The Democratic Alliance in Ekurhuleni has challenged all opposition parties in the city to follow and live up to the will of the people as expressed through their vote on 3 August and unseat the African National Congress from power.

“Together we can deliver quality government to Ekurhuleni,” DA Ekurhuleni mayoral candidate Ghaleb Cachalia said in a statement.

“We welcome the direct and public support of the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] and other coalition partners with whom we share our premier goal to unseat the ANC from places of power and government, in order to be able stop corruption and improve service delivery.

“We appreciate the commitment from our coalition partners and reciprocate the EFF’s point of view that entering into a formal coalition would constitute a compromise of our respective political beliefs; by the same token not to unseat the ANC would mean to not be true to our voter’s mandate,” Cachalia said.

There were 224 council seats in Ekurhuleni, so 113 provided a majority to elect the local government. The DA held 77 seats and the EFF 25, totalling 102.

The ANC had 109 seats. Neither the ANC nor the DA could form a majority local government and would need the support of other parties.

For the DA and EFF to jointly unseat the ANC in Ekurhuleni they needed the support and vote of nearly all of the remaining parties to obtain 11 of the remaining 13 seats. Those seats were held by the African Independent Congress (four), Inkatha Freedom Party and Freedom Front Plus (two each), Congress of the People, Pan Africanist Congress, Progressive Alliance SA, African Christian Democratic Party, and Independent Ratepayers’ Association of SA (one each) – thirteen seats in all.

“The ANC reportedly has entered into an agreement with the AIC, collectively holding 113 seats. This may be just sufficient to form a government – by a majority of one – if not challenged,” Cachalia said.

“We are therefore publicly making the following offer to all parties, including the AIC (excluding the EFF who have elected to remain in co-operative and supportive opposition). If elected speaker and executive mayor in Ekurhuleni the DA will provide all elected councillors of the opposition parties a role on the mayoral committee and/or chair positions on oversight and standing committees,” he said.

The mayoral committee and chairs of committees comprised of a total of 24 seats, The DA would occupy 11 positions, including mayor, speaker, finance and corporate and legal, and would invite all of the remaining parties to become part of the local government in Ekurhuleni.

“We would welcome comment on this public proposal from all concerned and affected parties – ideally to endorse it. A support of this position would mean living up to the will of the people, as assisting the ANC to remain in power is against the expressed will of the people – and we will question the motives of the individuals and parties that do so. Remaining silent by abstaining is not an option anymore.

“The time has come to be bold and to explore new forms of coalitions and forms of government – united in their diversity against a massively compromised ANC. It will also signal a common purpose that goes beyond horse-trading and that seeks to give collective meaning to the voters’ mandate.

“The people of Ekurhuleni have given us an historic mandate, and have clearly voiced their dissatisfaction over the ANC’s corrupt governance. Now is the time to come together to unseat the ANC.

“Together we are all better off, and by governing Ekurhuleni jointly we will form a government of local unity second to none while fully appreciating the EFF’s support and decision to remain in supportive opposition,” Cachalia said.

Africa News Agency