The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) in Johannesburg has congratulated the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) newly elected mayor of the metro, Dr Mpho Phalatse.
Phalatse surprised many on Monday after she beat the ANC’s Mpho Moerane for the City of Johannesburg’s mayoral chains during the first sitting of council after the 1 November local government elections. She is the first woman to be at the helm of Johannesburg.
The DA’s victory in South Africa’s economic hub has been attributed to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ActionSA, after both parties banded together to unseat the ANC.
While the ANCWL said it would have preferred Moerane to be elected as mayor, it said Phalatse’s victory was a win for all women in the country.
“We remain true to our support for the women of Joburg outside of party lines. The agenda of the ANC for the emancipation of women was never about ANC members only.
“Thus, all women were liberated by the struggle efforts of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw), Bantu Women’s League and the ANCWL,” the ANCWL Johannesburg region said in a statement.
DA surprised over election of candidates
DA leader John Steenhuisen on Tuesday said his party was just as surprised as the rest of South Africa by the EFF and ActionSA’s support for its mayoral candidates in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros.
This was after the DA ruled out coalition talks with the EFF and their negotiations with ActionSA, including other smaller parties, collapsed at the weekend.
Steenhuisen said EFF and ActionSA’s support did not come with any strings attached.
“We didn’t ask for help from the EFF to lead these governments, and we did not expect to leave these meetings with two new DA mayors, and both these metros’ first-ever female mayors.
“But the election of Dr Mpho Phalatse and Tania Campbell, as the new mayors of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni respectively, signifies an incredible opportunity for these metros,” he said.
The DA leader made it clear that the DA would not allow EFF to hold them hostage by forcing them to concede to any government decisions.
“We are certainly not here to cling to power at all cost and would sooner return to the opposition benches than give way to demands that are unrealistic, corrupt or require us to govern badly.
“I also want to make it clear that we did not solicit the support of the EFF – or ActionSA for that matter – for our candidates in these metros. There was no deal made with them, and there is no quid pro quo for supporting our candidates.”
Meanwhile, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has left the door open for the DA if the party were to change its mind to govern in a minority coalition government with other opposition parties.
Mashaba on Tuesday said he would not take part in coalition talks with the DA that did not include the EFF as well.
“One thing I have made abundantly clear to the DA, if they want to talk to ActionSA they must make sure that the EFF is part of that arrangement,” he said.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe