Eastern Cape/22 November 2021, 17:01pm/ Precious Khumalo
The ANC’s Eugene Johnson was elected as the new executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay: image supplied
Port Elizabeth: The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is now a female-led government after the ANC’s Eugene Johnson was elected as the new executive mayor during the metro’s first council meeting following the local government elections.
The DA has lost the metro to the ANC after a tight race to snatch the municipality.
ANC’s mayoral candidate Eugene Johnson pipped Nqaba Bhanga by one vote after the former got 60 votes and the latter 59.
The council consists of 120 seats and only one councillor was absent when new councillors were sworn in, after which the speaker and mayor were elected.
The metro’s new speaker is Gary van Niekerk of the Northern Alliance, who beat the DA’s Rano Kayser by one vote.
Van Niekerk’s appointment was met with riotous applause, ululation, and singing. Someone, who was apparently injured, even hoisted a crutch into the air.
Van Niekerk received handshakes from fellow councillors and then took to the podium to a throng of applause. He then facilitated the vote for the executive mayor. All 119 councillors present voted.
The metro’s council is split evenly between the ANC and DA, each of which have 48 seats, followed by the EFF with nine seats, the National Assembly with three seats, the ACDP and Freedom Front Plus with two, among other parties.
The inaugural sitting of Nelson Mandela Bay metro’s newly elected council proceeded in an orderly fashion on Monday morning, after failing to launch on Friday.