In what was a dramatic Monday in South African politics, the Democratic Alliance’s Dr Mpho Phalatse was sworn-in as the first female mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
DA secures mayoral posts in three key metros
The official opposition may have lost control of Nelson Mandela Bay, after smaller parties turned to the ANC’s Eugene Johnson as the newly elected mayor.
However, strides were made in Joburg and Ekurhuleni.
In these two metros, the DA found its way in coalition talks with rival parties and, by the looks of it, a cooperative partnership was formed.
This resulted in Phalatse’s election as mayor of Johannesburg, snatching the seat from ANC candidate Mpho Moerane. The DA’s Vasco Da Gama was elected as Speaker.
In Ekurhuleni, similar dramatic scenes played out, where, once again, the DA succeeded in ousting the ANC from key mayoral posts.
After much controversy in the council meeting, the DA’s Tania Campbell became mayor of Ekurhuleni, with her fellow comrade Raymond Dlamini elected as Speaker.
Everything we know about Dr Mpho Phalatse
Perhaps, a silver lining to the chaotic scenes witnessed in Joburg, Ekurhuleni and eThekwini, was the popularity Phalatse garnered as one of the youngest mayors to come out of the 2021 local government elections.
We did some digging to get more information about the 44-year-old, and here’s what we found:
She is a qualified doctor
Phalatse, born on 7 November 1977, is the child of two educators. She matriculated at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy, in 1994, and after a turbulent period studying Chemical Engineering at Wits University, she found her calling in the medical field and started her journey towards becoming a doctor at the Sefako Makgatho University and MEDUNSA.
By 2005, she was a qualified doctor, where she interned at Tembisa Hospital, Jubilee Hospital and several clinics in Hammanskraal.
Mpho is also a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME).
She owns a consultancy company
Using skills obtained from her postgraduate diploma in Project Management and Programme Management, Phalatse launched a consultancy that provided assistance to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Gauteng and North West.
Her ascension to the mayor’s seat
Phalatse’s business interests fell by the way side when she served as a DA PR councillor in Johannesburg, providing input in the repair and restoration of Alexandra.
The responsibility grew too big when the doctor was asked to serve as the member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development.
Her work in this portfolio attracted increased popularity and favour, particularly in the fields of service delivery in the public health sector. Years later, Phalatse overachieved in politics and today, she is the first female mayor of Johannesburg.
She is mother of three
Outside of the demanding work as a high-ranking public servant, Phalatse is a single mother of three children, aged five, 11 and 18.