Johannesburg is a very different beast to Cape Town. Bigger, more dense, constantly growing; it’s the economic heart of South Africa.
Despite its faults, the local ANC government in Joburg has received mostly clean audits and managed to do okay given the massive challenges it faces in such a complex area. There is a lot the Democratic Alliance (DA) can learn from them – and vice versa. The DA has excelled in having a strategic vision for Cape Town, although it too has blind spots. In addition, it’s well known that there is no love lost between the local ANC in the city of Joburg and the national “premier league” ANC.
By forming a coalition, the ANC in Joburg gets to strengthen itself as a player within the party and tell national government how little it thinks of it. The DA gets to learn from the local ANC and help weaken the cabal that is national government, which ultimately helps the party nationally. Most importantly, this benefits the people and city of Joburg, as the municipality will be more effective with a dominant coalition and less infighting.
Ideologically, the two parties are far more closely aligned than either would be with the EFF, especially in business-focused Joburg. If either were to form a coalition with the EFF, there would be constant horse-trading and politicking on a much more frequent scale. This is not conducive to a strong, progressive local government in our most important municipality.
If leaders can put aside their feelings and think strategically, this could be not exactly a match made in heaven, but at least the dawn of an era of cooperative governance that takes into account the will of the local people, while helping to drag South Africa out of the quagmire from a national perspective.
That’s the power the city of Joburg could wield with an ANC-DA coalition.
Amanda Sevasti Alves is an ardent feminist and South African who loves good books and great whisky.