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Day of high drama across the country as the DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse snatches Joburg mayoral chain from ANC

The DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse is the new mayor of Joburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

The DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse is the new mayor of Joburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 23, 2021


Johannesburg - IT HAS been a 24-hour period of political musical chairs as the coalition agreements have introduced major changes and shake-ups in the country's municipalities.

Monday proved to be a day of high drama as the ANC lost the mayorship of City of Joburg and a key post in the City of Ekurhuleni following the election of DA members as mayor and speaker.

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Late last night, the DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse was elected mayor of Joburg snatching the mayoral chains off the ANC candidate Mpho Moerane.

The DA’s Vasco De Gama was elected as Speaker in the City of Joburg.

In Ekurhuleni, DA councillor Raymond Dlamini was elected as the new speaker while councillor Tania Campbell was elected mayor

Of the 267 councillors present in the inaugural council meeting after the November 1 local government elections, 230 ballot papers were cast.

Dlamini secured 116 votes to become speaker.

“We are extremely proud of our team in Ekurhuleni and we have great trust in their ability to turn the metro around and into a world-class city that delivers services to all residents,” the DA said in a statement.

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In Nelson Mandela Bay small parties said they backed out of a deal with the DA because it would not meet their demands.

This comes after the ANC’s Eugene Johnson was elected as the new mayor beating DA mayoral candidate Nqaba Bhanga by one vote.

Johnson received 60 votes while Bhanga only managed to clinch 59 votes.

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ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said it was a sad day to see the ANC back in charge at Nelson Mandela Bay.

He said the leaders responsible for the ANC’s return to power should be held responsible in 2024.

The ANC should not have been allowed back into power in the metro, said Mashaba.

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Chaotic scenes in eThekwini were evident during the council meeting as ANC members later in the day stormed the venue where councillors had gathered to elect a mayor.

“The deadlock in many of the councils in South Africa is not as a result of anything the DA has done but rather the split in the opposition votes, and the decision by parties such as the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the IFP to throw their weight behind the ANC,” the DA said.

Ekurhuleni city manager Dr Imogen Matshazi announced that Dlamini had been elected the municipality’s speaker.

According to Matshazi, eight were unused while none were cancelled and two were spoilt.

Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie meanwhile expressed his happiness with the outcome of the negotiations in Joburg.

”We are happy. Coloured people have a right and they are not going anywhere,” he said.

The DA on the other hand distanced itself from claims that it did not back a multi-party minority coalition in the country’s economic hub.

”This minority coalition in Johannesburg will not be able to govern without the support of the EFF, that will remain outside the coalition but dictate its actions on the threat of bringing it down.

“The EFF will thus be able to direct the mayor’s actions on many issues, as the EFF did after 2016 when Herman Mashaba became the ’EFF’s mayor’. We do not intend to repeat that failed mission,” the DA said on Monday.

According to the DA, even if the party supported the coalition to form a minority government under ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba in Johannesburg, it would still need the ANC or EFF to pass budgets and other critical mandatory council decisions.

”Throughout the election campaign, the DA has been steadfast in its position that we would rather be a strong opposition than being part of a shaky coalition that limps from meeting to meeting and depends on the support of the EFF,” the DA stated.

The party was adamant that it was impossible for opposition parties to form a majority coalition in Johannesburg and effectively gave the balance of power to the EFF.

”We cannot allow the EFF in by the back door, where they pretend to be a coalition led by Mashaba. We tried that before and it failed. We learn from experience and we keep our promises,” the DA said.

The ANC wants candidates who are “capable, experienced and skilled” to ensure the delivery of basic services and governance of municipalities is strengthened and revolutionised.

The ANC is today expected to outline the outcomes of its special national executive committee meeting over the weekend.

The City of Tshwane is also expected to hold its council meeting to elect office bearers.

loyiso. [email protected]

Political Bureau