Mayor Dan Plato was all smiles after being elected Democratic Alliance (DA)  Metro chairperson over rival Grant Twigg.

After weeks of fierce campaigning, the win now paves the way for Plato to be re-elected as mayor next year in the local government elections.

Speaking after his win, Plato said “To all my team members, everyone who worked very hard, thank you for your support and hard work. Let me state that Grant was never my enemy, he was just a competitor. I have had a number of discussions with Grant.”

Plato said the party was now gearing up to unite and prepare for next year’s elections. “Now we must work together, all of us must pull our weight towards 2021. I want to get one thing out of the DA and that is the issue of camps. I was never in a camp, I work with everyone. My energy will be in winning next year’s elections. We cannot rest on our laurels. We need to rally our voters back to us.”

Top party officials, including DA interim leader John Steenhuisen and Helen Zille, arrived at the Parow Civic Centre to cast their votes. Plato’s deputies will be JP Smith, Phindile Maxiti and Zahid Badroodien, who was a vocal supporter of Twigg.

Badroodien said “I am immensely grateful to every single delegate who voted for me and also those who did not vote for me because these elections are not about individuals, it’s about our party, its values and the critical role that this City must play in showing the DA difference to the rest of the country.”

Twigg, in conceding defeat, congratulated the elected members. However, tension has been brewing in the council after Twigg survived a motion of no confidence against him last year.

Earlier this month, Plato denied claims he was behind a plot to sideline Twigg supporters.

Twigg released his thank you speech on his Facebook page last Monday: “I want to take the opportunity to thank all the candidates that have put up their hand to serve on the Metro executive. When I began this campaign I did so on the premise of moving our region forward together, and I meant that. I believe candidates possess their own talents and skills, and I know that the decision of our delegates and structures will present the right team to take our metro forward.”