The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Retief Odendaal has been elected mayor in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.
Odendaal was elected in the early hours of Thursday morning, ten hours after former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Eugene Johnson was booted out of office.
Her deputy Buyelwa Mafaya and chief whip Wandile Jikeka were also removed from their positions.
In July, in a move to oust the ANC-led coalition, the DA signed agreements with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), the UDM (United Democratic Movement), the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), among others.
At the time, DA leader John Steenhuisen described the ANC-led coalition as corrupt and dysfunctional, saying the metro was in crisis.
The coalition also mapped out a plan for the metro’s rehabilitation. The multi-party government said it stands behind the new mayor, saying that he will lead the metro with institutional knowledge and experience, which will pave the way for the city’s turnaround.
Between 2016 and 2018, Odendaal served as a member of the Mayoral Committee for budget and treasury.
“It is going to be the parties represented at this table, and others who put aside their petty differences, to come together around a shared programme of action and delivery, and putting people first that’s going to fundamentally change South Africa.”
Steenhuisen believes coalition governments are the future of South Africa’s politics.
“Coalitions are not easy; it takes compromise and means listening to each other.
“I want to thank the parties that have gathered here, who have taken the decision to work together and turn this city around,” Steenhuisen said.
Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde and Thapelo Lekabe