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D-day to elect metro members of mayoral committees

DA Joburg mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse accompanied by DA leader John Steenhuisen on the campaign trail at the popular Maboneng precinct, in down-town Johannesburg before Phalatse was elected mayor. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

DA Joburg mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse accompanied by DA leader John Steenhuisen on the campaign trail at the popular Maboneng precinct, in down-town Johannesburg before Phalatse was elected mayor. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 6, 2021

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POLITICAL parties in talks over the composition of the mayoral committees in Gauteng’s three metropolitan municipalities – Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni – remained mum on the outcome of their talks to resolve the matter yesterday.

The parties – ActionSA, FF+, ACDP, UDM, IFP and EFF – helped the DA’s candidates to be elected mayors in the three municipalities and some of them were in talks to agree members of mayoral committees ahead of today’s deadline set by the Electoral Commission of SA.

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Randall Williams became the mayor of the City of Tshwane, Dr Mpho Phalatse and Tania Campbell became the first citizens in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni respectively.

There have been ongoing talks between the DA and its partners, who helped vote for its candidates to be mayors in the metros with the exception of the EFF, after ActionSA stopped the confirmation and composition of section 79 committees, which provide oversight over mayoral committees.

ActionSA has 44 seats in the City of Johannesburg while it secured 19 in the City of Tshwane and 15 in Ekurhuleni.

The party said it would have been absurd for the section 79 committees to be established before the composition of mayoral committees over whom they are expected to conduct oversight.

ActionSA Gauteng chairperson John Moodey declined to answer questions from Independent Media yesterday.

The IFP, which has seven councillors in the City of Johannesburg and three in Ekurhuleni, is reportedly set to bag the housing and transport portfolios in the municipalities, respectively.

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However, IFP chairperson in Gauteng Bonginkosi Dhlamini did not respond to enquiries.

The EFF has previously indicated it would remain in the opposition benches despite voting for DA mayors and Speakers last month and is not party to the talks to establish mayoral committees.

The arrangements agreed on by the seven political parties to elect DA mayors and speakers in municipalities across the country was criticised by the SA Communist Party (SACP) after its central committee’s first plenary following last month’s local government elections.

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”Anti-ANC DA-led coalitions in a Babel Tower of cobbled together minority parties will now make for highly unstable governance in many metros and other hung municipalities. The DA-led minority coalitions, especially in the metros, were not formed with the interests of the people, especially the working-class, at heart,” the SACP said.

The organisation said the coalitions were merely anti-ANC and that they will more likely experience problems of instability as they were not formed based on programmatic principles.

”This will affect service delivery should the instability become established,” the SACP further warned.

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According to the SACP, while the ANC is still by far the largest party it suffered major losses and claimed that the majority of the ANC’s lost vote did not go anywhere else but stayed at home.

”This was a powerful message sent by the growing registered ANC non-voter population, which the ANC, and also the entire alliance, must take to heart. The DA also lost votes, and the IFP, which made gains in northern KZN, remains a regional and ethnic party,” the organisation stated.

The SACP said the ANC’s poor electoral performance was directly connected also to the lack of principled unity and cohesion.

”Factionalism, infighting for positions, gate keeping, and the continuing marginalisation of alliance partners by some structures badly affected the ANC’s performance. Arrogance also remained intact in many areas,” it explained.

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