By: Sello Theletsane
JOHANNESBURG- Former Eldorado Park Ward 17 councillor Peter Rafferty has joined the Patriotic Alliance (PA) after resigning with immediate effect from the Democratic Alliance on Monday.
The well-loved councillor proved himself as a tireless worker and activist for service delivery and change in his community. Although he served the DA with distinction, he came to realise that the PA needs to be his new political home.
“This party is committed to being the positive force for good and change that my family and I have been looking for, for a long time.”
Rafferty said: “Never before have I heard a political party understand and express the plight of not just the people of Eldorado Park, but all communities striving for a better life in South Africa.
“This party brings a message of inclusiveness for all South Africans. It has reminded me of why I decided to get into politics in the first place.”
Rafferty said it was time for the people to recognise that their vote could now be extended to a party truly willing to fight for jobs, service delivery and a multiracial and multicultural South Africa.
“I am calling on not just the people in my ward who know and trust me to stand with me and support PA, but for all those who have grown tired with having their vote taken for granted by the old political parties to sign up for change and to support the vision of the PA. That vision is about creating a better future for our children.”
Under the PA, Rafferty said he had already seen changes in less than a year through the Department of Economic Development, which falls under the PA in the Government of Local Unity in the Joburg Metro. “Free Wi-Fi is being rolled out to residents, there is now a budget to repair flats and a strong focus on creating jobs and placing people in jobs,” said Rafferty.
“The board membership of the three business entities that fall under the PA are the only truly multiracial ones in the City of Johannesburg. They have black, coloured, Indian and white board members, and the Metropolitan Trading Company has a young coloured woman under the age of 30 leading it as the board chairperson.”
Rafferty said “the PA has changed the face of City of Joburg to truly look like the rainbow nation, with everyone represented. Previously where there were zero coloureds. We now have a full rainbow in the City corridors”.
Rafferty added that, as a councillor, he had not been blind to how funeral parlours had PA president Gayton McKenzie on speed dial if any family was unable to bury their child or close family.
“This is a party of the future, a party that is now going to take our youth on business camps and introduce them to the world of business. This is how you change the narrative from being seen as gangster youth or Hokka youth to becoming a young entrepreneur, all expenses paid by the PA. How can I not follow my heart and join PA?”
McKenzie said he was grateful and humbled by the faith such a political stalwart in the City had shown in throwing his weight behind the PA.
“The swell of support the PA has been getting has shown we have been right to pursue the dream we had of creating change and restoring hope in this country,” said McKenzie.
“This is all part of the PA’s plan to free our communities from the grip of other political parties, particularly the DA, who have just been using them as voting fodder year after year.
“We are starting with the Riverlea by-election on 11 November. Then we will have the Eldorado Park by election in January.
“A lot of other councillors will be joining us and we’ll be taking on more by-elections next year,” McKenzie said.