Danny Jordaan to remain SAFA President while in hot seat as new PE mayor

South African Football (Safa) president, Danny Jordaan will stay in his position in the organisation, while taking up a new leadership position as Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality. The municipality encompasses the cities of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch in the Eastern Cape.

The African National Congress (ANC)'s Monday announcement has taken many by surprise, as Jordaan is widely-known as a prolific sports administrator, having been the head of the 2010 Local Organising Committee during the Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

In addition, the ANC also said that there would be a number of leadership changes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, where it is has reportedly experienced notable decreases at the polls over the past few years.

CapeTalk's Africa Melane spoke to independent municipal analyst Paul Berkowitz about the task that lies ahead for Jordaan.

ANC under threat for local municipal elections in 2016

Berkowitz says the ANC is most likely feeling the pressure in the Metro and in the wider Eastern Cape province.

Identity politics: chasing the coloured vote

Berkowitz adds that while it is sensitive to reduce the electioneering to identity politics, it is important to note that there is a large coloured population in the Municipality - one which both the ANC and DA are targeting. Berkowitz says that this can be quite significant because the margins are close between them.

If I look at the map, there are at least three or four votes in, what we call former coloured townships, which based on apartheid spatial planning, are still largely coloured townships. The ANC only won those wards on 60 – 65%. And the DA will definitely be targeting those votes. If the ANC lost even that handful of wards, which might bring it below majority in the Metro.

Jordaan’s appointment may not be enough

According to Berkowitz, the appointment is necessary, but it may not be sufficient. He says the party needs to do more than just change the Mayor.

Jordaan may not be enough to cure internal factionalism

Berkowitz says that although Mr. Jordaan is well liked and popular, the Alliance is badly fractured in the Metro. And even if Jordaan is well favoured and may help with ANC support, it won’t matter if service delivery problems continue to persist because of political infighting in the Municipality and the greater Eastern Cape province.

There has been a lot of infighting within the Alliance, specifically between ANC and Cosatu – and particularly Numsa. This is not a new thing; it has been going on since two municipal elections ago, since the council in 2006 was chosen. The previous Mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile (who is a Numsa man), when he was kicked upstairs to the National Assembly by the ANC, Numsa was incredibly angry.

Is Jordaan the man for the job?

Berkowitz says that Jordaan is good administrator, and that his track record with the 2010 World Cup Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) committee is an example of this. He is also a good candidate because he has got a pedigree within Port Elizabeth and the Municipality.

He’s got a huge task ahead of him, and I think at the moment, I think it will take a lot to reconcile Numsa and the wider Cosatu structures within the Province, with the rest of the alliance partners...The fights within the alliance groups have expressed themselves in some of the functions and the running of the Municipality, and that’s going to have to be dealth with.

Our listeners weigh in on the announcement

Mike in Emmarentia, Johannesburg says that it seems unfair for Jordaan to occupy two senior positions simultaneoulsy, whilst there are many other candidates without opportunities.

Themba, in Rosebank told CapeTalk and 702's Redi Tlhabi that he does not have a problem with Jordaan' s new position, because he has a political history grounded in Port Elizabeth and with the ANC.

With Danny Jordaan it's a different case, because Danny is, in fact, an actual politician before he is a football official. He's an ANC man through and through.

Jordaan’s political history:

  • Jordaan was a Member of Parliament from 1994 until 1997, when he became CEO at South African Football Association (Safa).
  • His political history includes being a member of the South African Students’ Organisation (Saso) in the 1970s, and later becoming a member of the ANC and the United Democratic Front.
  • Jordaan also served as Chairperson of the ANC’s Port Elizabeth North Branch from 1990 until he became an Member of Parliament.
  • Jordaan became President of the Safa in September 2013.

The process before Jordaan can be officially sworn in

ANC National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said that there are processes which need to be followed before Jordaan is officially the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality:

1. The current Mayor Ben Fihla needs to resign.
2. Jordaan needs to be registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
3. A council meeting will be convened, where Jordaan will be nominated as Mayor.

Listen to the full conversation with Africa Melane standing in on Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


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