ANC, City of Joburg coalition partners endorse Mpho Moerane for 'urgent role' as Joburg mayor

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Mpho Moerane.
Mpho Moerane.
Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • Gauteng ANC chairperson David Makhura has confirmed that Johannesburg MMC Mpho Moerane has been endorsed by the governing party as its preferred candidate for City of Johannesburg mayor.
  • Makhura said this came after the provincial and regional executive committees reached an agreement that, given the numerous challenges faced by the metro, the City could not be left with a leadership vacuum.
  • He said national ANC officials had also approved Moerane's candidacy in accordance with the party’s new rigorous selection process. 

Gauteng ANC chairperson David Makhura has confirmed that Johannesburg MMC for environment and infrastructure services Mpho Moerane has been endorsed by the governing party as its preferred candidate for City of Johannesburg mayor. 

Makhura said Moerane was not only endorsed by the Johannesburg regional executive committee, but was preferred by the Gauteng ANC executive committee and the ANC's national leadership. 

Addressing the media on Thursday on the ANC's decision to field a candidate and push for a council sitting where a mayor would be elected on Friday, Makhura said:

Within a space of forty days, the City of Johannesburg has lost two mayors. While this has been a time of great sorrow, there is still an obligation that the people of the city must continue to receive services as they have huge problems.

He continued: "Even as we go through grief, we have to respond to the task of installing new leadership and the ANC in Gauteng and Johannesburg are ready to ensure that there is continuity of governance, continuity of leadership and continuity of service delivery, including addressing those pressing issues affecting the people of the city."

Makhura added that part of the considerations that the provincial and regional ANC faced, was "that with only 30 days left until the current administration vacates its role when the local government elections take place, whether there was necessity to establish an executive committee and have a political leadership in the form of a mayor and a mayoral committee". 

"We have arrived at the conclusion that, given all the challenges, of and unstable supply of electricity that affected many party of Johannesburg, intermittent water cuts... infrastructure problems that include roads, there is a definite need for a mayor and an executive committee."

READ | MMC Mpho Moerane endorsed as ANC's mayoral candidate for Joburg

The ANC provincial chairperson revealed that there had been a wish to have an extended mourning period following the recent death of mayor Jolidee Matongo, however, pressing service delivery issues and the short time period remaining before the municipal elections had forced the party to move with haste to select a mayor. 

A political vacuum had been created following Matongo's death almost two weeks ago. 

Currently, the City is under the leadership of the Speaker and the city manager. 

Urgent

"There is [an] urgent need for the City to have, in the intervening period between now and 1 November, a mayor and an executive committee who will continue to provide services to the people," said Makhura. 

He added that Moerane had been interviewed with Matongo when the ANC was looking to fill the void that had been left by the death of Geoff Makhubo in July. 

"The name of Moerane was among the name of three names when Jolidee Matongo was interviewed and eventually chosen as mayoral candidate. Even at that time, the feedback that we got was that all three candidates were competent people and anyone of them could be the mayor," said Makhura. 

He also explained that ANC national officials had, on Wednesday, approved the provincial and regional proposal endorsing Moerane and their preferred mayoral candidates. 

When a mayor dies or resigns the executive committee they had appointed comes to an end.

READ | Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo dies in accident

A council sitting would be held on Friday where Moerane was expected to be elected unopposed. 

During Thursday's briefing, ANC Johannesburg regional secretary, Dada Morero confirmed their alliance partners in the coalition government had also endorsed Moerane and "indicated that they will vote with us". 

Smooth

"They also assured us that they would tell all their councillors to attend the sitting and ensure a smooth election," said Morero. 

Moerane said in the 30 days that he would be in power, his main focus would be ensuring that communities received services. 

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA ? SEPTEMBER 18: Mayor J
Former mayor Jolidee Matongo leading voter registration campaigning in Johannesburg before his death.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

He identified providing power to the troubled Soweto township, among other areas, as one of his main goals. 

"The first priority will be to deal with electricity problems in Soweto, Orange Far, Diepsloot, Ivory Park and parts of Sandton. We started having a discussion between us as the City and national government who where led by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom CEO André de Ruyter on 18 July 2020.

"We were escalating problems that have been experienced in Soweto where Eskom was disconnecting many substations which also affected paying community members ... we also brought to them the issue of taking over electricity provision as the City, and Eskom accepted and approved that they must transfer all these areas with the City of Joburg to City Power," said Moerane.

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