Businesspeople were invited to join the new executive mayor on the golf course in a day of networking and getting to know each other better.
YOU know him as a keen golfer and the man behind the council’s finances, and although he is the same man, this time he is wearing a different hat, that of executive mayor.
Executive mayor Parks Tau tees off (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)Executive mayor Parks Tau tees off (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)This is the sentiment of Bongi Mokaba, Joburg’s executive director for marketing, who invited Joburg’s business bigwigs and the like for an inaugural Mayoral Golf Day to introduce Parks Tau to the Joburg business community and to open a networking platform.
And, the day – 27 June – also marked exactly a month since Tau took up his new position as mayor.
It was all smiles and joviality at the Royal Kensington and Johannesburg Golf Course on the day as a contingent of Joburg’s businesspeople, media personnel and City officials took to the fairways in a four-ball setup. They could be seen on the fairways, hitting birdies and bunkers all in the name of networking and getting to know the new mayor better.
Politicians were pitted with civil society leaders, the business community, celebrities and sportsmen in a four-ball, 18-hole stroke play on top-quality courses.
Tau looked nervous yet cheerful, cracking jokes and chatting to his four-ball team ahead of tee off. He did not have a great start, probably because of nerves; however, he said he was looking forward to a good game.
Executive mayor Parks Tau and City manager Mavela Dlamini took to the fairways of Royal Kensington and Johannesburg Golf Course to play golf and network with businesspeople. Watch video.
“It’s a good day and the weather is good; I hope to enjoy the game. I didn’t start particularly well but I’m looking forward to enjoying the game,” he said.
The four weeks that he had been mayor had been “hectic”. “It’s long hours but we are working on a lot of things in the City and prospects look good,” he said, adding that the responsibility of being mayor was different from that of being a member of the mayoral committee.
Ahead of tee off, Mokaba said that following his appointment, Tau had indicated that there would be consistency and continuation from Amos Masondo, the former executive mayor. As a result, the annual Budget Golf Day had been converted to the inaugural Mayoral Golf Day.
MMC Geoffrey MakhuboMMC Geoffrey Makhubo watches his shot on the tee (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)“This is another platform for us to say to the golfing fraternity, you’ve known him as a golfer and an MMC for finance, but he is now dealing with the City on a larger scale,” she explained.
Tau was inaugurated exactly a month ago, taking over from Masondo, who led the City since 2000. “This is part of his inauguration. Yes he was inaugurated in council and now he is being inaugurated on the golf course. He is basically engaging with golfers to say that I am still here, but wearing a different hat,” she said.
It was a bright and breezy day and the light winds did little to deter play and enthusiasm.
Outgoing City manager, Mavela Dlamini, was chirpy as always on the fairway, noting that it was going “to be a lot of fun”.
He said the day was about bringing friends together and getting out of the office to shake off the winter chill. “We play golf together but we have a city to run as well,” he said. “It’s more about enjoying the game, good friends and a good round of golf; you can’t have a better combination.”
Forming part of the day’s activities was a golf clinic held for all members of the mayoral committee, to teach them the intricacies of the sport. It was to end with a dinner to formally inaugurate the mayor and introduce him to the Joburg business community.
Mokaba explained that the annual Mayoral Golf Day, an initiative of the Johannesburg Aids Council, was scheduled for the latter part of the year.
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