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PA's Gayton McKenzie targets Joburg mayorship

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
PA leader and Central Karoo mayor Gayton McKenzie. File photo.
PA leader and Central Karoo mayor Gayton McKenzie. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Gayton McKenzie says he wants to be the City of Johannesburg mayor.

The PA leader, who has called for the resignation of incumbent Thapelo Amad, announced this last night during a live Facebook chat with his party supporters. He also announced his party's decision to withdraw from the coalition with the ANC, not only in Gauteng but the Free State and Northern Cape too.

McKenzie said this week will be his last as mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality as he would be resigning on Thursday.

McKenzie said the proposal on the table, which he alleged ActionSA and FF+ had accepted, was for the PA to take the position of mayor in Joburg.

However, ActionSA president Herman Mashaba told Sowetan there was no agreement on the table in terms of positions, but maintained the goal was to remove the ANC and EFF coalition from government.

“In terms of our conversation, we submitted a motion against mayor [Thapelo Amad] on Tuesday and subsequent to that we made contact with Gayton. Discussions are underway and there's no agreement of who will get what at this point. It's still very early,” Mashaba said.

The FF+ was not immediately available for comment.

During an SABC interview on Friday, Amad said he had secured a potential loan of R9,5bn from a private financier aimed at addressing service delivery and also building a smart city for SA's economic hub, Johannesburg.

The interview sparked a furore, leading to questions about Amad's leadership, competency and understanding of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

Speaking on the interview, McKenzie said Amad was out of his depth and if he has any sense of responsibility, he should resign.

I can fix Joburg. It’s dirty, [and] business people don’t want to invest [in it]. Give me 100 days and I can turn things around. How can the city be bankrupt when it gets a budget of R74bn. We can’t have that mayor. He needs to go. What I’ve done in Central Karoo [district municipality], I’ll do in the City of Joburg,” McKenzie said.

Prior to the PA's national executive committee meeting on Wednesday in Cape Town, McKenzie said he met with DA leader John Steenhuisen and Corne Mulder of the FF+.

McKenzie said he proposed for the PA to take the position of mayor in the city, with Steenhuisen saying he will first take the proposal to the party's Federal Executive.

“I met with Steenhuisen on Tuesday night and we had a braai at Corne’s house. They asked if we’re willing to join the moonshot pact and we said we’re willing to meet, won’t sign the thing now, [and that] we’ll look at how it is structured [first].

“I spoke to Herman Mashaba on Monday evening. ActionSA put a vote of no confidence. He asked me straight up and asked if we’ll support it. I said yes because we want the man out.”

McKenzie said the FF+ and ActionSA agreed to the proposal but was waiting for the DA's response which would come by Monday.

The PA accused the ANC in Gauteng of taking it for granted, particularly when it came to dividing MMC positions in Ekurhuleni.

While the PA assisted the ANC and EFF to vote out former mayor Tania Campbell, it was excluded from getting any MMC positions.

Previously, under the DA coalition, the PA had two MMC positions in that municipality.

However, McKenzie revealed that the PA received a call from the ANC on Wednesday offering the housing MMC position. “Today, they (ANC) came with an offer of housing. Throw a dog a bone. That’s why they couldn’t swear in MMCs

“Only 50% of promises with ANC have been kept. We saw arrogance, our calls were not being picked up in Gauteng while these are the same people who used to call us everyday. Our complaints were not being heard.

“The ANC has taken us for granted in Ekurhuleni. Representation is important,” McKenzie said.

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