South Africa’s Capital elects first DA Mayor

Well within the constitutional 21-day time period of establishing a new municipal government after the local election results had been published, the capital of South Africa, Pretoria, as part of the Tshwane Municipality has a new leader as Solly Msimanga of the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been elected unopposed as the new mayor of Tshwane. All councillors have been sworn and the DA’s Rachel Mathebe has been elected as the new speaker announced Msimanga’s appointment yesterday.

“Schedule 3 item 3 of the Municipal Structures Act dictate that where there’s only one candidate nominated, I must declare that candidate elected. I now, in terms of this section, declare Honourable Councillor Solly Tshepiso Msimanga as the new executive mayor of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Council.” Msimanga began by thanking those who voted for him: “Good afternoon, change has come to Tshwane. I had a prepared speech, but I want to talk to the residents from my heart today.”

At this point he was already interrupted by a member of the opposition ANC “Solly, please tell the truth. You didn’t win, you were assisted…”, but Msimanga fought back, calling for the member to sit down, “I think you can learn a thing or two about humility. Be humble, this is why you came number two because you refuse to be humble.” This came after a brief delay by the African National Congress ANC at the official ceremony to swear in the new mayor and councillors of the capital city.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other opposition parties announced this week that they’d support the DA to elect new local governments in several hung municipalities. This happened in line with failed coalition talks between the DA and the EFF, who jointly stated after the failed negotiations that they discovered a lot of common goals but also a variety of ideological issues that need to be addressed over time in order to find consensus.

Tshwane – as well as Johannesburg – will be governed by minority government as all coalition talks failed, but the need for change and the desire to end 22 years of nepotism, inability and reckless government waste through the ANC will hopefully see the opposition parties siding with each other on important issues, which will inevitably translate into a new order and that the ANC has lost all economic centres, county-wide!

Who would have thought that one day we will see EFF members applauding the appointment of a Mayor from the Democratic Alliance?

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