City of Johannesburg mayor position up for grabs

Herman Mashaba
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With just a few weeks to go before Johannesburg gets its new mayor, opposition parties are testing their strengths, and considering ways of possibly switching the City’s power dynamic.

Herman Mashaba announced his resignation as City of Johannesburg mayor on the 21st of October.

“I will no longer serve as a Democratic Alliance Councillor and therefore, I’m required to resign as the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg effective on the same date.”

In less than 27 days, residents of Johannesburg will be introduced to their new mayor.

Mashaba’s resignation has dealt the Democratic Alliance a blow. In its organisational report, the party said governing in coalition with the EFF in Johannesburg and Tshwane was a mistake. With these revelations, will the DA retain power in the city?

DA Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille says, “Well there is no doubt that if the EFF wants to go with the ANC and other parties we’ll lose Johannesburg. That’s a very fragile coalition and a very fragile governing arrangement. And that kind of arrangement can fall at any time. There’s never been a guarantee from the beginning that it will be stable, it has always been highly unstable.”

The EFF has since thrown its hat in the ring.

EFF leader Julius Malema says, “I wanted to propose that the EFF must contest and it must contest without talking to anyone. We must contest. If the ANC is contesting and the DA is contesting, why is the EFF not contesting? I’m not saying it’s an EFF position. Everyone is fielding their own candidates, why are we not doing that? ”

The ANC has begun the process of horse-trading by reaching out to various political parties in council.

ANC Johannesburg Chairperson, Geoff Makhubo explains, “We’re talking to the Inkatha Freedom Party. The negotiations are taking place between Luthuli House and their national leadership; so up until they themselves announce because the negotiations are bigger than Johannesburg. They include KZN and all other areas where we can co-govern. I’m not at liberty to say how they are nationally but they are fine in Johannesburg.”

As Johannesburg residents await news of their next mayor, only time can tell whether the DA will retain power of the country’s economic hub.