Johannesburg - ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has expressed doubt that the Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni would meet the Monday deadline to establish mayoral committees as prescribed by the IEC’s deadline.
Mashaba made the comments on Friday night when he questioned whether there was any agreement between his party and the DA on the establishments of the committees ahead of the deadline.
The DA was due to give ActionSA a final offer of seats to occupy in the three metros but by Friday night, Mashaba said he had not received a single response from the DA despite having written two letters to them on Tuesday and Thursday.
Mashaba said they were expecting the DA to clarify them about his party’s role after a number of them including the Freedom Front Plus, the ACDP, the UDM and EFF voted alongside the DA to allow it to secure mayorship and majority votes for their candidates in the metros.
“We made a call to the DA to call all the parties that they wanted to enter into a coalition partnership under one roof to discuss the issue of mayoral committees. We wanted to know who our partners in governing the metros were going to be.
“We do not want to be taken by surprise. We are still waiting for them, if they come and humble themselves. They must treat us as equal partners. They have a sense of a superior moral ground, but we cannot allow it. ActionSA is an independent political party and they must treat us with respect,” Mashaba said.
ActionSA this week successfully blocked the second sitting of the City of Joburg to appoint Section79 committees ahead of the appointment of mayoral committee members.
ActionSA caucus whip Funzi Ngobeni said the withdrawal of the item, owing to pressure from ActionSA and other parties, was a necessary but completely avoidable 180-degree turn that council was forced to make.
“It is common cause that the mayoral committee has not been announced due to the ongoing discussions to finalise coalition agreements in the Gauteng metros. Trying to conclude the composition of these committees, prior to the completion of those negotiations, would have been an affront to the negotiations.
“While this is an important issue to be dealt with, as the committees perform a crucial oversight function over the executive, it is absurd that these committees be established before the establishment of the mayoral committee whom these committees are established to conduct oversight over,” Ngobeni said.
He said since mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse had not appointed a Mayoral Committee, the question becomes over whom would these oversight committees be exercising oversight, given that these committees must mirror the configuration of MMC portfolios to effectively conduct that oversight.
“The early days of any government are critical to establishing its tone and manner of adhering to key principles of exercising its authority. The effort to have the council approve the composition of Section 79 Committees before coalitions are agreed or the Mayoral Committee is established, is not the most auspicious of beginnings,” Ngobeni said.
Mashaba also corroborated that view but warned that on Monday they would not be forced to sign a coalition agreement on deadline.
The DA’s Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga had promised to give an outcome of their coalition negotiations, but had failed to do so by last night.