Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

New Ekurhuleni mayor promises to fix metro as opposition parties blame each other

The new Ekurhuleni mayor says he will announce his mayoral committee 'soon'.

While newly elected City of Ekurhuleni mayor Nkosindiphile Xhakaza pledged to improve service delivery, opposition members pointed fingers at each other regarding his election.

Xhakaza was elected unopposed in a council meeting on Thursday, succeeding African Independent Congress (AIC) councillor Sivuyile Ngodwana.

Ngodwana was ousted from the mayoral office through a motion of no confidence two weeks ago.

Ekurhuleni’s mayor to announce MMCs

The new Ekurhuleni mayor was immediately sworn in and delivered his maiden speech before his fellow councillors at the Germiston Civic Centre.

Xhakaza vowed to stabilise Ekurhuleni and provide better services to the metropolitan municipality’s residents.

“I will be more consultative and ensure that we govern in the interest of the collective parties in council. Our utmost priority is to ensure that a sustainable provision of basis services across the city, to ensure electricity provision, when interruption occurs, that we communicate and be in touch with our communities, that the provision of water is stabilised,” he said.

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The African National Congress (ANC) councillor also promised to improve the city’s revenue and invest in infrastructure.

“We will look at the issues of governance and ensure that we have a corrupt free city.”

He added: “We will equally ensure that the administration is geared towards the right focus and helps us as the political leadership to discharge our responsibility, which is a constitutional mandate of local government.

Xhakaza said he will announce his mayoral committee “soon” to fast-track service delivery.

Watch: Xhakaza speaks after being elected Ekurhuleni mayor

Mayor election delayed

The council sitting was delayed as the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) held talks regarding the allocation of leadership positions. 

Thursday’s vote comes after last week’s council meeting was postponed by Ekurhuleni speaker Nthabiseng Tshivhenga.

According to ActionSA, Tshivhenga’s decision was in violation of the Municipal Structures Act, which requires council to elect a mayor within seven days.

READ MORE: Opposition parties considering legal action after Ekurhuleni mayor vote crumbles

The failure to elect Ngodwana’s replacement prompted the intervention of Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Mzi Khumalo.

Khumalo, who was engaged in discussions with Tshivhenga before the council sitting on Thursday, welcomed Xhakaza’s election.

“We think it’s a positive step towards the stabilisation of this particular municipality,” the MEC said.

Opposition parties blame each other

Meanwhile, EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo blamed ActionSA for handing the mayoral office back to the ANC.

“The ANC is back in mayorship in Ekurhuleni because Herman Mashaba and the ActionSA put a motion of no confidence on the AIC (minority party) mayor. ActionSA, through its motion, was actually strategically returning the ANC to the mayorship. A vote for Action SA is a vote for the ANC. Sharp!” Thambo said on X, formerly Twitter.

However, ActionSA singled out at the Democratic Alliance (DA) for not supporting their candidate.

“After consulting with various political parties, including the DA, it became very clear that our candidate would not garner enough support to win. We will remain an effective opposition,” the party said.

According to ActionSA Ekurhuleni leader Siyanda Makhubo, the party wanted to form a coalition, but this depended on the support of the DA, which has more seats in council.

“The DA with their 65 seats has declined to support an ActionSA candidate. It is becoming increasingly clear that the DA’s stance means that there is no clear path for any alternative to the ANC and EFF to emerge in Ekurhuleni,” Makhubo said in a statement.

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