Inside DA’s plan to keep Gauteng’s  rich metros

Johannesburg- The DA  has hedged a plan to keep control of metros by enticing smaller parties in hung councils with senior positions as the cold war between the country’s opposition parties intensifies.

Sunday World has been told that the DA has promised small parties – including the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – positions in the metro councils  the party surprisingly won. As mayors mull over the composition of their cabinets, it has emerged that the DA was offering oversight positions of chairpersons of portfolio committees in the country’s rich metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni to entice smaller parties.

DA leader John Steenhuisen this week said his party was speaking to other parties with the view of entering into coalition agreements that did not depend on the support of the EFF to pass crucial things such as budget.

EFF leader Julius Malema said on Thursday stated on Thursday that they wanted nothing to do with the DA.

Steenhuisen and the party’s federal chairperson Helen Zille have repeatedly said they were ready to go to the opposition benches if they were going to be dictated to by the EFF and other parties that had voted for them.

A DA leader told Sunday World that they could not continue with a hardline stance of insisting to govern alone while they were voted into power by other small parties.

An opposition leader said the DA had offered his party the chairpersonship of portfolio committees in the metros.

Portfolio committees hold members of mayoral committees accountable. One of the powerful committees is the municipal public accounts committee, which is the equivalent of Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts, which, among others, deals with issues raised by the auditor-general.

PA’s deputy president Kenny Kunene confirmed that they had met with the DA and said they  would make an announcement on Tuesday.  He would not elaborate any further.

IFP Gauteng chairperson Bonginkosi Dlamini said the DA had reached out. “Let us not pre-empt. But remember in 2016 we worked with the DA under Herman Mashaba in the City of Johannesburg.”

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba took issue with the DA getting into talks with IFP and PA, saying both parties had voted with the ANC in the metros.

For more political news and views from this week’s paper, click here. 

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