Pretoria – The City of Tshwane is back in business after new executive mayor Randall Williams named his executive yesterday.
Williams axed those perceived to be part of a faction aligned to former mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, among them Sello Maimane, Isak Pietersen and Richard Moheta.
One of Mokgalapa’s confidantes, Abel Tau, who was the MMC for Utility Services, resigned from the DA in July to join ActionSA, led by former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Also gone is former roads and transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge, who resigned following a widely publicised sex scandal with Mokgalapa.
Anniruth Derrick Kissoonduth, a long-serving ACDP councillor, was also excluded from the new city committee.
He had previously served as the MMC for community and social development.
In his place is former chairperson of Section 79 oversight committee for social development Thabisile Vilakazi, who was praised by Williams for the work she did while overseeing the performance of the department.
Another new appointment is Dikeledi Selowa, the youngest MMC at 29. She takes over the Roads and Transport portfolio. She formerly worked as the chairperson of the Section 79 oversight committee for utility services. New DA regional chairperson Mpho Mehlape-Zimu has been brought into the fold as the MMC for Housing and Human Settlements to replace Maimane. Her experience includes being a council member since 2017 and taking up the position of deputy chief whip last year.
The new MMC for Corporate and Shared Services is Sylvester Phokoje, a practising advocate and consultant in the fields of human resource development and labour relations.
A reconfigured department of Utilities Services and Regional Operations and Co-ordination will be under the political leadership of the new MMC, Phillip Nel, a professional engineer with more than 40 years in the private sector.
MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning is Bruce Lee, who was first elected to council in 2011 and served on the Section 79 oversight committee for Economic Development and Spatial Planning for several years.
Freedom Front Plus councillor, Sakkie Du Plooy, returned to his position as the MMC for Health and is the only one from opposition parties included in the committee.
The department of community safety will continue to work under the stewardship of Karen Meyer, who has 20 years’ experience as a councillor.
Dana Wannenburg, who served under Mokgalapa as the MMC for environment and agriculture management, has been retained to the same position.
Mare-Lise Fourie, who worked for the defunct City Council of Pretoria from 1970, will return as MMC for finance.
“She will be leading the City’s financial turnaround strategy, and I am confident that she will return the City to a solid financial footing,” Williams said.
He said the 10-member team was assembled based on diversity of skills and professional talents.
Under his mayorship, Williams said, strict cost-cutting measures would be put in place, including stopping spending on catering at City events.
“Free lunches are over. No matter the length of the meeting or the formality of the engagement, the City will not be purchasing food,” he said.
He said events and conferences would have their budgets reduced and channelled to core service delivery.
“Where possible, all such engagements will happen either in Tshwane House or online. All international travel will be restricted. I intend to immediately begin reviewing and appropriating these budgets to direct them to core service delivery.
“Travel abroad will only be considered when funded by external partners or donors.
“Spending on consumables such as stationery and printing will be tightly controlled so that only core and necessary items are procured,” Williams said.
The plan includes prioritisation of the electrical grid and water infrastructure, a robust Covid-19 management strategy, reliable waste and refuse removal service, stringent financial management and oversight, City safety and emergency services and expanding road infrastructure.
“I have even gone so far as to develop specific key performance indicators that I want departments to track,” Williams said.