Dan Plato has been voted in as Cape Town’s new mayor on Tuesday at a special council meeting, taking the position for the second time. The position has been vacant since the resignation of former mayor Patricia De Lille who resigned last week, followed by eight other Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors.
Plato secured an unquestionable victory over fellow mayoral candidates, the African National Congress’s (ANC) Xolani Sotashe and the African Christian Democratic Party’s (ACDP) Grant Haskin.
A total of 208 councillors were present. 146 voted for Plato via secret ballot, 53 for Sotashe and three for Haskin. There were six abstentions.
The ANC tried to disrupt the meeting minutes before the voting took place by questioning a statement sent by council speaker Dirk Smit.
The ANC mayoral nominee Xolani Sotashe questioned why an email was sent announcing Plato’s nomination for mayor on the first of this month, before voting took place.
“We are supposed to be impartial in terms of what we’re doing. Now you have already communicated a predetermined outcome. Why did you do that as the Speaker of the council?” said Sotashe.
But City of Cape Town speake Dirk Smit fired back with sarcasm.
“Councillor Sotashe, because of common sense,” he stressed.
Smith said a new chief whip will be elected at a special sitting after consultation with the mayor and city councillors.
Addressing the council members as the newly appointed mayor, Plato stressed that corruption will be dealt with as a matter of priority during his tenure. He emphasized that unity will be restored.
“My promise to everyone is that we will restore Cape Town and make this a better place for all, but I cannot do it alone…I would need help from everyone,” he said.
Touching on some of the challenges faced by the City, Plato said he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to regain the trust of Capetonians.
“My priority right now is to make sure safety measures are set in place. We (myself and former Mayor, Patricia De Lille) already started with the gang units, however I will make sure that this stays consistent and that they don’t slack with combatting crime. I will also be deploying more Metro police officers to help fight crime,” he said.
Plato said all these changes will be made and all promises will be adhered to. He appealed to communities to be patient and give him time to process things so that he can deal with things accordingly.