Cape Town - Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has said that Capetonians can expect a new look mayoral committee (Mayco) today, with a sprinkle of new faces mixed with a few familiar names who are being kept on to provide continuity and institutional memory.
However, pressed for details, Hill-Lewis remained tight-lipped about the precise make-up of his new Mayco, except to say: “There will be a mix of experience in some portfolios and new Mayco members too, and some may be reshuffled.”
Members of the new Mayco will have to undergo a lifestyle audit upon assuming office, Hill-Lewis said.
“After spending more than a decade in Parliament, I know full well that sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Speculation has been rife about some high-profile councillors, such as former mayor Dan Plato, and also about whether the man who has long held the safety and security docket, JP Smith, may be moved to represent the DA in Parliament or the provincial legislature.
There is a space on the party’s parliamentary list since Hill-Lewis left the National Assembly, where he was the DA’s finance spokesperson. The DA also has a spot to fill in the provincial legislature after former Transport and Public works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela resigned amid the furore over his qualifications on his CV back in April.
DA insiders think that Plato, who had been in the legislature, where he served as Community Safety MEC before he was moved to the City to become mayor, may now be off to Parliament.
Reached for comment about when decisions would be made on DA Western Cape representatives to fill the empty posts, DA provincial leader Albert Fritz said: “The selection panel for both provincial legislature and national Parliament will be sitting soon.”
Speaking off the record, a former councillor said: “In the DA the appointment of Mayco members by a mayor is subject to the approval of the party’s Federal Executive (FedEx).
“Hill-Lewis is a DA insider, so he may find support in FedEx for big changes and for axing Smith. But Smith is also an insider.
“The clash over Mayco has been going on since the election. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but the mayor will need the support of the national leadership for his appointments.”
In 2016 former mayor Patricia De Lille (now GOOD Party leader and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister) wanted to move Smith from safety and security. De Lille was unable to persuade FedEx members to support her reconfigured Mayco and Smith was appointed back to safety and security.
Meanwhile, DA Women's Network (Dawn) Western Cape chairperson Wendy Kaizer-Philander is hoping to see more women in top positions on the council.
“Women make up the biggest portion of our electorate and they deserve recognition and an opportunity to serve – not because they are women, but because they are capable and have the skills required to get the job done.