DA, UDM, Cope and ACDP coalition to run Metro
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay officially entered into a multi-party agreement with the United Democratic Movement (UDM), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) on Wednesday to obtain the four seats it needed to run the Metro.
This comes after the party’s 46.71% versus 40.92% win over the African National Congress (ANC) in the August third local government elections, and after nearly two weeks of intense discussions as it failed to obtain the 51% needed for an outright majority victory.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Grand Hotel, DA Mayoral Candidate Athol Trollip, flanked by the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani and Thoko Tashangela, and Cope’s Siyasanga Sadjuda, said a consensus based on change, good governance and a honest government that would deliver for all, eventually resulted in the party opting to enter into an agreement with its new partners.
“We accept this enormous responsibility with much humility, and we look forward to formally ratifying this government and the show the people of Nelson Mandela Bay that we as four different political parties can work together in their best interest,” Trollip remarked.
He said a number of similarities were noticed when the respective parties’ manifestos were presented, adding that a clampdown on corruption, creating jobs and delivering quality services rated as the top priorities.
In his opening statement, Bobani said the Metro had spoken and that the UDM would play its part in not disappointing residents.
“We are putting the interest of the people first. They have chosen us to lead and we are ready to govern. Everything we have said will happen… there will be no time to play… we are ready to govern. It is about service delivery, there will be no stone throwing… elections are over and service delivery will be the order of the day,” he said.
Similarly, Sadjuda said the voting results showed residents had enough of 22-years’ empty promises, and that Cope has its sights set on making the coalition work effectively.
“We know the struggles of our people and are ready to be a government alongside [our partners] that will ensure that our people are taken care. There is no time to relax or be complacent,” she said.
Prior business commitements had resulted in the ACDP’s Lance Grootboom being absent from the event.
Asked about the surprise decision of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) not partake in any coalition agreements, Trollip said it nonetheless looks forward to being held accountable when they take up the position of opposition in council.
“What they did today was very significant for our [country’s] democracy. We acknowledge their support and endorsement, and expect them to play a vigorous oversight role in keeping us on our toes, and we look forward to dealing with them on a basis of a government answering to an effective opposition”.
At a briefing in Alexandra hours before, EFF leader Julius Malema said it would not be drawn into forming coalitions with any party, although it would support the DA in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, and the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We will be voting for the opposition because the ANC must be removed from power and this is the start. If we are neutral, we will be sell-outs,” Malema said.
The new council will be voted in at a special sitting on Thursday morning, with Trollip expected to take over from Danny Jordaan as the Metro’s new Executive Mayor.
CAPTION: (L-R): United Democratic Movement (UDM) councillor Thoko Tashangela, Democratic Alliance Mayoral Candidate Athol Trollip, UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani and Cope councillor Siyasanga Sadjuda on the roof of the Grand Hotel after announcing the agreeing of a multi-party coalition to run Nelson Mandela Bay.
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