Anastasi Mokgobu
4 minute read
4 Dec 2019
6:15 am

Elect a Joburg mayor today or I take over, Makhura warns

Anastasi Mokgobu

This is 'to ensure service delivery is not affected and residents do not suffer,' the Gauteng premier said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is warning he will intervene and take over the City of Joburg if a new mayor is not elected today and the city remains dysfunctional.

This comes after a council sitting last Thursday at which a new mayor was to be elected was postponed. This was due to differences over what entailed a majority vote.

“The provincial government will continue to intervene in municipalities affected by governance chaos and maladministration to ensure service delivery is not affected and residents do not suffer,” Makhura said.

MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance and traditional affairs Lebogang Maile has urged Joburg speaker Vasco da Gama to convene a meeting with the whips of all parties ahead of the council meeting.

Maile said he was concerned about the state of affairs in the city after the council failed to elect a new executive mayor last week.

“As the MEC responsible for local government in Gauteng, the current state of affairs is of great concern to me and, no doubt, to the residents of the city,” Maile said.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said there was a possibility the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would work together to find common ground.

“We are likely to see last-minute discussions between the two.

“The DA can surrender Tshwane metro, which the EFF would want, but the leadership of the DA may have to step aside for this particular arrangement to work. But any deal that they may come up with is not protected by any future disruptions, considering that we have local elections ahead of us,” Fikeni said.

The election of the mayor was postponed last week because of confusion about what constituted a majority as one of the seats, previously held by the ANC, is vacant. Three candidates will be competing for the mayoral post today.

The mayoral candidates for Joburg:

EFF’s Musa Novela – a ‘proven, capable leader’

The Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) mayoral candidate has been in the party since its establishment in 2013. In 2016, he was elected as a councillor and the EFF caucus leader in the council. As the chairperson of the EFF in the Johannesburg region, Novela was involved in the coalition government when Herman Mashaba was the mayor and he has a good understanding of the inner workings of government.

Some of the EFF’s victories during that time include achieving the insourcing of workers, clinics staying open 24 hours, the introduction of mobile clinics for poor communities and informal settlements, and better working conditions and terms for the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department.

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “Novela has proven to be a capable public representative and leader. He is a public representative of integrity.” Novela holds a certificate in local governance from the University of Johannesburg.

DA’s Funzela Ngobeni – a committed graft-buster

Funzela Ngobeni, 44, is committed to furthering the plans of the Democratic Alliance in the city. “Visible service delivery to all residents, including the underprivileged communities, remains this administration’s priority,” he said.

Ngobeni said that corruption would be rooted out under his leadership. “Over the past three years, we have declared corruption our number one enemy. I will intensify our anticorruption programme. This includes following up on all pending cases that are with the [National Prosecuting Authority] and the Hawks,” he said.

Ngobeni was appointed member of the mayoral committee for development planning after the 2016 municipal elections. He held this position for 16 months before being appointed as the MMC for finance and information communication technology last year. He still holds this post.

Ngobeni is currently the DA’s Johannesburg regional chairperson and deputy caucus leader. He has a postgraduate diploma in public management and a certificate in housing policy development and management from Wits School of Governance.

ANC’s Geoff Makhubo has transformation in mind

The ANC mayoral candidate has been a political activist since the 1980s. He joined the ANC and the youth league in the 1990s. Makhubo held several positions in the ANC before being elected as the regional chairperson of the City of Joburg last year.

Makhubo said he wanted to improve the experience of the residents of Johannesburg. “The traffic lights must be working. The taps full, the grass must be cut. As you walk into Johannesburg there must be cleanliness. That’s the focus for my first 100 days. It’s the look and feel of Johannesburg. There will also be transformation programmes that must be introduced.

He has been a public representative in the city since August 2016. Makhudo was a member of the mayoral committee for finance in the city. He is also leading the ANC caucus in the council.

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