DA statement ahead of Johannesburg Inaugural Council Meeting

The Johannesburg metro council will meet today to swear in councillors and to elect a Mayor and Speaker. The claim by some that the DA must support a multi-party minority coalition is misguided for the following reasons:

  • This minority coalition in Johannesburg will not be able to govern without the support of the EFF, that will remain outside the coalition but dictate its actions on the threat of bringing it down. The EFF will thus be able to direct the Mayor’s actions on many issues, as the EFF did after 2016 when Herman Mashaba became the “EFF’s mayor”.  We do not intend to repeat that failed mission again.
  • Even if the DA supported the coalition to form a minority government under Herman Mashaba in Johannesburg, it would still need the ANC or EFF to pass budgets and other critical mandatory council decisions.
  • Throughout the election campaign, the DA has been steadfast in its position that we would rather be a strong opposition than being part of a shaky coalition that limps from meeting to meeting and depends on the support of the EFF.

The DA will remain true to its values and principles as promised to its voters before the election.

The deadlock in many of the councils in South Africa is not as a result of anything the DA has done but rather the split in the opposition votes, and the decision by parties such as the Patriotic Alliance and the IFP to throw their weight behind the ANC.

This decision made it impossible for opposition parties to form a majority coalition in Johannesburg and effectively gave the balance of power to the EFF.  We cannot allow the EFF in by the back door, where they pretend to be out of government but are actually the puppet masters behind a minority coalition led by Herman Mashaba.  We tried that before and it failed.  We learn from experience and we keep our promises.