UWC alumnus and South African Football Association (SAFA) president, Dr Danny Jordaan, has been appointed as the new executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth, replacing Ben Fihla.
His appointment, announced by the African National Congress top brass on 18 May 2015, comes a year before the next local government elections, and is seen as an attempt to grow the ANC’s support-base in the region, which has been floundering reportedly.
Jordaan, who obtained a BA degree and a Diploma in Higher Education from the University in the 1970s, is a proud local and international sports activist.
Some political organisations have called for him to vacate his SAFA position, but Jordaan described them as “disingenuous” as he is not employed or getting paid by SAFA. “Those calling for me to resign, the political parties, are being disingenuous,” he was quoted as saying in the media this past week.
He held dual-role positions in the past and has successfully managed to juggle both, he added.
Jordaan is not the first leader from SAFA or other football organisations to be appointed to a government position. In fact, SAFA has three mayors and five municipal managers in its ranks. he Confederation of African Football (CAF) and world governing body, FIFA, also have members who are serving in top government jobs.
A former lecturer, politician and anti-apartheid activist, Jordaan is not a new face to the ANC in Port Elizabeth. He was party chair before serving as an MP between 1994 and 1997. He founded the Port Elizabeth North Civic Organisation in the 1980s.
He is also known for his role in helping to organise the World Cup in 2010, when he was chief executive officer of 2010 World Cup South Africa. Jordaan has also served in numerous FIFA positions.