The ANC Johannesburg region on Tuesday welcomed the election of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Dr Mpho Phalatse as the new executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
The DA, with the help of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ActionSA, regained control of South Africa’s economic hub on Monday night during the inaugural Johannesburg council meeting at the Brixton Multipurpose Centre.
Phalatse beat the ANC’s mayoral candidate Mpho Moerane with 144 votes while Moerane got 121 votes.
Moerane was elected the executive mayor of Johannesburg for a month in October prior to the local government elections, after mayor Jolidee Matongo died in a car crash in September.
DA’s Vasco Da Gama back as speaker
The Johannesburg council also elected DA councillor and former speaker of council, Vasco Da Gama, as the new speaker with 147 votes out of 265 votes cast. Da Gama beat ANC’s candidate Eunice Mgcina, who got 118 votes.
While accepting its new position as the official opposition in the Joburg council, the ANC said it would go back to the drawing board to ensure that “a clear and effective opposition strategy is developed”.
The party committed itself to holding the new DA executive in the city accountable for service delivery.
“The ANC is responsible for 87 out of 135 wards in Johannesburg, placing the ANC at the cold-face of service delivery. Moreover, this also presents the ANC as the first point of contact for service delivery to the residents of Johannesburg.
“We will along with our government of local unity partners hold the DA administration accountable and ensure services are adequately delivered to the people of Johannesburg,” said the ANC’s regional secretary Dada Morero in a statement.
Speaking after her election on Monday, Phalatse said she was honoured to be elected as the first woman mayor of Johannesburg, saying she would focus on uniting all councillors in council.
“It’s a huge honour and I don’t take it for granted. Joburg is the economic hub of South Africa and in many ways of the continent and to be trusted with such a mammoth task as a female is really saying to a lot of women out there that you can do it and you can be trusted too.
“I hope I will be a trailblazer for many more women coming after me who will also put their hand up for all sorts of things,” Phalatse told SABC News.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe