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Mashaba not eyeing Joburg mayorship as talks with opposition parties reach advanced stage

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says 'one cannot be a mayor with 16% of the vote'. File photo.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says 'one cannot be a mayor with 16% of the vote'. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has poured cold water on speculation that he is demanding mayorship of Johannesburg as a condition for entering into a coalition government with the DA. 

“As ActionSA we have absolutely no knowledge of this. The question of mayorship does not appear on our documents or coalition agreement,” he said on Tuesday.

Mashaba was addressing the media alongside the party’s national leadership after the party engaged with other political parties about possible partnerships in some of the country’s hung municipalities.     

“The residents of Johannesburg gave us 16%, which we appreciate. It’s a historic performance by any measure, but one cannot be a mayor with 16%. For you to be mayor you need a majority of council.”

The party recently attended a meeting led by DA federal chairperson Helen Zille, but  would not go into detail about any disagreements they may have had.

“The only thing we discussed is the DA asking about a stable government in Tshwane. No  other municipality was discussed and we told the DA we are not here to discuss Tshwane but all the municipalities in which we participated.”   

The meeting raised eyebrows and questions about Mashaba’s relationship with the party, given their history. Mashaba, however, said: “My personal relationship with the DA is water under the bridge. I am not in this job to make friends with anyone. I am in this job to serve society.”  

The party’s Michael Beaumont said negotiations with political parties such as the EFF, ACDP, COPE and Good were at an advanced stage.  

This after receiving input from its constituency on which parties to work with. Views were aired in a 48-hour poll in which 17,500 people participated.   

“What was remarkable in this time is that people participated with greater enthusiasm. By way of a breakdown, 91% of respondents said we need to try to make sure ActionSA is part of government. In other words, these are individuals who have clearly received ActionSA’s message. That mandate is clear,” said Beaumont. 

We cannot afford to get into a coalition where we can already see in advance the possibility of an unstable government. 
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba

The poll also found that most participants want ActionSA to unseat the ANC from power and deliver services, the party said.

“The truth is that most participants do not like the political parties on offer to ActionSA. They are heavily divided about that. Those are very important factors ActionSA is going to have to bear in mind.”

Without giving much away, ActionSA issued a stern warning to parties with bigger representation about approaching the talks with arrogance. It called for common decency and respect.  

“We cannot afford to get into a coalition where we can already see in advance the possibility of an unstable government. 

“We are very clear that in the event we are unable to conclude the coalition arrangement, we are happy not to be in government but be in opposition benches, which will be very unfortunate,” said Mashaba. 

The party maintained it is not desperate to govern. 

TimesLIVE


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