Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
1 Oct 2021
11:30 am

Emotional Mpho Moerane is Joburg’s new mayor, vows to ‘pick up the spear’

Thapelo Lekabe

The new mayor was elected unopposed and will serve at least until the end of October, when the country and city head to the local government elections.

Late Johannesburg executive mayor Jolidee Matongo, left, with the city's newly elected mayor Mpho Moerane. Picture: @mphomoerane/Twitter

ANC Johannesburg regional treasurer, Mpho Moerane, has officially been elected the City of Johannesburg’s new executive mayor.

Moerane was elected unopposed during a special council sitting on Friday morning.

There was only one nomination form submitted by ANC councillor Salphina Mulaudzi, who nominated Moerane. The nomination was seconded by ANC councillor Solomon Mogase.

ALSO READ: Joburg needs new mayor urgently to address service delivery – ANC Gauteng

Council speaker Nonceba Molwele said if only one candidate has been nominated for mayor, the presiding officer must declare that candidate elected.

“I, therefore, announce and declare councillor Mpho Moerane as the executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg,” Molwele said.

270 councillors were in attendance as well as key provincial government officials, including corporate governance MEC Lebogang Maile and education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. The Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus sent its apologies and did not appear to have attended the meeting.

Moerane takes over from late mayor Jolidee Matongo, who died in a car crash two weeks ago. Matongo was in the job for just over a month after replacing former mayor Geoff Makhubo, who died from Covid-19 complications back in July.

Moerane served as the city’s member of the mayoral committee member (MMC) for environment and infrastructure services in both Matongo and Makhubo’s administrations.

Moerane pays tribute to late mayors

In his acceptance speech, an emotional Moerane said the occasion to elect a new mayor was not easy for him because approximately six weeks ago, Matongo was elected to the same position.

“This is very emotional because six weeks ago my friend was standing here making his acceptance speech. It’s not easy but I will try,” he said.  

The new mayor said he would continue with Makhubo and Matongo’s legacy, and serve the residents of Johannesburg to the best of his ability.

“I’m sure I speak on behalf of all councillors in this chamber when I say that none of us expected that we would be here today for the election of another executive mayor so soon after mayor Matongo had taken office.”

ANC endorses Mpho Moerane to replace late Matongo as mayor
Joburg’s newly elected mayor Mpho Moerane. Picture: Gallo Images

The new Johannesburg mayor said he would retain the nine MMCs in his administration and appoint councillor Tania Oldjohn to fill his portfolio.

“Nine of these nominees will be returning to their committees in their respective portfolios, with the exception of the environment and infrastructure services department nominee, which is comrade, councillor Tania Oldjohn,” he said.

Moerane will lead the City of Johannesburg for the next 30 days, ahead of the municipal elections, scheduled for 1 November.

He vowed to “pick up the fallen spear” of his late predecessor and ensure the continuity of ”visible, accelerated service delivery in Johannesburg communities”.

“We must continue with the accelerated service delivery programme started by mayor Makhubo and duly followed by mayor Matongo in ensuring that services are rendered.”

The ANC runs the metro through a coalition that includes the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the African Independent Congress (AIC), the Congress of the People (Cope), Al Jama-ah and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

Additional reporting by Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni