By: Vuyolwethu Nzolongwane
The Inaugural Council meeting was held at Abbotsford Christian Centre on Tuesday, November 23 where 100 councillors were sworn in and Buffalo City Metro City Manager, Andile Sihlahla was the presiding officer.
Councillor Humphrey Maxegwana was elected as the Council Speaker and he proceeded to oversee the election of the Executive Mayor and Chief Whip.
The nominees for Executive Mayor were Councillor Suzan Bentley and Councillor Xola Anderson Pakati where Pakati won with 61 votes while Bentley lost with 22 votes.
In his acceptance statement, for the Executive Mayor position, Councillor Pakati said “it should be a singular honour for us to be allowed to lead the people of Buffalo City Metro, more especially in their quest for progress, prosperity and security.”
He further went on to say that “carrying the responsibility of leading the implementation of your city and your country’s vision is the most honourable task that can be given to an activist and a patriot.” For the position of Deputy Executive Mayor, Councillor Princess Faku was elected and Councillor Sixolisiwe Ntsasela was elected for the position of Chief Whip.
The council is set to meet again on December 15 to nominate the Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus and Chairperson of MPAC. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Council meeting was closed to the public and streamed live through multiple social media platforms.
In his closing statement, Councillor Maxhegwana said “our towns are dirty, both East London and King Williams Town, refuse is collected but our towns are dirty. We are facing a problem of sewage running in our streets, we have to do things differently councillors if we want to remain here.”