Ryan Coetzee

Ryan began his career at the top of the Democratic Alliance so young, and is so closely associated with Tony Leon's period in leadership, that it is easy to forget he is just into his mid-thirties. He made a range of enemies as the DA's main election strategist, both within the party, and outside it. But there is no doubting his insight and his political judgement. Having helped craft the strategy that seduced right-wing voters from the national party, and then destroyed it as an electoral alternative, he wrote a brutally honest paper setting out the DA's need to better understand the damage wrought by apartheid, to speak a new language and to win black voters. He is clear-eyed about how difficult that will be, how long it will take, and how essential it is to the party's future. In the meanwhile, an election that could deliver the party control of the Western Cape looms and Ryan will have his hands on the levers as the DA crafts a plan to limit gains by the ID and take advantage of massive disenchantment with the ANC. One day he may have the luxury of coming across as a nice guy � for now he must get the job done.

Lunch spot: Limoncello, Breda Street, Gardens