Battle for Tshwane: Residents deserve service delivery - not politicking, analysts say

2020-03-04 05:16
Tshwane council chamber.

Tshwane council chamber. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24)

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While the DA, ANC and EFF fight for the political rights to the City of Tshwane, the residents are the ones who will feel the effects as service delivery inevitably grinds to a halt.

These were the sentiments political analysts expressed after examining the impasse in the capital city.

Since Monday, the City has been without a leader after a council sitting meant for the election of a new mayor, following the resignation of former mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, collapsed without any voting.

READ | The battle for Tshwane: Luthuli House considers striking deal with EFF

Another special council sitting on Friday, which was meant to deal with the extension of the term of acting City manager Augustine Makgata, did not come to fruition either.

News24 reported on Tuesday that the ANC was mulling over whether to side with the EFF to broker a power-sharing deal in the capital city, while the DA's national leadership was expected to meet with the party's Tshwane caucus to resolve the political impasse.

While parties engage in politicking and scramble for power in the metro, the very residents they will seek votes from in the 2021 local government elections will end up suffering.

Political analyst Daniel Silke told News24 that the climate in Tshwane boiled down to point scoring ahead of the local elections.

READ | City of Tshwane to start month of March without any leadership

"[That] is the short-term political gain. The reality is that service delivery will grind to a halt in Tshwane. The short-term interests of political parties trump the needs of voters. That is the harsh reality of a competitive political environment," Silke said.

Silke added that politicians were not altruistic and would exploit their position for their own political agendas, "effectively playing politics with the lives of ordinary South Africans".

While the DA was at its weakest in Tshwane, both the ANC and EFF would want to further drive a wedge between the party in blue and the electorate, Silke said.

He said the DA failed to manage their coalition agreement and would take the most flack for the state of politics as they were the incumbents.

READ | Steenhuisen to take 'charge' of DA's Tshwane conundrum ahead of crucial council sitting

Political analyst Mpumelelo Mkhabela told News24 that the debate in Tshwane was never about governance nor service delivery models, but rather about the power of political parties in the capital city.

He said it was a scandalous exhibition of power-grabbing by all political parties involved in Tshwane and that each party wanted power and resources.

"It's all about the politicians and the political parties. It has nothing to do with the residents. It's a hunger for power and control of the resources," Mkhabela said.

"The residents of Tshwane deserve better."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  pretoria  |  service delivery  |  politics
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