Cape Town - Geordin Hill-Lewis has officially been elected as the youngest Cape Town Mayor during the City of Cape Town’s first council meeting on Thursday.
The municipality held its very first council meeting for the newly-elected councillors on Thursday, where proceedings were being steered by City of Cape Town municipal manager Lungelo Mbandazayo.
Mbandazayo was at the helm of the meeting until a new speaker was elected. The speaker is responsible for ensuring oversight, accountability, integrity, the discipline of office, and the efficient running of council meetings.
This role was again given to Felicity Purchase, who had previously taken over the position earlier this year when Dirk Smit, who served as councillor and Speaker for 15 years, retired.
The ANC nominated Xolani Sotashe as the preferred candidate, while the African Christian Democratic Party's Grant Haskin was also nominated.
After Purchase’s election was ratified, they eventually moved on to the election of the new City of Cape Town mayor.
The people who were nominated for the position of mayor were councillor Jack Miller from the Cape Independence party, councillor Noluthando Makasi from the African National Congress (ANC), and councillor Geordin Hill-Lewis from the Democratic Alliance (DA).
After 224 councillors voted for mayor, there were 15 spoilt ballots, and there were 20 abstentions. Miller got two votes, Makasi received 46 votes, and Hill-Lewis won 141 votes and was elected as the mayor of Cape Town.
Geordin Hill-Lewis seen earlier when he was officially elected as the youngest Cape Town Mayor during the City of Cape Town’s first council meeting.— Cape Argus (@TheCapeArgus) November 18, 2021
Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency pic.twitter.com/dOB18VPwLk
“It is the singular honour of my life to address you today for the very first time as the mayor of the City of Cape Town. Our City is a place of unrivalled natural beauty.
“Our residents are people of unlimited talent, and our future is brimming with unmatched potential. I am deeply humbled by the trust that you've placed in me to lead our great city into that future. I pledge to work every single day to deepen the trust that you placed in me and the government team that I now lead,” Hill-Lewis said, after taking to the podium as mayor.
“But all that we may achieve will only be possible because we build on the work of those who have gone before. I wish to sincerely honour, from the bottom of my heart, Mayor Dan Plato, who laid the foundation that we will build on over the coming five years.
“I'm so grateful to have my wife Carla and my daughter in the gallery today. On this very first day of a new administration, I want every Capetonian to know what they should expect from us in the years ahead,” he said.
“The government that has been elected by the people of Cape Town, that is gathered here today, we publicly affirm that we will serve the city with a clear higher purpose.
“That purpose can be summed up in one sentence – to restore hope in South Africa by turning Cape Town into living proof that we can roll back poverty, that we can overcome the long shadows of our past, and that our country can still realise the society dreamed of in the founding documents of our democracy, the Constitution.”
Hill-Lewis added: “A city more caring, more inclusive, more prosperous, more united, more respectful, more safe and more free. My fellow Capetonians, today we map out the route for this purpose-driven journey of hope that we are embarking on.”
“Our journey today must start with the recognition that more and more South Africans are feeling hopeless about the future. So, to the voters of Cape Town and to the voters of the whole country who have lost hope and stayed home on election day, I want to say that we have heard your message loud and clear.
“More of the same isn't gonna cut it. Words are no longer enough. It is time for fresh thinking.”
It is the single greatest honour of my life to be officially elected as the Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Thank you for placing your faith in me, I will make sure this faith has not been misplaced. Now, our work starts to make Cape Town a beacon of hope for SA. #MayorGHL pic.twitter.com/Xvkwh9TTZP— Geordin Hill-Lewis (@geordinhl) November 18, 2021
The DA initially unveiled Hill-Lewis as the party’s mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town back in August, when DA leader John Steenhuisen made the announcement of the party's candidates contesting in the major cities.
At 34 years old, Hill-Lewis is Cape Town’s youngest mayor since 1994. Up until now, he has been serving as the DA’s finance spokesperson, a post he held since June 2019, after current provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier moved to the provincial legislature.
First appointed to the National Assembly in August 2011, Hill-Lewis attended Edgemead High School and holds a BCom and an honours degree in politics, philosophy and economics, from the University of Cape Town.
He obtained a Master's degree in economic policy at the University of London.