ActionSA has criticised the DA for neglecting the interests of Johannesburg citizens and squandering an opportunity to reclaim the city by abstaining from participating in the election of a new council speaker. During an extraordinary sitting, the African Independent Congress (AIC) councillor Margaret Arnolds was elected unopposed as the City of Joburg Speaker. This development followed the removal of the former Speaker, Colleen Makhubele, by her party, Congress of the People (COPE), as reported by IOL.
The City of Joburg manager, Floyd Brink, promptly organised the council meeting to appoint a new speaker. Arnolds, nominated from the floor, accepted her nomination and was announced as the Speaker without opposition. However, the DA refused to partake, citing the cost and labelling the exercise as futile and expensive.
ActionSA provincial chairperson Funzi Ngobeni accused the DA of letting down Johannesburg residents, asserting that the party missed an opportunity to reclaim the city. Ngobeni revealed that attempts to engage the DA began when Makhubele’s removal became public. Despite efforts to form a coalition with the DA, ActionSA, IFP, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, and the UIM, the DA declined the opportunity.
Ngobeni expressed disappointment in the DA’s decision, stating that it opted for the continued governance of the ANC and EFF. Despite efforts from ActionSA and its coalition partners, the DA’s refusal hindered collaborative attempts to dislodge the ANC and EFF.
Margaret Arnolds, now the City of Joburg Speaker, has a history of serving as a Johannesburg councillor and played a significant role in previous administrations. The DA caucus leader, Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku, reiterated the party’s stance, refusing to participate in what they deemed a wasteful exercise, advocating for the dissolution of the Johannesburg council instead. The ongoing dynamics underscore the challenges and divisions within the political landscape of Johannesburg.
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Photo: Facebook / @Action SA