About Brett Herron Biography

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Personal and educational:

Brett Herron, born in 1966, grew up in Durban during the height of apartheid. His father served as a member of the Durban City Council in the 1970’s – as the Chairperson of the then Health & Housing Committee and as a member of Durban’s inaugural Management Committee. Sunday afternoon drives in the Herron household often included driving through low-cost housing estates and townships checking on the living conditions of the residents. So, it was at a very early age that Brett became civically aware of the vast inequalities that exist in our society.

It was also at this early age that he became  interested in politics and realised the power of local government to transform lives. After completing high school Brett enrolled at the then University of Natal (Durban), now UKZN, and completed a BA degree in Sociology and Legal Studies before going on to study for his LL.B degree. Brett moved into Ward 57 eight years ago when he bought a house in Observatory. He now now lives with his partner and their 3 dogs in Woodstock.

Career:

After completing his studies at the University of Natal, Brett embarked on a backpacking trip through Europe before returning to Durban to commence legal articles with a prominent law firm. He qualified as an attorney and then practised for a number of years – first in Johannesburg and then later in Cape Town. In 1997 an opportunity arose for him to live and work in New York and he spent 4 years in New York. During his time in New York he missed Africa, South Africa and Cape Town too much to consider staying any longer and so he returned to Cape Town in September 2001 – happening to be on the first flight to be allowed to depart New York after 9/11.

Upon returning to Cape Town, Brett became involved in legal skills training and the development of paralegals. He has owned and run the South African Law School, an accredited private legal skills training provider, since 2002. Over the past 9 years he has been involved in training thousands of paralegals – his School’s learners come from diverse communities and have diverse aspirations – some go on to study law and become lawyers while others work in community advice offices. In 2003, Brett recognised the need for accessible legal services and so he launched the Cape Town Advice Office – a socio-legal advice office that operated within the South African Law School – providing free legal services to indigent residents of Cape Town. The Cape Town Advice Office assisted thousands of Capetonians from 2003 until 2010.

Political and other activities:

Brett became interested and involved in political activities at an early age. As a student he was involved in student politics, being a founder member and Deputy-Chair of DemSoc (Democratic Society) – an anti-apartheid university student organisation. He became involved in the then PFP, later DP, as a branch chairperson and served on the DP’s Regional Executive committee in Durban. When Brett qualified as an attorney in 1994 he began to focus on his career and became less involved in active politics. Then at the end of 2007, whilst on a summer beach holiday in the Eastern Cape, he read a book written by Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC Member of Parliament, called “After the Party” which was a revealing expose’ of the scandalous South African arms deal. The book had a profound impact on Brett and when he finished reading it he decided to become involved in active politics again.

Brett joined Patricia De Lille’s party, the Independent Democrats (ID), and he became actively involved within ID party structures. In 2009 Brett joined the City of Cape Town as an ID Councillor – and was appointed to the Housing Portfolio Committee. Shortly after joining the committee Brett submitted a motion to the committee calling for the City to provide basic services to Backyard Dwellers – the motion led to a city workshop on backyard dwellers and contributed to the recent decision by the City to commence three pilot backyard dweller projects – the objective of which is to identify a new strategy with regards to backyard dwellers in particular the provision of basic services.

In November 2009 Brett was elected Chairperson of the Social Development Portfolio Committee – a position he held until his appointment as Mayoral Committee (Mayco) Member for Community Services.

Mayco Member for Community Services:

Brett is deeply honoured to have been appointed Mayco Member for Community Services and to have the opportunity to serve the people of Cape Town in this capacity. Community Services encompasses Sports and Recreation, Parks and Library Services. This is a large directorate that is at the frontline of delivering quality of life services to the residents of Cape Town.

ID / DA Merge:

In 2010 the ID and DA began the process of merging. Ultimately the ID will no longer exist after the 2014 General Elections. For the coming 2011 Local Government Elections, ID councillors and members who wished to make themselves available for public office submitted themselves to the DA’s candidate selection process and will contest these elections as DA members. This process saw ID Leader, Patricia De Lille, selected as the DA’s candidate for Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Brett was selected as the DA’s candidate for Ward 57 and he contested the local government elections in May 2011.

Ward 57 Councillor / Mayoral Committee Member: Transport / Chairperson of Naming Committee
Brett was elected Councillor for Ward 57, Cape Town in May 2011. Ward 57 includes Devils Peak, Gardens, Zonnebloem, District Six, Woodstock, Walmer Estate, University Estate, Salt River, Observatory, parts of Mowbray and Rosebank.

After the 2011 elections Mayor Patricia De Lille formed her “cabinet” and Brett was appointed the Mayoral Committee Member for Transport. The Mayor also appointed Brett the Chairperson of the Naming Committee – a special committee of Council which is mandated to deal with naming, renaming and memorialisation.

Comments

  1. megan says:

    Hi Brett
    I have only just found out about you as our ward candidate, and the restructuring of the ward itself. I want more info on your plans, aims, desires, potential influence in my ‘neck of the woods’, Woodstock.
    Also, who are you standing against?
    Regards
    Megan Furniss

    • Brett Herron says:

      Hi Megan

      Thanks for making contact. The other candidates have not yet been announced…so at this point I don’t know who I am standing against! I have several ideas and plans for the ward in general and for each of the communities that make up the ward. The local manifesto will talk to all of these and will deal with issues that include planning and development, local economic impacts, homeless people, safety and security, District 6 and local amenities. I will release the details in the next week or so. Watch this space!

  2. Harro says:

    Hello Brett,
    what an impersonal election campaign it has been. I’ve seen pictures of only 2 ward councillor candidates for our ward 57, from you we at least got a flyer into our mailbox, but it didn’t give much info. No other party tried to make contact. Are we expected to vote in local elections the same way we vote in national elections?!
    Anyway, decided to google for our ward candiates and found your info. Well done! Finding out that you have already served on council as an ID member has just won you my vote!

    • Brett Herron says:

      Thanks for making contact. I am sorry you didnt get enough contact from us. There are 12 000 homes in the ward…we have been foot-canvassing since the start of the campaign – but there was not way we were going to get to every home. I did 3 flyer drops though – its a pity you only received one of them! I also had a public meeting and took part in the debate organised by a civic association in Salt River. I am happy that you at least found me on the web! Thanks for the pledge of support. Regards Brett

  3. Dennis Vermaak says:

    Good morning Brett, I wish you the best of luck with the new plan for the homeless in your ward. Hopefully it will be a success and used in other wards.
    Regards
    Dennis

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