The City of Tshwane mayor, Solly Msimanga, is expected to announce on Friday he will no longer be mayor.
His term ends in February. It’s believed he will now spend more of his energy campaigning for the provincial office.
It is expected that the speaker of council, Katlego Mathebe, will take over from Msimanga as mayor.
Msimanga became Tshwane’s First Citizen two years ago through a coalition government after the municipal elections that did not produce an outright victor in the City. The coalition and working relationship between the DA and the EFF resulted in an ANC government that was riddled with in-fighting being kicked out of power and onto the city council’s opposition benches – for the first time since the dawn of democracy.
However, Msimanga has been warding off pressure from community members, opposition parties and even from members of his own caucus who have grown unhappy and have expressed a lack of faith in his leadership skills.
The ANC in Tshwane and its leader, Kgosi Maepa, have been calling for Msimanga’s removal for several months amid the mayor’s running battles with city manager Moeketsi Mosola over the multibillion-rand GladAfrica contract scandal.
Msimanga has also been accused of making appointing people who don’t qualify, including his chief of staff and spokesperson, while the EFF, which is in a partnership with the DA in Tshwane, had previously attempted to get rid of Msimanga through a motion of no confidence.
Msimanga and the DA are expected to use the upcoming polls as the reason for the development. Some have accused the party of seeing him as a liability and wanting to conveniently remove him from difficult Tshwane politics.