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ANC and DA set to go toe-to-toe to scramble for coalition partners ahead of Tuesday’s deadline

Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Nov 20, 2021


Cape Town - Opposition parties have piled more pressure on the ANC in the battle to regain control of the big Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni following their rival parties’ announcement that they would vote for a DA mayoral candidate in Tshwane on Monday.

These same opposition parties comprising the DA, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, ActionSA, Cope and UDM are meeting at an undisclosed venue today to resolve their dispute over the best possible party candidate to take over control of the City of Joburg. If they manage to garner 136 votes it would allow them to take control of the financial capital of South Africa for the next five years, provided it does not collapse as it did in some municipalities after the 2016 local government elections.

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The City of Joburg metro was one of the municipalities which collapsed following the resignation of the then DA’s mayor and now ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba in August 2019.

That led to the ANC retaining control, also through a coalition government in December 2019. The party failed to obtain an outright majority after the November 1 municipal elections, which led to it still struggling to find suitable partners to form a coalition government.

The ANC’s apparent inability to announce its coalition partners in Joburg had led to the opposition parties declaring their intentions to put one of their own at the helm.

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) will meet this weekend to discuss a coalition report from its national negotiators, led by deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ANC had completed its engagements with political parties that would be their partners in the hung municipalities.

“We are happy that most hung municipalities will now take the next step to establish councils. We also sought out people who value stability of our country as a prerequisite to successful development. Our relationship with other political parties brings together organisations who are steeped in putting people first.

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“We have also agreed with the IFP in KZN that where they are in the majority they will govern, and where the ANC is the majority we will govern. Our task is to unite the people of our country and by working together to provide services to the people, we will begin a process of uniting organisations based on common ground,” Mabe said.

He also promised that the ANC was due to announce its mayoral candidates this weekend including in Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, as well as Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, but that they were now under threat from the opposition. Adding further to the uncertainty, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) under Gayton Mckenzie has already taken the limelight from the ANC by announcing their coalition deals in Gauteng, North West, Western Cape and the Northern Cape.

Now, the opposition parties’ announcement yesterday that they would vote for a DA mayoral candidate during the City of Tshwane’s council meeting on Monday, looks set to add more strain on the governing party’s plot to regain control of the metro.

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The opposition parties met in Joburg on Friday jointly and agreed to vote together but for DA’s mayoral candidate and incumbent mayor Randall Williams.

In their joint statement, the parties said: “This meeting was a follow-up on the meeting held on November 15 between these parties and several bilateral discussions. The discussions were constructive and the parties agreed that in the interest of the future of South Africa it is important to form stable governments which are serious about service delivery and arresting the decay of local government.

“The discussions were mainly focused on Tshwane and Johannesburg Metros. The Johannesburg Metro Council is meeting on Monday, November 22 to constitute the council,” the parties said.

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All of them confirmed that Tshwane would be under the control of the opposition parties, saying “As far as the Tshwane Metro is concerned the parties agreed to form a coalition government and support the mayoral candidate of the DA.

“In Johannesburg the parties will attempt to keep the ANC out and form a minority government. The majority of parties present agreed to support the mayoral candidate of ActionSA. Consensus was thus not yet reached in Johannesburg,” the parties said.

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Political Bureau