Cape Town – African Independent Congress councillor Margaret Arnolds has been elected as the new Johannesburg council speaker.
She was nominated by the African National Congress-Economic Freedom Fighters, which holds the majority of seats in the council.
The announcement was made by city manager Floyd Brink following the dismissal of the previous speaker, Colleen Makhubele, from her party, Congress of the People last week.
“In terms of item five of the schedule, if only one candidate has been nominated the person presiding must declare that candidate duly elected. I, therefore, declare councillor Margaret Sharon Arnolds duly elected as the speaker of council for the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality,” EWN quoted Brink as saying.
“I will be speaker of council, and not of a political party.” Africa Independent Congress’ #MargaretArnolds says her aim is to unite the Joburg council.#Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/71vBOayXpW
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) November 20, 2023
The Democratic Alliance boycotted the council sitting, labeling it a waste of money and expressing opposition to the perceived misuse of taxpayers’ funds by the current coalition.
Arnolds eagerly embraced her new role, emphasising that it signifies her party’s preparedness to govern.
“As the prospective speaker in council, I aim to showcase the AIC’s governance capabilities and the credibility of our members. Despite our party’s smaller size, we hold significant influence, having led the minority party bloc since our inception. The collaboration of smaller parties was my initiative,” she said, according to Times Live.
In outlining her vision as a speaker, Arnolds expressed a commitment to gaining the confidence of every councillor without bias.
She emphasised her goal of ensuring the smooth functioning of the council, with a focus on delivering services to Johannesburg’s 6-million residents.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu