In today’s political environment a multi-party government is the best compromise that will ensure that political leaders are kept in check and that genuine service delivery is provided to communities.
These were the sentiments expressed by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba as he delivered his state of the city address from the new council chambers on Tuesday.
“This multi-party government, working with the EFF, has achieved enormous feats for the workers in our city who have been abused by exploitative temporary work and compromised labour relations from the tripartite alliance.”
“In 2017, we announced the insourcing of security personnel in the City of Johannesburg. It was a departure from the previous model of contracting security companies owned by politically connected individuals who would receive, on average, R12 000 a security guard. The guards themselves were only paid R4000 a month and often treated poorly by these companies,” said Mashaba.
The mayor added that “it was the demand for change from the previous 22 years of the failed ANC government” that took the city in the wrong direction which led to “residents exercising their power by installing a multi-party coalition government as a means to check two decades of arrogance that had arisen from the ANC’s single-party dominance”.
He thanked the EFF for the role they had played in the “insourcing programme as well as the coalition government”.
“Your contribution is a demonstration that political parties can work together for the benefit of our residents in Johannesburg.”
Just over a week to go before the May 8 elections Mashaba went on to extend an olive branch calling on the EFF and other parties to form coalitions and ensure that they keep each other accountable to the people of Johannesburg.
“This multi-party government has, without doubt, succeeded in bringing change to the residents of our city. We have brought the change that is stopping corruption, delivering services and creating jobs.”
“At the same time, this multi-party government is sensitive to the fact that we still have a long journey ahead of us to achieve the kind of city where all of our residents prosper from this change.”
“It is essential that I take this opportunity to pay tribute to each and every one of our coalition partners. As a part of this, it is critical to locate the successes of this government against the background of the coalition,” said Mashaba.
The mayor proceeded to thank individual councilors: councillors Meshack van Wyk of the ACDP, Nonhlanhla Makhuba and Mzobanzi Ntuli of the IFP, Jay Maharaj of Cope, Thandi Nontenja of the UDM and Franco de Lange of the Freedom Front Plus.
“To each and every one of you, I express my most profound appreciation. You have demonstrated your commitment to delivering change to the residents of our city, you enrich our plans and are true leaders in your own right.”
He added that: “To the EFF and the AIC, although not coalition partners, your support of the agenda, on an issue by issue basis, has proved essential to the delivery of change in Johannesburg. You have stuck to your principles and have backed ideas that benefit our residents while being frank when you do not agree.”
Mashaba’s sentiments came just weeks after the EFF expressed that they would rather go into coalition with the ANC and not the DA after the May 8 elections.
Just days after that announcement by the EFF, Gauteng ANC Premier David Makhura – speaking from the ANC pavilion at the Rand Show – said his party would rather be an opposition should it fail to get the majority votes.
“We would rather be an opposition party than go into a coalition with anyone, particularly parties only interested in gaining positions of power and not serving communities.
“Our main concern is not retaining power but ensuring that we serve our people. With this said, we go into these elections confident of outright victory and not thinking about coalitions,” said Makhura.