National 10.8.2016 06:00 am

It’s business as usual in Joburg

City of Johannesburg skyline. Picture Thinkstock

City of Johannesburg skyline. Picture Thinkstock

Despite all the Game of Thrones-like intrigue going on in coalition politics behind the scenes, the governance of the city continues.

City of Joburg manager Trevor Fowler said residents can rest assured that there will be no halt in municipal services, despite the absence of a clear majority by any party following last week’s municipal elections.

“As political leaders negotiate the formation of a new municipal government, work is being done, services are delivered and the important task of restoring our people’s dignity through world-class services continues apace,” said Fowler in a statement.

He also announced that the inaugural council meeting for the new term of office would be on next Wednesday. The city manager will preside over the council until the election of the speaker. The newly elected speaker will then preside over council, which will elect the executive mayor and chief whip.

A handover report, as well as an induction and orientation programme for councillors, will be tabled, along with the integrated development plan for the 2016- 2017 financial year.

According to the statement, councillors will attend a three-day orientation programme from August 22, which will deal with legislation guiding municipalities and general governance issues in the legislature, including the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The second council meeting is planned for September 8. Should political parties currently in negotiations not come to an agreement on a “coalition government”, a minority government could be constituted by either the leading party or a coalition of parties without the majority.

A minority government can only pass resolutions with the support or concurrence of other members or parties in council. This enables a majority on specific issues. Fowler said whatever way the coalition negotiations went, residents of Johannesburg should rest assured that this would not affect the provision of services.

Fowler thanked city officials and residents who assisted the IEC to manage and coordinate a free, fair and violence-free election. “This is a testament of the maturation of our democracy. The city appreciates many who helped manage this intricate and delicate process. These are unsung heroes and heroines operating far from the media spotlight,” said Fowler.

In preparation for the inaugural council meeting, there will be a mock council sitting tomorrow at 10am.

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