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DA metro mayors to talk about leading a year after local elections

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DA metro mayors to talk about leading a year after local elections

3rd August 2017

By: News24Wire

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A year after the Democratic Alliance (DA) managed to snatch three metros from the ruling party, four of its metropolitan mayors will be updating the media on its accomplishments.

DA mayors - Patricia De Lille of Cape Town, Herman Mashaba of Johannesburg, Solly Msimanga of Tshwane and Athol Trollip of Nelson Mandela Bay - will present their progress reports at the briefing in central Johannesburg on Thursday.

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane will also present the party's comprehensive report back on the progress being made in the four cities.

"As a party committed to transparent and responsive governance, we believe that citizens have a right to be informed as to the progress government has made, and as to how their tax money is being spent," the party leader said in a statement.

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The DA won three metros from the African National Congress and retained Cape Town following the local elections in August 2016.
 

Coalition conflict

The party, however, formed coalitions with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as well as the United Democratic Movement to govern the three metros.

Trollip and his deputy mayor, the United Democratic Movement's (UDM's) Mongameli Bobani, have been at loggerheads since the inception of the coalition in September 2016.

The two have been twice summoned to Cape Town by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and Maimane to answer for their public spats.

In the August 2016 elections in Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA won 46.71% of the vote, the UDM 1.91%, Cope 0.73% and the African Christian Democratic Party 0.36%. Together the coalition parties won 49.71% of the vote.

The ANC, which is in opposition in the metro, won 40.92% of the vote.

Cracks between Trollip and Bobani began to emerge as the two differed, first, on senior appointments in the municipality and then escalated when Trollip fired Bobani from his mayoral committee.

In Johannesburg, soon after Mashaba took his post as mayor, EFF leader Julius Malema said that he should stop grandstanding and get on with his job.

"If you go around pronouncing things like you have got power you are going to embarrass yourself," Malema told reporters.

He advised Mashaba to stop doing so many interviews and get on with his job.


2019 general election

Malema's party formed a coalition with the DA in Johannesburg. After Mashaba took over African National Congress (ANC) mayor Parks Tau's position, his decisions were regarded by some as controversial and others as decisive.

These included the scraping of the R1 million bicycle lane project as well as steering several investigations into maladministration in the metropolitan area.

During a speech on May 16, Maimane said he has started coalition talks ahead of the 2019 general election.

The DA leader said he was in talks with other opposition parties to deepen co-operation: "I will keep these channels of communication open until we go to the polls in 2019."

If the chances of winning the 2019 election can be maximised with a pre-election coalition agreement, "then this is something that we need to consider", he said, adding: "Nothing is off the table; we are in the 2019 election to win it."

Discussions with other political parties will focus on the removal of the ANC, he said.

DA-led coalition governments have already made a huge impact on the lives of poor South Africans in these metros, he said.

This showed that DA-led coalitions can work in national government too, Maimane argued.

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