DA reverses decision to field own candidate in eThekwini

The DA and ANC are struggling to find ways to work together in eThekwini. File photo.
The DA and ANC are struggling to find ways to work together in eThekwini. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

The DA in eThekwini reversed an earlier decision to field its own candidate for the position of mayor for the metro, paving a way for the ANC candidate to be elected unopposed.

eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa confirmed to TimesLIVE that the decision was reversed shortly after Xaba was elected mayor.

TimesLIVE understands the ANC and the DA reached an agreement that will see a new committee by separating human settlements and infrastructure. The committee will be split in two, with the IFP chairing human settlements while the DA chairs infrastructure.

Contrary to previous commitments from the metro’s two biggest parties to work together at local government level in accordance with the government of national unity (GNU) principle, the ANC and the DA had earlier failed to strike a deal. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Wednesday morning, DA KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Dean Macpherson said the parties failed to reach a co-governing deal because the ANC could not expressly commit to the DA’s three requirements for an agreement, the first being an agreed draft order which would create a legal framework to settle a case around the water and sanitation crisis in the city. 

This relates to a DA court petition to address the city’s persistent water and sewage problems — sewer spills into the sea, purportedly due to ageing equipment at wastewater treatment plants, prompting the closure of beaches and water provision challenges.

“For us to chair the water and sanitation committee which they [ANC] had agreed to, without the legal backing of the court order to implement a turnaround strategy, would be impossible,” Macpherson said.

“The two were absolutely linked, there had to be an express commitment to support the draft court order which would settle the case between the DA and the municipality and allow us to implement the court order. 

“Third, it was an express commitment for the DA to chair the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC). There was a meeting that didn't come to any resolution. The federal executive is clear that all three must be expressly agreed to and committed to — we don't have that and therefore we are left with no option but to field our own mayoral candidate.” 

However, the two parties later agreed to vote for an ANC candidate.

TimesLIVE understands MPAC will be chaired by the EFF and the IFP will chair the human settlements and infrastructure services committee. Macpherson said the DA will not be part of a co-governing deal that includes the EFF. 

“The EFF is not part of the GNU. The DA is clear we will not enter into any governance arrangement that involves the EFF. The unwillingness to remove the EFF is not something we can be a part of,” he added. 

This is a developing story.

TimesLIVE

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