Mashaba’s ego threatens future of Tshwane coalition

Issued by Solly Msimanga MPL – Official Leader of the Opposition-Gauteng
16 Aug 2022 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is disappointed by the decision of ActionSA in the City of Tshwane, a member of the city’s governing coalition, to vote against a report that will help make the capital city independent of Eskom and load-shedding.

The city proposes to lease the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations to a consortium of private companies who want to invest in clean, alternative energy generation.

The lease will not only save the city R300 million a year in maintenance costs, it could unlock private sector investment not currently available to the city and that could create 30 000 new jobs.

In essence, the project is one possible answer to the question that every metro in the country must be asking itself: how can we diversify our electricity supply, become less dependent on Eskom, and minimise load-shedding?

What today’s report before the municipal council seeks to achieve is to refer the proposed lease for public participation. Public input has to be considered by the council before any further step is taken and is an additional, more stringent step, to ensure that this project is above board and working for the people of Tshwane.

The public participation process will also enable the city to test ActionSA’s formulaic allegations about the regularity of the lease.

ActionSA’s misleading position preempts public participation, misplaces its role in the process, and seems to be an attempt to scupper the entire project at the outset.

It would seem that the instruction to ActionSA’s Tshwane councillors to vote against the report came from the party’s national leadership.

Their position also contradicts discussions held with ActionSA representatives at a local level, before direct intervention by ActionSA’s leadership took place – an omen that does not bode well for a coalition founded on non- interference of political parties in government processes.

Mashaba does not seem to want the coalition government to succeed unless he can impose his will – a rearranged coalition including the EFF as a support block for himself – and a consistent pattern has emerged of wilful disruption towards that end.

It is a puerile, arrogant attitude of not having any other party in the coalition succeed unless he can dictate terms.

And yet the success of the coalition governments are crucial not only to the future of the metros, but also the future of the country. Come 2024 South Africa will in all probability have a coalition government, and it will need to get things done.

We call on ActionSA to reconsider its decision, and use the public participation process to raise concerns which their members of the mayoral committee did not raise when the lease proposal was initially referred to the municipal council for a decision.

We furthermore call on the members of ActionSA, still awaiting meaningful elections in their own party, to remember that Mashaba has handed local government to the ANC before when he did not get his way.

It will be a sad day if the emotions and proclivities of one man had to scupper the positive alternative to ANC misrule.