National 8.8.2016 07:10 am

EFF holds all the cards

Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema during the State of the Nation address debate. Gallo)

Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema during the State of the Nation address debate. Gallo)

Who will ultimately govern in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and perhaps even Ekurhuleni and Joburg still hangs in the balance.

The DA could be announcing a coalition partner “by Wednesday” in the four metros it stands to govern, after slicing the ANC’s majority vote in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

Solly Msimanga, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane, said he was not expecting a long wait, in the interest of the party “getting to work” where it was set to govern.

“No. We are not looking at parties and their ideologies, but rather at what each party is demanding,” Msimanga said in response to being asked if the EFF’s radical ideas would deter the DA from partnering with them.

Municipal managers have 12 days left (from Monday) to call the first council meeting, in which a speaker and mayor would be elected. This means the ANC and DA are in a race against time to scramble for coalition deals before that deadline.

Approaching its third birthday, the leftist EFF is in its most powerful position yet, serving as the pendulum that could either swing the ANC into or out of power in Gauteng.

Three hung metros in the province, accounting for 40% of the country’s GDP, still hang in the balance after the DA’s strong performance at the polls.

But the EFF was mum on whether it would accept a coalition proposal from the DA, in need of the red berets’ votes for its election victory to translate into control at the helm.

EFF leader Julius Malema on Friday said the party had two conditions for a coalition: putting black people first and giving land to them.

Meanwhile, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his executives have been trying to coax parties into a coalition that will work in the party’s interests.

DA mayoral candidate for Johannesburg Herman Mashaba said the party did not have enough seats in the metro to outvote the ANC.

“We have 38%, they have 44%,” Mashaba said. “We can’t outvote them.”

The DA secured 93 seats in Tshwane, while the ANC had 89. Despite winning more seats, the party does not have the majority to govern the capital outright.

– simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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