The next election which might give South Africa’s third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) the opportunity to fully govern the country comes in 2019, but before then, the party seems ready to give the country a taste of its power as it plans to take control of the Metsimaholo municipality in Sasolburg.
The Metsimaholo municipality which has since the last local government election in 2016, been governed by a coalition of the DA, the Metsimaholo Civic Association (MCA) and the Freedom Front Plus, could turn out EFF’s as the MCA is said to have joined the ANC.
This is according to the Sunday times which reported the rumor that MCA, which got the mayorship position with the EFF’s backing, has collapsed its coalition so it could join the ruling party.
The EFF called for a vote of no confidence against mayor and MCA leader Sello Hlasa, accusing the mayor of not working for the community. The motion would be put forward during a special council sitting on Tuesday.
The EFF wants the Metsimaholo municipality to be the first it governs.
But while other parties co-operating against the ANC support the EFF, the ruling party and its junior coalition partner in the Metsimaholo municipality have vowed to oppose the EFF’s planned takeover of the Free State municipality.
After it failed to win leadership in any of the country’ municipalities during the August 3 local government elections, the EFF decided not to form coalitions with the DA, but to vote with the party in those municipalities where the ANC failed to win an outright majority.
Meanwhile, the party won eight seats in Metsimaholo, the ANC won 19 seats, which were reduced to 18 following the resignation of a councillor; the DA got 12 seats, the MCA two, and the FF Plus one.
The MCA, however, noted that it would try and keep its mayoral position after attempts to smoothen relations with the EFF failed. “The numbers will fight for us. We are now up in arms, we will do everything to emerge victorious,” MCA spokesperson Victor Nyembe said as it is not yet clear if the group would join forces to defeat the proposed motion.
The ANC described the vote of no confidence as “desperate shenanigans of people who want to lead via the back door”.
“We disagree with the motion of no confidence as a matter of principle. We supported that mayor and worked with him in the interest of strengthening the municipality so that the ANC’s legacy of a good track record in delivery of services is not disrupted,” provincial spokesperson Thabo Meeko said.
Meanwhile, the EFF leader, Julius Malema said last week, that they wanted to run the municipality to gain experience and develop a track record to use in their campaign for the 2019 national elections.
“We have said to the DA, when we take over government in Metsimaholo, we want to be the government alone. We don’t want a coalition. We want the DA to vote for the EFF government in Metsimaholo in the same way we did with them here. We’re going to run a successful municipality,” he said.