We won't repeat the same mistakes, vows new DA Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse

Mpho Phalatse was appointed to her new position on Monday and was confident that even if the city was run through a coalition, service delivery would not be slowed down.

Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse. Picture: @CityofJoburgZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Despite criticism that the City of Joburg's coalition government led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) would likely result in minority parties calling the shots, Mayor Mpho Phalatse said that ultimately it was the residents who were in charge.

On Monday, Phalatse was appointed to her new position during the first council sitting since the 1 November local government elections.

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Phalatse has been a councillor since 2016 and a mayoral committee member under former colleague Herman Mashaba.

She was confident that even through a coalition, service delivery would not be slowed down.

"Fortunately, we've got a little of experience. So, I was a counsellor in the city for the past five years. I was part of a coalitions party in the first three of the five-year term. There is a lot of learning that comes out of that time that we will be bringing this time. We won't be repeating the same mistakes, we know where the pitfalls are what to look out for," Phalatse said.

SURPRISE RESULT

Meanwhile, newly re-elected Tshwane executive mayor, Randall Williams of the Democratic Alliance (DA) said that he was surprised by his unopposed nomination.

Williams, Speaker Katlego Mathebe and Chief Whip Christo van den Heever were not contested after the African National Congress (ANC), with its 75 seats, opted not to take part in the process.

While Williams is no stranger to the mayoral post in the capital city, having served in the position since last year, he said that he did not expect events to unfold the way they did.

"I expected that the ANC would also nomminate a candidate but the result is also pleasing for us but it comes with a lot of responsibility. We've got a city that's in trouble."

He said that coalition negotiations were still ongoing to avoid a minority government.

"There must be signed coalition agreements and these coalition agreements must be made public, so we will continue to pursue, and there are some in the IEC stating that say maybe we must rethink after the election results are promulgated that political parties are only given two weeks [to reach agreements]," he said.

The DA has 69 seats in council.