Concerns over City of Joburg collapse after Makhubele sacking

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga. Picture: File

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga. Picture: File

Published Nov 14, 2023


The termination of former City of Joburg Speaker, Colleen Makhubele’s membership as Cope member and leader has not brought any sense of relief for the City of Joburg.

This stems from more than two years of coalition governments and lack of stability which has characterised the tumultuous state of affairs in the country’s biggest metro.

Makhubele indicated that she will not be challenging her dismissal after her party led by Mosiuoa Lekota terminated her membership over her refusal to distance herself from a new coalition of smaller parties called the South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara). However, that has not stopped calls for her to account for her role in the instability of the city.

“Both Makhubele and Moalusi, despite refuting the reasons behind their termination, have no intention to challenge or appeal the decision,” Makhubele’s spokesperson Amina Williams said in a statement on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Star, political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the recent developments in the City of Joburg will continue to place service delivery in the precipice of turmoil as has been the norm since the onset of political coalitions.

Mathekga said the coalition government has done nothing to bring stability to the politics within the biggest metro in the country where political infighting within parties as well as between parties have done little to instil confidence in the citizens of the city.

“Her removal and the termination of her membership is a reflection of the current state of affairs both within Cope as well as the political turmoil brought by coalitions.

“It is certainly a reflection of the turmoil in the City of Joburg and her departure as the Speaker will certainly continue to contribute to the instability that we have seen in the past few years. This instability will continue to be with us for a foreseeable future,” he said.

The DA and the ActionSA in the City of Joburg have called for dissolution of the City Council following Makhubele’s axing.

Lekota on Monday accused Makhubele of having defied the party’s stance of joining a coalition of smaller parties which includes the NFP, AARM, ICM and churches.

This is after Makhubele’s face appeared on posters of this new political bloc ahead of the general elections in 2024.

“We were aware of smaller parties coming together to perhaps form an alliance or a coalition that would campaign in next year’s elections. However, no final decision was made on the above,” Lekota said.

Cope is now expected to hold talks to find a replacement for Makhubele, with ActionSA caucus leader Nobuhle Mthembu calling for the City Manager Floyd Brink to hold an extra-ordinary sitting in order to choose a replacement for Makhubele, who has been accused of misrepresenting of council standing rules and destabilising the city council.

“It was under her reign where a decision to bring back Floyd Brink as the City Manager was tabled before Council. A decision which the court described as ‘impugned’. As we welcome the decision by Cope, we strongly believe that this brings us one step closer to restoring order to the City of Johannesburg for its residents,” Mthembu said.

Mathekga said the recent challenge by the DA on the appointment of Brink has added to the chaos within the administration of the City of Joburg.

Last week, the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, declared that Brink’s appointment was unlawful.

“The recent challenge by the DA has continued the chaos that is happening in the City of Joburg. This effectively means there is no administration. It is an urgent situation that needs an urgent intervention which also speaks to the instability brought by coalition governments. No one wants to take responsibility and even the DA itself is not taking responsibility in this situation,” Mathekga said.