The City of Johannesburg has moved to next Monday its crucial inaugural sitting of the council for the 2016-2021 term of office that was scheduled to take place today, as the city’s government is yet to be formed.
The city said the sitting was moved after consultation with political party leaders who attended last week’s Mock Council, an informal meeting to orientate new councillors, at the Johannesburg Theatre.
In a statement, city manager Trevor Fowler said the leaders of political parties that contested the August 3 municipal elections were currently negotiating coalitions and had indicated they needed more time.
No political party won an outright majority to form a government in the City of Joburg, leaving parties with 14 days, or until Friday, in which to conclude negotiations.
Fowler, who would be the presiding officer, said part of the agenda for Monday’s meeting would be the swearing in of all 270 councillors, the election of speaker of council, executive mayor and chief whip of council.
Fowler said the mayoral portfolio committees, members of the mayoral committee, election of chairpersons of committees, and approval of members of various section 79 committees would be announced at the second council meeting, which was planned for September 8.
In the meantime, the city continues to function and services are rendered,” Fowler said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the mood was sombre at the offices of the City of Joburg as the possibility of job losses began to sink in among a number of staff members attached to politicians.
TMG reported that support staff attached to politicians – including political advisers to the members of the mayoral committee‚ stakeholder advisers and staff in the mayor’s office – feared losing their jobs if another political party took over the city from the ANC.