Dan Plato sworn in as councillor, one step closer to Cape Town mayoral chain

2018-11-01 13:39

Incoming Cape Town mayor Dan Plato was on Thursday sworn in as a councillor, less than a week before he is expected to be handed the mayoral chain at a special council sitting.

"In politics, as in life, the only constant is change," Plato said on Thursday shortly before official proceedings with the Speaker.

"But change means nothing to a government if there is no unity, no common goal in sight, and if the team working towards any given goal is not held together by a universal set of values and principles."

He said he was "honoured to be a part of the necessary leadership change in this metro."

"It is no secret that the City of Cape Town’s management has been shrouded in a fair amount of controversy over the past 18 months.

READ: DA exodus continues as Brett Herron resigns as Cape Town councillor

"I want to reassure the residents of this city that their interests remain the priority of this government regardless of changes made to the composition of its leadership."

Former mayor Patricia de Lille, who on Wednesday announced her resignation as mayor as well as a member of the Democratic Alliance, during her last month in office told News24 she would give Plato "the benefit of the doubt", pointing out that he would already be "inheriting a well-run city".

READ MORE: De Lille gives replacement Dan Plato 'the benefit of the doubt'

Cape Town’s longest serving mayor had said her replacement "does come with experience". He replaced Helen Zille as mayor in 2009 when she became Western Cape premier.

De Lille took over from him in 2011, and Plato became the Western Cape MEC of Community Safety.

Speaker Dirk Smit confirmed that a Special Council sitting will take place on Tuesday where Plato will be elected as executive mayor pending Council’s decision.

Following a lengthy and ugly battle with the DA, De Lille and party leader Mmusi Maimane announced her resignation in August. This comes after a year of public infighting, which eventually saw her quit as mayor, and the DA dropping all internal charges against her.

Smit laid criminal charges against De Lille and mayoral committee member Brett Herron on Tuesday following the Cape Town city council's adoption of two reports by Bowmans into maladministration at the metro during a council meeting last week.

De Lille lodged an application in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday to set aside the resolution, claiming the two reports were contradictory, as "one cleared me and the other recommended that I be criminally charged".

Two other councillors announced their resignations from their positions and the party next to De Lille on the high court steps.

Mayoral committee member Brett Herron announced his resignation on Thursday, bringing the total number who have resigned in the past week to eight.

'Unfortunate'

Plato described the resignations as "unfortunate", but said that he respected their choice.

"We are already busy with a process to appoint other people into their positions. It’s an issue we need to deal with and we’re currently doing just that."

An acting mayoral committee is in place under acting mayor Ian Neilson, Plato said. The previous mayco was dissolved immediately upon De Lille’s resignation.

Plato said he has "thrown around some names" and there would "definitely be one or two new faces" in his team to lead the City of Cape Town into the future.

Read more on:    da  |  city of cape town  |  dan plato  |  patricia de ­lille  |  cape town  |  local government

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