Sun. May 19th, 2024

Nkosiphindile Xhakaza, representing the African National Congress (ANC), has been appointed as the new Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, ending a period of uncertainty surrounding the mayoral seat.

The council meeting, scheduled for Thursday, experienced prolonged delays due to disagreements within the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) caucuses over the mayoral position.

A portion of the delay was attributed to efforts by Mzi Khumalo, the MEC for Cooperative Governance (Cogta) in Gauteng, to mediate discussions between the EFF’s council Speaker Nthabiseng Tshivhenga and the ANC’s chief whip Jongiziwe Dlabathi.

Expressing disappointment over the previous week’s postponement, Khumalo emphasized the urgency of resolving the matter promptly.

Eventually, the councillors convened in the chamber to conduct the mayoral vote, resulting in Xhakaza’s uncontested election to succeed Sivuyile Ngodwana of the African Independent Congress (AIC).

Xhakaza’s appointment is seen as a step towards stabilizing the coalition government, which has faced significant tensions within the council. Ekurhuleni, led by a coalition between the ANC and EFF, had been without a mayor for nearly two weeks following Ngodwana’s removal.

This marks the third attempt to elect a new mayor since Ngodwana’s ousting on March 28, with legal obligations necessitating the election within a week.

Xhakaza brings previous experience as a former MMC for group corporate and shared services under Ngodwana’s administration, as well as serving in finance and economic development roles during former ANC mayor Mzwandile Masina’s tenure.

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