Dan Plato has been elected as Cape Town’s new mayor during a special council sitting on Tuesday.
Plato clenched the top spot by a majority, receiving 146 votes in council. His election follows the stepping down by former mayor Patricia De Lille.
“Thank you for placing your trust in me and for having faith that together, with a united council, we will continue to ensure that the City of Cape Town is the open opportunity city for all.
“I will not be able to do it alone, and will need the support of everyone who shares this city’s vision. Let me repeat that vision now: we are focused on delivering quality services to all residents,” said Plato.
The newly elected mayor is no stranger to the office after having briefly taken over the reins from Helen Zille back in 2009. He held the position until 2011.
Policing placed high on mayor’s agenda
In his first address to the council, Plato called for increased policing in the City of Cape Town.
“With regards to the low levels of police in this city, we cannot allow a situation where in the rest of the country there is one police officer for every 369 people, but in Cape Town there is only one police officer for every 560 people, and in some communities, like Nyanga, this number jumps to one police officer for every 628 residents,” said the Mayor.
On tourism, Plato said Cape Town should be proud of the many accolades it has achieved in this sector.
Tourism is a R24 billion industry for the Western Cape, much of which benefits the City of Cape Town.
The industry continues to be a major employer for the city, with more than 217 000 jobs created in the Western Cape.
“I want to thank all the hotel staff, the waiters and the coffee baristas, the bus drivers and the tour guides, and everyone else in Cape Town for your friendliness and welcoming the world to Cape Town,” he said.
Plato looks to reduce water restrictions
Reflecting on the city’s water challenges, which led to stringent saving measures being implemented, the new Mayor said the city would look into reducing its water restrictions and tariffs.
“I do believe though that with the progress we have made in saving water and the good rainfall we received over the winter, there is room to look at the current tariffs and see where we can bring some relief to our residents.
“We hope by next month to be in a position to further reduce our restriction levels, and the accompanying tariffs,” said Plato.
Plato said there was a need to address the legacy of apartheid spatial planning in the city.
“Many of our residents need adequate housing but the rapid urbanisation experienced in Cape Town, is made even more challenging due to the legacy of apartheid spatial design.
“Our residents need housing where job opportunities are available,” he said.