During his acceptance speech as a nominee at the special council meeting yesterday, new Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo declared that he was the son of a migrant from Zimbabwe. Picture: Siphelele Dludla/ANA
During his acceptance speech as a nominee at the special council meeting yesterday, new Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo declared that he was the son of a migrant from Zimbabwe. Picture: Siphelele Dludla/ANA

City of Joburg Speaker says new mayor is not a foreign national

By Itumeleng Mafisa Time of article published Aug 11, 2021

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Johannesburg - City of Joburg Speaker Nonceba Molwele has dismissed remarks that the metro’s new mayor Jolidee Matongo is a foreign national.

Matongo was elected unopposed as the city’s first citizen on Tuesday just over a month after former mayor Geoff Makhubo succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.

During his acceptance speech as a nominee at the special council meeting yesterday, Matongo declared that he was the son of a migrant from Zimbabwe.

However, Molwele later cleared the air around Matongo’s citizenship.

“It is important because there’s a perception that the executive mayor is not a citizen.

“I want to put it into perspective that the executive mayor was born and brought up in the country – in Soweto, to be precise.

“He has been in different structures that fought for the liberation of the citizens and the people of South Africa. He is not a migrant.

“He is born of a migrant. His dad was a legal migrant,” Molwele added.

Matongo added that his late father’s remains were buried at Avalon Cemetery in Soweto.

In response to Matongo’s nationality, opposition parties in the council had gone as far as approaching Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile to ask him to force the council to chose a new mayor.

In his acceptance speech as mayor, Matongo said that one of the key projects he would like to look at was the resuscitation of a desk in the city that would deal with foreign nationals.

Matongo said ANC policy was clear that foreign nationals who had proper documentation would enjoy their stay in South Africa and those without proper documentation would be dealt with accordingly.

“The ANC is clear on its policy positions. If people are from other countries they are documented and if they have the papers we don’t have a problem.

“Where we will have a problem is when people are in the country in Johannesburg but who are illegal and not documented; those people must then be assisted.

“We have to revive the migrant desk so that we are able to interact with the representatives of the various communities,” he said.

Matongo, who was the MMC of finance in the city, said plans for the year would continue but he said the city’s financial sustainability was another priority.

The mayor spoke about unemployment and good governance as key issues his administration would look into.

“Priorities… top of them is financial sustainability… how do we ensure that the City of Joburg is financially sustainable so that it is able to meet its obligations. In order for us to do all the grand plans we have it are not possible if we do not have financial resources therefore financial responsibilities are at the top of our priorities.”

The mayoral team was expected to be elected in a meeting that was planned for last night.

The new mayor will be inaugurated at a ceremony on Wednesday.

The Star

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