The first mayor from the Congress of the People has been elected. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

The first mayor from the Congress of the People was elected in the Karoo Hoogland local council on Tuesday.

Jan Julies was elected after a coalition agreement between the Democratic Alliance and COPE, COPE in the Northern Cape said in a statement.

COPE was given the mayoral position as it garnered 31 percent of the votes for the municipality in the election, compared to the DA's 21 percent.

The local council comprises the towns of Sutherland, Williston and Fraserburg.

“The first thing that we must ensure as the new council, is that politics and administration are completely separated. We are here to serve our community and not our political parties,” said Julies.

The council was previously held by the ANC.

Julies first act as mayor was to freeze all vacant posts until the council met to review the budget passed by the previous ANC-led council.

“The coalition is concerned that salaries of municipal employees currently take up 51 percent of the council’s entire budget. Poverty and unemployment is widespread as most people in the municipality rely on seasonal farm labour for income.” -