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Coalition governments: Why Herman Mashaba could even miss out on mayoral exco seat

  • Despite ensuring the DA retained Tshwane, Herman Mashaba might be left out in the cold.
  • He could lose out on a coveted seat on the mayoral executive committee, in spite of his efforts.   
  • ActionSA and EFF votes also helped secure easy victories for the DA in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. 

Having missed out on the mayorship of the City of Johannesburg, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba could now also lose out on a consolation executive mayoral committee position.

This, despite his party having been at the forefront of ensuring the DA retained Tshwane and was able to unseat the ANC in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. 

The DA, as the party with the most seats in the coalition-led Gauteng councils, took the lead in fostering stability in the alliance governments by handing coalition agreements to those who partnered with it in the hung metros. 

However, the party seems to be keeping Mashaba, its former member and Johannesburg mayor, waiting. The EFF also appears to be waiting for its coalition agreement.

The DA, through its federal council chairperson, Helen Zille, told Newzroom Afrika that, after negotiations and discussion, coalition agreements had been sent to coalition partners to sign.

“So far, no one has had a serious problem with it,” said Zille. 

“Every single city or town will have its own term of office agreement that will be forged by the coalition partners and will be embedded in the integrated development planning, and will be aligned to the city or town’s budget. So all of these different coalitions will have their plans of action.” 

DA insiders told News24 the party’s lawyers had already drafted coalition agreements, and it would be made public. It included a commitment to preventing corruption, interference in tenders and cadre deployment.

On Monday, Mashaba told News24 that relations between his party and the DA were still precarious, and it was getting in the way of fostering stable coalitions, particularly in the three Gauteng metros. 

“The only contact with the DA has been a request for a meeting with John Moodey (ActionSA’s Gauteng chairperson) – and we, as ActionSA, asked that they put this in writing, indicating what the agenda will be, which they have done. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA NOVEMBER 3: Helen Zille chHelen Zille. Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images

“What we are unhappy with is that when we asked them who they will be sending to the meeting, they indicated that they will be sending junior staff. Our sole purpose is to listen, so even with them not demonstrating a seriousness through sending junior staff, we will listen and Moodey will engage them. 

“We can’t negotiate with the DA, based on what happened in the past [how he left the DA in 2019], and they continue to demonstrate the same arrogance,” said Mashaba. 

DA insiders told News24 that, by freezing Mashaba out of the mayorship he desired in Johannesburg, the former DA member could also lose out on a mayoral executive committee spot. 

The insider said the DA would first ensure the majority of the 10 positions were occupied by party members. Then, the few positions the party could afford to part with would be given, strategically, to bolster alliances with other opposition parties.

“Internally, there is no desire to hand an executive committee role to Mashaba as it is seen as a reward after the disgrace he brought to the party when he walked out on it in 2019,” said a senior DA member. 

Mashaba said the DA was negotiating in bad faith and this was placing the coalitions at risk.  

He was adamant that the DA work with the rest of the parties that voted with it, to ensure the ANC continued to be frozen out and that the administrations were stable. 

The only way to do that was for the DA to engage all parties, including ActionSA and the EFF.

During a media briefing last week, DA leader John Steenhuisen said that, in order to ensure his party was not overly reliant on coalition partners, the party would engage parties that did not vote with them, in order to ensure a stable administration, which was able to pass budgets.  

But the coalitions already appeared to be shaky, with EFF leader Julius Malema insisting his party’s backing of DA candidates was not an endorsement, but a targeted onslaught against the ANC.

The DA’s top brass was expected to meet on Friday, where the coalition governments would top the agenda.



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