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Speakers

Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau

Executive Mayor

Johannesburg

Mpho Franklyn Tau was elected to be the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg following the elections of 2011. He brings a unique blend of youth and experience to his role as Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa's Premier Economic City.

Since he was firsts elected as a Councillor when South Africa held the First all-inclusive, Local Government Elections in 1995(Pre-Interim Local Government Phase) , Parks Tau has already served for more than 15 years in the most demanding portfolios in the City's leadership and mayoral committee, in addition to having deep roots in community activism and political structures.

Born and raised in Orlando West, Soweto, Tau became active in student politics from a young age. In the 1980s, he played a leadership role as SRC president at Pace Commercial College; he was also the president of the Soweto Youth Congress. His introduction into resistance politics coincided with the height of government repression of democratic organisations and he was repeatedly detained during the national state of emergency.

The transition from youth politics to broader civic activism came naturally to him, and he has occupied various leadership positions in local structures.  At the youthful age of 25, he was appointed the chairperson of the Urban Development Committee of the then Southern Local Metropolitan Council (SLMC), where he was responsible for the planning function. As the deputy chairperson of the SLMC's Executive Committee, he was a driving force in the Transformation Lekgotla that eventually resulted in the creation of a united Johannesburg.

Clr Parks Tau was appointed a member of the mayoral committee following the democratic local government elections in 2000. He was entrusted with a wide range of portfolios – development planning, transportation and environment. His voice and ideas were instrumental in the formulation of the development plans which shaped the current and future Johannesburg as a Metropolitan Municipality. The City's Spatial Development Framework, its Environmental Management Plan and its Integrated Transport Plan were embarked on during his tenure at the helm of the portfolio.

In 2003, he was given the responsibility of the City's finance and economic development portfolios. As the head of Johannesburg's finances, he presided over the growth of the City's annual budget from a mere R8,2-billion to more than R28-billion for the 2010/11 financial year – reflecting Johannesburg's continuing success in delivering services to communities and creating a climate for economic growth and development.