DA, EFF will maintain 'respectful distance' in Gauteng metros

2016-08-17 12:15

Johannesburg – The DA has confirmed that it would remain "respectfully distant" from the EFF after large differences for now meant the two could not form coalition governments in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

Chair of the DA’s federal council James Selfe told Cape Talk on Wednesday, ahead of separate press conferences by the leaders of both parties on the matter, that "there are ideological differences that still persist between ourselves and the EFF".

"We are committed to a longer-term conversation with them and we will have that conversation, but I think there are too many issues to get out of the way between now and the formation of a municipal government."

He confirmed that the DA would work with the ACDP, the UDM, Cope and the FF Plus to form coalitions, but ruled out the ANC completely.

In Nelson Mandela Bay metro the DA has enough seats to form a majority government with the help of these parties alone.

He said in the councils with minority governments, things would be run on an "issue by issue basis".

Selfe said things could get tricky when it came to passing budgets and integrated development plans for councils.

Key issues

"I imagine a great deal of arm-wrestling would occur, but we are going to pursue goals that are similar, even though they may not be the same. So I think the budget and the IDP will be the area in which this type of government will either succeed or fail," he said.

The mayor and speaker can be elected by a simple majority of voting councillors present, so forming the government is less tricky.

Selfe said: "It is likely we will have a minority government situation in both Johannesburg and Tshwane where we will be dependent on other parties for support on key votes and key issues.

"But I do think there is enough in common with the other parties with whom we have been negotiating separately to enable us to establish a stable and coherent government."

Selfe said the EFF’s priorities did not necessarily speak to municipal issues.

"Their agenda is a very clear one, and they believe that land should be expropriated without compensation and that the mines should be nationalised and so on," he said.

"These are not municipal competencies and our attitude all the way along is that we can talk about these matters and that they are actually peripheral to the running of the municipality," he said.

"But I think there are some sticky issues that may have caused friction in a coalition government, and I think it is better that we remain respectfully distant from one another, yet achieving certain common aims.

"Our attitude all the way along is that we can talk about these matters, but they were actually peripheral to the running of a municipality."

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