Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

City of Joburg fails to elect new mayor after several delays

The metropolitan municipality will vote for a new mayor on Friday.

The City of Johannesburg is set to elect a new executive mayor later this week after failing to do so on Tuesday.

The process of electing a new mayor was delayed despite the city’s special council meeting starting at 10am on Tuesday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were the first party to call for a one hour caucus break as the meeting began.

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A three-hour break followed after a request from the African National Congress (ANC).

Once councillors returned to the chambers around around 3:45pm, yet another break caucus was requested until 4:45pm.

A further 20-minute break was granted by Joburg speaker Colleen Makhubele.

‘Detriment to service delivery’

Around 5:30pm, Al-Jamah-ah councillor Imraan Ismail Moosa asked for another one hour break, much to the frustration of some parties.

“Let the process like it unfolded the whole day. Every party had its opportunity… Al-Jamah-ah needs its opportunity now,” he said.

ActionSA councillor Lerato Ngobeni pleaded for the latest attempt to delay proceedings be rejected.

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“With all due respect speaker, councillors have been here since the morning with the hope that the residents of Joburg will have a new mayor by the end of this day. Speaker, may we reiterate your own words that this house would emerge from this meeting having done so,” Ngobeni said.

“When the last caucus break was granted, there was progression suggestion even from yourself speaker that all caucus would use that three hours effectively.

“To renege on that suggestion speaker would be to the detriment of the residents of this city and for service delivery in particular. May I remind this house speaker that it costs taxpayers in this city almost half a million rand to hold these council meetings.”

Meeting adjourned

Makhubele, however, decided to adjourn the council sitting.

“This whole day we have been all over the place… clearly we are not ready to elect an executive mayor. It’s worrying that councillors keep asking for caucus breaks and I cannot deny them caucus breaks, but it is clear to me that the readiness of this council to conduct the business of the day is in question. I, therefore, adjourn this meeting,” she said.

The City of Joburg will vote for a new mayor on Friday.

The metropolitan municipality has been without a mayor for a week following the resignation of Al Jama-ah councillor Thapelo Amad.

READ MORE: Next Joburg mayor likely to come from a minority party

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has selected form Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse as their candidate, while ActionSA had proposed Funzi Ngobeni.

Ngobeni has been backed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

According to media reports, Makhubele and Al Jamah-ah councillor Kabelo Gwamanda have also been tipped to replace Amad.

The city has seen nine elected mayors not completing a full term since Parks Tau in 2016.