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The Indaba Show: Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis discusses his political career journey

todaySeptember 15, 2022 634

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Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis is the guest this week on the Indaba Show with host Steven Taylor as they discuss his political career journey and some of the projects he has been working on to make the city safer and more efficient. 

Originally from Plettenberg Bay, his interest in politics started as a young boy when certain historical events were taking place. This includes the political and economic upheaval in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s and the Aids denialism in South Africa. 

He also credits his high school history teacher for his political interests after he gave him the novel “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton. 

“I just started reading more about South African politics and history. I was fascinated and I’ve never really looked back,” he said. 

While studying politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Hill-Lewis became involved in the Democratic Alliance Students Organization (DASO). 

“It gave me a great sense of purpose that you could do something important in politics and get somewhere with society and really achieve something.”

From August 2011 until November 2021, he served in the National Assembly of South Africa. 

During the hard Covid-19 lockdown in March and April 2020, Hill-Lewis said he was feeling down and concerned about the country, its people and the economy. 

“I just thought to myself, as a father and as a passionate South African, either I’m going to stick around in Parliament arguing about this, and not seeing much change, or I can go and try and drive reform myself from a position in government,” said Hill-Lewis. 

A year later, he announced that he had applied to be the DA’s mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town, and in November 2021 he was elected and sworn in as mayor.

“In government, things go incredibly slow, but I’m comfortable that we have got the ball rolling on things like loadshedding. All of our tender processes have started now. But of course I’d love it to be much quicker.”

Hill-Lewis said there are a number of big projects he and his team are working on, including being in discussion with Eskom to take over parts of the grid. 

The issue of crime in the City is the number one concern of most voters and residents and citizens in Cape Town, he said, which is why they have launched 100 new law enforcement officers in the CBD. 

Written by: Kelly-Jane Turner

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