DA councillor Randall Williams elected new Tshwane mayor

30 October 2020 - 17:39 By aphiwe deklerk
Inside the Tshwane metro city council. DA councillor Randall Williams was elected as the new mayor on Friday. File image.
Inside the Tshwane metro city council. DA councillor Randall Williams was elected as the new mayor on Friday. File image.

DA councillor Randall Williams has been elected as the new mayor of Tshwane at a sitting of the city's council on Friday.

Williams beat Tshwane regional chairperson Moafrika Mabogwane — the only other contender — for the post.

Announcing the results on Friday afternoon, speaker Katlego Mathebe said Mabogwane got 25 votes while Williams got a majority of 97. There was one spoilt ballot.

Speaking shortly after his election, Williams said: “This is an immense opportunity and one I will not take for granted.”

He said he will work to restore governance in the city.

“Together we must now ensure that the city operates at its most optimal level,” he said.

He said speed was crucial in the delivery of services. Williams said he had already put together a detailed plan for each department which would be used to enhance service delivery.

He called on all political parties represented in council to come together and support the work of the municipality.

Williams' election comes after over eight months since he was chosen by the DA as its mayoral candidate.

His ascendancy to the number one office of the capital city was delayed after the Gauteng provincial government decided to dissolve the council in March, a few days before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a lockdown.

The DA later challenged the decision and won but the hearing of appeals on the matter was delayed due to lockdown regulations.

The scales were always tilted in the favour of the DA, which is the majority party in the council, after the ANC decided not to field a candidate and to abstain from the vote.

The city held its long-awaited mayoral election after a tit-for-tat between the ruling DA and the EFF which, together with the ANC, had ganged up to topple the coalition government since late last year.

Friday's developments may signal an end to the ANC-EFF partnership in council after ANC leader, Kgosi Maepa, after a long delay when he was recognised to make a nomination, declined to do so.

The two parties have long been courting each other over coalition governments in Gauteng since late last year, when the DA was toppled in the City of Johannesburg.

But their relationship went sour when the ANC insisted on fielding current mayor Geoff Makhubo as its mayoral candidate.

Despite this setback, the two parties have had a vibrant working relationship in Tshwane ever since the EFF broke ties with the DA over its internal struggles.

The meeting - held in a hybrid format, with councillors sitting in different venues and using virtual platforms - was adjourned for over an hour to allow for the Electoral Commission to print ballot papers bearing Williams' and Mabogwane's names.