Last week the EFF announced it would no longer vote with the DA, after it refused to give the red berets the mayoral position.
In March, the leader of the red berets, Julius Malema, boldly stated that his party would hold Tshwane’s mayoral chain after the May 2019 general elections but last week, he admitted the DA refused a “power sharing” proposal.
The deal would have seen the EFF taking over control of the country’s capital, while some of its Johannesburg councillors serve as members of the mayoral committee.
The DA described the EFF’s decision as unfortunate but Tshwane mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, indicated that it wouldn’t signal a significant change as the partnership was based on voting on a case-by-case situation. He also said they had managed to pass the budget without the EFF’s assistance in May. The EFF had abstained from the vote.
ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa said his party, which has never voted for the budget since the DA took over in 2016, wanted the budget to work for the people this time around.
“The ANC runs 68 out of 107 wards here in Tshwane, so the ANC has more to lose on the ground if there is no money, or in the wards for our councillors to serve the people,” he told News24.
It seems the Tshwane mayor approached the ANC for assistance to pass the budget, to avoid collapsing the council and sparking a call for fresh elections in the municipality.
Maepa said the ANC told the DA it wanted the budget to include the popular wi-fi project that was canned by the previous mayor, Solly Msimanga, debt cancellation and informal settlement rehabilitation.
“We managed to get the budget we want because we explained its importance for our people. We voted for it because it talked to our people’s needs,” said Maepa.
“Not the things that Solly Msimanga and his EFF friends were doing talking to Waterkloof and Centurion,” the regional chair said, referring to more affluent suburbs in Tshwane.
Maepa, who did not believe the relationship between the DA and the EFF was severed for good, said there were nefarious reasons behind the EFF’s actions, adding that he believed by January, the two would be working together again.
“We are not in a coalition. The EFF-DA divorce was a farce. It doesn’t exist in real life. Malema is a serial flip-flopper, everyone knows that. He moves from one disaster to the next,” remarked Maepa.
He said the EFF’s decision to not vote with the DA had nothing to do with the ANC or even the council.
Maepa, who has been calling for the Tshwane metro to be placed under administration, said it was the best way forward but added that if the City had to go to early elections, the ANC would welcome the development.
“The ANC has exposed inadequacies in Tshwane. We have exposed everything, put it bare and the Auditor-General has confirmed almost everything we said,” Maepa told News24, as he listed some of the scandals that rocked South Africa’s capital city, including the use of engineering consultant firm GladAfrica’s services, irregular expenditure and some illegal appointments.
“These people have failed, we say Tshwane needs eclectic intervention,” he said explaining that the metro would benefit from multidisciplinary functions to stop the City from bleeding funds.
"Censorship of anything at any time in any place on whatever pretence has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot." ~ Eugene O'Neill