Today, ActionSA has stabbed Tshwane Executive Mayor Cilliers Brink in the back and have pulled the rug from under coalition’s feet.
Without consulting the Multi-Party coalition, ActionSA submitted an urgent motion to the Speaker of Council that seeks to compel the Executive Mayor to negotiate with striking workers as well as for the Mayor to consider what it calls the legitimate demands put forward by labour unions. These demands include adding R600 million to the wage bill, paying striking workers who have disrupted services for residents, and reinstating workers who have engaged in assaults and intimidation against Tshwane employees.
The foundation of ActionSA’s motion lacks substance. The City of Tshwane has made numerous efforts to engage with the unions involved in the ongoing strikes, and ActionSA, having 2 MMC positions, are aware of these engagements. Between July 27th and August 8th, the City of Tshwane held five meetings with union leadership and engaged with the CCMA on August 3rd. ActionSA seems to be playing opposition politics while in government, clearly attempting to score political points.
Furthermore, as the unions have distanced themselves from the strikes in Tshwane, ActionSA’s motion essentially calls on the mayor to engage with the criminal elements who have held this city hostage through violence and destruction.
Over the past nine weeks, the multi-party coalition has been locked in a battle for the financial future of Tshwane. This struggle has witnessed the destruction of municipal infrastructure, assaults on municipal employees, and even the shooting of a municipal worker. Supporting this motion would essentially condone violence, destruction, and intimidation.
ActionSA’s motion displays a lack of foresight. Granting wage increases in Tshwane would inevitably come at the expense of resources designated for essential services to residents. If this motion were to be accepted, creating the illusion of ending the strike in the name of resuming service delivery in Tshwane, it will lead to a long-term decline in the quality of services provided to Tshwane residents.
The DA and VF have initiated a dispute against ASA, which, in accordance with the Coalition Agreement, compels them to withdraw the item and have it discussed at the CMC. If consensus cannot be reached, the DA is ready to escalate the dispute with ASA for discussion at COG amongst Party’s National Leaders.
Under no circumstances will the DA endorse a motion that could result in the financial ruin of the City of Tshwane. Nor will the DA support a motion that harms the residents of Tshwane to appease those responsible for the destruction of municipal infrastructure, assaults on, and shootings of municipal employees.
The DA is a party guided by principles. If ActionSA chooses to engage in politics that undermine the coalition and potentially return the city to the ANC, the DA Caucus will persist in fighting for residents from the opposition benches.