Cape Town's new mayor: Opposition parties vow to keep close eye on Geordin Hill-Lewis

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  • The City of Cape Town council sitting saw around 225 councillors sworn in from various political parties.
  • Newcomers, such as GOOD, Cape Coloured Congress and Cape Independence Party, managed to secure seats. 
  • Geordin Hill-Lewis, 34,  was sworn in as Cape Town's youngest mayor. 

Political parties in the City of Cape Town council vowed to keep a close eye on the newly appointed mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

On Thursday, during a council sitting, around 225 councillors were sworn in from various political parties.

Some of the councillors, however, were ill and could not take up their seats.

With Hill-Lewis as the executive mayor, Eddie Andrews was sworn in as the deputy mayor. 

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe gave a brief speech after Hill-Lewis was sworn in. 

READ | DA-ANC coalitions? Holomisa says Ramaphosa should invite Zille to 'work together'

"People of Cape Town have spoken and they have chosen the DA to be the governing party. We accept this outcome. Mr Mayor, your task is to deal with the raw spill sewages on the Cape Flats and in our townships," Sotashe. 

He said dealing with Cape Town's ageing infrastructure needed steadfast leadership.

"We have pieces of land belonging to the City of Cape Town around the city. We must conduct an audit to see how many tracks of land the City has in its possession, so that we can deliver social housing and amenities to our people," he said. 

The DA managed to keep its voter stronghold in Cape Town, but had a significant drop during the 2021 municipal elections.

The ANC support dipped to 18.6% in the City of Cape Town. 

The ANC urged Hill-Lewis to deal with a report released by Corruption Watch - titled 'South Africa Needs Clean Hands' - earlier this year.

READ | The DA faces a tough test in turning around its first KZN municipality

The report ranked the city as having the fifth-most reported complaints of corruption, of all the reports from municipalities received between 2012 and 2020."This is what you are inheriting from your predecessor, and unfortunately he never took council into confidence about this report. We hope that you will get to the bottom of this rot," said Sotashe.

Smaller parties managed to secure seats in council, including the FF Plus, which managed 34 seats across the province, the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC), eight seats, and Cape Independence Party (CIP), with one seat.

CCC leader Fadiel Adams told councillors they were there at the behest of the voters, and not the DA. 

"While we are in this position, we are here to work together. We didn't come here to fight, we came here to get and to give. Our talent and beauty in Cape Town are suppressed by apartheid spatial planning and unjust bylaws," Adams said. 

The GOOD party, which was formed by former Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille, managed to secure seven seats in council. It was the first local government elections the party contested. Suzette Little, a former DA member and councillor, returned to council. 

"People are angry. They are struggling. The conditions in many communities – where people of colour live – fall dreadfully short of decent human standards. These realities are reflected in the low turnout of voters. They are a bugle call to all who have accepted the responsibility of serving as public representatives," Little said. 

The ACDP's support grew, and they secured six seats. 

Assure

The ACDP's caucus leader, Marvin Christians, said: "As the ACDP, we expected the new mayor to assure municipal staff that mandatory vaccinations would never take place under his watch. What an opportunity to give municipal staff and officials the assurance that he has their best interests at heart by being a leader promoting the freedom the choice."

The EFF secured 10 seats in council.

The EFF's caucus leader, Ntsikelelo Tyandela, said Hill-Lewis has a responsibility to undo the injustice done to poor communities by the city's previous government. 

"We are faced with continuous issues in Cape Town, specifically in townships; examples include problems with sewerage, among others, as basic services are a mess in these areas - in fact, in all black and coloured areas in particular.

"In this day and age, we still have the potable toilet system under the so-called DA clean governance... please, mayor, this cannot continue under your leadership," he said. 

Hill-Lewis is expected to announce his new mayoral committee team on Monday. 

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