| ANC cobbles together coalition agreement to take control of Nelson Mandela Bay

Tuesday, 23 November
22 Nov
After five years in opposition benches, the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro took charge of the municipality by cobbling together a coalition agreement with smaller parties.
At the inaugural council meeting on Monday, shock-waves were sent through the council chamber when Northern Alliance (NA) councillor Gary van Niekerk, one of the political newcomers in NMB, was elected Speaker of the council.
Van Niekerk was elected in a nail-biting race after beating the DA’s Rano Kayser with one vote to become the new Speaker.
Kayser received 59 votes, one less than Van Niekerk, who received 60 votes.
READ | ‘If elections have to be rerun in hung councils, so be it’, says Jeff Radebe
There were 119 votes cast and no spoilt ballots. One councillor was absent.
“Speak out for justice. Stand up for the poor and the destitute. Let us remember that,” he told councillors as he proceeded with the order of the day.
ANC councillors started dancing, chanting, and cheering while singing struggle songs as Van Niekerk took the Speaker’s chair.
By this time, it was clear that the Northern Alliance, a new political party that focused mainly on Gqeberha’s northern areas, had agreed to a coalition with the ANC.
READ | Pieter du Toit: Losing its swagger: Pummelled everywhere, ANC’s chances at redemption look slim
Previously, Van Niekerk told News24 that they wanted to be treated like an equal partner, root out corruption, and wanted 24% of the NMB’s metro’s budget allocated to historically coloured areas in Gqeberha.

The coalition agreement saw the ANC’s Eugené Johnson elected mayor of the NMB.
In what can only be described as an upset for the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, Johnson was elected mayor of the NMB by a one-vote margin after going up against DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga.
Bhanga received 59 votes, while the ANC’s Eugene Johnson got votes 60.
60 Votes for Eugene Johnson.ANC celebrating her win! Congratulations are in order!#InauguralCouncilMeeting#NMBCouncil
During the 2021 municipal elections, the DA and ANC both won 48 seats.

Altogether 119 votes were counted, no ballots were spoilt and only one councillor, from the DA, was absent.
Johnson appointed a mayoral committee made of up ANC and opposition councillors. She vowed to bring stability to the council that has historically been rocked by political infighting.
During the 2021 municipal elections, the ANC and DA had won 48 seats and needed smaller parties’ support to form a government for NMB.
READ | Instability strikes Nelson Mandela Bay metro, 17 days after municipal elections
In 2016, the DA got 47% of the vote, and the ANC 41%. The DA won 57 seats in the 120-seat council then, as opposed to the ANC’s 50.
The DA formed a coalition with the ACDP (one seat), COPE (one seat), and the UDM (two seats) to obtain an outright majority. Other parties in the council were the EFF (six seats), Patriotic Alliance (one seat), African Independent Congress (one seat), and the United Front of the Eastern Cape (one seat).
Councillor Buyelwa Mafaya accepted the position of being deputy mayor. As Mafaya was the only nominated councillor, she was elected unopposed.
22 Nov
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