People's Post

New executive takes over the City

The new Mayco members was announced on Monday 22 November at the City’s Council Chambers. PHOTO: supplied
The new Mayco members was announced on Monday 22 November at the City’s Council Chambers. PHOTO: supplied

The saying goes “a new broom sweeps clean” and this is what Capetonians are hoping the new mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis and his newly elected Mayoral Committee (Mayco) will bring about: change.

Hill-Lewis (35), who recently became the City’s youngest to wear the mayoral chain, retained six councillors in their previous portfolios while announcing new blood into the mix.

Announcing his new Mayco members at the City of Cape Town’s council chambers on Monday 22 November, Hill-Lewis says his team was chosen for their combination of “experience, skills, fresh energy and thinking.”

“They know that they have my full support, and I am excited for the future of Cape Town and all that we are going to achieve together,” says Hill-Lewis.

He says their aim is to build a city that every Capetonian and South African is proud of.

“This team, along with the City’s senior management, will have primary responsibility for delivering on that vision and that purpose, to ensure that every resident enjoys a more caring, more inclusive, more prosperous, more united, more respectful, more safe and more free city.”

The new mayor says he will take to council a proposal for the formation of a Future Planning Team that will report to the mayor.

“This new team will bring together strategic planning, policy formulation and research, and will foster a culture of policy innovation that will help Cape Town reach its potential as one of the most innovative and exciting cities globally.”

The Mayoral Committee is announced based on the current structure of directorates.

  • Dr Zahid Badroodien is Mayco member responsible for water and waste replacing Xanthea Limberg.
  • JP Smith remains Mayco member for safety and security.
  • Rob Quintas retains the position of Mayco member for urban mobility (covering the roads and transport directorate).
  • James Vos is Mayco member for economic growth.
  • Grant Twigg is Mayco member for urban management.
  • Malusi Booi retains his position as Mayco member for human settlements.

The new members are:

  • Theresa Uys is Mayco member for corporate services.
  • Patricia van der Ross is appointed as Mayco member for community services and health.
  • Siseko Mbandezi is Mayco member for finance.
  • Beverley van Reenen is Mayco member for energy.

Eddie Andrews is deputy mayor and responsible for spatial planning and environment while Desiree Visagie is appointed as chief whip.

Andrews says he is “humbled” and “excited” to take up his new role.

“Holding public office does not only require firmness and dedication, we also have to support each other in our collective pursuit to do more for the citizens of Cape Town. This level of support requires extreme discipline to focus on the outcomes, and to sustain traction to ensure we make progress possible together. I want to be out there, I want to connect with communities and residents, and want to hear about their challenges and hopes because this will help me to understand where and what should be done.”

Speaking to People’s Post about her vision Van Reenen says over the past few years, Eskom has robbed job seekers, entrepreneurs and investors of opportunities “due to their dismal failure in ending load-shedding”. Van Reenen adds that coupled with a failing national tate and crumbling Eskom infrastructure, the energy future of our country remains bleak.

She however says this will not be Cape Town’s future.

“I, together with the city administration, have a vision for Cape Town to be an energy secure city that is able to provide uninterrupted supply of electricity to residents and businesses. A city that has a thriving energy sector led by independent power producers and a city that invests in renewable energy as our commitment to securing the environment for future generations while making use of the green economy as a component of post-Covid-19 recovery and job creation.”

Van der Ross says she envisions a directorate that enables individual development which in return, supports the wellness of communities, especially those in vulnerable settings by improving the accessibility and efficiency of community services.

“This will include maintenance programmes and upgrades of recreational facilities, parks and library facilities and establishing quality information services that build knowledge and skills. This vision will also be key to how we will manage City Health services and community development programmes with our partners.”

She says moving towards, and understanding the post Covid-19 developmental and wellness needs is integral to address the diverse community challenges and embrace new opportuntiies.

Activist group Stop CoCT’s founder Sandra Dickson welcomes the new members. She says the “Mayco team was in serious need of a makeover”.

Dickson, however, questioned whether Badroodien was the right candidate for the water and waste portfolio.

“The new Mayco member for water and waste is inexperienced, and one cannot help to question the new mayor’s intention to not assign a person with more knowledge and experience to this important portfolio. Since the drought, the water department expanded with leaps and bounds, but till today remains largely ineffective. Complaints about water meters, water bills and other issues in that department is still a daily occurrance.”

She urged the new finance member to “take a look at the City’s archaic billing system”.

“There is also the issue of the billions of rands the city’s finance department is hoarding at the expense of service delivery. It is time that the finance department at the city is held to account and that they are held accountable to be more forthcoming with answers on questions from the public.”

Dickson expressed the importance of a “transparent and accountable” Mayco.

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