Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba faces motion of no confidence
7 September 2017
Johannesburg - Democratic Alliance mayor in Johannesburg Herman Mashaba is facing his first motion of no confidence, with the African National Congress saying that he failed to lead the city.
The ANC tabled the motion against Mashaba on Wednesday, party regional spokesperson Jolidee Matongo told News24.
The party has included council speaker Vasco da Gama in its motion. Da Gama is a long serving DA councillor in the City of Johannesburg.
"The speaker has failed to ensure that council holds executive accountable," he said.
The ANC, which became the opposition after it lost Johannesburg in the 2016 local elections, had been highly critical of Mashaba since he took office.
In its last media briefing in August, the ANC accused Mashaba of inflating his 2017/18 budget by R1bn.
The ANC painted a bleak picture of the city's economy, saying that under Mashaba, Johannesburg was headed towards an economic collapse.
"The financial situation in the City of Johannesburg requires urgent attention if the metropolitan municipality is to survive over the next few months.
"This is a clear indication that Mayor Mashaba and his team are inexperienced and incapable of running an economic hub like Johannesburg. One year on, the DA led coalition is overwhelmed by the task of leading Africa's pre-eminent city," the party told journalists.
Mashaba's communications director Luyanda Mfeka, however, did not put any stock in the ANC's motion. He said claims by the ANC that the city is in financial distress are factually incorrect, which the ANC has attempted to make on numerous occasions.
"The motion filed by the ANC should be dismissed as nothing more than antics of the opposition."
He added that the DA's administrations plans proclaimed during the State of the City Address and the Budget Speech of collecting more revenue were already being implemented.
"We have ascertained claims by various consulting firms that there are customers that we are not collecting revenue from, these are mostly corporate South Africa. We have done spot checks at major developments in the city and we have found serious bylaw transgressions that have a negative impact on the city's ability to collect money."
Mfeka said total revenue collections had improved since Mashaba took over, from R34.9bn in the 2015/16 financial year to R35.2bn in the 2016/17 financial year.
The DA however may face a challenge with its partner, the Economic Freedom Fighters.
EFF leader Julius Malema has said that the party can no longer guarantee that it will vote with the DA.
Malema's comments came after the EFF's boycott of municipal council meetings in DA-led metros, which was sparked by the removal of Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement through a motion of no confidence supported by the DA.
Malema, who was speaking at the University of South Africa in Pretoria after receiving his BA Honours degree in philosophy on Wednesday evening, said there were no cracks between the EFF and the DA because they had never been in a coalition.
The ANC has 121 seats in council, the DA has 104 seats, and the EFF has 30 council seats.
Malema has on several occasions criticised Mashaba's statements in the media.
The EFF was not available for comment.