The issues facing Tshwane at the moment illuminates how the DA-led administration submitted to the Economic Freedom Fighters in order to gain power. Briefly.co.za explores how teaming up to garner a majority has worked in the favor of the EFF.
Solly Msimanga, the Democratic Alliance mayor of the City of Tshwane, recently resigned from office, saying he wants to focus on his position as the party's candidate for premiership in Gauteng for the upcoming elections.
Up until that point, Msimanga had been leading a diversified government . No party had secured a majority vote and the DA had come to an agreement with various parties including the UDM, COPE, FF+ and the ACDP in order to garner control.
In a surprising move, the EFF had agreed to support the DA, on the condition that the budget was focused on alleviating poverty. This had been crucial in order for the DA to secure this position, and it would become evident at a later stage.
The DA had moved in to govern and expectations of the party were at an all time high. The most pressing matter on the agenda had been the irregular contract with PEU Capital Partners, which had been a huge part of the DA's campaign ahead of the elections.The smart meter contract was deemed unaffordable, even by the ANC, at almost R4 million a day.
However, Moneyweb had recently reported that the city continues to pay PEU millions on a daily basis. This comes in spite of a court order put in place during October 2018, ordering the city to put an end to the financial strain and boot the supplier.
The party has pointed the finger at administration, saying councilors aren't involved at that level.
Leaders in the DA regularly voice their concerns over officials they deem to be ANC employees intent on sabotaging the opposition led government.
Msimanga and the city manager he had appointed, Dr Moeketsi Mosola, were at odds with each other. Mosola had ties with Agang SA when he had been brought on board, but further than that had no government experience at a local level.
The mayor has attempted to suspend Mosola after the irregular GladAfrica tender, but both the ANC and EFF had teamed up to block this move.
The municipal council holds the power, as far as employees are concerned, and is tasked with ensuring the city manager complies with his obligations.
In a nutshell, the DA-led city government is obliged to the EFF and powerless against the ANC.
This leaves the Democratic Alliance in Tshwane at a crossroads. Either it can continue to hemorrhage millions a day or it can go to court and have the council's decision overturned.
The court route depends on the party being able to prove Mosola did something illegal. However, should the DA linger too long before making a decision, it risks involvement from the ANC-led national government.
Professor Steven Friedman, political analyst, says he was intrigued by the EFF's move to support the DA, at least with no transparent pay off.
However, Friedman says that time has revealed the EFF has gained control of the tender processes, a more logical pay off for seeming submission.
The professor points out that the DA can boot Mosola, but cannot remain in power while it does so.
According to Friedman this lack of transparency among the parties can lead to a situation where services suffer in favor of these agreements, which are more about sharing the power than about the people.
So how has the DA in Tshwane gotten away with this failure to take accountability? According to Friedman, its simple: these isn't enough pressure on the party to act: “Politicians respond to pressure.”
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