Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato announced the 11 mayco members that will be working with him. This was after former mayor Patricia de Lille resigned at the end of October, as well as some of her mayco cabinet members. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Mayor Dan Plato’s announcement of his new mayoral committee has raised the ire of opposition parties who have accused the DA of blocking transformation in the City.

ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said: “This entrenches white privilege and it confirms the long-held view of what all the councillors in the City have been saying that there is a white cabal.”

He also said the mayco selection was a clear indication of the factions within the party, and the fact that the DA was slowly imploding.

“These mayco members do not bring anything; they are there to block transformation in the City and to ensure opportunities are only provided to a few people,” Jacobs said.

Plato named his mayco on Sunday, bringing in James Vos for assets and facilities, Sharon Cottle for corporate services, Marian Nieuwoudt for finance, and Felicity Purchase for transport and urban development. Plato also overhauled the so-called mini-mayors: Phindile Maxiti for Area East, Zahid Badroodien for Area South, Malusi Booi for Area Central, and Grant Twigg for Area North.

Plato retained just two members of his predecessor’s committee: Xanthea Limberg remains in charge of informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy; while JP Smith still heads up safety and security, and social services. The announcement follows hot on the heels of speculation that the appointment of the new mayco would be delayed due to in-fighting in the DA’s City caucus.

There are a number of fierce critics of former mayor Patricia de Lille who now make up the new mayco.

Nieuwoudt had submitted to council the last motion of no confidence in De Lille before she was forced to withdraw it as the DA’s leadership stepped in to handle the matter. Vos is a former MP and was the party’s spokesperson on tourism. He also served in Helen Zille’s mayco.

Booi is a former Cope member who also submitted a motion of no confidence against De Lille.

Maxiti is a new councillor and has very little experience in the position.

Badroodien, one of the youngest councillors, is a member of the DA Youth and was formerly the chairperson of the Junior Doctors Association of South Africa.

Twigg is a seasoned politician and a vocal critic of De Lille. He is currently the DA Metro chairperson and one the senior councillors in council.

Cottle is another new councillor with little experience. She is a ward councillor for ward 58 which includes part of Rondebosch.

Purchase has been a City councillor since 2000. She previously served as chairperson of sub-council 19.

The EFF’s Andrew Arnolds said: “It is clear that the DA was on a witch hunt to get rid of De Lille and those aligned to her because if we look at some of those members some of those mayco members are the ones who supported a motion of no confidence against her.”

Arnolds has also raised some concerns regarding the new mayco member for transport and urban development. “They want to keep that portfolio white so that they can get more white contracts and it’s evident they want to continue tender irregularities.”

De Lille said: “I have seen the new mayco. And yes their only sin was that they voted against the motion of no confidence and the others were rewarded because JP promised them the position. Marian is very conservative, they reward her and Malusi Booi for bringing the motion against me.”

However, Plato said these positions would change at the next full council sitting when the organisational development and transformational plan came under review.

He was also adamant that he alone had chosen the make-up of his committee and was influenced by no one. “The members I have chosen to serve have demonstrated their ability to carry out their duties with excellence, their commitment to work together and their passion to serve the people of this city.”


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Cape Argus