Panyaza Lesufi adamant Gauteng ANC will do all it can to keep DA out of power
The Gauteng ANC’s second Local Government Summit has made several resolutions to change the face of local government, a move which the party believes will create stability in fragile municipalities.
ANC Gauteng chairperson Panyaza Lesufi revealed that the party was looking at increasing the capacity of mayoral committees by introducing a deputy mayor position in municipalities where the ANC governed. The other measure the governing party intends to take is limiting the number of motions of no-confidence votes allowed in councils.
Lesufi was delivering the closing address at the party’s two-day Local Government Summit, which began on Tuesday at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg.
“We have also resolved that we are going to introduce the position of deputy mayors in all municipalities to strengthen service delivery, and we have also resolved that we are tired of inconsistencies, destabilisation and motions of no confidence which are used to destabilise service delivery.
“As the ANC, we are putting a firm proposal on the table, that each and every municipality we lead will only be allowed to have two motions of no confidence during each financial year. We have taken this decision in the interest of stability and service delivery,” said Lesufi.
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‘Not desperate for power’
He explained that the ANC was not hellbent on governing, nor would it tolerate unruly behaviour from its coalition partners.
The governing party has in some instances polled under 50% nationally, which has raised alarm bells for the ANC, while at the local level its failure to win majorities has meant working with smaller parties to form coalition governments.
“We engaged extensively to determine whether we are better off occupying the opposition benches or better off being part of a process to establish a government of local unity or [whether] we need to stand alone as the ANC.
“After two days of extensive discussion and debate we have resolved that we will be part of a government of local unity, but we will not sell our identity as the ANC. We are not desperate for power. Those who are going to be part of this government of local unity, if they do something wrong, we are going to report them to law enforcement agencies,” Lesufi reiterated.
This comes after municipalities have been plagued by problems caused by hung councils emanating from the 2021 local government elections. There have been several motions of no confidence against mayors and speakers which have caused grave instability.
The City of Joburg is one example. It is on its ninth mayor since 2016. They are Parks Tau (2016), Herman Mashaba (2016-19), Geoff Makhubo (2020-21), Mpho Moerane (2021), Jolidee Matongo (2021), Mpho Phalatse (2021-22), Dada Morero (2022), Thapelo Amad (2023) and Kabelo Gwamanda (2023).
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The ANC has used no-confidence motions to oust municipal leadership to its advantage. The party, which lost power in 11 local governments in Gauteng in the 2021 elections, has managed to regain power through a coalition with the EFF in at least nine municipalities.
Lesufi was adamant that the ANC would do everything it could to keep the DA out of power.
“The ANC did not vote for Gwamanda in Johannesburg, we voted against the DA. The ANC did not vote for [Murunwa] Makwarela in Tshwane, we voted against the DA. The ANC will continue to dislodge the DA wherever it raises its ugly head in our province.
“We are quite clear, the strategy which has been developed by the DA-led moonlight or moon pact agreement [with] ActionSA has done nothing else but to auction black votes to the DA. We want to warn those who hate the DA [and vote for ActionSA] that your votes are going to be auctioned off to the DA and further to the Freedom Front Plus,” he said.
Holding deployees accountable
Speaking to attendees at the summit, Gauteng Deputy Secretary Tasneem Motara emphasised the ANC’s sole agenda was to serve communities. She said if coalitions didn’t serve the people, the ANC would be the first to withdraw.
“This summit has noted the governance challenges which have contributed to a trust deficit between municipalities and residents,” she said.
Motara explained that an agreement had been made for ANC councillors to work tirelessly in governing or opposition benches and for provincial governments and municipalities to work towards ending load shedding, creating jobs and decreasing crime.
Other key principles outlined were the need for accountability, striving for an outright majority in the 2024 national elections and serving with the highest level of ethics.
“Provincial secretaries and regional secretaries should hold deployees accountable with much more vigour and urgency. We are expected to be selfless in serving our people. To serve our people with integrity, courage and sacrifice for the common cause of transformation and lifting our people from inequality and poverty,” Motara said. DM