EFF no longer in a ‘working relationship’ with the ANC

The ANC axed EFF regional leader Nkululeko Dunga as Finance MMC in Ekurhuleni. Picture: EFF/X

The ANC axed EFF regional leader Nkululeko Dunga as Finance MMC in Ekurhuleni. Picture: EFF/X

Published Jun 18, 2024


The key working agreement between the EFF and the ANC in the eThekwini Municipality has been dismantled with the Red Berets announcing the party is pulling out of the relationship.

The EFF said the ANC would now have to rely on its partners in the Provincial Government of Unity (PGU) to govern the province’s biggest municipality.

Prior to last month’s elections, the EFF had registered gains in the province in the national and local government elections with the party hoping to double its representation in the provincial legislature.

However, with the ANC angling towards a national and KwaZulu-Natal coalition that does not include the EFF, the writing was on the wall for their working relationship.

The developments in eThekwini come after the ANC axed EFF regional leader Nkululeko Dunga as finance MMC in Ekurhuleni.

While the rupture between the ANC and EFF has raised concerns about the future and stability of municipal councils, one analyst said the municipalities governed by GNU partners will be stable, provided the leadership at national level can keep the GNU intact.

The EFF leader in KZN Mongezi Twala said the relationship between the two parties in eThekwini was already strained and has now collapsed after the ANC entered into a PGU with the IFP, DA and the NFP.

The ANC and the EFF did not have a formal coalition but a working relationship where they voted with the ANC depending on the issue.

The relationship soured a few months ago when the EFF voted in support of a motion to oust former eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. The motion had been brought by the IFP. Kaunda has subsequently been redeployed by the ANC to National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

His removal has sparked speculation on who will replace him with former premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, former police minister Bheki Cele and Cyril Xaba being named as frontrunners.

The parties’ agreement further deteriorated when the ANC removed EFF leader in the council Themba Mvubu as chairperson of the human settlements and infrastructure service committee (HSI).

However, the relationship hit a low in the past few days as the ANC formed a government of national and provincial unity with the IFP and the DA. Twala said the EFF has “pulled out” of the relationship that it had with the ANC and was now purely on the opposition benches.

“The relationship between us and the ANC no longer exists in eThekwini.

They (ANC) went as far as removing our leader as chair of the HSI committee for narrow and petty reasons. The ANC will now have to rely on their PGU partners for support. We will not be supporting the ANC on anything; we will be playing the role purely of the opposition party.”

DA leader in KZN Dean Macpherson said the party was looking into issues of co-operation in the eThekwini Municipality. “These are issues that are on the table and will be discussed in time to come.

“I believe there is a recognition that an intervention in eThekwini needs to be in a way that brings political stability that leads to rapid service delivery, as well as fixing some of the many issues that exist.”

Other political leaders have indicated they want a meaningful GNU relationship, even at local level. NFP leader Ivan Barnes said they believed the PNU and the GNU should be implemented right down to local level.

“We agreed (during negotiations) that local government will be addressed after the swearing-in and inauguration of the premier and the president. Once that is out of the way, the leaders of the four parties need to discuss how we can co-govern so we have a solid relationship. There are hung municipalities where the ANC, IFP, DA and NFP need to discuss how can we co-govern.”

Makhosini Mgitshwa, an independent political commentator said the municipalities that may be taken over by the GNU coalition will succeed or fail based on what is happening at national and provincial levels.

“If the GNU parties have terms and conditions they abide by, the metros and municipalities they control would fall in line. If there’s chaos at the top, there will likely be chaos at local government level.

“I think the ANC and DA appreciate that their coalition may not enjoy popular support with their respective supporters. That may push them to make sure it succeeds and delivers to voters’ needs. Personally, I think the coalition may just deliver stability and good governance. But if it fails, the two parties would face a serious drubbing in the 2026 LGE.”

The Mercury