Politics Editors Choice

Durban gets ANC mayor, Rise Mzansi's Zibi elected unopposed as Scopa chair

ANC and DA vote in unison in National Assembly and eThekwini

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi at the 2024 Election National Results Operation Centre (ROC) at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi at the 2024 Election National Results Operation Centre (ROC) at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

The DA in eThekwini reversed an earlier decision to field its own candidate for the position of metro mayor — paving the way for the ANC's candidate to be elected unopposed.

eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa confirmed to TimesLIVE that the decision was reversed shortly after Cyril Xaba was elected mayor.

TimesLIVE understands the ANC and DA reached an agreement that will see a new committee by separating the human settlements and infrastructure departments.

The committee will be split in two — with the IFP chairing human settlements and the DA infrastructure.

In the National Assembly, Rise Mzansi's Songezo Zibi has been elected unopposed as chair of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa).

Zibi will head the committee that ensures the public purse is accounted for.

Zibi was nominated by the ANC’s Lusizo Makhubela and seconded by the DA’s Patrick Atkinson.

The EFF objected to Zibi’s election but did not field its own candidate.

EFF MP Veronica Mente said the party doesn't object to the individual but rather the departure from long-held tradition that an opposition MP should chair Scopa.

Mente said with Rise Mzansi being part of the government of national unity (GNU), it does not consider Zibi an opposition MP.

ActionSA’s Athol Trollip was also touted for the position. He arrived late to the sitting after Zibi’s election.

An angry Trollip blamed staff for not communicating the proper time and venue. It later appeared he had not read a text message communicating the change in scheduling for the election.

“This is a responsibility I don’t take lightly, but I look forward to working with all the committee members to tackle the business of the committee and the programme we have," Zibi said shortly after his election.

“I look forward to working with the members from all the political parties that are represented in Scopa because the South African people expect us, particularly this committee, to see that the work of parliament is done.”

Zibi described himself as a servant of the people. The former newspaper editor and writer, who has a background in corporate communications, had the support of both the ANC and DA. His party is part of the GNU.

His party sent him a message of support, saying he must protect the public by being a vigilant watchdog who acts without fear, favour or prejudice.

“Scopa now has a new leader who will work with and for the people of South Africa to ensure that money is spent and accounted for in the pursuit of building a safe, prosperous, equal and united South Africa,” Rise Mzansi said.



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