Will ANC consider opposition leaders in bid to stabilise eThekwini?
Durban - In rebuilding the eThekwini metro after years of political turbulence, the ANC in KZN is expected to choose the best and seasoned in local governance matters within its ranks to replace Zandile Gumede who was sacked a few days ago.
The party will also consider continuity as it does not want to eventually lose the only metro in KZN.
Setting the precedent in appointing capable members of the opposition to ANC-led structures, was former President Thabo Mbeki who in 2004 appointed Mosibudi Mangena as the minister of science and technology.
Prior to that, Mangena who was the President of the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) also served as a Deputy Minister of Education from 2001 to 27 April 2004 under Mbeki.
Emulating Mbeki in May this year when he finally announced his 2019-2024 cabinet, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Patricia De Lille, the leader of the GOOD party, as the minister of Public works and Infrastructure. While the move was met by murmurs from some in the ruling party, it showed that the culture of looking beyond the party and alliance for capable leaders was not totally flushed out.
Back to eThekwini, the metro has many leaders who know the inner-workings of the council after being there for quite some time. The leaders includes Mdu Nkosi, a member of the exco (executive committee) who has been at the city for more than six years after serving as a member in the previous council.
Nkosi, should his party, the Inkatha Freedom Party, allow him, can do a better job as a deputy mayor or head one of the more powerful committees in the council.
Should it decide to appoint a male mayor and deputise him with a female candidate, the ANC can also look beyond party lines and pick Nicole Graham, the leader of a caucus of the Democratic Alliance, as deputy mayor.
That could also bode well for minorities to have a representative in the higher structures of the municipality.
In order to ensure that the powerful positions of chairperson of committees are not abused, they may give them to opposition councillors. For example, the ANC can, without losing much, give the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee chairmanship to DA councillor, Thabani Mthethwa who is well vested with settlement matters.
To bury the hatchet with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the council, they can give the chairmanship to councillor Lungile Mnguni, a seasoned councillor who is currently serving as a member of the municipal public accounts committee.