The collapse of the relationship between the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the ANC in Johannesburg doesn’t weaken the governing party as they still hold a majority in the city’s council.
The PA announced they would be taking the ANC to court as the ending of their relationship went against their coalition agreement.
This comes after the ANC announced on Tuesday that it ended its “infant” coalition with the PA on Monday as they couldn’t “find each other”.
Majority in the council
But their break-up won’t have an impact on the ANC-led coalition government as the ANC still holds a majority in the council, said ANC Johannesburg spokesperson Sasabona Manganye. He said the ANC would only be concerned should the EFF vote with the DA, which was highly unlikely in his opinion.
“Whether the PA is still with us or not, the circumstances of the coalition still remain the same because they just have one councillor. ANC has 120 seats remaining following the passing away of two councillors. After the by-elections on 11 November, we will increase our numbers,” he said.
In Tshwane, however, the ANC remained in the opposition benches as DA candidate Randall Williams was successfully elected the capital city’s new mayor last week, receiving 97 of the 123 cast votes. Of the votes, 25 went to the EFF while one was a spoilt vote.
The ANC, which has 92 seats, did not field a mayoral candidate and instead abstained from voting.
Williams’ successful election comes after the city being placed under administration by Gauteng Provincial Government and MEC of cooperative governance Lebogang Maile several months ago.
The city ended up in a political impasse in January when the EFF turned against their DA allies by joining the ANC in collapsing several council sittings.
But the PA would be taking legal action against the collapse of the coalition, which the party says was a breach of their agreement with the ANC, said PA spokesperson Bruce Nimmerhoudt.
He said parties in the government of local unity (GLU) agreed last year that any disputes between coalition partners would be managed according to an agreed approach.
“Last year, this very same ANC came cap in hand, literally begging for our vote, which installed them back into power. We can use that same vote to remove them again. We are now approaching the courts for an urgent interdict against the ANC,” Nimmerhoudt said in a statement.
Manganye said they would await court papers to further understand what the PA claims constitute a breach.
“We will then advise on the appropriate course of action. We had a bilateral with them to discuss issues of concern and couldn’t find each other and it was good enough to accept the fact that we can’t continue with the coalition relations. If they want to take it to court, it’s their right,” he said.
According to Manganyane, the PA did not understand “simple governance” and couldn’t differentiate between “party and state”.
For example, the PA issued a statement saying they would inform Johannesburg executive mayor Geoff Makhubo that they would be replacing a ruling party MMC with someone else from their party, he said.
“Issues of this nature, we engage at the level of the government of local unity and a final decision is taken by the mayor, not a party. They don’t understand simple governance issues, which is what we raised.”