The ANC's Eugene Johnson was elected as the new executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay. Photo: Lulama Zenzile | Netwerk24

ANC councillor Eugene Johnson has been elected the executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro municipality after winning with over 60 votes.

She beat the DA’s mayoral candidate Nqaba Bhanga by just one vote.

Johnson was voted in with the help of a bloc comprising GOOD, AIM, the UDM, DOP, Northern Alliance and PAC.

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 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.

Bhanga accused smaller parties of handing over the metro back to the ANC, saying this was done against the wishes of the residents of ‘Nelson Mandela Bay who once again rejected the ANC at the ballot box during the 2021 Local Government Elections’.

He said voting for ‘these smaller parties was a vote for the ANC’.

“Last week the DA, as the biggest party in Council, entered into coalition talks with several smaller parties in order to put together a stable majority coalition government that would take Nelson Mandela Bay forward again,” said Bhanga.

“Yesterday, 21 November 2021, these talks fell apart as certain smaller parties shifted the goalposts and demanded positions upon which we could not agree. These positions included all service delivery departments, deputy mayor and Speaker. Last week the DA was prepared to support Cllr Khusta Jack from the Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM) as Speaker but yesterday he joined forces with other smaller parties in making unreasonable demands.”

He said the DA will not enter into any coalition with parties that do not share our principles and values and that will inevitably lead to an unstable government.

“We will now focus on being a strong, effective and unrelenting opposition to ensure transparency and good governance where we can,” he said.

“The DA believes that the people of Nelson Mandela Bay deserve uninterrupted good governance for the next five years. We need to prevent chaos and instability, but this cannot be achieved by rushing into an unstable minority coalition government. The DA would like to thank the ACDP and the FF+ for remaining true to their commitment to support good governance and reject the ANC.”

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