The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) elected its second mayor this year, making the troika an all female threesome to head the local authority, following Sibusiso Mvana’s resignation from the position last week.
Councillor Luleka Gubula, who was elected mayor, said she was honoured to have been shown confidence by council by being considered to lead the local authority.
Gubula is the fourth mayor since the establishment of EMLM in 2016, following the election and resignation of former mayors Lindiwe Gunuza-Nkwentsha, Sisisi Tolashe and now Mvana.
“This deployment continues to reinforce the progressive narrative that the ruling party is consistent in its affirmation of women in critical leadership positions,” she said during her acceptance speech.
Gubula thanked former mayor Mvana for the “stellar work” he had done during his one month tenure in the position, and said she would hit the ground running and continue where he had left off.
“I ascend to this important office at a very difficult time in Enoch Mgijima. A time where we must dig deep in our resolve and proclaim to the communities that we are on board and ready to work. Taking a cue from the ANC’s manifesto, president Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted seven priorities in his state of the nation address (Sona) which include economic transformation, job creation, spatial integration and human settlements, local government, social cohesion, safe communities and a capable and ethical developmental state. These overarching tasks, are an increasing challenge in Enoch Mgijima.”
She said the people had lost patience with excuses for the inability to deliver on the 2016 mandate, almost three years on.
“Our task as council requires a strong collective in the executive, a firm and unwavering eye in the oversight and an active, agile arm of the administration in the section 139 (1) (b) intervention by Cogta.
I commit myself to the service of this council and the community of Enoch Mgijima. I will give you my best, with hope that all councillors and management will do the same so that in the end, the people receive quality service delivery.”
The DA councillor and Cope councillors Lunga Tokwe and Nomazotsho Kopolo said they were happy that a female would lead the local authority and trusted Gubula as a woman in a critical position.
EFF councillor Luthando Amos said Mvana had implemented socialism during his tenure and was the only mayor who had done so much work in a short space of time as a mayor compared with the others.
He said he hoped Gubula would follow in the former mayor’s footsteps.
United Front councillor Aaron Mhlontlo advised Gubula to believe in herself, even in times of doubt, as she had the potential to lead the municipality to prosperity, if she did not allow people to bring her down.
ANC chief whip Nombuyiselo Ndlebe asked Gubula to remain humble and grounded to a level where people could reach out to her and for her to focus on service delivery.
Gubula chose her mayoral committee which consists of various portfolios as follows – Thembeka Bunu to head corporate services, Zukiswa Ralane to lead health and services, Sibusiso Mvana at technical services, Mzoxolo Peter to head finance and local economic development, Funeka Sopapase to champion the special programmes unit, Adele Hendricks to tackle safety and security and Khangela Manzana for human settlements.