The ANC in Johannesburg will attempt to capitalise on the departure of mayor Herman Mashaba by attempting to woo opposition parties, including the EFF, into a coalition. Mashaba’s resignation has opened a “can of worms” and parties in the council must meet urgently to discuss the future of the Democratic Alliance-led (DA) coalition in the metro, according to co-governing party Congress of the People (Cope). The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which expressed solidarity with the now outgoing mayor, was being wooed by the vote-diminished ANC in the metro, in its bid to return the party to power. Regional spokesperson for…
The ANC in Johannesburg will attempt to capitalise on the departure of mayor Herman Mashaba by attempting to woo opposition parties, including the EFF, into a coalition.
Mashaba’s resignation has opened a “can of worms” and parties in the council must meet urgently to discuss the future of the Democratic Alliance-led (DA) coalition in the metro, according to co-governing party Congress of the People (Cope).
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which expressed solidarity with the now outgoing mayor, was being wooed by the vote-diminished ANC in the metro, in its bid to return the party to power.
Regional spokesperson for the ANC Jolidee Matongo told The Citizen the party was already in talks with other parties and planning to approach the EFF to garner votes for a candidate of the ANC’s choosing.
“The resignation has provided us with an opportunity for parties to present candidates for the position of mayor and subsequently constitute government,” said Matongo. “We are looking at how the ANC can work with other parties.
“We have not yet engaged with the EFF, but will initiate that discussion and see what they say; whether they will vote with us or not.”
The EFF refused to comment. However, the party was full of praise for Mashaba.
“Mashaba is the only one who never arrogated himself into a leadership style as if the DA had won with an outright majority,” it said in a statement.
“He was always humble, consultative and willing to concede to superior logic – even as he belonged to a political party characterised by white supremacy and anti-poor policies. Mashaba turned his back on these policies and practices that are core to the DA.”
The coalition partners responded with concern about Mashaba’s indication yesterday that the recent election of Helen Zille as chair of the DA federal council, was a result of the influence of “rightwing” politics which sought to erase race as a factor in the struggle for equality.
“We are going to call an urgent meeting with other coalition partners for us to agree and evaluate our position in this coalition because we cannot be part of a government run by the rightwing,” said Cope leader Dennis Bloem. “We do not deal in that type of politics. We cannot be part of a coalition that is taking the country back.”
DA Gauteng caucus leader John Moody said the coalitions in the province were not necessarily being divided by ideology, hence parties such as Freedom Front Plus, whose views were far divorced from his own, could coexist with the DA.
He laughed off the ANC suggestion that the DA-led coalition governments were on the brink of collapse, likening their criticism to the pot calling the kettle black.
“They have got their own issues to deal with and the party is in fact disintegrating. They can try and roll the dice with the EFF, but my philosophy is that you are only responsible for what you can change and what you can control,” Moody said.
“I believe the EFF wants to come to the party and focus on putting Johannesburg first. At the end of the day they will vote where they want and we can continue to focus on the good work that has been started.”
Unfulfilled promises, allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption cases were among concerns voiced by those who criticised outgoing Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, suggesting his resignation was a cop out.
- The ANC Greater Johannesburg Region accused Mashaba of “running away from soon-to-be-exposed truth” that the City of Joburg was in dire financial trouble and may not be able to finance the day-to-day basic cost of providing water and electricity to residents, including paying salaries to staff.
- The party has repeatedly accused the city’s management of hiding financial mismanagement and the true state of affairs in the metro’s coffers – an accusation Mashaba has repeatedly dismissed.
- But ANC regional spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said Mashaba’s resignation “has very little to do with the election of Helen Zille as the DA’s council chair. His resignation is informed by the dire financial crisis he has plunged the city into”.
- Municipal workers union Samwu said Mashaba was “good riddance”. Spokesperson Papike Mohale accused him of sewing divisions within the union. “Since he came into office, he had made it his priority to undermine collective bargaining. There have been no sound labour relations, with the city failing to convene local labour forums.”
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