Jordaan elected unopposed as new NMB Exec Mayor

MAY 28, 2015

South African Football Association (SAFA) boss, Danny Jordaan, was on Thursday morning elected, unopposed, by the African National Congress councillors as the new Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. This is despite opposition parties joining forces and staying away from the Special Council Meeting where Jordaan had been sworn in.

Businessman, Bicks Ndoni, has been elected Jordaan's deputy while Metro Speaker, Maria Hermans, was retained in her position and ANC MP Litho Suka replaced Joy Seale as the party's  new chief whip.

ANC councillors cheered as Jordaan stepped up to address the meeting at Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.

The election was attended by several government ministers as well.

Opposition boycott

On Wednesday, the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (COPE) and Democratic Alliance (DA) indicated that their members plan on boycotting the inauguration, citing his refusal to vacate the position as SAFA boss.

“We are not supporting Danny Jordaan for mayor [as he] has a full time job at SAFA. You appoint him as an executive mayor in the metro, it's a full time job, specifically in the metro that is collapsing,” the UDM’s Mongameli Bobane told radio station Algoa FM.

Jordaan, who set to become the embattled municipality’s fourth mayor in six years, was officially sworn-in as a councillor last Friday.

Speaking at the same event, COPE councillor, Khwezi Ntshanyana, described the SAFA boss’ appointment “as an attack on [a] constitutional democracy” before accusing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of failing to inform opposition parties and stakeholders about their nomination of Jordaan as replacement for former mayor Benson Fihla.

On Sunday, CityPress reported that a number of ANC councillors, dissatisfied with Jordaan’s recommendation, had threatened not to attend the event, which would result in the partly losing its slight five seat majority and force the inauguration to be cancelled.

“There are 120 councillors in Nelson Mandela Bay and therefore at least 61 councillors must vote for a mayoral candidate,” DA Causes Leader Retief Odendaal told the station.

“We believe that the ANC will not be able to achieve those numbers given the fact that they only represent 51% of the seats in the Nelson Mandela Bay council”.

But, ANC national spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, told Algoa FM News that councilors are united and ready to elect the new councilors into office, including the new mayor.

He said a meeting was convened with 62 Councillors on Wednesday and he was not aware of any in-fighting.

"The ANC is the majority party it does not need opposition to make a decision for whatever reason. The ANC is united in electing a new leader" he said.

Danny Jordaan as mayor: Good or bad for Nelson Mandela Bay?

Looking back on perceptions and reports following the announcement that Jordaan was the ANC's choice for mayor, News24 compiled a list of reasons why Jordaan could be a good choice and why he might be a bad choice.

The good

- Jordaan has a reputation for being a good administrator who gets things done;

- He has reportedly undertaken to pay urgent attention to forensic reports about the metro and root out maladministration;

- He is from Port Elizabeth, he knows the area and the people and could revive citizens' confidence in the metro;

- He is not part of the factionalism which has plagued the metro;

- He has experience as a public representative, having served as an MP for the ANC for six years.

The bad

- Jordaan has been given too little time to turn the metro around, which could disappoint citizens who have high expectations;

- He already has a high approval rating but because the ANC's image is in crisis, his reputation could be tarnished as well;

- Some ANC councillors are threatening to sabotage his election as mayor, which could cause a further impasse;

- He could be seen to be there merely to win back the coloured vote for the ANC in the metro ahead of the 2016 local government elections;

- He will have to divide his time between Safa and metro business, which could see him branded as a "part-time" mayor.

-additional reporting AlgoaFM and News24wire