of service to this country.

22/09/2017 12:25 SAST | Updated 22/09/2017 12:25 SAST
BusinessLive
Ghaleb Cachalia, MP in the National Assembly

Parliament is on a constituency break.

This has given me time to reflect and take some decisions -– this politics bug has bitten -– hard and fast.

Barely eighteen months after I joined the Democratic Alliance, stood for mayor in Ekurhuleni, led the caucus and transitioned to parliament, I have decided to stand for the party position of leader [DA] in Gauteng Province.

As you know I am pretty active on social media; I wear my heart on one sleeve and my mind on the other. My views across a broad range of local, national and international issues are a matter of public record and provide fertile ground for interrogation.

Why this decision? Why now? Why me?

At the heart of any answer to these questions is the fact that the 2019 national elections loom large. In under two years, this country will vote for new national and provincial governments.

The province of Gauteng is pivotal. It contributes one-third of the country's GDP; is home to 13 million people –- of whom some 43 percent are between the ages of 18 and 65; 75 percent Black and 25 percent are White, Indian or Coloured; some 75 percent of the working population earn between R5,000 and R80,000.

My background, as an activist, commentator, businessman, entrepreneur, and my exposure to senior levels of listed, unlisted and multinational companies and organizations –- global and local –- will, I believe, stand me in good stead.

And the DA has a fighting chance of collaring a substantial proportion of votes in the province. It has a decent shot at building a national and provincial consensus that charts a new social compact, backed by solid and ethically sound delivery.

In order to do so, we need to to have a seamless machine that delivers, organizes and inspires, internally and externally, in line with a vision that translates into reality; that drives value, which in turn drives success; and that empowers people to succeed through the delegation of authority and not tasks. This is how leadership is built. This is the essence of strategy, and this is what is required for us to win.

I have been schooled in Michael Porter's formulation of strategy. I was privileged to have worked with him during my tenure as a global management consultant and if I learnt one thing about strategy from him, it's about choosing what not to do.

Hope is not a strategy, and in the words of Einstein, "any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius and lot of courage to move in the opposite direction' –- not sure about the elevation to genius, but I reckon I've got the courage and I'm ready and fairly well-equipped to give it a whirl.

I aim to split my time between parliament and province -– which effectively reintroduces the seven-day working week into my life for the next two years. It's a prospect I view with some relish. If my dog, Daf could speak, she might have a dissenting view on this.

My background, as an activist, commentator, businessman, entrepreneur, and my exposure to senior levels of listed, unlisted and multinational companies and organizations –- global and local –- will, I believe, stand me in good stead. Moreover, politics is my blood. Since the turn of the last century, successive generations of Cachalias have evinced an unbroken record of sacrifice and service to this country.

I intend to continue this tradition.

Watch this space for more on strategy and policy that will position the DA for 2019.