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By Hein Kaiser

Journalist


Kenny Kunene explains the ‘flip-flopping’ role of the PA in municipal coalitions

Kunene says the PA’s strategy of participating in government, where it has a minority, is working


The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has flip-flopped between coalitions for good reason. The party is interested in governing and showing its voters it can fulfil some of its promises to its constituency, whether they’re at the top of the food chain or not.

Last year, the party exited a coalition with the DA to cosy up to the ANC. This, along with the subsequent departure of ActionSA from the coalition alliance, had a fundamental impact in destabilising the DA-led collective in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

A few weeks ago, TV actuality programme Carte Blanche questioned the conduct of the DA-led coalition in Ekurhuleni after allegations of poor service delivery, jobs for pals and shoddy leadership.

ALSO READ: Mpho Phalatse’s removal engineered by Patriotic Alliance

Ousted mayor Tania Campbell was at the receiving end of a barrage of criticism regarding her and the DA’s ability to govern. Parties have also been critical of the DA in Joburg’s faltered coalition and the recent political mess in Tshwane also negatively impacted the party’s scoreboard.

PA’s long-term strategy

PA deputy president Kenny Kunene said it would work with whomever it could to ensure service delivery for South Africans.

He was appointed MMC for Transport after Mpho Phalatse’s DA government in Johannesburg bit the dust.

Kunene said: “Part of our strategy is to be in government. We are focusing on building the party at local government elections. It’s a long-term strategy.”

ALSO READ: Patriotic Alliance leads coalition in former ANC North West stronghold

He said parties that simply remained in opposition, die.

“Cope is in intensive care today because it was comfortable being an opposition party. If you remain an opposition party, you are bound to die a natural death.”

Kunene said the PA’s strategy of participating in government, where it has a minority, was working.

‘We are growing’

“We are growing because we are in government. And the reason we are doing this is that all other political parties campaign every five years at election time. They promise people what they’re going to do, but for them it just remains promises…”

There’s no love lost between the DA and the PA, the former accusing Kunene and company of chasing power and position. Kunene hauled out the party’s strategy to counter this. He accused the DA of having no idea how to manage coalitions, which is why the ANC proved to be a better bedmate right now.

He said the ANC had learnt a few lessons about coalitions from the DA’s failures and did not assume a position of “big brother” politics with its coalition partners.

ALSO READ: ‘GOODbye, Patricia!’ – Cynthia Jeffreys ditches her sister to join Patriotic Alliance

Kunene said the DA still needed to get over its “arrogant nature”. He referred to time served in the coalition and explained how he saw the DA’s mindset.

“Because they had more seats, they could dictate to everyone what to do. So we left. We are not a branch of the DA who wanted to run the City of Joburg from Cape Town.”

‘Temporary instability’

Kunene was scathing about the DA’s leadership in Johannesburg that partly resulted in its removal from power.

“Do you want us to sit for five years with a party that is not committed to service delivery and that does not respect the will of the majority in a coalition?”

He said temporary instability was the cost of change for the better and added that it was worth the pain residents had to endure.

ALSO READ: Joburg ANC unbothered by break-up with Patriotic Alliance

As South Africa’s economic environment rapidly rushes from bleak to possible extinction, the political landscape remains opaque. It does not bode well for any kind of positive outcome after next year’s national elections.

– news@citizen.co.za