Shocked, but ready for the job! Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell to extend hand to opposition

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  • DA councillor Tania Campbell has been elected mayor for Ekurhuleni.
  • Campbell says her election came as a shock to her and the DA.
  • She beat former ANC mayor Mzwandile Masina, and was elected by 116 votes to secure the mayoral chain.

A shocked but elated Tania Campbell says her journey ahead as the mayor of Ekurhuleni will be challenging as her success will rely heavily on opposition political party support. 

Campbell beat the odds and stunned those gathered at the Ekurhuleni council sitting on Monday evening when she was elected mayor. She was elected by 116 votes.

Her rival and former mayor Mzwandile Masina got 105 votes. 

Campbell told News24 she was shocked at her election. "No, we were not expecting this at all. But it shows the discord of all the other political parties in the current system had to deal with in the last term," she said. 

Tania Campbell
Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina congratulates newly elected mayor Tania Campbell.

In an acceptance speech shortly after taking the oath, Campbell said her focus would be on fixing a municipality facing service delivery concerns. She pointed specifically to the water and electricity crisis as issues first on her priority list. 

READ | ANC pushed into urgent coalition strategy for hung municipalities but insists 'we are not desperate'

Campbell used the DA's election slogan "get things done" to indicate what her reign as mayor could symbolise.

She described her election as a change Ekurhuleni residents had waited 20 years to realise. 

Tough road ahead

Despite the emboldened speech, Campbell told News24 the journey ahead for her mayoral position would be tough. 

There is no political party that won a majority in the council.

And no coalition government agreement has been sealed for the city. Campbell's election means she was elected with the support of the EFF, ActionSA, and the DA. 

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

However, the DA has no coalition agreement with either the EFF or ActionSA. 

This will mean the DA will have to extend a hand to opposition political parties to secure support for the passing of crucial council items such as the budget for the metro. 

Campbell said she and the DA would be reaching out to other political parties to ensure a smooth running of the council. 

"It will definitely be challenging, but I think if we work together and try and achieve a common goal, we will reach it."

DA councillor Raymond Dhlamini was also elected Speaker of Ekurhuleni's council. DA councillor Khetha Shandu was elected chief whip of council. Both Dhlamini and Shandu's election also seem to have been supported by political parties, including the EFF and ActionSA. 

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