National 17.8.2016 08:43 pm

ANC’s power in Rustenburg hanging by a thread

Julius Malema and other EFF heavyweights at the 2016 Marikana massacre commemorations. Picture: Twitter

Julius Malema and other EFF heavyweights at the 2016 Marikana massacre commemorations. Picture: Twitter

Needing only two seats from an opposition party to govern, for the ANC it may end up being a story of ‘so near but yet so far’.

Opposition parties are poised to unseat the African National Congress in Rustenburg at the first council sitting on Friday.

The Democratic Alliance signed a coalition pack with other opposition parties on Wednesday, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) announced it was not going into coalition with any party, but would vote with opposition parties in hung municipalities.

The ANC failed to win an outright majority in the recent municipal election, securing 43 council seats out of 89. The EFF won 24, the DA 14, the Forum 4 Service Delivery four, while the Freedom Front Plus, African Independent Congress, United Democratic Movement and Both Community Movement (BCM) each won a seat.

The ANC needs only two seats from smaller parties to make 45 seats, which would enable them to retain the Rustenburg municipality.

On Tuesday, however, EFF leader Julius Malema said the platinum-rich city would never go to the ANC.

“No matter what happens, this municipality [Rustenburg] will never fall in the hands of the ANC; this municipality will be in the hands of the people,” he said in Marikana during the commemoration of the Marikana tragedy.

The ANC was believed to have a working understanding with the African Independent Congress, bringing their seats to 44, and then the opposition collective would have 44 seats.

The Botho Community Movement (BCM) from Boitekong near Rustenburg has not indicated whether it would vote with the ANC or the opposition.

Founder Ofentse Kombe had earlier said they were open to talks with any party, provided the aspirations of people in Boitekong were not compromised.

BCM was formed to fight for issues relating to health and education in Boitekong. If BCM vote with the opposition, former ANC councillor and leader of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Rocky Maleban-Metsing could be the new mayor of Rustenburg. He was the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) mayoral candidate.

Sources in the opposition parties said the F4SD would take the mayor and speaker position and several other positions in the mayoral committee while the DA would take the finance and infrastructure positions in the mayoral committee if they can relegate the ANC to the opposition benches.

– African News Agency (ANA)



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