Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

The DA is maintaining the status quo regarding its relationship with the EFF, the party keeping it in power in the metros of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

Party sources told Business Day that the party’s federal council discussed the issue at its meeting over the weekend.

In May, EFF leader Julius Malema said his party was in negotiations with the DA to formally partner it in governing the Tshwane and Johannesburg municipalities.

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Addressing a media conference at the party’s head office in Johannesburg, Malema said his party wanted to take over the Tshwane mayorship.

The party would also join the government in the City of Johannesburg as members of the mayoral committee, he said.

Although not in the ruling coalition, the EFF acted as kingmaker in the metros, helping to elect the DA mayors into office.

The DA went into a formal coalition with the Freedom Front Plus, the Congress of the People, the African Christian Democratic Party and the United Democratic Movement following the 2016 government elections.

It is understood that some in the federal executive committee meeting had asked for clarity on the DA’s working arrangement with the EFF, after which it was confirmed that the status quo remained and that the DA was not in a coalition with the EFF.

It was said that the parties did not have the same principles and that these principles would not be compromised.

The EFF has a solid working relationship with Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, who in past state of the city addresses praised the EFF for contributions it had made to some of the city’s decisions. These decisions included the insourcing of workers like security personnel.  

The EFF’s support for the DA-led governments on an issue-by-issue basis has been one of the more contentious issues in the party, with some within the DA taking issue with the close relationship between Mashaba and Malema’s party. 

DA federal executive chair James Selfe declined to comment on the discussion in the meeting as it was a closed party meeting.

Selfe said the DA has not yet completed its consultation process, in which it has to engage with its mayors and coalition partners. Selfe said the DA has not yet been able to set up a meeting with the party’s coalition partners.