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What the new mayors of Joburg and Ekurhuleni did in their first week in office

The DA’s veteran councillor in Ekurhuleni Tania Campbell managed to beat the ANC’s incumbent Mzwandile Masina on Monday night to become executive mayor of the metropolitan municipality.

  • Tania Campbell issued a moratorium on unnecessary international travel by officials.
  • Mpho Phalatse issued a moratorium on the filling of vacant positions.
  • The DA is in a rush to finalise coalition agreements, so that mayors can appoint members of their committees.

With the DA rushing to form coalitions governments in hung municipalities, Gauteng’s top mayors issued wide-ranging moratoriums to halt the filling of vacancies as well as unnecessary international travel by officials. 

Ekurhuleni’s mayor, Tania Campbell, hit the ground running in her first week in office as she feared officials may be tempted to turn political and temporary positions into permanent ones. 

Campbell told News24 she had also moved swiftly to halt official international travel, unless her office signed off on it.

Johannesburg’s mayor, Mpho Phalatse, followed suit.

Phalatse and Campbell issued the moratoriums because the DA did not have a majority in these metros. They were elected by means of opposition support. 

Phalatse and Campbell have been hard at work, negotiating with other political parties represented at councils, in order to appoint a mayoral committee (mayco). 

Mayco seats have, in the past, been used as a bargaining chip during coalition negotiations. 

Both mayors confirmed their mayco might consist of other political party appointees. 

The DA’s Mpho Phalatse was elected mayor of Johannesburg on Monday night. She won 144 seats while the ANC received 121 votes.

“They have committed to having a working relationship, but there is no agreement. But every person who goes on to become a mayco member or a head of department has to sign a performance agreement. It is a working position,” Campbell said.

Phalatse said she was hoping to conclude the forming of her committee by early next week.

“Right now, the city is in limbo. As much as I am there as a political leader, I am alone. It is virtually impossible to do proper oversight in all departments and entities while I am on my own. slide 1 of 1Mpho PhalatseParty leader John Steenhuisen has thrown his weight behind Joburg mayoral candidate Mpho Phalatse. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City PressCity Press

“I am fast-tracking the appointments of MMCs (members of the mayoral committee), so we are hoping that, by the beginning of next week, we will be able to swear them in. Once MMCs have been deployed into areas, then they will be available to do proper oversight and accountability.”

On Friday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party was in discussions with several political parties about forming coalition governments.

-News24

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