Pretoria - Opposition parties in the Polokwane Municipality have vowed to hold new mayor John Mpe accountable for every cent spent.
They were speaking during the inaugural council sitting at Ngoako Ramatlodi Sports Complex in Seshego yesterday, where ANC chairperson of the Peter Mokaba Region, Mpe, was elected unopposed as the new Polokwane mayor.
This followed the November 1 local government elections where the ANC garnered 56 seats; the EFF got 21 seats and the DA 7. The FF Plus won two seats while Cope, Abantu Batho Congress, the Mahoshi Swaranang Movement and ACDP all took one seat each.
The former Capricorn District Municipality mayor, who replaced Thembi Nkadimeng in September, was sworn in as the first citizen of Limpopo’s capital under tense conditions, with EFF and ANC supporters out-singing each other at any given chance.
Nkadimeng was appointed Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle in August.
Mpe resigned as district mayor in September after leading it for five years.
He was replaced by Mamedupi Teffo.
The EFF refrained from participating in the election process, leaving the DA and FF Plus with the other parties to fight it out for the position of Speaker. They nominated DA councillor Franco Marx for the position of Speaker of council, but he lost out to the ANC’s Whelemina Modiba.
Modiba received 57 votes as opposed to Marx’s 11.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, EFF chief whip in council Freddie Ramaphakela vowed to hold the ANC-led administration accountable. “We are waiting for the first sitting of council so we can point out to the mayor that the ANC has failed. We want to hold them accountable in council. What they did in the previous administration must not be repeated again. It must come to an end.
“The people of Polokwane have chosen to elect a corrupt organisation. Let’s hope next time the citizens will open their eyes.”
Asked why the red berets opted not to vote in council, he said: “We cannot elect the ANC. We have made it clear that we are not electing the DA, so we decided to refrain from voting.”
DA caucus leader Franco Marx said: “We want to see how they perform. The main issue is for the people of Polokwane to have water. The mayor must make sure he fixes that.
“When he replaced the previous mayor he promised to sort the water problems, but we have not seen any action yet,” Marx said.
The FF plus said it was going to be the watchdog of Polokwane.
“The new mayor must prioritise fixing the sewage running in the streets, light up city lights and sort out the water problem, among others.”
When Mpe was at Capricorn District Municipality, he oversaw three consecutive unqualified audit opinions and two clean audits before he left.
In his acceptance speech, Mpe vowed to prioritise Polokwane’s water problems.