Eastern Cape's Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Atholl Trollip talking to journalists in Soweto. PHOTO: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - A motion of no confidence debate against Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani is scheduled for next week, as tensions between the United Democratic Movement (UDM) deputy and Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Athol Trollip continue to simmer.

Trollip said he had ''done everything he could'' to diffuse the tension between him and his deputy, to no vail.

''There has been no progress, apart from writing letters. I have had personal meetings with [UDM leader] Bantu Holomisa, he made some commitments on July 13 that he would come to Nelson Mandela Bay to try sort out this issue, it has happened...there is now a motion of no confidence in the deputy mayor next week,'' Trollip said after a joint briefing in Soweto with DA leader Mmusi Maimane and other DA mayors from Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town.

The Nelson Mandela Bay coalition government neared collapse as the two disagreed on issues of governance and staffing at the Eastern Cape metro. The tension escalated after Trollip fired Bobani as MMC for public health. Bobani remained deputy mayor as he was elected by council.

With the vote of no confidence, there was no guarantee, said Trollip.

''There's another vote of no confidence debate happening in South Africa's Parliament, happening on August 8, there are no guarantees...some will vote with their conscience, some otherwise. What is happening in the metro is unacceptable, but what he [Bobani] is doing is holding us back, we could have governed better. We have tried to sort this out for seven months...and seven months is long enough.'' 

The DA, led by Trollip, the UDM, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) formed a coalition government in the metro after unseating the African National Congress (ANC) following the fiercely contested August local government elections.

Out of the 120 council seats, the coalition holds 61, of which 57 are held by the DA, two by the UDM and one each by the ACDP and Cope. 

The ANC occupies the remaining 59 seats.