DA's Dr Mpho Phalatse elected New Mayor of Johannesburg
Dr Mpho Phalatse, former Mayor of Johannesburg Photo: Twitter / Dr Mpho Phalatse

The DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse has been elected the Mayor of Johannesburg, after ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba pulled out of the mayoral race leaving just Dr Phalatse and the ANC’s Mpho Moerane. Mashaba said he was putting country first, politics last.

“The election of both Dr Phalatse and Cllr Vasco Da Gama (as Council Speaker) comes as a result of a spontaneous vote of support from other opposition parties,” DA Gauteng Provincial Leader Solly Msimanga said in a statement on Monday evening.

According to Mashaba, he and the EFF had hatched a plan deliberately to make sure the DA won and not the ANC. He knew with his party only having 16% it wasn’t enough to be a mayor.

Mashaba wrote on social media on Monday night: “Country First, Politics Last. Today, Action SA Councillors across the country are doing what needs to be done to unseat the ANC, and put South Africans ahead of petty politics.

“We, along with other parties, have made the difficult decision to elect DA mayors, despite their arrogance of ignoring the wishes of all parties in the multi-party negotiations, and acting in a manner consistent with a party that clearly did not want coalitions to work.

“In Johannesburg, we knew that if it came down to a choice between ActionSA and the ANC, the DA would simply abstain, handing the keys to the metro to the ANC. This is not what residents want, and this is not what residents deserve.

“We made a commitment to all South Africans, that where we contest, we will unseat the ANC. We are sticking by that commitment.

“The DA, after spending the last three days throwing my name and the name of ActionSA into the dirt, will now have exactly what they didn’t want: The very minority coalition governments they have spoken against, without written agreements in place with any parties. Maybe now they will listen and consider other parties.

“Let them demonstrate the same level of maturity shown to them by the multi-party coalition group and re-start negotiations again and negotiate coalitions in the interests of residents and not their own narrow political self-interest.”

Later Mashabe, who was once Joburg mayor during his time with the DA, posted a message to the new mayor saying: “I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to the new Johannesburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse! I wish you the best of luck. This is an unforgiving job. You have the minority government you didn’t want, but I hope you can drop your party’s arrogance at the door, and engage the multi-party group in an honest and transparent way. South Africans are watching.”

The DA’s Msimanga said “the task ahead will come with its challenges due to the broken state that Johannesburg finds itself in. However, the DA is confident that through Mayor Phalatse we can get the city back on track and working again.”

He said during the election campaign the DA had engaged with residents and heard about the plight that many face.

“The City of Johannesburg has been plagued by service delivery backlogs and challenges and our job now is to bring back the shine to the city of gold.

“Our job now will be to implement solutions and bring an end to the challenges that face the beautiful city of Johannesburg.”

Msimanga said the DA will announce its plan to restore service delivery in Johannesburg, within the coming days and weeks.