DA’s coali­tion agree­ments hold de­spite prob­lems

But Nel­son Man­dela Bay is ‘on a knife-edge’

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - LUYOLO MKENTANE luyolo.mkentane@inl.co.za @luy­olomken­tane

THE DA has ex­pressed frus­tra­tion over the dif­fi­culty of man­ag­ing the coali­tion agree­ments keep­ing them in power in four of the coun­try’s big­gest met­ros.

And a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence has been planned against one of its coali­tion lead­ers as ten­sions reach boil­ing point.

How­ever, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they had turned the tide since coming into power in the met­ros of Joburg, Tsh­wane, Cape Town and Nel­son Man­dela Bay, fol­low­ing the wa­ter­shed mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions a year ago.

Maimane was joined by DA may­ors Her­man Mashaba, Solly Msi­manga, Pa­tri­cia de Lille and Athol Trol­lip as they briefed jour­nal­ists on the progress made in the met­ros at the Jabavu Li­brary in Soweto yes­ter­day.

They said they had man­aged to curb cor­rup­tion, fraud and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion, and had cre­ated job op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­liv­ered hous­ing, ti­tle deeds and other ba­sic mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices.

But Maimane ad­mit­ted that while coali­tions “posed their own unique chal­lenges, and are of­ten dif­fi­cult to man­age”, they were the fu­ture of South Africa and should be em­braced.

He said the DA had agreed with their coali­tion part­ners to put their dif­fer­ences aside and fo­cus “on our shared goals”.

“I am pleased to an­nounce that, one year on, the na­tional coali­tion agree­ment last year still stands.”

But the DA-led coali­tion in Nel­son Man­dela Bay, where Trol­lip has been butting heads with his UDM deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani over the di­rec­tion the metro should take, seems to be on a knife-edge.

Speak­ing to The Star on the side­lines of the brief­ing, Trol­lip said of his re­la­tion­ship with Bobani: “It’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and I’ve been very pa­tient for seven months now, my­self and my party leader (Maimane)… Over seven months we’ve had three meet­ings at na­tional level to deal with some of the crit­i­cal is­sues.”

He added: “The main is­sues are coun­cil­lor Bobani and his col­league vote against the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in coun­cil. We have 61 coun­cil­lors in the coali­tion and 50% is 60. But very of­ten we only have 59 votes be­cause those two (UDM) coun­cil­lors don’t vote with us. That is not al­lowed in a coali­tion gov­ern­ment, if your equal part­ners don’t sup­port you.”

Trol­lip said the real “frus­tra­tion” had been the fact that there had been no con­se­quences for Bobani.

“We have meet­ings and he gets told if you do this it’s trea­sonous and… at the last coun­cil meet­ing, he voted against the coali­tion on five oc­ca­sions. My frus­tra­tion is that his party and his lead­er­ship have not dis­ci­plined him,” he said.

“In Mo­gale City, we had EFF coun­cil­lors vot­ing for an ANC bud­get in de­fi­ance of their party po­si­tion. They were… charged and there is a dis­ci­plinary process. Not so with coun­cil­lor Bobani and that’s what has made it very dif­fi­cult,” said Trol­lip.

A vote of no-con­fi­dence against Bobani is due to be held at the coun­cil cham­bers in Port El­iz­a­beth next Thurs­day.

“We will see what hap­pens,” Trol­lip added.

Bobani re­ferred all ques­tions to UDM leader Gen­eral Bantu Holomisa. Holomisa told The Star that is­sues be­tween the two lead­ers had long been re­solved and that the metro’s bud­get had been ap­proved as a re­sult.

“We are not mem­bers of the DA, we have a right to op­pose him (Trol­lip) on is­sues. We can’t rub­ber-stamp every­thing he comes up with,” he said.

On the planned mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence against Bobani, Holomisa, sound­ing ir­ri­tated, said: “If they don’t want Bobani, they must go ahead and do that. But if we want – un­der­line that – we can put a counter-mo­tion, if they push us that far. The dirty tricks cam­paign by Trol­lip must come to an end.”

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