Port Elizabeth – President of the South African Football Association, Danny Jordaan, has been elected by the ANC as the new mayor for Nelson Mandela Bay.
Jordaan, who hails from Port Elizabeth and who was instrumental in securing the FIFA 2010 World Cup, has been selected to replace 83-year-old Benson Fihla, who must still tender his resignation.
At a press conference on Monday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said Jordaan was one of three changes to top municipal leadership. Deputy Mayor Chippa Ngcolomba makes way for former deputy mayor Bicks Ndoni, while chief whip, Joy Searle, makes way for Litha Suka. Current Speaker Maria Hermans, keeps her position.
Mantashe said the appointments still needed to follow due diligence, as the outgoing councillors would have to vacate their positions and the new councillors would need to be sworn in. Thereafter, they would have to be put forward to the council by the ANC as their candidates for the various vacant positions.
There is a slight chance that the appointments might not go through, should the ANC not secure enough votes in council on the day to vote in their new candidates.
“We cannot determine the outcome of the vote. The vote will take place in council chambers, but we can’t delay the decision. We can only put it to the vote,” Mantashe said.
He thanked the outgoing councillors for their dedication and commitment, saying they would be redeployed, but that where they would be going was not for public consumption at this time.
“It is with specific gratitude that we acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Ben Fihla, who has accepted his redeployment with ease,” he said.
Mantashe said they would also be looking to strengthen the mayoral committee once Jordaan takes office, indicating that further changes were expected.
The new leadership would be tasked with focusing on three critical areas identified in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, namely housing, water and sanitation and public transport, he said.
Jordaan’s appointment makes him the fourth mayor in six years in a municipality whose ANC-led leadership has been mired by political instability and factional infighting.
In 2009, Nondumiso Maphazi was fired as Mandela Bay mayor and replaced by Zanoxolo Wayile, who in turn was fired in 2013 and replaced by Fihla.