Battle for control of Johannesburg set to continue this week

Image: Felix Lipov/123RF STOCK PHOTO

The battle for control of Johannesburg will continue this week as the council sits again to try to elect Herman Mashaba's replacement as mayor.

The council sat on Thursday last week to elect a new mayor, but proceedings were stalled over the interpretation of what constitutes a majority vote.

This led to council speaker Vasco da Gama postponing the election to December 4 and 5 to get an independent legal opinion on what constitutes a majority when electing a mayor.

The DA, EFF and ANC are all fielding candidates for the position. The EFF has nominated its regional chair and caucus leader, Musa Novela, for the post, while the DA has proposed its regional leader and finance member of the mayoral committee (MMC), Funzela Ngobeni.

The ANC's regional chair, Geoff Makhubo, will represent the party in the contest. Whoever wins will wield much influence on how the city spends the R65.5bn allocated for the 2019/2020 financial year.

A post-cabinet media briefing is expected to take place on Thursday, with a possible announcement on its decision on the future of e-tolls in Gauteng. A task team established by President Cyril Ramaphosa whittled the options down to seven - including the user-pays principle - and these were presented to the cabinet, which is debating the issue.

Gauteng motorists have not been paying their e-toll bills. Roads agency Sanral said it is collecting only 25% to 30% of what it should be collecting from e-tolls on Gauteng freeways.

This is the last week that parliament is sitting, after which it will go into recess until the end of January. The National Assembly will receive a report from the portfolio committee on justice that recommends not to restore advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to their positions in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Jiba was a deputy national director of public prosecutions, the second in command at the NPA. Mrwebi headed the special directorate of public prosecutions. Last week the committee found no compelling reasons for them to be restored to office, a key requirement if parliament is to overrule Ramaphosa's decision to fire them.

Parliament's standing committee on finance will be briefed on Steinhoff by the Public Investment Corporation and Government Employees Pension Fund tomorrow.

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