News emerging from DA-EFF talks about deals the DA and the EFF have made to oust the ANC in Johannesburg and Tshwane has outraged some voters, but delighted others. With municipal coalition details expected to be announced anytime from Sunday, the debate is hotting up over whether it is a good idea for the DA to take control of Johannesburg and give Tshwane to the EFF.
Leaks from both ANC and DA sources indicate that the DA and the EFF are exploring deals to oust the ANC in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros, in particular, where the two parties had a strong showing in last week’s local government elections.
Reacting strongly to the news that the DA had offered Tshwane to the EFF for Johannesburg, BizNews community member Davoter said that handing Pretoria to the EFF would be an abuse of power by the DA and “criminally ridiculous”.
“If the DA hands the Pretoria mayoralty to the EFF then they (the DA) will be betraying the wishes of the people who voted for them. If we wanted to see the EFF in charge in one of our most important metros we would have voted for them. What is the point of elections if the also rans (like the EFF) get a free ride without the support (or permission) of voters? The idea of elevating the EFF to a position of real power anywhere without the endorsement of voters would make the DA worse than the ANC in terms of power abuse.”
Many BizNews visitors agreed with Davoter, with Jonathan Wright warning that a move like that would “anger A LOT of voters on both sides”. “I give you this metro if you give me that metro” would be “disastrous without the express permission of the voters,” he said.
DA-EFF coalitions in spotlight
Indications are that support for the DA will drop off in Tshwane, at least, if it goes ahead with a move to divvy up the two metros to retain control in Johannesburg. It would be anti-democratic, said Sharkey912, adding: “DA watch out! Don’t drop the voters of Tshwane.”
Thomas Edison agreed, saying: “To hand a metro to a party that did not win a single ward is a crime and thoroughly undemocratic. No amount of sophistry can change that.”
RooinekSA highlighted the brilliance of a possible political move that will give the DA the opportunity to control Johannesburg and allow the EFF to demonstrate its abilities ahead of national elections. The BizNews visitor said:
“I think it’s one of the cleverest things I’ve heard of yet. If it happens, top marks to the DA for a truly Marvellous Machiavellian Manoeuvre. In one fell swoop they get access to the most (with due respect to my current home town, Cape Town) influential business place in SA where it should be dead easy to show what they’re made of in terms of managing (which from the WC/CT experience is very good) and convince a large swathe of the movers and shakers on the ex-ANC side that they’re worth a punt in 2019.”
On the other hand, continued RooinekSA, the DA would be giving “Juju and his red ants a chance to show how rubbish – or good, who knows? – they actually are very quickly in a place that hasn’t really got all that much going for it in comparison.”
L BS pointed out to Rooinek’s detractors that “people must not become overly judgemental and give the DA a chance to play this game of chess.” And John Hely noted that “giving the EFF the position of mayor, is hardly handing over the town to them”. He added: “I am looking forward to a DA-EFF coalition – think it has great potential for good.”
Moira Haarhoff shared a different perspective: “Is it not worth remembering that Pretoria is the seat of national government, where many workers are actually beholden to the ANC for their daily bread? Irk them and they could go back to the ANC, tails between their legs. If the DA wants to give away the position of mayor, it should then retain every portfolio within local government, only giving deputy positions (or lower) to the EFF.”
The EFF, said Moira Haarhoff, should “see this as a fantastic opportunity for ‘free’ mentoring as far as running local councils is concerned”.
Peter Leyland, meanwhile, was all for giving the EFF more power. They’re changing for the better, was his over-riding message. “The EFF actually have some intelligent, educated and articulate people in their ranks – has no-one else noticed that they have toned down the angry screaming of late?” he asked.