Political parties congratulate new Joburg Council Speaker

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While other political parties in the City of Joburg Council congratulated the African Independent Congress’ Joburg Caucus leader, Councillor Margaret Arnolds for her appointment as the speaker of council, ActionSA Gauteng Chairperson lambasted the Democratic Alliance in Joburg, for snubbing the extraordinary council meeting.

Arnolds was elected unopposed after COPE’s then sole member of council and Speaker was axed by her party as a councillor.

Arnolds will now have to vacate her position as the chairperson of Joburg council’s section 77 committee.

The Democratic Alliance in Joburg snubbed the council meeting. Its City of Joburg Caucus leader labelled the gathering as a frivolous waste of taxpayers’ money.

City Manager Floyd Brink is currently appealing the court’s ruling that his appointment was irregular. The DA wants that appeal finalized and council dissolved.

“The Johannesburg council must be dissolved. We will not give legitimacy to the doomsday coalition while they are being frivolous with the taxpayers’ money. This while we are waiting for the city manager’s appeal to be heard on the 22nd of November 2023. The DA will not be complicit in such a waste of money,” says Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku, DA Johannesburg caucus leader.

The African Independent Congress Arnolds, seconded by the PAC.

Joburg Regional Court President swore Arnolds in as speaker of council as she was unopposed during nominations.

She has promised to safeguard the independence and maintain the authority of council.

“I’d like to express first of all gratitude to the AIC for deploying me to the City of Johannesburg, for having confidence in me leading the caucus of the AIC. I’d also like to thank the minority governing parties for having confidence in me in leading them since the 4th of December 2021 until this day government of local unity. You have always worked and you are still working. I’m humbled, councilors of the City of Joburg. I thank you in trusting me with this position but I’d also want to trust my heavenly father for giving me this position,” says Arnolds.

While other parties congratulated Arnolds, ActionSA took a swipe at the DA for not partaking in the extraordinary council meeting.

“For the fact that we replaced a woman with another woman, it sits very well with us and we are wishing her all the best. Because, as the EFF, we believe in giving people chances, we are going to give her a fair chance, so she can display what she can do for the people of Johannesburg,” says Cllr Sepetlele Raseruthe, COJ EFF chairperson.

“This is another demonstration of how we are trying to stabilize the governance of the City of Johannesburg. Given the fact that you will know that the former speaker was removed by her party last week, as the speaker on Thursday, and today on Monday we have a speaker, that is a demonstration of the fact that there is no crisis of governance and we believe in the new speaker that she will be able to take over from where Colleen left to ensure that council plays its oversight role over the executive to ensure services are delivered to the people of Johannesburg,” says Sasabona Manganye, Joburg ANC.

“Today, the DA has let down the residents of JHB and its coalition partners by refusing the opportunity to take back the city and not attending the council meeting to elect a new speaker. Efforts to engage the DA began last week following the revelation of COPE’s removal of speaker of council Colleen Makhubele during this discussion the P.A for the fourth time this year availed themselves to restore the majority behind the coalition with the DA, ActionSA, IFP, FFPlus, SADP and the UIM,” says Funzi Ngubeni, ActionSA Gauteng leader.

All eyes are now on the outcome of the City Manager Floyd Brink’s court battle to retain his job.