Jolidee Matongo, the son of a migrant from Zimbabwe, has been elected unopposed as new executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, the metro announced on Tuesday.
The 269 councillors in the metro did not submit any other names and as per the Municipal Structures Act, in the case that there was only one nominee, that person automatically assumed the position.
A special council sitting was called on Tuesday by Speaker of the Johannesburg council, the ANC’s Nonceba Molwele.
In his acceptance speech, Matongo made sure he reminded everyone that he is the son of a Zimbabwean migrant.
Matongo was born in 1975 in Soweto, Gauteng, south Africa. He matriculated at Orlando West High School where he joined the Soweto Students Congress (Sosco) and Congress of South African Students (Cosas).
The 46-year-old is a Soweto-born former student activist. He served as the MMC for Finance under Makhubo.
The ANC has 124 seats in the council and needed 12 votes from other parties to install Matongo as their mayoral choice – he welcomed the uncontested nomination and promised to hit the ground running as new mayor.
He said first on his agenda as mayor was selecting a new mayoral committee, as the previous structure was dissolved due to Geoff Makhubo’s death.
According to Matongo, the new mayoral committee “will be announced at the next council sitting” – expected to be in two weeks time “after consultations” with the ANC’s alliance partners in the metro, the IFP, the UDM, Cope, the African Independent Congress and Al Jama-ah.
In adherence with Level three Covid-19 regulations, the 269 councillors were at different venues during the sitting, with some present at the council chambers, while other members took part in the proceedings from the Mandela Theatre.
Members of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) where present to facilitate the voting process, but given the uncontested nature, Matongo was announced as new mayor without any voting process.
The 46-year-old, Soweto-born former student activist takes over after Makhubo’s death last month.
Matongo served as the MMC for Finance under Makhubo. He had risen through the ranks, from serving as a member of the Soweto Student Congress and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) before moving on to serve as the regional head of communications in the ANC for eight years.
Matongo holds various qualifications from different institutions, including a Diploma in Public Management, a post graduate degree in Public Management from Unisa, a post graduate Diploma in Management from Milpark Business School and was currently pursuing his masters degree in Public Management with Mancosa.
“As an experienced public servant, comrade Matongo has served the people of South Africa in various public sector spaces such as the position he held at Census project in 2001 as the national trainer, project manager for the Management Schools Training Programs (MSTP). He has worked as an operations manager at housing department at CoJ, head of youth development programmes for the City,” the City said in a statement.