Herman Mashaba of the Democratic Alliance (DA) has finally be elected as the new mayor of one of SA’s economic hub, Johannesburg.
Mashaba was elected the new mayor on Monday after a disrupted, delayed, and tragic day and after opposition parties united against the ANC.
Prio to his election, the Senior leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) objected to Mashaba as mayor because “he hates his blackness” and because of his perceived disrespect for the poor.
The Democratic Alliance however, went on with their choice of Masheba as the city’s mayor and on Monday, the party won control of the city, unseating the ANC, which has run the municipal council since apartheid ended 22 years ago.
Through this victory, the DA also be in control of Tshwane the nation’s capital, following heavy losses in urban areas by the ANC at the August 3 local elections.
While the EFF and DA members celebrated the win‚ ANC members sat in disbelief as they suffered yet another defeat in the hands of the country’s biggest opposition party.
The ruling ANC did not just lose power over the city‚ they also lost their councilor Nonhlanhla Mthembu‚ who collapsed during council and died despite medical staff trying to save her life.
The DA also won the position of Chief Whip with Kevin Wax getting 146 of the votes while ANC nominee Solomon Mogase got 123 votes. With Vasco da Gama having been elected Speaker of Council earlier in the day, this will mean the DA hold the three top positions in council.
“We are going to bring change that is going to bring jobs to our people. Let’s get this city working again,” said new mayor Herman Mashaba, who has vowed to focus on helping the private sector create jobs, ensuring prudent municipal spending, fighting corruption, and delivering dignity and basic services to the poor.
The new mayor Mashaba had stated that it was important to begin work immediately on delivering the DA’s promises to voters.
“I’m committing under the DA-led administration that we’re going to bring change. We’re going to bring change that creates jobs for our people.”
Mashaba said he will work closely with the small business sector to boost employment. Continuing, he said:
“I can assure you that we’re going to run a government that will look after your money.”
Mashaba also noted that areas, like Alexandra and Zandspruit, will receive quick change as those with no toilets will “live in a city regarded as a world-class African city, people of Alexandra expected to live without running toilets – this is not fair.”
He said corruption would be the DA’s “public enemy number one.”
“We have to create Johannesburg to be that great city all of us want to live in.”
The new mayor Herman Mashaba will deliver his full acceptance address at the council’s first sitting on 13 September. He withdrew his speech after an ANC councilor died during the long council voting process.