As coalition talks between the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) goes into a final stage, the news that the two parties have agreed to oust the ruling ANC in Johannesburg and Tshwane has become more controversial as many see it as a good move and others sternly frown at it.
With the municipal coalition talks details expected to be announced in a very short while, the debate over whether it is a good idea for the DA to take control of Johannesburg and give Tshwane to the EFF continues to heat up.
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There was a leaked notice from both ANC and DA sources on Wednesday that the DA and the EFF have made deals to kick ANC in Johannesburg and Tshwane metros, where the two parties had a majority support at last week’s local government elections.
The notice further had it that “the negotiations are delicate and should be treated as such. You are requested to desist from discussing and issuing statements in the media on the coalition government discussions.
“We assure that the leadership is working hard to ensure that we govern. Your patience in this regard will be appreciated,” the note said.
The EFF earned 20.24% of the vote in Thabazimbi while the DA got 18.52% and the ANC 45.3%. In Modimolle the ANC got 47.58% of the vote, followed by the DA with 24.11% and the EFF with 19.44%, providing the opposition with an opportunity to govern.
Based on this notice, news had it that the DA has committed itself in principle to allowing the EFF govern in those two municipalities, but first had to consult its national leaders.
To this, a large number of South Africans have reacted both for and against such decisions by the two parties. BizNews community member Davoter referred to such decision by the DA as “criminally ridiculous” and an outright abuse of power.
“If the DA hands the Pretoria mayoralty to the EFF then they (the DA) will be betraying the wishes of the people who voted for them. If we wanted to see the EFF in charge in one of our most important metros we would have voted for them.
What is the point of elections if the EFF get a free ride without the support (or permission) of voters? The idea of elevating the EFF to a position of real power anywhere without the endorsement of voters would make the DA worse than the ANC in terms of power abuse.”
Another said it would be anti-democratic, calling the DA to ‘watch out’ and make sure it does not drop the voters of Tshwane. A lot are against this coalition talks pointing out that “to hand a metro to a party that did not win a single ward is a crime and thoroughly undemocratic. No amount of sophistry can change that.”
Nonetheless, another set of people view DA’s decision as one of the wisest ever taken. To this group, DA’s decision highlights the brilliance of a possible political move that will give the DA the opportunity to control Johannesburg and allow the EFF to demonstrate its abilities ahead of national elections
“I think it’s one of the cleverest things I’ve heard of yet. If it happens, top marks to the DA for a truly Marvellous Machiavellian Manoeuvre.
“In one fell swoop they get access to the most (with due respect to my current home town, Cape Town) influential business place in SA where it should be dead easy to show what they’re made of in terms of managing (which from the WC/CT experience is very good) and convince a large swathe of the movers and shakers on the ex-ANC side that they’re worth a punt in 2019,” a visitor in Biznews noted.
The ANC is however working hard via the coalition talks, to ensure that the two municipalities are not taken away from them. In its four-day meeting, the party decided to take good measures to reclaim lost voters but withdrew calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign.