Incoming Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa on Tuesday expressed gratitude for his nomination and subsequent election, pledging to work tirelessly to improve the lives of the people in South Africa’s capital city.
“I will be a mayor of action and in order to keep my promise I will focus on stabalising and refocusing the administration. The city can only deliver on its mandate if we have a stable administration with skilled officials, money in the bank to deliver services and if we are focused on serving the people of Tshwane,” Mokgalapa said in his maiden speech to council.
“In this regard, I will get the finances right. We will build on the financial turn-around that has already been achieved, so we have the financial means to improve the lives of the people of Tshwane. We have already reversed a crippling deficit into a surplus and we should further improve on this.”
Mokgalapa said the GladAfrica contract -- described by many political analysts as the major blight on previous Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Solly Msimanga’s rein -- will be investigated in a bid to recover the squandered millions of rand.
“I announce today that the irregular expenditure incurred in the Glad Africa contract will be investigated, recovered where possible and any implicated persons be held accountable to the full extent of the law. Dependant on the review of the GladAfrica contract I will explore all legal avenues to minimise associated risks for the city, including extracting the city from the contract,” said Mokgalapa.
“I will ensure senior managers are held to the very highest standard that is required through an intense performance management system that I will review upon taking office. The city manager will account to me, and I will not relent.”
Mokgalapa was on Tuesday elected new mayor and he was the only nominated member for the vacant post. Msimanga stepped down at the end of January.
Only the DA nominated a candidate – with the African National Congress (ANC), through Councillor Aaron Maluleka, indicating that it was not taking part in the election. The Economic Freedom Fighters did not nominate a candidate either.
The nomination process got off to a rocky start as ANC councillor Lesego Makhubela said: “So of all the black faces here in Tshwane, you have to get a guy from Cape Town?”.
Tshwane Speaker Rachel Mathebe switched off Makhubela’s microphone as he was still raising his “point of order”.
EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu jumped in: “I’m told that this guy was in Parliament, but I had never seen him even cough once…”
Other councillors lambasted Mathebe for being partial by speaking glowingly of Mokgalapa.