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By Sydney Majoko

Writer


Position to lead Tshwane or Joburg should not be passed around like a cheap cigarette

Coalition politics are only as messy as the political players involved in them.


On 10 March Murunwa Makwarela of Cope resigned as mayor of Tshwane.

Makwarela’s Cope won only one seat out of 214 available in the municipality – less than half a percent of the seats.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) then exposed him as a cheat, he had to resign and now faces all manner of charges relating to how he failed to declare the whole truth about his insolvency.

Thapelo Amad of Al Jama-ah survived a good three months as mayor of the City of Joburg after being voted in from a party that only had 1% of the votes for Joburg’s 270-seat council.

Removal

The coalition that voted him in got bored with and threatened to remove him. He resigned and his fellow party member, Kabelo Gwamanda, was voted in by the same coalition.

READ MORE: Al Jama-ah’s Kabelo Gwamanda elected as new City of Joburg mayor

Now there are threats that he might be exposed as a pyramid scheme scammer and possibly removed. Even the worst pessimist would never have predicted that elected grown men and women, who are supposed to be at the coalface of service delivery in two of South Africa’s biggest metropolitan municipalities, would play politics so badly that between the two cities they would have gone through a total of six mayors (including the incumbents) in just five months.

It does not take a genius to notice that in that period and many months leading up to it, service delivery is so severely compromised that the two cities run the risk of becoming totally dysfunctional.

‘Horse-trading’

All because of terrible coalition horse-trading. Some ANC think-tank has decided that it is prudent for the party to enter into an arrangement with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which will bear fruit in the future, including propping each other up to divide up the mayorships of the large metros, as well as a possible coalition after the 2024 general election.

In the meantime, the least threatening party in the council gets the mayorship, hence the chaos that has plagued Tshwane and Joburg.

The truth of the matter is the least threatening of the parties for the ANC and the EFF have proven to be least suited to lead such important cities in the province.

The ANC must pray that the EFF stays loyal, which can never be guaranteed. Sadly, what matters to both parties is securing the future of the party in power as opposed to providing the best leadership that will ensure quality service delivery for residents of both cities.

South Africans are slowly falling into the trap of accepting that coalition politics are necessarily messy. Coalition politics are only as messy as the political players involved in them.

Power

If the general principle of the parties with the biggest slice of the votes are simply staying in power just for power’s sake, then the possibility of having a mayor stay in position for just a week increases exponentially.

Just the mere fact that Gayton McKenzie was willing to move all the way from the Northern Cape to come and head the City of Joburg – and having failed to do that, offering his mate Kenny Kunene the chance to go for the position – should be sounding alarm bells for their coalition partners.

The position to lead Tshwane or Joburg should not be passed around like a cheap cigarette between desperate smokers.

Only the best candidates should get the opportunity to lead these economic hubs of the Gauteng province. May voters provide the most swift and suitable kind of karma to those political parties that have abdicated their mandates simply to stay in power for powers’ sake.

NOW READ: DA using Kunene as a distraction from the real issue, says PA ahead of Joburg council sitting

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