Coali­tion is solid, as­sures mayor Masina

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - KHAYA KOKO khaya.koko@inl.co.za @khayakoko88

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.

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