Joburg council chaos not a sign of coalition failures - Mashaba

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The inner chamber of the Johannesburg City Council Chambers
The inner chamber of the Johannesburg City Council Chambers
  • For a second time, a council meeting of the City of Johannesburg descended into chaos.
  • The EFF, ANC and minority coalition partners walked out of proceedings.
  • Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile said his department was concerned about the tension at the Joburg council.

The chaos that erupted at the Johannesburg council meeting on Tuesday does not indicate a failure of coalition governance. 

This was according to ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba whose party is in a coalition government agreement with the DA and several other political parties in Joburg. 

Mashaba, who was present at the council meeting but left early, fearing security being called in, condemned the actions of the ANC, EFF and other minority parties. 

"As a councillor, I have already been paid a third pay cheque. Tell me, what can I show for my role as a resident of Johannesburg? What the hell is going on?" Mashaba said. 

The ActionSA leader said the antics were not a sign of the failure of a coalition government. 

"Coalitions can work, but I think it is how committed people are to coalitions that matter," Mashaba added. 

He said action on the way forward would be mapped out later by the coalition partners. 

Tuesday's council meeting descended into chaos much like the previous meeting when a dispute erupted over voting procedures. 

READ | We want a 'secret ballot'! Joburg council sitting marred by disruptions as EFF, ANC stage walkout

The ANC and the EFF insisted on a secret ballot. Speaker Vasco da Gama made it clear several times that the Municipal Structures Act did not make provisions for a secret ballot to elect chairpersons of Section 79 committees. 

The meeting ended without a complete agenda. The ANC, EFF and minority political parties staged a walkout, leaving the meeting with no quorum. 

There was growing concern about Joburg's governance and service delivery following the chaotic scenes.

Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile condemned the action of councillors.

He said he was on a fact-finding mission and may meet with the council leadership to understand the tension at the council. 

Maile had received a complaint from the ANC questioning Da Gama's behaviour. 

READ | Council chaos: Joburg ANC caucus turns to Cogta MEC as DA lays assault charges against councillors

The MEC said he was concerned about governance being impacted by the chaos at the Joburg council. 

"Our interests are concerned with a possible collapse of service delivery as a result of these differences. We issued a statement condemning the behaviour of all councillors, and we want to remind councillors that they are in that chamber to represent the citizens of Johannesburg," he said. 

"We discouraged public representatives from walking out of council because they have been elected to represent our people."

The MEC had a history of interfering in council matters, and his department had done so in Tshwane. 

In 2020, the municipality was placed under administration by the Gauteng government. 

Maile insisted that the concerns in Joburg were genuine and allowed his department to seek answers about the disruptions at the council. 

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