NMB's governing coalition scrambles to retain power

Fight for appointment of a CFO has led to a stand-off between parties

Nelson Mandela Bay's governing coalition scrambles to retain power

9 July 2019

Marathon meetings by the Nelson Mandela Bay governing coalition are being planned for Tuesday after the City failed to meet a national treasury deadline to appoint a chief financial officer (CFO) or forfeit its R600m grant roll-over.

The City was unable to spend its capital budget in its entirety by the end of the 2018/19 financial year that concluded on June 30.

It also just managed to pass its budget for the next financial year last month, but still needs to appoint a CFO in the metro.

The fight for the appointment of a CFO has led to a stand-off between the governing coalition, which includes the ANC, UDM Mayor Mongameli Bobani and the DA-led opposition coalition.

The parties recently failed to reach a quorum in council when the DA walked out after Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya refused to table a motion of no confidence against Bobani. This also meant the City failed to appoint a finance chief.

A motion of no confidence was brought by the DA against the ANC speaker and Bobani, which the speaker refused to table in council.

Speaking to News24, Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels said the governing alliance - comprising the ANC, UDM, UF and formerly the EFF - was meeting this afternoon to discuss the "uncomfortable truths".

The Patriotic Alliance may once again find itself as the swing vote after EFF leader Julius Malema announced the party would not be voting with the ANC and DA in hung metros.

News24 understands the DA-led opposition coalition, which includes the ACDP and COPE, was also locked in meetings on Monday to discuss its strategy to remove Bobani and appoint a CFO.

'Our president has spoken' - EFF to abstain

Speaking to News24, EFF metro chairperson Ngawethu Madaka said the party was willing to support the governing coalition in the vote for a CFO, but the coalition had frustrated the situation.

"A motion can come but we will not vote. We will abstain. The president of our party has spoken of power sharing. The only way we will vote with the governing coalition is if we can sit on directorates that have got to do with service delivery."

With the coalition intact, Bobani has the backing of 60 council members to ensure he remains the mayor. The EFF has six seats in council, while the DA and its coalition partners, Cope and the ACDP, have 59. The DA was also in talks with the Patriotic Alliance to get its one vote, a source said.