Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas says he has received no communication from the ANC on whether he should be deployed to the Nelson Mandela Bay metro as the next mayor.

Speaking to journalists after an antiracism event at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg on Tuesday‚ Jonas said he was unable to respond to demands by the EFF that he should replace Athol Trollip when the Red Berets table a motion of no confidence against the DA mayor in April.

The EFF has said they would only accept an ANC candidate with Jonas’s credibility and stature for the position.

"[The] ANC speaks on the matter, not me," Jonas said.

"I belong to the ANC. I don’t know what the EFF’s analysis has been."

Civil society

Asked about his exclusion from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet‚ Jonas said he had not expected to be considered.

"I continue to do my work in civil society," he said.

He said in an interview with Business Day that the EFF should be credited for their contribution to public discourse "on some of the most complex issues the country is facing".

Jonas said: "Even though we might not agree all the time on what they are saying‚ they have been exposing the political vulnerabilities of the ANC and the country."

He also said challenges faced by the country’s municipalities were largely political and that a mix of skills was needed to effect a turnaround.

"The myth that you can bring one person to solve the challenges is wrong‚" he said.

According to Jonas, the "euphoria" following Ramaphosa’s election was justified as it reflected a recovery from the damage the country had suffered under former president Jacob Zuma.

"State capture will always be central‚ whether we like it or not‚" he said.

"Out of the euphoria‚ I think we will see more concrete steps to address unemployment‚ inequality and building credibility of the state."

Asked about the debate over land expropriation without compensation‚ Jonas said the discourse needed to move beyond slogans.

"We need to look at the package. "[Land expropriation without compensation] remains a slogan in the absence of [a] well thought-through programme," Jonas said.

"We need to address social justice‚ also deal with the economy‚ create investment."

All these things‚ he added‚ were interconnected and included the land sector‚ agriculture and manufacturing.

"There are implications on the rest of the system. So you cannot oversimplify these things. There needs to be discussion on what exactly does this mean, and put resources behind it‚" Jonas said.