Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
28 Jul 2022
1:58 pm

Nelson Mandela Bay opposition parties agree to work together to remove ANC from power

Thapelo Lekabe

The DA plans to nominate Eastern Cape MPL Retief Odendaal as their mayoral candidate.

Nelson Mandela Bay opposition parties on Thursday signed a coalition agreement in bid to remove the ANC-led coalition. Picture: Twitter/ @Our_DA

Opposition parties in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape have signed a coalition agreement in a move to oust the ANC-led coalition in the metro.

Multi-party coalition agreement

The parties on Thursday briefed the media on their agreement to form a coalition government.

The coalition comprised the Democratic Alliance (DA), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), African Independent Congress (AIC), Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM), Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

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The parties said the agreement was the culmination of almost four months of negotiations to form a new government that is based on shared values, principles, commitments and priorities.

Should the parties be successful in their bid to remove the ANC from power, this would be the second coalition government in the metro.

The ANC formed a coalition government with smaller parties last year, after last November’s local government elections. The ANC and DA each won 48 seats in council.

ANC councillor Eugene Johnson was elected Nelson Mandela Bay’s mayor after she beat DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, for the position by 60 votes. Bhanga only received 59 votes after one DA councillor was absent.

DA mayoral candidate

Speaking at the signing ceremony on Thursday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party would nominate Eastern Cape Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), Retief Odendaal, as their mayoral candidate in council soon.

“The processes for his arrival here in the council will obviously be dealt with in the next 48 hours and in time for the first council meeting.

“We believe he is a good candidate with the necessary qualifications and experience. And most importantly, he is a team player and I know he is looking forward to working with the partners here,” he said.

There were no clear timeframes when the coalition partners would table their petition in council for the election of a new government.

Nelson Mandela Bay in ‘crisis’

Steenhuisen described the ANC-led coalition as corrupt and dysfunctional, saying the metro was in crisis.

While he said the different opposition parties had different political ideologies, Steenhuisen said they had one common ground of wanting to put Nelson Mandela Bay residents first.

“I believe this city and our country have barely stretched the surface of our real potential as a city and a nation.

“It is going to be the parties represented at this table, and others who put aside their petty differences, to come together around a shared programme of action and delivery, and putting people first that’s going to fundamentally change South Africa.”

The DA leader added that he believed coalition governments were the future of South Africa’s politics.

“Coalitions are not easy; it takes compromise and means listening to each other.

“I want to thank the parties that have gathered here, who have taken the decision to work together and turn this city around,” Steenhuisen said.

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