ANC, EFF KZN relationship takes a dive

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/ Independent Newspapers

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 20, 2024


The relationship between the ANC and EFF in KwaZulu-Natal appears to be on shaky ground after the EFF recently supported a motion to have eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda removed from council.

Initially the fallout looked to be restricted to eThekwini, but EFF provincial chairperson Mongezi Twala said on Monday the party was still assessing its relationship with the ANC in the province.

Last year the EFF withdrew from a coalition deal with the IFP, which saw all members serving as deputy mayors resign, allowing the ANC to run three district municipalities and five local municipalities.

However, a split between the parties emerged when the EFF backed the IFP's motion of no confidence against Kaunda last month.

At the council meeting, EFF caucus leader Themba Mvubu said there was no need for the voting to be through a secret ballot.

He announced that the party would support the motion of no confidence.

“We told the ANC last year they cannot pass any motion without involving us because no one commands the majority.

“The EFF only accounts at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House,” he said.

Kaunda survived the motion but the ANC responded by axing Mvubu as chairperson of the human settlements and infrastructure portfolio committee.

Twala accused the ANC of wanting the EFF in eThekwini to be “lap dogs”, saying the opposition party would not be forced to agree on key fundamental issues regarding service delivery.

“They have displayed their arrogance in their decision and it is a case of every time we vote against them, they threaten us with taking away positions.

“Even when things are not going well they try to coerce us to agree on issues when we cannot agree on these things,” Twala said, accusing the ANC of being disingenuous when it came to service delivery issues.

“We will always challenge the ANC when they are not doing justice in ensuring services are delivered to the people.”

This is not the first time the ANC-EFF relationship has hit a low mark.

Last year EFF councillors were involved in a scuffle with eThekwini Municipality security guards after the councillors insisted that city manager Musa Mbhele leave a meeting following allegations that the City had failed to spend R1.9 billion of a conditional grant allocated to repair infrastructure.

ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo accused the EFF of trying to capture headlines.

“It can never be an ANC problem when the EFF is given a serious critical portfolio [and] decides to deploy people who can’t comprehend complexities within which a modern city such as eThekwini operates,” Mtolo said.

Both parties had at that stage appeared to have resolved the issue after the intervention of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele on Monday said that there was no relationship between the EFF and ANC in eThekwini.

He accused the EFF of deploying people to the eThekwini council who were “clueless on basic matters of governance”.

“They were leading a crucial portfolio (human settlements and infrastructure committee portfolio) with 75% of Durban’s budget.

“But when there were challenges they blamed the ANC and when Mayor Kaunda was able to open most of the beaches ahead of the festive season, they tried to get publicity for themselves out of this,” Mndebele said.

The Mercury