Sunday, December 3

Chaos in Johannesburg Municipality As Coalition Parties fail to elect Mayor

Johannesburg Municipality is a in a tight spot when it comes to determining its Mayor. The Municipal Council is divisive in which a large number of parties are in a coalition to control the majority.1 But it remains to be seen if they have majority of people’s interests at heart.2 The Action SA national Chairperson, Michael Beaumont has blamed the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for collapsing the Municipal Council’s meeting, which was meant to elect a new mayor for Johannesburg.3 On Tuesday night Council Speaker Colleen Makhubele adjourned the sitting that political Parties were not ready to elect a candidate to be mayor of Johannesbirg.4 Electing a mayor in a major municipality is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

Mayors serve as the intercessors between their citizens and public services.

Makhubele said she would call for an extraordinary sitting on Friday – meaning the city would remain without a mayor for the rest of the week. Beaumont expressed disappointment in the ANC and EFF for collapsing Tuesday’s council meeting and leaving Joburg residents without a mayor. “They come here today and spend eight or nine hours calling caucus breaks. These council meetings cost over half a million rand to hold one council sitting.” He said Joburg residents had been subjected to a lack of leadership due to the ANC and EFF’s power struggles. “It is unacceptable that the horse trading and party wrangling that is going on within the ANC and EFF is continuing in this fashion.” While the ANC has announced plans to support Al Jama-ah’s Kabelo Gwamanda to become the new mayor, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ActionSA fielded Mpho Phalatse and Funzi Ngobeni respectively. Beaumont also said the DA was contributing to the political instability in Joburg. He also accused the party of not honouring their coalition agreement on numerous occasions. The party fielded Phalatse, despite the multi-party coalition agreeing on Ngobeni. Beaumont said he hoped negotiations with the DA would restore their coalition, He added that this would ensure they have sufficient numbers in council to dethrone the ANC-EFF alliance. (Beaumont Blames ANC, EFF For Collapsing Council Meeting to Elect Joburg Mayor)

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The ANC and the EFF are undermining their own coalition and the institution of democracy by delaying the meetings in the council chamber and calling for breaks using their majority. The ANC, EFF, the PA, the GOOD, Cope, the ATM, the APC, the PAC, and the AH are in a coalition that have a combined 139 of 270 seats.5 They can force a vote whenever they wish, The ANC and EFF’s arrogance is also compounded by the fact that they risk squandering tax payers’ money with their “breaks”, making it difficult for their fellow councilors both in the coalition and in the opposition to carry out the vote for a new mayor. “Councilors still get paid their salaries. All this involves negotiations that often take place behind closed doors and secret meetings. 

Neither the ANC nor the EFF have an outright majority in the municipal council, they are possibly trying to force an emergency election. Their agenda is to sabotage the current municipal council and try to gain back the majority they had before the last municipal election. The opposition headed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the other parties in the governing coalition need to take a stand and say the ANC and the EFF don’t have the right to keep forcing delays. Johannesburg is the largest city in the country and is the main industrial center, yet it is falling apart. Freelance miners are digging up the streets of neighborhoods while the police are too afraid to act against them. Without a mayor at the helm to act decisively the governing coalition in the municipality has been left rudderless.



Beaumont blames ANC, EFF for collapsing council meeting to elect Joburg mayor

On Tuesday, council speaker Colleen Makhubele adjourned a sitting to elect a new mayor, saying that political parties were not ready to… 1 2 3 4

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