On the 24th of August the new City Council was elected at the Durban City Hall. This event was held just after the fifth government elections which were held on the 3rd of August 2016 across South Africa.
Many swarm in their numbers to witness this special occasion where a new Mayor was to be elected and the selection of other members of the Council was going to be announced. This event was not only about the selection of the new Council members, but to many was new hope that they will be change and progression in the city of Durban and the KwaZulu Natal province as a whole.
The launch ceremony began with a vibrant parade from the City Hall which started at 09h00 in the morning, where the City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole was the presiding officer during the inauguration ceremony. Alongside announcing the new Mayor there was also the announcement of the members that will serve in the Executive Committee, approval of the members of the different committees and also the election of the chairperson of the Council committee. “We are convinced that all our combined efforts will ensure that the fifth democratic local government begin with its work of serving communities and delivering services”, said Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen in a statement. Part of the agenda for the sitting was the declaration of the 220 Councillor, the election of the Speaker of Council, Mayor, Deputy and Chief Whip of Council.
Replacing James Nxumalo, Zandile Gumede, the ANC’s candidate, was elected as the new mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, and is officially the first female mayor of Durban. After receiving 124 votes, Gumede got the position and defeated the DA’s candidate Zwakele Mncwango who received 87 votes. “We humbly accept the responsibility that the people of eThekwini have given us. In accepting this responsibility, we commit to work with our people, opposition parties, government, business and civil society to realize the vision of our great city: to be the most caring and livable city in Africa by 2020” said Gumede in her very first speech as the Mayor of Durban. In continuation of her speech, Gumede also said that they will be doing their best to make sure that: Streets are cleaned, roads are without potholes, waste is collected weekly, street lamps work properly, houses and businesses have reliable power supply, health and safety, and water and sanitation, are also on their list of priorities.
After this auspicious occasion was one which marks a new beginning for the city of Durban, and the new Council members have made the promise that they are willing to do their ultimate best to ensure that they continue where the previous Council left of, in order for this city progresses and the people are satisfied with the services they receive.
by Nosipho Nonjabulo Bhengu (Contributor and Model)