Geoffrey Makhubo new Johannesburg mayor at council chambers. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
Geoffrey Makhubo new Johannesburg mayor at council chambers. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

The outcome of the Johannesburg mayoral election shows that coalition government is not the way to go for this country, at least for now. Coalitions have proved toxic, especially in relation to delivering services to the people.

The ANC must not celebrate this moment for too long. It must instead work to gain the confidence of the people going into 2021. It must ensure that services to the people of Johannesburg are delivered without fail. That’s what people care about. To them, who is in power is not primary. They want to see street lights working, they want water, they want to live in a clean city, they want houses and safe communities, and, most importantly, they want to see a clean government that will do away with corruption and create more jobs.

If the ANC can make progress on these in the remaining 18 months, it will retain Johannesburg in 2021. Failure to do so will make it difficult for the ANC in Gauteng to be relevant. It will be pushed onto the opposition benches, where it has already proved to be a failure. The ANC is so used to being in power that when it is not in power it is at a loss. The ANC’s very existence is defined by its proximity to state power. 

Tom Mhlanga
Braamfontein