The battle to control Gauteng’s two big metropolitan municipalities starts today.
City of Johannesburg and City of Tshwane metros are without executive mayors after Herman Mashaba resigned from Johannesburg and his Tshwane counterpart Stevens Mokgalapa placed on special leave while his party the Democratic Alliance (DA) probes allegations that he engaged in a sexual act with a colleague, MMC for roads and transport, Sheila Senkubuge.
Both Johannesburg and Tshwane are led by the DA after a coalition government formed after 2016 local government elections, with largely support from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). But that working alliance has now fallen apart and the EFF has on several occasions made it clear it regrets supporting the DA.
This has seen both the DA and EFF, as well as the African National Congress (ANC) fielding candidates for Johannesburg mayoral position. In Johannesburg more than 200 councillors are expected to vote for the person who will ultimately replace Mashaba, while in Tshwane a debate on the motion of no confidence against Mokgalapa will form a big part of today’s council business.
The DA has already warned EFF in Johannesburg against handing back the City of Johannesburg to the ANC, saying it is the Joburg residents that would suffer.
But EFF Gauteng Chairperson, Mandisa Mashego, said the party is ready to govern the country’s economic hub, which is home to over 10 million residents.
“We are ready to govern Joburg and that is why we are fielding a candidate in Musa Novela who is our leader in Johannesburg,” said Mashego in an interview on You FM. The ANC in Gauteng had this to say about a motion of no confidence against Mokgalapa.
“Residents of Tshwane have suffered long enough under the DA-led government’s failed leadership experiments. This has seen the municipality staggering from one scandal to another under the rudderless mayorship of Solly Msimang and Stevens Mokgalapa,” said ANC Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Jacob Khawe.
ANC Gauteng spokesperson, Bones Modise, said the party was not in any formal discussions with the EFF or the DA. “Our priority now is ensuring that all 121 ANC councillors in Joburg are in the chambers when that council sitting starts,” said Modise.