Mpho Franklyn Tau

Mpho Franklyn Tau brings a unique blend of youth and experience to his role as executive mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa's premier city.

Parks Tau Mayor

At the age of 41, Parks Tau has already served for more than 10 years in the most demanding portfolios in the City's 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.

It came as no surprise when he was appointed a member of the mayoral committee following the first democratic local government elections in 2000. He was entrusted with awide range of portfolios – development planning, transportation and environment. His voice and ideas were key in the formulation of the development plans which shape the current and future Johannesburg.

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 2004, 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.

Strengthening his hands-on experience in city governance, Tau holds a post-graduate diploma in public management in addition to several advanced management courses he has successfully completed during his career.

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