ANC banks on small parties to retain mayorship in eThekwini

Cyril Xaba is expected to be elected the new eThekwini mayor. Photo archive

Cyril Xaba is expected to be elected the new eThekwini mayor. Photo archive

Published Jul 10, 2024


Durban — The continued political bickering between the DA and the EFF could work in the ANC’s favour during the election of the new eThekwini mayor on Wednesday (today).

The parties will vote for a new mayor to fill the vacancy left by Mxolisi Kaunda who was redeployed to the National Council of Provinces in the National Assembly after the elections.

Although the DA, the IFP and the ANC principals were last night locked in talks trying to find one another to expand the Government of National Unity (GNU) to municipalities, it looks like the ANC can still win the mayorship with or without its GNU partners, thanks to the DA and the EFF’s continued animosity.

For the DA/IFP coalition to grab power in eThekwini, the EFF must support them together with a couple of small parties.

With its 96 seats working with small parties, the ANC can still keep power in eThekwini without its GNU partners.

The EFF leader in the City, Themba Mvubu, told the Daily News on Tuesday that his party’s position has not changed from the previous council meeting where it decided to abstain.

He cited the marriage between the DA and the ANC as a reason for the EFF’s non-participation in the election of the new mayor.

Speaking to the paper on Tuesday, both the DA and the IFP local leadership said they were not yet clear how they would vote, both saying they were waiting for a directive from their principals who had been holding talks with the ANC at national level.

The DA leader in eThekwini, Thabani Mthethwa, said he was still waiting for the provincial leadership to give him the directive; because of the ongoing talks, he has decided to move the party caucus to this morning, he said.

“We have not received a directive from our principals on what to do so we are still waiting,” said Mthethwa.

On Monday, the party chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Dean Macpherson, said nothing was yet concluded. The party had not taken a final decision on how to vote, including fielding its own candidate, he said.

“We are currently in internal consultations provincially and nationally,” said Macpherson.

The IFP’s Mdu Nkosi shared the same sentiments, saying he too was forced to move the party caucus to this morning to allow the party’s top leadership to finalise talks on what role the party will play in the election of the mayor.

There are close to 20 small parties in the council; if the majority of them vote with the ANC, Cyril Xaba would be easily elected to the position.

In the past, it was the small parties’ vote that had saved Kaunda from several motions of no confidence and kept the ANC in power. Of the 222 seats, both mayoral candidates will need 113 votes to win the mayoral race.

The ANC’s Mafika Mndebele refused to be drawn into discussing the politics of the City except to say the ANC’s main focus was on getting the mayor elected.

Last month, the election of the mayor was postponed. with speaker Thabani Nyawose citing the absence of the Electoral Commission of South Africa as the reason why the item of electing the mayor would no longer be tabled.

The smaller parties are: Abantu Batho Congress with two votes; ActionSA with four; Active Citizens Coalition with two; African Christian Democratic Party with two; African Independent Congress with two; and then the African Democratic Change, African Transformation Movement, Al Jama-Ah, African People First, Democratic Liberal Congress, Justice and Employment Party, KZN Independence, Minorities of South Africa, Minority Front, National Freedom Party, People’s Freedom Party, People’s Revolutionary Movement, Truly Alliance United Independent Movement and Vryheidsfront Plus all with one vote.

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