The news has spread like wildfire: Tony Leon is stepping down next year.
The reasons cited by Leon include his desire to allow the DA the opportunity to realign itself with its voters, his desire not to confuse his persona with that of the DA and a radical political reshuffling of the official opposition's structure.
Leon's name is synonymous with the DA, something he is hoping will change next year. The problem with our local politics is that leaders tend to overstay their welcome. This lends itself to a stagnation of ideas. The introduction of dynamic young blood is therefore pivotal to maintaining voter interest and growing the voter support base.
Reactions have been mixed as news of Leon's imminent departure began to spread. The problem, as seen by many blacks, is that the DA is widely regarded as a white party.
It structured itself in such a way to provide a podium for the minorities to challenge the ANC at every juncture. While serving whites well in a democratic society it also serves blacks well, but this was not marketed enough by the DA.
Leon leaves behind a legacy of bold leadership and a surprisingly effective opposition. Whether Cape Town mayor Helen Zille or Joe Seremane will prove as successful is anybody's guess.
Without an effective opposition, corruption, nepotism and decay are inevitable.
Brett Chatz, Houghton