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Political pundits predict new, young blood in the City Mayco

Newly elected mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis is expected to announce his core team, the Mayoral committee, on Monday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency/ANA

Newly elected mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis is expected to announce his core team, the Mayoral committee, on Monday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency/ANA

Published Nov 21, 2021


AS THE mayor prepares to unveil a new mayoral committee, speculation is rife that it will consist of "new " faces and young councillors to fast-track his vision.

In his inaugural speech, Geordin Hill-Lewis promised to restore hope and bring about change through service delivery.

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He said those who made the cut for the new Mayco would have undergone lifestyle audits.

Political analyst Sanusha Naidoo said Hill-Lewis would walk a tightrope in trying to deliver on his "strong speech" in the context of “imploding” service delivery across the city.

Newly elected mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis is expected to announce his core team, the Mayoral committee, on Monday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency/ANA

“Communities have been complaining of poor service delivery. Hill-Lewis gave a strong speech and he will now have to match it with deliverables,”: said Naidoo.

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Another political analyst, Zweli Ndevu, also said Hill-Lewis would have to match the promise to revitalise the city and bring coherence and balance in service delivery by appointing a Mayco that was aligned to the commitment.

“The DA trend now is to go for new, young blood to build the future. We are likely to see that in the new Mayco. It’s likely to bring in a new team that doesn’t carry old baggage of the City,” Ndevu said.

He said the DA was now selecting councillors who had either worked in the party's offices or with politicians and had been exposed to the party structures and culture.

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Ndevu said Hill-Lewis was likely to shuffle positions like Human Settlements's Malusi Booi and Energy and Climate's Phindile Maxiti and Finance's Ian Neilson.

Mayco member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg was likely to get the chop, too.

Ndevu said: “Energy is also under their radar. The DA want to build their future campaigns on energy security so they will take it strongly going forward.

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“We’ve seen cities like Johannesburg also wanting to take control of energy supply. It’s an issue that communities are also getting involved in. It is something that the party will look at seriously to please their supporters and show that when government systems do not work it will bring  in the private sector to provide a solution.”

Another key portfolio that would possibly receive a new person would be Spatial Planning, which Ndevu said had suffered damage with the debacle between the DA and former mayor, Patricia de Lille.

In his speech Hill-Lewis also hinted at a renewed focus on the transport portfolio which saw the collapse of MyCiTi N2 Express over the past two years and a “takeover” of the passenger rail service.

“Some of his promises are blue sky, others are doable,” said Naidoo.

Opposition political parties also weighed in and called for a shake-up of the Mayco.

GOOD secretary-general Brett Herron called for the appointment of people committed to “outcomes and not just party loyalists”.

"Hill-Lewis has some 130-odd councillors to choose from to deliver on his election promises. He will have to select people in the divided caucus who share his vision and ensure the support of his party leadership to deliver on it.

“I would be surprised if Limberg is back. She’s not performed well in the portfolio and the allegations of a fake degree doesn't help her case either.  The water and sanitation system has been collapsing everywhere, even in affluent areas," he said.

The DA gave Limberg the responsibility of being the face of the City's attempts to ward off an imminent Day Zero in 2018 after its fallout with then mayor De Lille.

He also believed that the Safety and Security portfolio needed a new incumbent.

The ANC's Xolani Sotashe also called on Hill-Lewis to appoint “competent” people who were “fit for purpose”.

“We will watch closely what he will achieve in his first 100 days in office,” said Sotashe.

“As an opposition party we are willing to work with Hill-Lewis to meet the needs of the communities, that’s if he's willing to listen to us,” he added.

The council will also be filled with a diverse group of newcomers to fill the spots of those who were not re-elected.The  DA’s seat allocation decreased from last year's 155 to 136 while the ANC lost 12 to 43 this year.

Faced with almost 90% of new councillors, the ANC would also face the task of electing a new chief, caucus leader and representatives on the various council committees.

On the other hand, new parties such as GOOD and the Cape Coloured Congress made grand entrances with seven seats each, while the EFF gained three more seats and increased its representation to 10. Al-Jamah secured three.

The ACDP also gained three more seats, raising the number of its councillors to six, the Patriotic Alliance now has four seats and the Freedom Front Plus has four seats instead of one previously.

The election results sounded the death knell for the Congress of the People (Cope), which lost its lone voice.

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