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ANC Joburg chair Dada Morero says engagements with the EFF over Gauteng metros have come to naught. Picture: FANI MAHUNTSI/GALLO IMAGES
ANC Joburg chair Dada Morero says engagements with the EFF over Gauteng metros have come to naught. Picture: FANI MAHUNTSI/GALLO IMAGES

The coalition working arrangement between the EFF and ANC in Gauteng metros has broken down after the EFF refused to support the ANC-backed 15-year loan from Agence Française de Développement in the city of Joburg.

The two parties have worked together in the metros since 2022 after no party won an outright majority with each party sharing MMC positions.

However, rifts between the two parties escalated after Ekurhuleni mayor Nkosindiphile Xhakaza fired the EFF’s Nkululeko Dunga as finance MMC, and replaced him ANC Ekhureleni co-ordinator Jongizizwe Dlabathi.

The red berets have retaliated by refusing to vote with the ANC in the Joburg Council on multiple occasions in recent weeks, including the passing of the City’s 2024/25 budget last month.

The EFF has also been left out of Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s minority government which was formed with the PA, IFP and Rise Mzansi.

Ousted MMC of Finance in City of Ekurhuleni Nkululeko Dunga. Picture: Veli Nhlapo
Ousted MMC of Finance in City of Ekurhuleni Nkululeko Dunga. Picture: Veli Nhlapo

“I also suspect that they are using the Ekurhuleni conundrum when the real issue is also the GNU [government of national unity] and Gauteng because national leadership is clear about its posture and outlook towards the EFF,” an ANC regional executive member told Business Day.

ANC Joburg chair Dada Morero said engagements on the matter came to nothing as the EFF said, “we must accept and they are not going to vote for the loan because of Ekurhuleni”.

“It means we are in a bad financial position with a shortfall of R2.5bn so we are going to try to look at alternatives ... the second option is engagements with other parties to see if they could support it. We had already started engagements with ActionSA, however, it did not yield results,” Morero added.

ActionSA’s Nobuhle Mthembu said the party did not support the loan because it was costly.

“Morero has only now furnished council with some of the critical details of the loan. We believe this information should have been shared in April when he first brought this matter to the council,” she said.

“ActionSA is adamant the council cannot take a loan that will burden Johannesburg residents for the next 15 years.”

At a press conference on Wednesday, Xakaza conceded that the coalition agreement in Ekhureleni has been challenging. “Managing coalition partners and ensuring co-operation from all members of the mayoral committee has been challenging,” he said.

“However, through performance agreements, strategic planning sessions and open communication, we are fostering a cohesive and collaborative working environment,” he said.

The Ekurhuleni council has 224 seats, with the ANC holding 86, the DA 65, EFF 31, ActionSA 15, Freedom Front Plus 8, IFP 2 and the ACDP 2. Smaller parties hold 10 seats.

The EFF remains in charge of three portfolios — environmental resources & waste management MMC Leshaka Manamela; community services MMC Bridget Thusi; and human settlements MMC Kgopelo Hollo.

Despite being axed from the finance position in Ekhureleni, the EFF in Gauteng maintained that it had done a sterling job in the position.

“The EFF Gauteng celebrates the two audit awards bestowed by the SA Local Government Association to the City of Ekurhuleni for the financial year 2023/24,” the party said in statement.

“These awards were achieved in the term during which the MC of finance deployed by the EFF, commissar Nkululeko Dunga, was in charge of the department.

“The city was awarded for reducing unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures, and for implementing consequence management in the 2023/24 financial year.

“This is further evidence of good governance, transparency, accountability, and the implementation of sound financial management systems under the EFF.”

maekot@businesslive.co.za

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