Coalition is solid, assures mayor Masina
IF YOU thought the ANC-led coalition government in Ekurhuleni will collapse, to the detriment of citizens, following a possible withdrawal of the African Independent Congress from the coalition – think again.
That was the bold assertion made by the city’s mayor Mzwandile Masina yesterday when he expressed confidence that the AIC will remain in the coalition and that this coalition will see out its five-year term. Masina was speaking to The Star on the sidelines of the council meeting in Germiston.
The ANC governs Ekurhuleni with the AIC and three other parties. This coalition was threatened after the AIC’s president, Mandla Galo, wanted to pull his party out because the ANC had not reincorporated Matatiele from the Eastern Cape into KwaZulu-Natal as it had promised.
The AIC has four proportional representation seats in Ekurhuleni.
Masina emphasised that all agreements the ANC had with the AIC at the local level had been concluded, adding he was awaiting the discussions between senior leaders of both parties to be finalised so the matter could be put to rest.
“Strategically, the AIC is very important for us to ensure the hegemony in terms of the decision-making in the city. But in the event that the AIC takes another decision, there are a lot of other avenues that can be explored.
“But we value the relationship, we’re working well with them and are waiting for the outcome of the national process,” Masina said.
His views were backed up by AIC councillor, Mphunzi Mayekiso, who openly declared inside the council chambers that the AIC was “still happy” in the coalition and enthused about the good job he said Masina was doing.
Mayekiso ended his address with Siyaqhuba, mona phansi – which loosely translates means “We are delivering, enough with the jealousy!”
Masina was heading to the ANC’s national executive committee lekgotla after the council meeting, where he and other leaders would be briefed on the progress regarding the negotiations with the AIC.
Earlier, Masina had delivered an aggressively confident address, which he said would pave the way for Ekurhuleni’s pro-poor policies. He added that the key areas of focus would be dealing with the city’s staggering 119 informal settlements, urban renewal of Ekurhuleni’s nine towns and positioning the metro to have the most “robust local manufacturing value chain”.
Asked by The Star how the urban renewal programme would be implemented, Masina said they have a two-week programme per CBD in the nine towns and had started in Germiston, concluding last week.
“We are planning to invest billions in Germiston to build the Germiston Precinct, where our staff will be under one roof.
“For that plan to be realised, we have to make sure that Germiston is sorted out.
“Illegal advertisements, illegal trading and prostitution – we are dealing with those issues. We will then move to Kempton Park next,” the mayor said.