ANC plans to topple Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse in September, says caucus leader Dada Morero
The multi-party coalition says not so fast.
The ANC in Johannesburg believes it will succeed in a no-confidence motion against Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse at the next Council sitting.
On Wednesday, August 31, Speaker Vasco da Gama was voted out. “We are in the process of reclaiming Joburg,” Dada Morero, the ANC caucus leader, told Daily Maverick.
He said his caucus’s first step was to pass a motion of no confidence in Da Gama, to get a new Speaker elected and then to ‘remove’ Phalatse and select a new mayor. He said this would happen in September.
Morero is known to be keen on the job.
The ANC has 91 of 270 seats, but Phalatse was voted mayor even though the DA has 71 seats because the EFF abstained from voting at the first council sitting in November 2021.
Now, the EFF and ANC are mates, and the red berets’ vote against Da Gama signals a Johannesburg alliance which has changed the city’s political power balance.
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Together, the ANC and EFF have 120 of 270 votes (presuming they keep voting together) and would need another 16 councillors to topple Phalatse and the multi-party coalition now running Johannesburg.
Councillors from three parties went against the coalition agreement and turfed Da Gama. They are Cope’s Colleen Makhubele, two of the three ACDP councillors and part of the IFP caucus. Sources in the governing coalition say their party leaders will discipline their errant councillors in days. The ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe told Business Day he was upset over his two councillors’ votes.
In a statement, Phalatse said the money had influenced the vote, and the city is about to start lifestyle audits. Meanwhile, Queenin Masuabi reports that ActionSA supports the election of a new Speaker. Da Gama was not popular even in the multi-party government and was a red flag to the EFF contingent in the city. ActionSA holds the third highest number of votes in Johannesburg.
“Leaders may recall members (of the three parties) and we feel it will be unfair They did not vote with the ANC The issues they raised were in accordance with being fed up with the Speaker. In three Council meetings, he demonstrated gross partiality. How do you preside over a motion (of no confidence against you),” asked Morero.
He said that the ANC will table a motion of no confidence against Phalatse at the council in September and that the ANC’s view is that it will pass. Governing coalition sources who spoke to Daily Maverick said that Morero had made a strategic blunder because the councillors who went against the coalition agreement had shown their hands and would be disciplined.
The ANC, in turn, has promised the minor parties in the council that they can choose a Speaker — a big carrot in the coalition game.
Whichever way it goes, the city is in for a period of heightened political intrigue. The next step is whether or not Cope’s Colleen Makhubele has the power to convene a council sitting. She believes she does as she holds the chair of chairs, a Council role that means she acts as a Speaker when there is a sitting.
But the coalition believes that the city manager calls meetings when a Speaker is absent. The governing alliance needs to control the timing of the next meeting to ensure its coalition partners have all been whipped into line by party bosses. The ANC wants a sitting sooner rather than later to build on the alliances they have now made.
Johannesburg is home to six million residents and citizens. It is struggling financially, and its road infrastructure is in progressive collapse. Rolling blackouts and water shedding that go on for days are now regular occurrences. DM
This story has been changed to correct seat allocations.