ANC metro may­or­ship un­cer­tain

AIC us­ing it to lever­age Matatiele from North West back into KZN

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BALDWIN NDABA

THE fu­ture of Ekurhu­leni mayor Mzwandile Masina re­main­ing in that po­si­tion now de­pends on whether his party mem­bers in the Eastern Cape and KwaZu­luNatal agree to Matatiele be­ing rein­cor­po­rated into KZN.

This was the lat­est agree­ment reached by the ANC and the African In­de­pen­dent Congress (AIC), fol­low­ing their five-per­son-each meet­ing in Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape yes­ter­day.

The AIC, which had ear­lier threat­ened to pull out of the coali­tion agree­ment it had reached with the ANC in Ekurhu­leni and Rusten­burg in North West, ap­peared up­beat yes­ter­day that their de­mand for the rein­cor­po­ra­tion of Matatiele would be fi­nalised be­fore March 15.

On Au­gust 14 last year, the AIC en­tered into a coali­tion agree­ment with the ANC in Ekurhu­leni after the rul­ing party failed, for the first time since 1994, to se­cure an out­right ma­jor­ity in the Au­gust 3 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Due to that coali­tion agree­ment, as well as sup­port from other par­ties such as the PAC, Pa­tri­otic Al­liance (PA) un­der Gay­ton McKen­zie and the In­de­pen­dent Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion un­der Izak Berg, the ANC re­tained the Ekurhu­leni metro.

The other met­ros of Joburg, Tsh­wane and Nel­son Man­dela Bay which were pre­vi­ously un­der ANC rule, were taken over by the DA after the EFF urged its coun­cil­lors to vote with the DA.

This led to ANC coun­cil­lors oc­cu­py­ing the op­po­si­tion benches in the three met­ros.

But for Masina to re­tain the may­or­ship in Ekurhu­leni, the ANC was to­tally de­pen­dent on the Eastern Cape and KZN agree­ing to the AIC’s con­di­tion to rein­cor­po­rate Matatiele into KZN.

The rein­cor­po­ra­tion of Matatiele into KZN was the rea­son for the birth of the AIC in De­cem­ber 2005. The party’s first par­tic­i­pa­tion and great show­ing in the 2006 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions se­cured it a to­tal of 14 seats in the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of the Eastern Cape and KZN.

In the 2009 na­tional elec­tions, the AIC also man­aged to se­cure its maiden seat in the Eastern Cape leg­is­la­ture, us­ing the Matatiele is­sue as its ral­ly­ing call.

Its num­bers grew fur­ther when the party man­aged to se­cure three seats in Par­lia­ment fol­low­ing the 2014 na­tional elec­tions.

The is­sue of Matatiele also took cen­tre stage in the 2016 elec­tions, but now AIC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Steve Jafta be­lieves that the hur­dle will be re­moved.

“We are still pos­i­tive about the rein­cor­po­ra­tion of Matatiele into KZN fol­low­ing our meet­ing to­day (yes­ter­day). The ANC del­e­ga­tion, led by Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe, agreed to our pro­posal.

“We are now left with the draft­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the AIC and the ANC.

“We agreed with the ANC to give them un­til March 15 to sign the agree­ment.

“The ANC del­e­ga­tion will now be per­suad­ing their struc­tures in the Eastern Cape and KZN. It will then re­port on the progress made dur­ing their con­sul­ta­tions,” Jafta said.

He was adamant that Radebe’s del­e­ga­tion was not op­posed to their pro­posal, say­ing “it was a very good meet­ing”.

“They never re­jected it from the out­set. That is the rea­son we came into a coali­tion agree­ment with them,” Jafta said.

He, how­ever, said that if the two prov­inces re­jected the pro­posal, the AIC would be forced to pull out of the coali­tion agree­ment.

ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa did not con­firm Jafta’s finer de­tails, but said their meet­ing was cor­dial. He said the two par­ties “agreed on a frame­work of is­sues that should con­sti­tute dis­cus­sions”.

It was a very good meet­ing with the del­e­ga­tion

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