Helen Zille of South Africas opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) has won a closely-fought mayoral race over her main opponent, outgoing city mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The 210-member city council, chosen in the 1 March municipal poll, elected her by 106 votes to 103 with one spoilt ballot, following two weeks of difficult negotiations after no party won a clear majority of the popular vote. Zille, whose party holds 90 seats, was elected with support from the smallest parties on the city council. Two representatives of minor parties have been elected to key positions: Andrew Arnolds of the African Christian Democratic Party (seven seats) has been chosen as deputy mayor, and Freedom Front Plus councillor (one seat) Derek Smit has been elected as speaker. This leaves ANC, which is still the second largest party with 81 seats, without a major post. The city council now has the task of improving services and housing particularly for the local black population as well as coping with the impact of ongoing power failures in the region.
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