News / South Africa / Elections / Local Elections 2021

Charles Cilliers
Journalist
2 minute read
17 Oct 2021
6:06 pm

Steenhuisen vows he’d rather be in opposition than rule with EFF

Charles Cilliers

The EFF, for its part, has previously made it clear they are even less interested in partnering with the DA.

DA leader John Steenhuisen at his party's manifesto launch in 2021. Picture: DA

Tweeting on Sunday, DA leader John Steenhuisen felt the need to make it clear that under his leadership the DA would never enter into coalitions with the EFF in any municipality following local government elections this year.

He said it was a question that kept coming up and he needed to spell it out for voters ahead of the polls.

Steenhuisen implied that the EFF were corrupt and rent seekers and that their values were too far removed from the DA’s.

“Let me be very clear for those asking or unsure, the DA will NOT be entering into any coalitions with the EFF under my leadership. They do not share our values and we learnt a valuable lesson over the last five years.

“We would rather serve our voters as an excellent opposition than compromise our values (nonracialism, respect for the rule of law, a capable state and a social market economy) in a government with corrupt and rent-seeking partners who do not share these,” he wrote.

The EFF and DA entered into uneasy alliances in three major metros following 2016’s elections. Although they were never in a formal coalition, the EFF agreed to vote in favour of DA mayors in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. The DA blamed this marriage of convenience for being one of the reasons it lost support to the Freedom Front Plus in 2019, criticising then DA leader Mmusi Maimane for allowing it.

They have now failed to cooperate on any issue for the past two years, leading to instability and chaos in all three hung councils.

Maimane ended up quitting the DA, and was followed by numerous other high-profile DA figures. One of them, former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, is now contesting the upcoming polls as ActionSA’s mayoral candidate for the city. Maimane is championing his concept of supporting independent candidates.

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Whatever the DA may say about the EFF, the EFF for its part has been even more outspoken about its own distaste for the DA, making the possibility of future collaborations more than unlikely.