Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has a mayor at last after weeks of political instability.
DA caucus leader and former party MP Cilliers Brink was yesterday elected new mayor of Tshwane after he won the election against Cope’s sole councillor Ofentse Moalusi.
There were at least 213 potential voters, and Brink secured 109 votes while Moalusi got 102. Two councillors abstained from voting.
In his acceptance speech, Brink expressed the intention to build a city that worked for residents, and where no one would be left behind.
The envisaged city, he said, must be a clean, effective, corruption-free administration and provide a continuous and reliable supply of basic services, he said.
He also impressed on his audience that the city must provide value for the money that residents pay in tariffs, charges and taxes.
“We want to build a capital city that works for all of its people, one that improves the lives of the poor, and creates opportunities for all people to move up in life. We know in our hearts that this city will only be a good place for any of us to live in, if we work to make it a good place for all of us to live in,” Brink said.
On the back of the adverse report by the Auditor-General report for 2021/22, he said: “We have to get control of Tshwane’s finances, and bring our spending in line with what the city can realistically hope to collect.
“This is as important a task in responding to the concerns of the auditor-general, and restoring the financial controls that have systematically been broken down or have never existed.”
Brink said the metro would have to reduce its dependence on Eskom, and find alternative means of supplying electricity to residents.
“If we do not make bold and innovative changes, if all municipalities outside of the Western Cape don’t explore such changes, then the local government as we know it will simply not be able to deliver on its constitutional mandate,” he said.
DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga said his party welcomed Brink’s election, adding that he would lead the City’s multi-party coalition government.
“The lingering effects of reckless lockdown policies, unlawful ANC interventions in the City from other spheres of government, poor financial decisions, and the continuous and escalating impact of prolonged stage 6 load shedding have caused significant hardships for the City, especially with regards to it having had a devastating impact on Tshwane’s finances,” he said.
Moalusi was also supported by the EFF and ANC while Brink was a preferred candidate for the multiparty coalition, which includes ActionSA, the DA, FF-Plus, IFP and ACDP.
Brink succeeded former Cope councillor Dr Murunwa Makwarela, who stepped down on March 10 after it was found that he submitted a fake insolvency rehabilitation certificate to city manager Johann Mettler in an attempt to be reinstated as mayor.
Makwarela had been disqualified as a councillor following the news that the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, declared him insolvent in 2016.
ANC caucus leader Eugene “Bonzo” Modise said Brink must ensure that the people of Hammanskraal have clean and drinkable water.
“We have a power station that can be utilised tomorrow by the name of Rooiwal and we can be off the grid and load shedding can be history in our city. We would appreciate it if you can take this into cognisance and act accordingly.”
EFF regional leader Obakeng Ramabodu said his party would put pressure on the new mayor to make sure that he prioritises service delivery in the townships.