The mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, said he will forever be grateful to the EFF should his tenure end due to the council’s collapse.
The EFF announced this week, during a media briefing, that it would no longer vote for the DA in municipalities across the country, this after the party’s power-sharing proposal was turned down by the second largest party in the country.
The decision could see the DA struggling to pass resolutions and budgets in councils where it has formed coalitions with smaller parties and a working relationship with the EFF.
DA federal chairperson James Selfe said the EFF’s announcement that it would abstain from voting was unfortunate and at the expense of millions who voted for change in the 2016 local government elections.
“I can speak for Joburg, I have had a very mutual beneficial relationship with the EFF and will be forever grateful to the support they gave to my administration, in the event the government collapses,” Mashaba told News24.
Selfe said the agreement the DA had with the EFF had worked well in the past, but it was now bracing itself for the possibility of losing the two metros it was in charge of in Gauteng.
On Wednesday, the DA said it had to take the EFF’s proposal to its own council, leaders in the affected municipalities and its coalition partners, describing the idea as impractical.
Mashaba said he could only continue with a mandate from the majority in council, reiterating that he would step aside if called upon to do so.
Reflecting on his time with the EFF, the Johannesburg mayor said while the red berets initially had not taken a liking to him, he had taken on the challenge.
“I embraced the challenge I was given and operated, and will still operate on the basis of the respect of the parties that voted me into power.”
He said the DA and EFF had brought about significant changes in his city, lauding the partnership for insourcing workers.
“When I made a statement that I wanted to turn the city into a construction site, it was no longer a dream, it was a reality and unfortunately those projects are going to be disrupted. Unfortunately, if I don’t have the support of council, I can’t operate them from running a shampoo business,” he joked, making fun of his own business.
Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said the DA had been working with the EFF on a case-by-case and vote-by-vote basis.
“So, we are not affected because it has always been an unstable relationship. We are committed to service delivery and will work with any party that puts the interests of communities at the forefront and service delivery hence the budget was passed with the support of all the parties, except the EFF,” added Mokgalapa.
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