Tim Harris (politician)

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Timothy Duncan Harris
Tim Harris DA MP 2.jpg
Member of Parliament National Assembly
Assumed office
Leader Helen Zille
Member of Parliament
for Cape Town City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town, Western Cape
Assumed office
6 May 2009
Shadow Minister of Finance
In office
Preceded by Dion George
Succeeded by Dion George
Personal details
Born c. 1979 (age 36–37)
Cape Town, South Africa
Nationality South African
Political party Democratic Alliance
Alma mater University of Cape Town

Tim Harris (born c. 1979) is a South African politician, a former Democratic Alliance member of Parliament's National Assembly, and a Parliamentary Counsellor to the Leader of the Oppositions Mmusi Maimane. He served as the Shadow Minister of Finance from 2012 to 2014, when he was succeeded by Dion George. A former chief of staff to party leader Tony Leon,[1] Harris was the party's national events manager during the 2009 general election campaign, and was subsequently elected to Parliament aged 29, initially to the National Council of Provinces where he served as the Western Cape's Provincial Whip before being moved to the National Assembly in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle.[2]

Tim then took up a post as Director of Trade and Investment in the Office of the Executive Mayor at the City of Cape Town. From April 2015, Tim then assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Wesgro, the official Investment and Trade promotion agency for the Western Cape [3]


Harris was born in Cape Town, but grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, where he attended Hilton College. He moved back to Western Cape to complete an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cape Town, majoring in English Literature and Economics. He then completed an honours degree in economics in 2001 while he was Chair of UCT Rag .[1] After briefly working at an investment bank in Johannesburg, Harris returned to Cape Town to complete his Masters in Economics, and subsequently joined the Democratic Alliance as a parliamentary economics researcher. In 2005 he was appointed as Chief of Staff for Tony Leon.

In late 2007 and early 2008 he travelled with two friends up Africa's west coast on the first surf trip between Cape Town and London by the west coast route - garnering international attention in the process.[4] He told BBC News of the episode:

In November 2009 he told The Leader World magazine:

Upon returning to politics in 2009, he was appointed campaign events manager for the Democratic Alliance's 2009 election campaign, and was subsequently elected to the National Council of Provinces for the Western Cape.


He served on the Standing Committee on Finance and before that served on the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in the National Assembly. When he was in the National Council of Provinces he sat on the Select Committee on Finance, and held the positions of Party Whip and Provincial Whip.

He is also the vice president for Africa on the bureau of Liberal International, the global group of liberal parties, and sits on the board of SiliconCape, Cape Town's technology industry promotion body.


  1. ^ a b "Our People – Tim Harris". Democratic Alliance. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Pillay, Verashni (22 June 2009). "Parliament's 'youth'". News24. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  3. ^ http://wesgro.co.za
  4. ^ a b Copnall, James (11 April 2008). "The great African surfing safari". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Truscott, Clayton (2010). "He serves the people and surfs the ocean". The Leader World.