Executive mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ANA Pictures
Pretoria - Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has put on a brave face in light of what could be the end of his DA-led coalition government in the city as well as those in the Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metros.

EFF councillors stayed away from the city's council sitting last week after the party voiced its anger with the axing of Mongameli Bobani of the UDM as deputy mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay.

ANC leader Mapiti Matsena then led his caucus out of the House and told journalists the official opposition was not going to assist the DA to govern.

The meeting was adjourned, as the council needed a 50% plus one to pass decisions; this the DA-led multiparty government could only achieve with support from the ANC or EFF.

Msimanga said the absence from the council and lack of co-operation were stalling much-needed service delivery in the capital.

Read: Tshwane council sitting collapses

“We had serious and important resolutions the council needed to consider. This includes the Expanded Public Works Programme recruitment framework policy, which will bring us a step closer to ensuring better and fairer access to work opportunities for thousands of people,” he said.

“The sale of the mayoral mansion was also one such item that if considered and passed by the council would go a long way to providing housing opportunities to people previously precluded from accessing decent housing.

“We take the mandate given to us by the people very seriously and will do whatever it takes to continue cutting corruption, creating work opportunities and delivering better services for all.

“We will continue to do all we can to build on the success made thus far. If the EFF chooses to not attend council, then it makes this work that much harder.

"The EFF will have to answer to its voters why it was giving power back to the ANC.

“Nevertheless, we will continue to engage the EFF and collaborate on a way forward.”

But Msimanga may not have things his way, as the EFF has stated it would not meet the DA to discuss its decision to stay away from council meetings.

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party was not in any coalition with the DA and did not owe it (DA) any explanation.

The EFF would never explain itself to a white man, the MP said.

Ndlozi said the EFF was well aware of the 2016 election outcome in which the people rejected the ANC.

“The truth that this did not translate into the DA being the choice. To operate with an assumption that a rejection of the ANC is an embrace of the DA is foolish if you did not win elections.”

The actions of the DA in axing Bobani demonstrated an arrogance of power and white supremacy, he said.

That decision prompted the EFF to stay away from all other councils governed by DA-led opposition coalitions. “We will do this from time to time as and when they fail to hold unity and respect smaller opposition parties.”

Ndlozi said the DA’s action showed the party believed it could govern without the support of smaller parties.

“This is why they have no patience in consultation with these parties, in particular at national level.

Also read: WATCH: NMB coalition partners defend decision to oust Bobani

"We will be monitoring the situation in Nelson Mandela Bay to see if we will continue to stay away or even attend and not vote with any of the parties.”

The DA, meanwhile, said it noted “with great disappointment” the decision by the EFF to abscond from the councils. “In August 2016, the people of South Africa made it clear they no longer trusted the ANC to govern. The people of our metros voted for a new beginning and placed their trust in opposition parties,” it said.

“The EFF's decision to stay away from councils has only served to put the power back in the ANC's hands.

“Essentially, the EFF is defying the mandate provided to the opposition by millions of voters, a step which seeks to cripple service delivery and job creation where we govern.”

Also read: DA's coalition agreements hold despite problems

The DA said together with Cope and the ACDP, it removed Bobani after months of consultation with the UDM about his “questionable conduct”, which it said sought to undermine and destroy the coalition.

The party said Bobani had on several occasions voted with the ANC and against the will of the people. This, in addition to being implicated in corruption within a City department he was responsible for, the DA said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane, meanwhile, vowed to continue to reach out to the EFF despite its commander-in-chief Julius Malema posting on social media “they will have their meeting in heaven”.

Maimane said the DA remained committed to working with other opposition parties.

The stay-away by EFF councillors in councils was not an insurmountable issue.

“It’s the nature of politics; conflicts arise. It's up to strong-willed leaders to deal with them. A solution will be sought.”

Pretoria News