ANC withdraws motion of no confidence against Mashaba

ANC withdraws motion of no confidence against Mashaba

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The ANC struggled to keep a united front with the smaller parties it needs to carry the day against the Joburg mayor.

The ANC has withdrawn its motion of no confidence against Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. They intend to retable it at the next sitting of the council.

Mashaba was facing his third vote of no confidence in the city council on Thursday. He also survived the ANC’s second attempt to unseat him in 2017.

A council source on the inside of ANC caucus negotiations revealed to The Citizen on Thursday morning that the IFP was apparently not “playing ball” with the ANC, which looked likely to now withdraw its motion as a result.

The IFP has five councillors, and their votes would presumably be needed to ensure a successful motion.

The council had to break for the ANC to discuss its motion and its strategy.

The council broke for lunch shortly after the ANC withdrew the motion.

Earlier, the ANC’s Johannesburg regional secretary, Dada Morero, said his party had the backing of more than 145 councillors.

The ANC needed 136 votes to remove Mashaba. The party itself has 122 seats in the council, meaning that if all its members vote along party lines it would need an additional 14 votes from other parties to succeed.

“We are confident. We know for a fact that we have garnered enough numbers for us to remove Mashaba,” Morero told Power FM.

Before the vote, Morero said the party believed it could remove Mashaba without the EFF’s help.

“There has been no engagement, formal or informal, with the EFF and we are not even considering the 30 votes from the EFF,” Morero told 702.

“That will mainly consist of ANC councillors and our partners in other parties. Council is constituted at 270 councillors. We think we have the required 136.”

It was unclear how the EFF would vote, but the party has shown support for Mashaba’s government, with its deputy president Shivambu indicating on Twitter his party would not vote with the ANC and telling the party to “go jump”.

While the EFF made the decision to vote with the DA in certain municipalities, leading to them assisting the party in taking over key metros, such as Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg, the relationship between the two parties has largely soured, with Malema saying his party’s policy moving forward would be to abstain from voting with either the DA or the ANC.

In Johannesburg, however, the EFF and the DA’s Mashaba-led local government still enjoy a good working relationship, due to decisions on the mayor’s part such as working with the party to insource workers.

According to the DA’s federal executive, the motion is an attempt by the ANC to regain control of ratepayers’ money.

Mashaba believed he would survive the vote.

In a statement on Thursday, the DA said Mashaba was facing the motion “simply because he is a strong and capable leader that cannot be manipulated into any wrongdoing”.

The party’s John Moodey said the “fact that so many thousands of people in Johannesburg signed the petition to keep Mayor Mashaba in office shows that the people of Johannesburg are aware of the great work that he is doing”.

“This is the third attempt by the ANC to bring down Mayor Mashaba in three years. All previous attempts to remove him in a no confidence vote in 2016 and 2017, have failed.

“During the three years that Mayor Mashaba has been in office, he has brought the city’s finances back on track, including increasing revenue collection in leaps and bounds and attracting billions in investments to build affordable housing in the inner city.

“Not only that, he also delivered more than 6,659 title deeds, created conditions for 44,000 Expanded Public Works Programme job opportunities, invested in the electrification of more than a hundred informal settlements, extended operating hours at 22 clinics, recruited 1,500 metro police officers and discovered over 5,335 corruption cases totalling more than R24 billion.

“When Mayor Mashaba took office three years ago when the DA took over the administration of the City of Johannesburg from the ANC, it was in a mess due to ANC incompetence. Under the ANC administration 19% of the city’s budget was stolen through corruption, Johannesburg residents were experiencing poor service delivery and the city had a huge billing crisis.”

(Background reporting, Daniel Friedman)

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