Newly elected Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and DA Gauteng leader John Moodey address the media after his election. Picture: CLAUDI MAILOVICH
Newly elected Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and DA Gauteng leader John Moodey address the media after his election. Picture: CLAUDI MAILOVICH

Stevens Mokgalapa was elected the new Tshwane mayor on Tuesday and his first real challenge is to resolve the impasse between his office and city manager Moeketsi Mosola.

The EFF and the ANC abstained from voting and did not nominate their own candidates, which paved the way for the DA candidate to be elected unopposed.

Mokgalapa’s first full day in office on Wednesday will include a meeting with Mosola, whom his predecessor, Solly Msimanga, tried to suspend on two occasions, but failed.

Mosola is under investigation for procurement irregularities in connection with the city’s contract with engineering consultants GladAfrica Group. 

GladAfrica was appointed to run a project-management unit for the Tshwane metro. The contract was, however, open-ended and resulted in R318m of irregular expenditure for the 2017/18 financial year.

The new mayor told journalists after his election he would be meeting Mosola on Wednesday to “craft a way forward”.

Mokgalapa’s election came about after Msimanga’s resignation to focus on his campaign as the DA’s premier candidate in Gauteng.

The DA hopes to push the governing ANC below 50% of support in a province that is the single-largest contributor to SA’s GDP.

Tshwane, which has been a springboard for Msimanga’s provincial political ambitions, was one of the metros the ANC lost following the 2016 local government elections.

Msimanga completed about half of his five-year term, and the rest is now in Mokgalapa’s hands.

In his inaugural address to the council, Mokgalapa said he would be a mayor of action and would thus focus on stabilising and refocusing the administration and speeding up service delivery.

He said he would create an environment that is conducive to job creation. He also intends to keep the city’s residents safe and to root out corruption.

He said if the council fails to execute its legal mandate to hold senior managers accountable, he will approach the courts to do so. This is crucial, given the council’s difficulty in dealing with the Mosola and GladAfrica saga.

Mokgalapa also said he would improve consequence management in the city and ensure recommendations of forensic investigations and reports of the auditor-general are implemented.

mailovichc@businesslive.co.za