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DA and coalition partners in last ditch bid to form mayoral committees in Gauteng metros

SOME of the political parties represented in the Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni are expected to attend an important meeting today to resolve a two-week impasse over the appointment of mayoral committees.

These three metros had been without mayoral committee members since ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, UDM, and EFF backed the DA to become the dominant party in each of them.

Because of the results of the elections – in Joburg, the DA's Dr Mpho Phalatse was elected the city's first female mayor, and Tania Campbell replaced the ANC's Mzwandile Masina as mayor of Ekurhuleni. Randall Williams was re-elected in Tshwane.

However, it was not all roses after these mayors were elected, as all of them, particularly Phalatse, were chastised for failing to announce Mayco members.

Unlike the mayors of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, Phalatse was forced this week to remove an item on the appointment of Section 79 committees from her second council meeting, which debated her November 22 acceptance speech. Funzi Ngobeni, caucus whip for Joburg ActionSA, proposed the motion, arguing that Section 79 committees could not be appointed before mayoral committee members.

"It is common cause that the Mayoral Committee has not been announced due to ongoing discussions to finalise coalition agreements in the Gauteng metros," Ngobeni said in the motion.

Attempting to finalize the composition of these committees prior to the conclusion of those negotiations would have been an insult to the negotiations."While this is an important issue to address, because the committees perform an important oversight function over the Executive, it is absurd that these committees be established before the Mayoral Committee, whom these committees are established to oversee."

The motion was withdrawn after Ngobeni received support from the ANC and other parties in the council chamber.

At the same meeting, Mpho Moerane of the ANC and Margaret Arnolds of the AIC both chastised Phalatse for allegedly failing to establish a Mayco, claiming she was waiting for instructions from her party bosses, particularly federal council chairperson Helen Zille.

In that meeting, it was also implied that DA party bosses were particularly opposed to ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba being appointed to the Joburg MMC.

However, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont confirmed yesterday that a multiparty meeting will be held today to finalize the appointment of mayoral committees.

The meeting came after two previous meetings between the DA and ActionSA broke down last week due to disagreements over the composition of the mayoral committee, with Mashaba accusing his counterpart of treating them "like children."

Solly Msimang, the Gauteng DA leader, has not been available for comment, but Independent Media understands that his federal executive, in its meeting over the weekend, apparently granted each of their mayors in the metros the authority to solely select people to serve on their mayoral committees – a decision that is likely to cause chaos in today's meeting.

According to sources, the DA's Fedex has decided that each mayor in Gauteng must choose mayoral committee members from minority parties or parties with more than ten council seats.

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ACDP DA Ekurhuleni Gauteng Tshwane


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