As councillors arrived at the Johannesburg Council Chambers for the expected mayoral vote, Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile warned that should there be disruptions that leave Johannesburg without a mayor, the ANC would take over running the municipality in the meantime.
He said: “In the next seven days, we will instruct council to reconvene and take over the runnings of the municipality in the meantime.”
Maile, who is the MEC for human settlements, urban planning, and cooperative governance and traditional affairs, has been at loggerheads with City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama following the speaker’s decision to postpone a council meeting to elect a new mayor last week.
As councillors made their way into the gallery, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule greeted an Inkatha Freedom Party member, saying: “Let us stick to our positions,” a possible indicator of an agreement, which may leave the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) out in the cold with little to no bargaining powers.
Geoff Makhubo, chair of the ANC’s Johannesburg region, has been selected as the ANC’s mayoral candidate to possibly replace former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
The ANC’s announcement came after the EFF stated that it would nominate Musa Novela for the top position. The DA announced Funzela Ngobeni as their nominee.
City of Johannesburg councillors will meet for a second time to possibly vote for a new mayor after Mashaba resigned shortly after Hellen Zille’s appointment as the DA’s Federal Council chair.