ActionSA Will Always Choose Country Before Party
22 November 2021
Today, ActionSA’s councillors have cast their votes for DA Mayoral Candidates in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, and will be voting for the DA Mayoral Candidate in eThekwini when their Council reconvenes on Wednesday. As a consequence, DA Mayors have been elected in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni today, and will likely get elected in Tshwane tomorrow.
We have done so reluctantly because of the arrogance with which the DA has ignored the wishes of all coalition partners and acted in a manner consistent with a party that did not want coalitions to work.
The consequence of the DA’s actions has been Councils sitting today and tomorrow without coordination of how potential coalition partners would vote and without coalition agreements in place to protect the interests of the residents of these municipalities.
This only increased the likelihood of Councils falling back in ANC hands.
ActionSA will not play Russian Roulette with the lives of the residents of these municipalities who have trusted political parties to keep the ANC out of government.
ActionSA made a commitment to all South Africans that, where we contest, we will unseat the ANC in these elections. We do not take this promise lightly. We cannot betray this commitment to South Africans because of the petty party-political personality issues that have played out over the past 72 hours.
Nowhere was this truer than in Johannesburg where my candidature for Mayor, and the DA’s refusal to support the wishes of the multi-party agreement, was almost allowed to collapse these negotiations.
We knew that if it came down to a choice between ActionSA and the ANC, the DA would choose the ANC, and we cannot allow the ANC to regain control when voters so clearly rejected them.
The DA’s irresponsible actions created a crisis in coalition politics in South Africa. It threatened to hand municipalities back to the ANC and it threatened the long-term nature of these arrangements ahead of the 2024 national elections.
However, the actions of a group of political parties, of which ActionSA is one, will ensure that the flame of a multi-party alternative to the ANC can be kept alive, even if it must be led by a party undeserving by its actions.
It must be made clear that ActionSA is not in coalition with the DA. The DA’s actions have prevented any coalition agreement having been reached. Our future support cannot be counted upon in the absence of a formal coalition being established. Our actions are solely about keeping these municipalities out of ANC hands.
Make no mistake, the DA has not been gifted anything. They now sit in the very minority coalition governments they have spoken against, without written agreements in place with any parties. Now, they will need to demonstrate the same level of maturity shown by the multi-party coalition group and start negotiations again and negotiate coalitions in the interests of residents and not their own narrow political self-interest.
The prospect of these municipalities producing stable and effective governments now lies entirely with the DA and its ability to act in the interests of South Africa. ActionSA re-affirms its availability and willingness to conclude negotiations that serve the residents of these municipalities.
Statement issued by Herman Mashaba, President, ActionSA, 22 November 2021