Timothy Nast

Mayor : Midvaal municipality

it is easy to see why 29-year-old Timothy Nast was considered mayoral material. He arrives for appointments an hour ahead of time, he works and studies simultaneously, and he doesn't take a break to campaign for the local government elections during working hours because "there is work to be done�. In fact, the only guilty pleasure he allows himself is the occasional cream-topped cappuccino. Nast, executive mayor of Midvaal municipality 60km south of Johannesburg, home to 100 000 residents, is one of the bright young minds the Democratic Alliance (DA) has put into a powerful mayoral position to show that the party has a reach beyond the Western Cape. His career in politics was born out of his personal slogan � "here's an opportunity, take it� � rather than out of a long-held dream of becoming a public representative. After matriculating with distinction from Riverside High School in Vereeniging Nast became one of the youngest DA councillors when he was elected to the Midvaal council in 2000, aged 19. At the same time he was articled to local accounting firm JPK Incorporated. After the 2009 national elections Nast's predecessor as mayor left for Parliament and he was offered the top job. But the mayoral chain is not an easy burden to bear. Being the only DA mayor in an ANC-majority province keeps Nast on his toes. Every mistake is exploited and every victory ignored. Even in his own party being made mayor has not necessarily won him friends. Nast had to convince his fellow DA councillors that he's up for the task. But now that the municipality boasts the title of "best-run municipality in Gauteng�, with the best quality of life in the province, he has less to worry about. � Mandy Rossouw

Website: midvaal.gov.za