Cape Town mayor-elect Geordin Hill-Lewis, from Edgemead, said on Monday he started his week off on a positive note, as he takes on his new role this week.
At just age 34, Mr Hill-Lewis is the youngest ever mayor in the City of Cape Town.
While his inauguration ceremony will only take place on Thursday November 18, Mr Hill-Lewis said the hard work had already begun and he cannot wait to be sworn in “to get the job done.”
On Thursday November 4 results from the 2021 municipal elections proved that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had once again claimed the metro with 62.27%, which shows a slight dip from the previous 66.61% in the 2016 municipal elections.
As a result, the party has gained 153 seats, one of which will be taken by the incoming mayor.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, November 4, Mr Hill-Lewis said the party will work hard every day to prove to residents that they have made the right decision in voting the DA into power.
He said local government has a purpose and it will be to improve living conditions of the poor in the city, to grow the economy and to deliver excellent basic services.
In September, Tabletalk met up with Mr Hill-Lewis who was very hopeful about this new role when we spoke to him (“Edgemead man could be Cape Town’s next mayor”, Tabletalk, September 8).
This week we met up with him again, asking him about his short-term plans during the next 100 days in power and a long-term plan for the next five years.
We also talked about some of the issues that were “top priority,” when we first spoke to him.
Mr Hill-Lewis was running a number of campaigns leading up to the elections, where he had seven pledges that he had been campaigning for in various parts of the city. He shared one of his first pledges then, which highlighted job creation and lifting people out of poverty.
This week he said, while he was sitting at his laptop, he had been brainstorming how to bring many parts of the city out of their poverty-stricken situations.
“I look forward to working with people who are prepared to make a positive contribution to change this city,” he said.
In his previous interview with us, he said he “hopes to put an end to load shedding,” which would contribute to creating jobs.
He said this city could possibly be the first place in the country to be “free from load shedding,” and will be “sorting it out,” during his next 100 days as the new mayor.
“Let’s just think about how businesses are suffering this week and last week with the load shedding and it is costing us our jobs. We cannot build the economy without electricity,” he said.
Mr Hill-Lewis said during the next 100 days he will focus on buying power from independent producers, which he says could be a long process but “it needed to get started.”
He said he would update the public on the way forward over the next few months as he is busy doing the preparation work.
Asked if he would be selecting a completely new mayoral committee (Mayco) to replace the current one, he said: “It is a task that needs to be thoroughly thought through.” However, he said he can speak about the new Mayco after he is sworn in.
While he remains positive about making changes in the city, including focusing on the City’s billing system, housing and working closely with law enforcement to tackle issues relating to crime, Mr Hill-Lewis said his age is being matched with his ability to “do his job.” But he said it is a great advantage as Cape Town is a very young city.
“We need to get more young people in the leadership of this city and the country to have a fresh start and fresh ideas that would benefit generations to come,” he said.
He said his ultimate goal for the next five years is “quite ambitious,” as he wants Cape Town to be the most efficient City in the country.
“I want the rest of the country to look at Cape Town with hope of what the country could achieve,” he said.
He said he would be spending most of his time working on the strategic agenda for the next five years, where he needs to make sure that everyone on his team will be working together to achieve the same goals.
Asked what he was doing at the time we called, he said he just arrived back from a holiday in Shelley Point in St Helena Bay with his family, an hour before Tabletalk started the call.
He said he enjoyed building sand castles and skateboarding with his daughter, before the “real hard work began.”
Mr Hill-Lewis thanked Cape Town for voting for him.