ActionSA has temporarily withdrawn its motion of no confidence against City of Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda.
The party said it was dismayed by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) latest decision to amend the motion as it believes that this perpetuates the continuation of African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) rule.
On Monday, the DA said it would move for an amendment to ActionSA’s motion of no confidence calling for the motion to be withheld until November 2, when two years since the last election will have elapsed, legally permitting the Johannesburg city council to dissolve itself.
Following the promising Multi-Party Charter negotiations in Johannesburg last week, ActionSA has reflected on the unanimous agreement that membership expansion requires, so as to give the Charter the opportunity of winning a majority in next year’s elections.
The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has expressed interest in joining the grouping, however, the DA has been vocal about its distrust of the PA, which is currently in coalition with the ANC and EFF in some districts.
ActionSA said the DA’s distrust of the PA was an impediment to the Multi-Party Pact and added that the DA’s decision to amend the motion placed its own political interests above those of the Charter and Johannesburg residents.
“The withdrawal of the ActionSA sponsored motion of no confidence is a difficult decision but necessitated after the DA confirmed categorically that they would not support the motion to remove Gwamanda. Without the DA support, the motion cannot succeed and continuing with it would only serve to damage the image of the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa. ActionSA and our partners in the IFP, FF Plus, ACDP, and UIM will use the time afforded by the temporary withdrawal to engage the DA to assist them to look beyond their narrow interests in the Western Cape,” said ActionSA chairperson Michael Beaumont.
ActionSA added it would seek clarity on the DA’s latest decision, especially in the context of removing the ANC in the 2024 elections.
The DA, however, has reiterated its call for the dissolution of the Johannesburg city council to hold fresh elections. The party is of the opinion that a no confidence vote will do more to perpetuate instability in the city.
The party has noted that this marked the seventh motion of no confidence in Johannesburg since the 2021 municipal elections.
“The root cause of Joburg’s instability is the excessive political fragmentation that followed the November 2021 local government elections. This fragmentation led to no fewer than 18 parties gaining representation in council – with eight of those parties holding the balance of power despite only gaining a single seat each,” said DA Joburg Caucus Leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku.
The DA has launched a petition for backing for fresh elections and is urging other parties and residents to support its motion.
“If we want to rescue Johannesburg from its downward spiral, voters need to fix this fragmentation through fresh elections where voters unite behind the DA. This will enable us to form a stable and ethical majority government that can begin to restore our country’s biggest city,” she said.