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DA and coalition partners in last ditch bid to form mayoral committees in Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba speaks to the media at the Results Operation Centre (ROC). Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba speaks to the media at the Results Operation Centre (ROC). Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 5, 2021

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SOME of the political parties represented in the Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni are set to go to an all-important meeting to finalise a two-week impasse on the appointment of mayoral committees today.

These three metros had been without mayoral committee members since parties such as ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, UDM and EFF supported the DA to become the leading party in each of them.

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Because of the outcome of the votes – in Joburg, the DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse was elected the first ever female mayor while Tania Campbell replaced the ANC’s Mzwandile Masina as Ekurhuleni mayor. Randall Williams retained his seat in Tshwane.

But it was not all rosy after the elections of these mayors as all of them came under attack, mostly Phalatse, for their failure to announce Mayco members until today.

Unlike the Ekurhuleni and Tshwane mayors, Phalatse was this week forced to remove an item on the appointment of Section 79 committees in her second council meeting which debated her acceptance speech of November 22.

The motion was brought by Joburg ActionSA caucus whip Funzi Ngobeni who argued that Section 79 committees could not be appointed ahead of the appointment of mayoral committee members.

In the motion, Ngobeni said: “It is common cause that the Mayoral Committee has not been announced due to the ongoing discussions to finalise coalition agreements in the Gauteng metros. Trying to conclude the composition of these committees prior to the completion of those negotiations would have been an affront to the negotiations.

“While this is an important issue to be dealt with, as the committees perform a crucial oversight function over the Executive, it is absurd that these committees be established before the establishment of the Mayoral Committee whom these committees are established to conduct oversight over.”

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The motion was removed after Ngobeni was supported by ANC and other parties in the council chamber.

At the same meeting, the ANC’s Mpho Moerane and AIC’s Margaret Arnolds also attacked Phalatse for her alleged failure to establish a Mayco, saying she was waiting for an instruction from her party bosses, especially federal council chairperson Helen Zille.

Insinuations were also made in that meeting that DA party bosses were particularly not in favour of ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba securing an MMC post in Joburg.

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Yesterday, however, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont confirmed that a multiparty meeting would be held today to finalise the appointment of mayoral committees for all three metros.

The meeting came after two meetings between the DA and ActionSA stalled last week because of disagreements on the composition of the mayoral committee, with Mashaba accusing his counterpart of treating them “like kids”.

Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimang has not been available for comment but Independent Media understands that his federal executive, in its meeting over the weekend, has apparently granted each of their mayors in the metros – to solely select people to serve in their mayoral committees – a decision which is likely to cause chaos in today’s meeting.

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According to the sources, the DA’s Fedex has decided that each of the mayors in Gauteng must decide to select mayoral committee members from minority parties or parties which got more than 10 seats in the council.”

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