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We'll pass budgets for Joburg, despite EFF threats - Mayor Makhubo

Geoff Makhubo
Geoff Makhubo
Image: Robert Tshabalala

The threat by the EFF to not back any budgets by the ANC government in Johannesburg, although possible, is just politics.

This is according to the newly elected City of Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo who was responding to EFF leader Julius Malema’s threats that the Red Berets would not vote in favour of any budgets by the ANC, a move which could collapse the municipality.

“The threat that we won’t pass budget for me it’s politicking, when we get down to the nuts and bolts, we’ll be able to pass budgets,” Makhubo said.

Makhubo was elected in a surprise victory yesterday aided by three DA councillors plus support from the IFP's five councillors, the African Independent Congress' four seats and four more from four other smaller parties.But these numbers are not guaranteed in future, especially if the DA manages to identify and expel the three councillors who defied the party's instruction to vote for Funzi Ngobeni as mayor.

This means that to pass budgets, Makhubo will need the support of the EFF in the same manner that former DA mayor Herman Mashaba did.However, EFF leader Julius Malema told Sowetan that his party will never support any budget tabled by Makhubo because the ANC refused to give in to its demand that a different ANC candidate be put forward for the post of mayor.

The EFF oppose Makhubo on the grounds that he is tainted by allegations of corruption relating to his business dealings with Gupta-linked Regiments Capital. Makhubo said he believed that through negotiations, even with the EFF and the DA, budgets will be tabled in council and passed.

“The issue of budget, I want to cross that bridge when we get there. In February, we will be passing an adjustment budget, now we are not phased by the fact that we might not pass budget. We are confident that everyone will have a stake in that budget and that and that budget will go through,” he said.

Makhubo has also vowed to install new members of the mayoral committee by the end of the week.The current MMCs were appointed by former mayor Herman Mashaba and now that centre of power has shifted, Makhubo will want to install his own people meaning this marks an end to most of DA MMCs.

It is understood that two MMC positions will be given to the IFP, who will also go into a formal coalition with the ANC, while others will also be given parties that aided the ANC in the hotly contested election yesterday.

“By this weekend we would have announced our executive. Yes we are going into formal coalition with the parties. We are negotiating at the moment [on] who will lead what [department] , we will be an all encompassing government. Every party will have a stake.

“We still are talking to parties I have not mentioned here, to see if they’ll want to work with us going forward. We’ll be talking to the leader of the Democratic Alliance today to see how we can work together. We talking to the EFF as well. When we say we want to unify Johannesburg, we mean exactly that.”

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