THE DA-led coalition, which consists of the ACDP, Cope, UDM and FF+, held a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday to present a review of their governance in the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) over the past year.
The DA defended the under-performance of DA-led municipalities as having had to inherit corrupt municipalities formerly ruled by the ANC. “The DA-led coalition went into government on a budget based on what the ANC had approved from the previous financial year. So the DA-led coalition inherited debt and everything that was wrong in those municipalities,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said. A new municipal budget was passed in the middle of this year.
Maimane said the constant reference to the ANC in the three municipalities was to show how far the DA-led coalition had come in fixing the things the ANC had damaged. Last week DA mayors Herman Mashaba and Athol Trollip faced votes of no-confidence in Johannesburg and NMB.
Both Mashaba and Trollip came out of their challenges unscathed. The DA said the votes were prompted by the aim, of bringing back corruption to these municipalities. The leaders of the ACDP, Cope and FF+ agreed that coalition governments are the future of South Africa’s politics.
And with their eye on the 2019 elections, they said the goal was not to have a single party with an outright majority. Referring to the EFF’s decision to be part of the coalition on an issueby-issue basis, Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said: “Coalition is about voluntarily participation. The EFF is within its right to come into the coalition on an issue-by-issue basis. However, they would serve communities better when they came into the coalition full on.”
FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald said the EFF posed a challenge in regard to the issue of land expropriation without compensation. ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said his party would continue working within the coalition “as long as issues are discussed openly and not behind each others’ backs”.