Plato elected as Cape Town's new mayor

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance (DA) outgoing Councillor Dan Plato was elected Mayor of Cape Town on Wednesday.

He takes over the reigns from Helen Zille, who resigned from the position to take up the premiership of the Western Cape, the only province not won by the African National Congress (ANC) in last month's general elections.

Mr Plato beat the ANC's candidate Belinda Landingwe by 119 votes to 66 while six votes were spoilt.

Prior to his appointment, Mr Plato, 48, served as a member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing, where he dealt with a host of problems in the city, including the eviction of illegal dwellers in Delft.

The new mayor said he was under no illusions about the challenges that lay ahead and he understood how high the stakes were.

"We know that citizens have been waiting for too long, for too many promises, made by careless leaders," he said.

Mr Plato also spoke about the tight deadlines he faced as the 2010 FIFA World Cup approached, referring to the city's Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) project.

In this regard, he said the city was reviewing its consultations with the existing public transport industry while work on IRT infrastructure for the first phase continues.

"The city will work closely with the National and Provincial Departments of Transport to ensure the successful implementation of the IRT system," he said, adding that this will benefit Cape Town's commuters and those parts of the city's existing public transport industry which will be upgraded as a result of the IRT.

According to Mr Plato, his number one priority, would be to make the city government one that promoted job creation through regional economic growth. This, he said, meant building a solid platform of infrastructure and services.

"Cape Town's roads, public transport, electricity distribution, sewerage systems and water supply must be solid enough to keep pace with economic growth," he said adding, that urban regulation, administrative systems, traffic and by-law enforcement must be effective enough to establish an ordered environment.