Another storm is brewing between the ANC and DA in the City of Joburg.
This time, it is a row over the postponement of council meetings, leading to a worsening of political relations between the two rival parties.
ANC Johannesburg region spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said the party was disappointed with the collapse of the two previous council meetings, last month and last week, under the leadership of DA speaker Vasco da Gama.
“This we view as poor political management of council by the speaker and the DA,” Matongo said.
“It is our view that the speaker will do everything to secure his seat and the DA’s stay in power, even if it means not applying the rules of council.”
Matongo said it was only fair to make allowances for Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba and members of the mayoral committee to provide answers at the next council meeting, if they were caught unprepared at the time of questioning.
“But when Mashaba did not have answers to questions posed regarding the first quarter report of his office, the council meeting degenerated into chaos,” Matongo said.
“The speaker then failed to invoke the standing rules of council, allowing him to call councillors to order and make rulings on matters before council.
“Instead of applying the rules of council, the speaker chose to convene a special council meeting within 72 hours.”
Matongo said there was no urgency in reconvening a council meeting, which was scheduled for Monday.
“It is our considered view that a third council meeting within a short space of time is not advisable, especially so soon after the collapse of the two meetings,” Matongo said.
“We call for a cooling off of tempers and a reflection on how council meetings are conducted by all the parties represented in council, rather than rushing to convene a council meeting.”
DA Johannesburg region chair Khume Ramulifho on Monday hit back, saying the ANC had failed to understand and accept that power had shifted.
“This makes it difficult to play an opposition role in council,” Ramulifho said.
“The ANC has every right to hold the DA-led administration to account, but they are battling, as they still think they are in charge of the administration.”
He accused the ANC of trying to drive a wedge between the DA and EFF in the council.
The DA and other opposition parties, such as the EFF and Cope, had agreed to work together in the City of Joburg after the local government elections on August 3.