THE DA’s Dirk Kotzé has become the first mayor to be elected to council at the Mossel Bay Municipality following last week’s municipal elections.
Kotzé, who had been acting in the position in the previous administration, was elected during a meeting on Wednesday when the newly constituted council voted in the executive.
Mossel Bay is the first municipality in the Western Cape to hold a council meeting following the elections. It is also one of nine municipalities of 25 in the Western Cape where the DA secured a majority with 66.24% support.
With 19 out of the 29 seats, the party gained a comfortable lead, allowing them to hold their first council meeting just nine days after the elections while the majority of municipalities are waiting until political parties hash out coalition agreements.
Wednesday’s event was attended by Premier Alan Winde, the DA Federal chairperson Ivan Meyer and the party’s Western Cape’s interim deputy leader, Tertius Simmers.
The DA’s Venolea Fortuin was elected as speaker of council, becoming Mossel Bay’s first female speaker. The position of deputy mayor will be announced after the DA’s Federal Council completes its interview process with two candidates who applied for the position.
Kotzé told Weekend Argus he was humbled by the appointment and was looking forward to another productive five years.
“The electorate gave us a proper mandate that ensures political stability and that means we can move swiftly. I am very excited but also aware of the major challenges we will face as I have been acting in this position for a few months,” he said.
“I am also a bit nervous, we got such strong votes. I must thank the administration and the electorate for their support. We are already busy with forming ward committees, as well as the Integrated Development Plan so that we hit the ground running as soon as possible.
Kotzé said his vision for the municipality for the next five years was centred around growing partnerships, improving safety and building a more sustainable and economically attractive environment.
“I believe in partnership, over the past five years we started with building those. At this council I invited members of the taxi association, safety association, NPOs, and religious fraternities. Government does not have the luxury to call the shots, we need the community to work together,” he said.
“We will also work on maintaining but improving service levels, working on the safety sector through our private partnerships and creating a space where people want to stay, establish businesses and invest, create more jobs so that our people can live with dignity.”