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DA and ActionSA set to kiss and make up over the future of Gauteng metros

FILE – ActionSA National Chairman Michael Beaumont. 09.11.21. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

FILE – ActionSA National Chairman Michael Beaumont. 09.11.21. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 12, 2021

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Johannesburg – The DA and ActionSA in Gauteng’s three metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni appear to have found each other following weeks of squabbling over the allocation of seats for mayoral committee members in each of the municipalities.

ActionSA on Saturday, endorsed the decision of the DA’s Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell to allocate it two mayoral committee seats, MMC for Health and Social Development and Community Safety to Herman Mashaba’s party.

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ActionSA, however, has yet to announce the names of the councillors to occupy those seats, but its top leadership has already accepted the positions.

Commenting on Campbell’s appointments, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont said: “We are pleased by this progress, given the pressing service delivery needs that exist in Ekurhuleni. ActionSA is committed to the multi-party coalitions in the Gauteng metros, to ensuring that the ANC is removed from office and that workable coalitions deliver effectively.”

He said ActionSA had adopted a position that it must conclude arrangements for the three Gauteng metros collectively, saying that while progress was being made in Johannesburg and Tshwane, ActionSA’s senate concluded that it should not hold up the announcement in Ekurhuleni.

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“This decision is consistent with the commitment of ActionSA and the multi-party group that our collective commitment to the residents of these municipalities must supersede any party-political consideration.

“ActionSA would have preferred that the coalitions be finalised more expeditiously in Gauteng, but we hold the view that we will not be the cause of delays to a process that is urgently needed to give confidence to coalitions and service delivery,” he said.

Beaumont said they have communicated their position to the multi-party coalition and emphasised that it remains committed to keep the ANC out of these municipalities.

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“We have demonstrated this by the way ActionSA voted to remove the ANC and we remain committed to playing our part in the effective delivery of services to all residents,” he said.

However, both the DA and ActionSA have been mum about their disputes which led to the delays in the announcement of MMCs in Joburg and Tshwane, despite growing speculation that Mashaba’s party wants the finance and infrastructure portfolios in Joburg. Other sources were also saying that ActionSA was actually aiming for four portfolios in Joburg and at least three in Tshwane.

In the past, attempts to get confirmation from these party leaders drew a blank but the appointment of two ActionSA councillors into Mayco positions, according to the same sources, was that the two parties were now finding each other and squabbling would be a thing of the past.

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Meanwhile, Campbell has appointed one of the country’s top financial managers, Graham Gersbach, to head the municipal finances, information technology and economic development of Ekurhuleni Metro.

Gersbach is a former member of the Gauteng provincial legislature and had served in the provincial standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) where he made a considerable impact, and due to his influence, several government departments in Gauteng, especially government departments which were not paying their rates and services to municipalities, were forced to account to Scopa.

The DA got six MMC positions while IFP and Cope each got one seat.

Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimanga said his party welcomed the appointments made by Campbell following weeks of negotiations between political parties to bring a stable government to the City of Ekurhuleni.

Msimanga echoed what Campbell said in her inaugural speech – no more empty promises, it is time to get things done in Ekurhuleni.

“We trust that her team will work hard to restore and fast track service delivery, remove the rot that hinders the progress and delivery of housing projects and infrastructure development.

“The DA is delighted that the people of Ekurhuleni will experience what a capable coalition government can do, focussed on clean governance and excellent service delivery.

“The DA wishes Mayor Campbell and her team all the best, and although success will not be achieved overnight, we believe that they are more than capable to deal with the task ahead and will get things done,” Msimanga said.

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Political Bureau

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