ActionSA Disappointed with DA Ploy but Affirms it Stands with Joburg Residents

ActionSA is disappointed to report that the Motion of No Confidence scheduled to be heard on Thursday against Joburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, will be temporarily withdrawn. This is a direct outcome of the DA refusing to put the interests of the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, and the residents of Johannesburg, ahead of their own narrow political interests.

After committing to talks about Joburg on the sidelines of the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, the DA has refused to attend engagements about a proposal that would win back Joburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Knysna and various municipalities across the country for the parties of the Charter.

During the Multi-Party Charter negotiations, it was unanimously agreed that membership needed to be expanded to give the Charter the votes it required to win a majority in 2024. In the spirit of building a broad opposition to the ANC and EFF, talks with the PA resulted in them demonstrating their willingness to provide the required votes to remove Gwamanda and pave the way for parties in the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa to demonstrate this first success in the project of building momentum to 2024. The PA had committed to bringing their seats to the arrangement in Joburg and numerous other municipalities across the country, requesting only to retain two MMCs in Joburg.

Rather than embracing this in accordance with the agreement made during the Multi-Party Charter negotiations, letters were issued to Party Leaders on Saturday confirming that the DA would not engage in talks, would not work with the PA and would propose an amendment to the motion of no confidence to propose the dissolution of the council. Within minutes of receiving these letters, it was apparent that they had been provided it to the media simultaneously.

This notion of a new motion to dissolve the Joburg Council must be dismissed as the stunt that it is. The DA’s refusal to engage the PA to secure the simple majority needed for a motion of no confidence would even more profoundly doom a proposal to dissolve the council which would require a 2/3rds majority threshold. It is a political sleight of hand to distract from the obvious fact that the DA’s actions will directly result in the continuation of ANC and EFF governance in Joburg.

The withdrawal of the ActionSA-sponsored motion of no confidence is a difficult decision but necessitated after the DA confirmed categorically that they would not support the motion to remove Gwamanda. Without the DA support, the motion cannot succeed and continuing with it would only serve to damage the image of the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa. ActionSA and our partners in the IFP, FF Plus, ACDP and UIM will use the time afforded by the temporary withdrawal to engage the DA to assist them to look beyond their narrow interests in the Western Cape.

For the DA to opt for the continuation of ANC and EFF governance, rather than leading or supporting a coalition led by one of their own partners is a serious concern that ActionSA will be raising within the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa. The DA has every right to determine how involved it is in any coalition arrangement.

If their commitment to remove the ANC and keep the EFF out does not extend to working with the PA, the DA had every opportunity to vote on an issue-by-issue basis. Instead, they have elected to facilitate the continuation of the very thing they purport to prevent – an ANC and EFF government. ActionSA will seek clarity about how the DA’s actions in Joburg this week should be understood in the broader context of removing the ANC in 2024.

ActionSA remains committed to the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa and its commitment to provide a coherent alternative to the ANC. We remain deeply concerned for the residents of Joburg who continue to suffer under an actual (not theoretical) ANC and EFF government.

To these residents, and those observing from elsewhere in the country, ActionSA affirms its unwavering commitment to removing the ANC from government and recognises parties like the FF Plus, IFP, ACDP and others who demonstrate this commitment.

As much as parties to the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa will work together towards 2024, each party competes individually on its own offer to the South African people. ActionSA contends that these events in Joburg serve to demonstrate that Joburg residents, and South Africans more broadly, should cast their votes for parties within the Charter that fulfil their commitment to unseat the ANC – and not just when it is convenient for them to do so.