Nelson Mandela Bay Coalition Against The Tide Again

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor, Athol Trollip. PICTURE: M&G

PORT ELIZABETH: Key among those in attendance was the PA and its leader, Gayton McKenzie, indicated that the second alliance with the DA had come to an end.

The Democratic Alliance-led coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay is facing its biggest battle to date, after a high-level delegation of senior members from the City’s opposition parties met on Thursday to discuss removing the coalition from power.

Key among those in attendance was the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and its leader, Gayton McKenzie, indicated that the second alliance with the DA had come to an end.

Also in attendance were the ANC’s Faith Muthambi, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee, African Independent Congress (AIC) general secretary Mahlubi Jafta, the United Front’s Zanoxolo Wayile and United Democratic Movement regional leader Mongameli Bobani.

Together, these parties have a 61-seat majority in the 120-seat council and would, therefore, be able to pass any motions tabled.

The meeting, which was confirmed by several members who attended, has resolved to remove the DA-led opposition.

It was also confirmed that the minority parties in attendance had been called on to submit which leadership positions they would want under the new coalition government – an indication that the ANC did not want to be at the helm in the build-up to next year’s general elections.

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip said he could not comment on a meeting that he was not a part of.

“We have an electoral mandate, which we will respect and honour till the last second. We will not go without a fight,” he said.

The PA has been the kingmaker in the metro since the well-documented fallout between Trollip and his former deputy mayor, Bobani.

A hastily-formed alliance with the PA, saw councillor Marlon Daniels lodge a motion of no confidence in Bobani, which led to Bobani’s removal as deputy mayor. Daniels was later appointed as Mayoral Committee Member for Public Health.

Not long after, the PA withdrew from the coalition after the DA opted to dissolve the deputy mayor position, which had allegedly been promised to Daniels as part of the negotiations for his support.

Since then, the coalition government has been fighting tooth and nail to retain its position, with a series of motions of no confidence in Trollip, speaker Jonathan Lawack and chief whip Werner Senekal.

General council meetings have repeatedly descended into chaos, with opposition parties walking out and critical items not being passed on time.

Facing a fresh round of no-confidence votes, the DA announced that the PA had returned to the coalition in March, with the AIC also indicating they would vote with the DA, securing them the 61 votes needed.

In return Daniels was again appointed to the mayoral committee, this time replacing DA councillor Rano Kayser as head of transport.

But, just four months later, the second alliance is in shambles, with Daniels accusing the DA of using the northern areas as voting fodder and saying that there is no coalition, just Trollip.