Durban - Long-standing councillor in the uMngeni Municipality, Janis Holmes, has been nominated by the DA to be the speaker of the municipality.
Howick-born Holmes, who has served as councillor since 2011, holds a Bachelor's degree in social science and is majoring in political science.
The 44-year-old Holmes told Independent Media on Wednesday that it was a huge honour to be nominated for the role of speaker and she is very excited for the future of the DA in uMngeni going forward.
“We’ve had a difficult time in council in terms of transparency and reports not coming through to the council. I am hoping we can start running a clean ship at a council level and ensure whichever reports that are supposed to come in do come in, then hopefully we can start getting things right.
“This is my eleventh year as a councillor and I’ve had experience in the private sector so I'm hoping that the experience I have will provide some value,” Holmes said.
Get to know the DA’s Speaker-elect for uMngeni Local Municipality.— DA KZN (@DA_KZN) November 10, 2021
Janis Holmes was born and bred in Howick and has been a Councillor in this municipality since 2011.
She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree, majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies from UKZN. pic.twitter.com/LcKDJfminT
The party said in a statement on Wednesday that the position of speaker is of critical importance.
“The speaker-elect plans to improve public participation in the municipality to ensure it is more meaningful and not treated as a last-minute tick-box exercise. This will allow a more inclusive DA-led council to hear directly from residents about the issues that matter to them.
“The position of speaker in the municipality will be of critical importance for the DA to ensure that the legislative arm of the municipality focuses on delivering services and cutting out corruption,” the DA said.
The DA’s race to govern uMngeni, which includes towns like Howick, Hilton and Mpophomeni, was proclaimed during voter registration weekend, when the leader of the blue party in KZN, Francois Rodgers, said it needed 9% or 2 500 votes more to win.
And so it did in the 2021 local elections, obtaining its first municipality in KZN, with 47% of the votes and 13 seats, stealing the council from under the ANC’s not-so-watchful eye.
The DA has opted for a young team to lead the municipality, with elected mayor Chris Pappas at 30 and highly-qualified deputy mayor Sandile Mnikathi at 26. Both Pappas and Mnikathi will be inaugurated at an event this Friday in uMngeni.