ANC metro mayorship uncertain
AIC using it to leverage Matatiele from North West back into KZN
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