Cape Town city has re-elected Dirk Smit and Mayor Patricia de Lille to the positions of Speaker and Mayor of the city respectively during the city’s inaugural council meeting.
De Zille, a member of the Pan Africanist Congress; and the leader of the Independent Democrats beat ANC Cape metro leader Xolani Sotashe in the election by 160 votes to 56.
Her election was met with cheers and singing from Democratic Alliance (DA) members.
Smit also retained his position as the speaker with 157 votes, beating ANC councillor Patrick Mngxunyeni who pooled 57 votes.
The special occasion which held at the City of Cape Town’s Civic Centre, drew thousands of friends and loved ones who came to cheer some of the newly elected Councillors.
Among the dignitaries were DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Tony Leon [ former DA leader].
DA scooped the majority in Cape Town council in last week’s municipal elections, amassing 66.61% of the votes.
Mayor Patricia De Lille Overwhelmed By Supports
Speaking afterwards, excited De Lille said the just concluded elections have launched a new era of democracy in the city; adding that ”achieving a two thirds majority is a remarkable feeling.”
She also used the medium to appeal with opposition to work constructively with the new council because ”We may be political adversaries but we need not be enemies.”
De Lille also expressed gratitude to the 27,000 people who work for the City of Cape Town; promising to tackle imbalances in the city by spending 67% of the city’s budget on the poor – through basic services delivery to informal settlements.
ANC’s Sotashe, who conceded defeat, congratulated the DA for taking the lead in the elections. He said the ANC is ‘committing itself to play our role of official opposition in Cape Town.
”We will give credit where it is due, but we will agree to disagree. We are not going to be cowboys, to do street fighting, but we will come here as democrats. We are not going to keep quiet when people in Barcelona are still demanding services,” he added.