Home PodcastJulie Alli ActionSA pulls out of Ekurhuleni coalition

ActionSA pulls out of Ekurhuleni coalition

by Salaamedia Intern

Ekurhuleni – After extensive debates, despite voting in favour of Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell’s reinstatement, ActionSA will not be part of the multi-party coalition government with the DA. The party’s councillors will also not form part of the mayoral committee that is scheduled to be announced.

While this comes as a surprise to many, ActionSA believes this was the right course of action. According to Bongani Baloyi, ActionSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, supporting Campbell was the only solution to making sure an ANC candidate didn’t become mayor.

“When in council it was clear there was a reasonable success to defeating the ANC again in the voting in of a new mayor as they had not managed to reconcile with the EFF. We therefore elected that we were not going to abstain as originally planned. Abstaining would have meant the ANC would automatically win the race. We elected rather to support Tanya with our votes whilst knowing very well that our primary objective is to ensure that we sustain the position of the ANC of being outside government and not being in government.”


The reason for leaving the coalition

ActionSA believes Campbell has many weakness but they were left with no choice but to vote for her in an effort to keep the ANC out of government. Once that was done, Baloyi confirmed ActionSA pulled out of the coalition as they don’t have faith in the current government.

“Our cacus had conversations with leadership to say we don’t want to be part of this coalition any longer because of the service delivery failures and challengers. Equally our inability to effectively represent our residence and service delivery because we have to work within this whole coalition governance contract that we have signed with them. The simple issue of insourcing security guards and cleaners, we have not made any progress a year later.”

Baloyi feels it is easy to work from the outside of the coalition. The party members feel it is easy this way to actually support and drive their agenda of service delivery in a better way.

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Service delivery must improve if Campbell wants the vote of ActionSA

While ActionSA has left the coalition, they are still part of the council. This affords them the ability to use the various mechanisms and systems of councils for motions to be submitted. For Baloyi, this is a strategic position for ActionSA to be in.

“This puts us in a very strategic position because now we are saying our point of basis for negotiations is one issue only and its service delivery. Prove to us that it will improve services. That’s the bottom line. Anything else does not matter at this point. We don’t care about positions or being trapped in long coalitions agreements and provisions that make it difficult for you just to achieve simple things. Now we are saying on the table there is one thing and one thing only. Improvement of service delivery. Demonstrate to us that whatever you are doing is going to improve service delivery and you’ll get our vote.”

Campbell has been criticised in the past for moving swiftly to deal with problems in white areas and ignoring the problems in the townships and black areas. This will now have to come to a stop if she wishes to have the vote of ActionSA, said Baloyi. She must serve each and every community fairly.

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ActionSA won’t hesitate to remove Campbell

ActionSA are the only party keeping Campbell in. Baloyi suspects the ANC will table another no vote of confidence in the new year. If Campbell fails to deliver and improve service delivery, ActionSA will not stop the ANC from removing Campbell.

“What happens between now and then, if she doesn’t change and give us reasons why we must keep her there, then she’ll be in a difficult position. Unfortunately, in this case she doesn’t have any options. The DA doesn’t have many options. They don’t have majority in council. Whenever there’s a council meeting they are going to need parties around the table to support an item or reject an item that will compromise how they do business. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. They need us now more than ever. This means her behaviour needs to change. Her attitude towards black areas needs to change and the DA needs to ensure they deliver.”

ActionSA wants the DA to make sure every community has access to service delivery. To do this, they need to maintain the current infrastructure. Unfortunately, due to Eskom and loadshedding, Ekurhuleni has lost R3.2 billion in the first two months of the new financial quarter, said Baloyi. This will make it harder for maintiance to take place but the DA must ensure it is done.

For Baloyi, even though this coalition is not one they wish to be a part of, coalitions are a reality of the future. ActionSA are part of other coalitions in Gauteng. While there are issues that need to be ironed out, they believe coalitions can help residents if everyone can put their differences aside and work for residents first before themselves.

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