Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

DA, ActionSA or ANC-EFF candidate? City of Joburg to elect mayor via secret ballot

The metropolitan municipality 's council sitting will resume at 3:30pm.

ActionSA has decided to throw the weight behind its own candidate for the mayoral position in the City of Johannesburg.

The city has convened a special council sitting on Tuesday to elect a new executive mayor, following the resignation of Al Jama-ah councillor Thapelo Amad.

The metropolitan municipality was scheduled to vote on a motion of no confidence against Amad last week, but the council meeting was cancelled due to his decision to vacate the mayor’s office.

Mayoral candidates

Former City of Joburg mayor, Mpho Phalatse, is hoping to return at the held of the metro after the Democratic Alliance (DA) announced her as the party’s candidate, much to the frustration of its coalition partners.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) have since decided to back ActionSA councillor, Funzi Ngobeni, for Joburg mayor.

ALSO READ: Amad is out of his depth as Joburg mayor

In a tweet, ActionSA councillor and former MMC of Economic Development, Nkuli Mbundu said the decision was based on the DA’s refusal to reconsider joining forces in order to govern in Johannesburg.

“The DA has decided to unilaterally nominate Mpho Phalatse as their candidate, knowing very well she does not have the numbers required to win. She’s already lost twice before, so it’s a no brainer,” Mbundu said on Tuesday.

Mbundu warned that the DA’s move would result in the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) alliance emerging victorious when the council votes.

“However, there is disagreement and chaos within the ANC/EFF coalition. The parties cannot collectively agree on who should be mayor. One faction wants an ANC mayor, another wants [Joburg speaker] Colleen Makhubele and the other is pushing for a mayor from the minority block.

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

“With this division in the votes, council is likely to go on an elimination process with the candidate [to whom] the least votes belong eliminated in rounds,” he claimed.

“It’s really all up to the DA whether or not we save the city from the ANC/EFF government. The ball is squarely in their court.”

Last week, the DA insisted that there was no multiparty coalition “with any formal status”.

The party told its former coalition partners that it would not participate in any coalition that included the Patriotic Alliance (PA) to give the parties a majority in Johannesburg.

Secret ballot

There are currently just over 220 councillors present in the council meeting to elect a new Joburg mayor on Tuesday.

Speaking to eNCA, Makhubele confirmed to the the voting process, which will start after 3:30pm, would take place via a secret ballot.

Asked whether she will indeed be contesting the mayoral position, the Congress of the People (Cope) councillor said: “I’m not vying for any position. As I have said, it is the government of local unit that sits and look at who do we have as credible candidates that we can push forward to be the mayor. Nobody is vying for anything except to say we are available to serve when called upon”.

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

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

Watch the council meeting below: