Pretoria - The City of Johannesburg has become a political battleground as parties jostle for control of the country’s economic hub.
Coalitions have proven to be challenging as political parties find it hard to work together due to their ideological differences and with other parties wanting complete dominance.
The country’s municipal government elections in 2021 produced a number of unstable local government coalitions.
This is when the ANC’s support fell below 50% for the first time, which birthed multiparty coalitions led by the DA controlling Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg.
Ever since the DA-led administration came into power, the ANC has made numerous attempts to remove all DA candidates as mayors.
Former Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse faced more instability as the ANC brought several motions of no confidence — some failed and some were withdrawn until she was finally ousted on Thursday. Others were deemed unlawful by the courts.
The ANC managed to garner support from other parties such as the EFF and PA to finally vote Phalatse out of office this week.
With 138 votes, backed by ANC, EFF and PA votes in the Joburg council, parties elected Al-Jama-ah’s Thapelo Amad, a member of a Muslim minority political party with just three seats in the city of gold, as the new mayor of Joburg.
However, Amad is only expected to hold the fort for six months while the ANC and EFF find each other.
It is expected that an EFF-ANC coalition agreement will see the EFF back the ANC for the mayorship in Joburg, with the ANC expected to back the EFF for the mayoral chain in Ekurhuleni.
Speaking to eNCA, political analyst and politics lecture at the Durban University of Technology, Zamokuhle Mbandlwa, said the removal of mayors is not only based on the failures of providing service delivery.
“They are actually removing people on the basis of their political preference and on the basis of what they want to achieve as a political party not as the council.”
Mbandlwa said the constant changing of mayors creates instability and tampers with service delivery.
“People are suffering on the ground and they will continue to suffer because those who are elected are not serving the interest of the people, but serving the interest of the coalition partners.”
Mbandlwa also touched base on the fact that Phalatse had plans before she was booted out and it was likely that the new mayor would not follow through with the plans, instead, he will come up with a new plan to prove his predecessor wrong.