News / South Africa / Politics

Eric Naki
Political Editor
3 minute read
23 Nov 2021
2:14 pm

EFF-DA dilemma could be recipe for instability at municipalities – analyst

Eric Naki

The voting process for mayoral candidates forced the DA to rethink its stance towards the EFF and this means the DA could depend on the party for its survival.

DA mayoral candidate Mpho Phalatse accepts her nomination during the council meeting to elect a new speaker and mayor at the Brixton community centre on 22 November 2021. Picture: Citizen.co.za/Neil McCartney

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), in an act of revenge, delivered the biggest blow to the ANC by voting for Democratic Alliance candidates in the Ekurhuleni metro.

While this is a lesson to never rub the Red Berets up the wrong way, an analyst believes the situation is a recipe for political instability in the metro.

Ekurhuleni, a political battleground

Political analyst Professor Dirk Kotze foresees trouble in this new arrangement, where the EFF forced itself into a partnership with the DA, against the latter’s will.

The DA’s survival will hinge on the whims of the EFF. In future, the Red Berets could pass a no-confidence motion against the DA if it refuses to toe the EFF line.

“The irony is that what the EFF did in Ekurhuleni was without the DA’s consent. This puts the DA in a precarious situation because this was not part of its plan,” Kotze said.

ALSO READ: Did EFF outfox DA and ANC in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni?

“The DA would be operating a minority government and that is potentially an unstable situation.”

Political stalemate

Kotze said there was a positive side to this development. Without the EFF supporting the DA, there would have been a stalemate in Ekurhuleni.

This is not a pro-DA decision by the EFF, but it is an anti-ANC decision.

Professor Dirk Kotze

“The EFF may stay outside the coalition and do what it did in Tshwane and elsewhere, and decide who must be in power between the ANC and the DA,” the analyst said.

“The EFF can adopt a motion of no confidence at any time and decide whether the DA stays or goes.

“It will be a problem, it will be an unstable environment, and it’s not a good way of dealing with the situation,” Kotze said.

Ekurhuleni metro

The young party – assisted by ActionSA and other smaller parties – delivered the Ekurhuleni metro to the DA despite the party not seeing eye to eye with the Red Berets. 

The party’s mayoral candidate, Tania Campbell, was elected as mayor with 116 votes against Mzwandile Masina, who received 105 votes.

This was a pattern from an earlier vote where the council elected the DA’s Raymond Dlamini as speaker of council, supported by the EFF.

Dlamini received a total of 116 votes out of 220, beating the ANC’s nominee, Dora Mlambo, who received 104 votes.

No consent from Democratic Alliance

The voting process for mayoral candidates forced the DA to rethink its stance towards the EFF and this means the DA could depend on the EFF for its survival.

The election of Vasco da Gama as speaker of the City of Johannesburg council was a clear indication that, again, the EFF had voted with the DA.

Da Gama beat the ANC’s candidate Eunice Mgcina for the position. 

ActionSA’s role in the dilemma

The DA did not expect to win Ekurhuleni – in fact, the metro was not on its list of municipalities envisaged to win among the 66 hung municipalities.

The party’s focus was on Tshwane and Johannesburg, which it was going to win only with the support of ActionSA.

Despite the party’s unwillingness to support Mashaba as mayor of Johannesburg, ActionSA wanted to work with the DA to keep the ANC at bay in the Gauteng metros and elsewhere.

But if this did not work – and the DA failed to back him in Johannesburg – Mashaba himself planned an act of revenge against the DA by not lending his party’s support in Tshwane.