THE DA’s Mpho Phalatse, a medical doctor by profession, has been elected the new mayor of Joburg with 144 votes, while the ANC’s Mpho Moerane received 121 votes.
Only two candidates were contesting the metro after ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba withdrew from the race.
This is the DA’s second victory in the City of Joburg after its councillor Vasco Da Gama was, earlier in the day, elected Speaker with 147 votes.
Phalatse becomes the first black woman to lead the Johannesburg mayoralty – and the first woman since 1946.
This is the fourth appointment as mayor of Johannesburg this year: Geoff Makhubo died of Covid-19 and another, Jolidee Matongo, was killed in a car accident.
Phalatse will now have to convince her allies to continue working with her, something the previous DA mayor failed to do when his coalition partners turned to the ANC.
In 2005, Phalatse became qualified as a medical doctor and started an internship at Tembisa Hospital, according to her biography compiled by the Democratic Alliance.
This was followed by community service in Hammanskraal, where she offered services at Jubilee Hospital as well as various clinics within the area.
During her community service year, Phalatse enrolled for project Management Studies through Cranefield College and now holds an advanced diploma and postgraduate diploma in Project Management and Programme Management.
She is also a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME).
She spent the next six years of her career exploring service delivery models in different contexts such as mining houses, and proceeded to register her own company, rendering disability consulting services to SASSA in both Gauteng and the North-West.
Seeing abject poverty in underdeveloped villages in the North-West drove Phalatse to suspend her business and return to Gauteng to acquire further skills, registering for an MMed in Public Health Medicine at Wits University in 2011 – a move which would see her settling in the City of Johannesburg.
In the week that she was appointed MMC Health and Social Development, she was also appointed as a Medical Advisor in the Compensation Commission, an appointment which she had to turn down to serve the people of Johannesburg.
- Inside Politics
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She went on become a DA PR councillor in Johannesburg with the aim of contributing towards the repair and restoration of Alex Township with the intention of re-establishing her business, but subsequently gave it all up when she was asked to serve as the member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development.
As MMC, Phalatse championed the extension of service hours in clinics, as well as the City’s multipronged substance abuse prevention and treatment strategy, among many other achievements.
She is currently serving as a PR councillor and a member of the DA caucus in Johannesburg.