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Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
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Coalition governments are the future – Opposition parties

6th December 2017 BY: Thabi Madiba
Creamer Media Research Assistant and Reporter
Pieter Groenewald, Mmusi Maimane, Mosiuoa Lekota and Kenneth Meshoe
Pieter Groenewald, Mmusi Maimane, Mosiuoa Lekota and Kenneth Meshoe

Opposition leaders of the coalition governments in the Tshwane, City of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay municipalities met on Wednesday in Johannesburg, to assess the coalition’s performance.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was joined by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota, African Christian Democratic Party leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe and leader of the Freedom Front Plus Dr Pieter Groenewald.

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Leaders of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) did not attend the briefing due to commitments, and Maimane assured that they were still part of coalitions.

The DA went into coalition agreements with smaller parties in the three municipalities with parties other than the African National Congress (ANC) following the August 2016 local government elections to secure majorities.

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“We are unanimous in our view that the ANC cannot self-correct, and is not fit to lead our country,” said the opposition parties in a statement.

The ANC will be heading to its elective conference in a week to elect its new leader, however the opposition says that the ANC will be electing the president of the ANC, and not the next president of the country.

“There is no saving the ANC. It has become a patronage network that rewards and promotes corruption, and ignores the plight of our people. It is time for South Africa to remove the ANC once and for all - and that is our collective goal,” the opposition parties said.

Letting the ANC claim back power in lost municipalities, as was attempted through motions of no confidence, was not an option for the coalition governments.

Last week Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Speaker of Council Vasco da Gama survived a motion of no confidence against them, which was brought by the ANC.

“In Tshwane, since taking office, 23 000 [Expanded Public Works Programme] work opportunities have been created, bringing hope and empowerment to those left behind,“ the opposition touted.

The mayoral mansion has been sold for R5.1-million rand, and the money will be used to build houses for poor residents. About 2 804 title deeds have been handed over already, and a further 6 000 title deeds are scheduled to be handed over in 2018.

In Johannesburg, the coalition government has established an anticorruption unit, which is headed by former Gauteng Hawks head General Shadrack Sibiya.

“To date, this unit has exposed over R2-billion in corruption in the City,” said the parties.

Ninety percent of the administration’s first budget has been allocated to previously disadvantaged individuals and communities in Nelson Mandela Bay, to ensure that those left behind are afforded equal access to opportunity.

“Before the coalition-led government came to office, 35% of all bucket toilets in South Africa were in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have eradicated over 4 000 already, and have committed to eradicating all bucket toilets by the end of 2017,” said the opposition.

The opposition says come 2019, they will work towards building a coalition government at national level that represents all South Africans and that is committed to fighting corruption, delivering services and creating jobs for all. 

EDITED BY: Sashnee Moodley Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia
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