The Democratic Alliance (DA) has named Cape Town city councillor Dan Plato as its candidate for mayor to replace party leader Helen Zille, who stepped down at the end of April to take up the elected position of premier of the Western Cape.

Plato, mayoral committee member for service delivery and integration, will take up his post on 13 May after he has been officially elected by the city council. Ian Nielsen, DA city councillor for Table View and Melkbosstrand and mayoral committee member for finance, has been nominated as his deputy, surprising those who thought Grant Haskin of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) would be confirmed in the post.

The change marks a significant rupture in the allegiance between DA and ACDP after the former accused the latter of breaches of trust during the recent election campaign. DA does not have a clear majority on the Cape Town city council although the party is confident that it has enough cross-party support to see its two nominees elected.