On Friday, Johannesburg, South Africa, elected a new mayor, Thapelo Amad, a councillor from a small Muslim political party, Al Jama-ah. He was voted in by the city council to replace the previous mayor Mpho Phalatse, a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA).
This marks a historic moment as Amad is the first Muslim to be elected as mayor of Johannesburg, which is South Africa’s largest metropolis.
Amad, who is 41 years old, stated that he felt “humbled” and “overwhelmed” by the opportunity to serve as mayor. He also mentioned that this marks a significant moment in South African history.
He has vowed to make the fight against corruption his top priority during his tenure. Amad believes that corruption hinders the development and growth of the city and its inhabitants. He is determined to tackle this issue head-on and make Johannesburg a more prosperous and equitable city for all its residents.
It is important to note that Amad’s election as mayor was not expected, as his political party, Al Jama-ah, only holds three seats out of the 270 seats in the city council. His election was the result of months of political maneuvering and coalition building.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which holds the most seats in the council, supported Amad’s candidacy. The ANC and Al Jama-ah have formed a coalition government in Johannesburg, which will work together to govern the city and implement policies that will benefit its citizens.
It is worth mentioning that the previous mayor, Phalatse, was removed from office through a vote of no-confidence earlier this week. This was the third no-confidence vote that Phalatse faced since September 2021.
She had previously been removed from office after her coalition crumbled, but was later reinstated by the courts. Phalatse made history in 2021 when she became the first black woman to lead Johannesburg. This occurred after the ANC lost local elections, which was their worst showing in the ballot since the advent of democracy in 1994.
Despite the challenges faced by Phalatse, her tenure as mayor was marked by several achievements. She implemented policies that improved the city’s infrastructure, increased access to education and healthcare, and promoted economic development.
Amad has big shoes to fill, but he is determined to continue the good work of his predecessor and take Johannesburg to new heights. He has a vision for a Johannesburg that is inclusive, prosperous, and equitable, and he is ready to work hard to make that vision a reality.