Herman Mashaba. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Herman Mashaba. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba will face a motion of no confidence this week, but the DA is confident he will survive despite the EFF previously saying it will not vote with the party or the ANC in councils around the country.

The motion of no confidence, tabled by the ANC, will be debated in council on Thursday.

The DA needs the EFF votes in council if Mashaba is to retain his mayoral position. 

After the 2016 local government elections, the DA took control of the metro with the help of the EFF.

In July, EFF leader Julius Malema announced that his party would not co-operate with either the DA or the ANC in municipalities across the country. He said the EFF would participate in debates but would abstain from voting.

This was after the EFF failed to secure the mayoral position in Tshwane, where the DA governs also with the help of the party.

If the EFF abstains from voting in Thursday’s motion of no confidence, it could give a win to the ANC, which in terms of numbers has more than the DA.

After its two-day federal executive meeting at the weekend, the DA said it was fully behind Mashaba, calling the motion “frivolous”.

“The motion of no confidence … must be seen for what it is — an attempt by the ANC criminal syndicate to get their hands on the people’s money and reverse the gains made by Mashaba’s multiparty government,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said at a briefing following the meeting.

He said Mashaba was a strong and capable leader who had the best interests of Johannesburg at heart.

Mashaba has had a good working relationship with the EFF, and the Johannesburg mayor regularly praises the red berets for their input in the metro, most notably on the issue of insourcing.

Mashaba on Saturday welcomed 450 cleaners to be insourced by the city. EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu took to Twitter to congratulate Mashaba.

Shivambu congratulated the EFF Johannesburg caucus and Mashaba for insourcing cleaners for the city, calling it a “step in the right direction”.

DA insiders are confident the EFF will support the DA in the motion of no confidence and vote to retain Mashaba.

It is understood, however, that the EFF has not said outright it will do this.

This comes as the DA reflects on its poor showing in the 2019 general election and works on winning back the confidence of the voters it lost as the 2021 local government elections loom.

The DA saw a drop in support nationally and in Gauteng, both from the levels in 2014 and in the 2016 local government elections.

The party says it is building momentum towards the 2021 elections, strengthening its branches and recruiting new members every day.

The run-up to the local government elections was part of the discussion at the federal executive meeting. The DA will need to curb the losses it experienced in 2019 if it wants to realise its dream of governing metros such as Johannesburg and Tshwane with an outright majority.