Newly elected City of Johannesburg executive mayor Dada Morero has promised that his administration will fix the finances of the City, which he claimed were a “mess”.
Morero said this while delivering his acceptance speech after being voted as a new mayor on Friday, following the ousting of DA’s Mpho Phalatse. ANC’s Morero was the only name that was nominated for the position.
He said it was not only the City’s finances that were allegedly in ruins but also the main entities of the City, such as City Power, which were also “financially on their knees”, adding that City Power was on an R8-billion negative cash balance.
He said the City’s debt position needed an “in-depth” analysis and that where necessary, the City would collaborate with financial institutions to bring back the debt level to an affordable and sustainable level.
“We must immediately activate the financial developmental plan to strengthen the City’s finances and improve its credit rating to reduce the cost of borrowing. Based on our governance experience, we will stabilise the City’s finances and ensure that the City is taken away from right-wingers and returned to the citizens of Johannesburg.”
Morero also promised that the new administration would develop and grow Johannesburg to “a world-class African city that it once was”.
Taking a jab at the administration led by Phalatse, Morero said what happened in the council on Friday showed “what could go wrong when a government failed to serve the people”.
“Our communities have suffered enough; they were promised change and change moved to a false golden start. Enough is enough,” mentioned Morero, adding that the City would go back to a government that was focused on improving the lives of people, building a sustainable city and offering a clean and safe environment.
In a marathon Friday morning, Mpho Phalatse was ousted in a no-confidence vote while the Johannesburg High Court threw out her urgent application to interdict the sitting that was going to vote her out.
By lunch, the City of Johannesburg had appointed a new mayor after the motion of no-confidence against Phalatse passed with 139 votes.
From a video, which Phalatse posted on Twitter after Morero was announced mayor, it appeared the DA was likely to challenge her removal in court.
“What happened today was an injustice, [it] was unlawful. We are just waiting for the courts to redeem the residents of Johannesburg from what has happened here today. We believe in our judicial system and we believe that justice will be served for our six million residents.
The removal of Phalatse as mayor is the second blow for the DA in the City of Johannesburg. This is after Vasco da Gama was also removed as the Speaker at the beginning of the month. Last week, he was replaced by Cope’s Colleen Makhubele.
In his acceptance speech, Morero also thanked political parties in the council whom he said “used their conscious to create historical change in the City of Johannesburg”.
“To the minority parties, you must never be undermined, you earned your seat in council and your voice must be heard,” he said.
Smaller political parties have insinuated that the DA undermined them and treated the coalition government as though they had outright won to govern the City.
Morero also acknowledged his departed comrades who served as executive mayors of the City, including Mpho Moerane, Geoff Makhubo and Jolidee Matongo.
“Wherever you are, you are with us today,” said Morero.
Makhubele said on Friday that the swearing-in of Morero would be announced soon and was likely to take place on Friday evening.