Plato bat­tles mayco may­hem

DA in­fight­ing puts brakes on se­lec­tion of city ex­ec­u­tive

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - AR­MAND HOUGH

BULELWA PAYI

CAPE TOWN’S mayor Dan Plato is ex­pected to un­veil his may­oral com­mit­tee to­day amid in­fight­ing and squab­bling among fac­tions within the cau­cus, which has de­layed the se­lec­tion.

The an­nounce­ment comes as the DA is said to be un­der pressure to re­ward a fac­tion led by coun­cil­lor and for­mer may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for safety and so­cial ser­vices JP Smith with seats on the new com­mit­tee.

“We can ex­pect this to in­clude many of those who ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the cam­paign to un­der­mine for­mer mayor Pa­tri­cia De Lille. Pa­tron­age and po­si­tions will be key to se­cur­ing the loy­alty Plato needs to stay in of­fice. Many oth­ers will be vy­ing for his job over the next few months,” said po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Si­mon Grindrod.

DA in­sid­ers said tus­sles had erupted within the cau­cus over “po­si­tions promised” to those seen as in­stru­men­tal in driv­ing De Lille out.

There has been “push-back” against some of the names pro­posed by Plato to be in­cluded on the com­mit­tee, par­tic­u­larly from Smith.

A source said Plato wanted for­mer New Na­tional Party loy­al­ists to be given po­si­tions. Th­ese in­cluded Ward 69 (No­ord­hoek-Fish Hoek-Sun Val­ley-Kom­metjie) coun­cil­lor Felic­ity Pur­chase, for­mer util­ity ser­vices com­mit­tee mem­ber Clive Jus­tus and DA MP and for­mer may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber James Vos.

The pre­vi­ous 10-mem­ber com­mit­tee, which had been charged by De Lille with driv­ing pro­jects that would rid Cape Town of the “rem­nants of apartheid plan­ning”, was dis­solved af­ter her res­ig­na­tion on Oc­to­ber 31.

The coun­cil was rocked by a fur­ther res­ig­na­tion of eight DA coun­cil­lors within a week, in­clud­ing chief whip Shaun Au­gust, may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for trans­port and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment Brett Her­ron, Siya Mamkeli and Suzette Lit­tle.

Sources said mem­bers who were likely to re­tain seats in the new com­mit­tee in­cluded Smith, Xanthea Lim­berg, and Ian Niel­son, who once held the fi­nance port­fo­lio be­fore be­ing moved to the po­si­tion of deputy mayor.

All the pre­vi­ous com­mit­tee mem­bers had com­mu­nity li­ai­son of­fi­cers at­tached to their of­fices to en­sure that the coun­cil was in touch with com­mu­ni­ties, but it was not clear whether Plato would re­tain them.

Other changes likely to be made in­cluded sep­a­rat­ing some port­fo­lios, such as so­cial ser­vices from safety and se­cu­rity.

Port­fo­lios that are crit­i­cal to ad­dress­ing the needs of res­i­dents in­clude hous­ing, which fell un­der Her­ron, who re­signed cit­ing frus­tra­tion over at­tempts to block spa­tial in­te­gra­tion through pro­vid­ing af­ford­able hous­ing, in­for­mal set­tle­ments and san­i­ta­tion as well as safety and se­cu­rity.

This week op­po­si­tion party coun­cil­lors voiced dis­ap­point­ment over the fail­ure to elect a chief whip, with the ANC charg­ing that Plato’s pre­ferred can­di­date was in de­fi­ance of the DA fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive choice.

“The po­si­tion of chief whip is a headache for the new mayor. Sub-coun­cil chair­per­sons could po­ten­tially also be a night­mare,” said an­other source.

It has been al­leged that a coun­cil­lor

lodged an ap­peal af­ter she was over­looked for the po­si­tion be­cause Plato pre­ferred an­other can­di­date, de­fy­ing Smith and the DA fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive.

Cope coun­cil­lor Farouk Cassiem urged the elec­tion to be fi­nalised as soon as pos­si­ble. He also hoped to see the new com­mit­tee made up of mem­bers who would be ca­pa­ble and pas­sion­ate about ad­dress­ing the needs of the peo­ple.

“The mood of the peo­ple has changed. They have be­come restive. The coun­cil needs a well func­tion­ing mayco,” Cassiem said.

Plato’s sec­ond stint as care­taker mayor, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been parachuted in when He­len Zille be­came premier in 2009, is set to be dif­fi­cult as he tries to unite the di­vided cau­cus.

Grindrod said to ap­point Plato for the sec­ond time as mayor was “a missed op­por­tu­nity”.

“To sug­gest Plato rep­re­sents a ‘new dawn’ for Cape Town is not cred­i­ble. He has been deeply in­volved in the fac­tion­al­ism within the DA for years, both at city and province level. He brings with him a lot of bag­gage, his ap­point­ment as mayor was not well re­ceived by many in the city cau­cus who be­lieved he has long passed his ex­piry date.” |

REV­ELLERS from across the city par­tic­i­pated in the Cape Town leg of the Color Run at the Sea Point Prom­e­nade yes­ter­day. Agency (ANA)|African News

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