The DA will call for an urgent meeting with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) following the party's announcement on Friday that its council members would abscond from the councils of the three metros governed by the opposition party coalitions.
The move follows the recent ousting of United Democratic Movement (UDM) councillor, Mongameli Bobani as Deputy Executive Mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay last month; a decision which was harshly criticised by the EFF at the time.
The UDM and Bobani have subsequently turned to the courts to have the motion of no-confidence in him set aside.
EFF are short sighted
DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Nqaba Bhanga, described the EFF's decision as short sighted, saying it would only serve to put the power back in the hands of the ANC.
"The fact is that in August 2016, the people of South Africa made it clear that they no longer trusted the ANC to govern. The people of our metros voted for a new beginning and placed their trust in opposition parties."
"The EFF is defying the mandate provided to the opposition by millions of voters, a step which seeks to cripple service delivery and job creation where we govern," said Bhanga.
Bhanga said the EFF had not made the reasons for their discontent clear.
"The DA, together with COPE and the ACDP, acted to remove ... Bobani, after months of consultation with the UDM about his very questionable conduct, which sought to undermine and destroy the coalition agreement," he said.
Bhanga said the DA remained committed to working with other opposition parties, including the UDM.
"We have continuously stated that, in the interest of the coalition and delivering services to the people of the metro, the UDM should nominate an alternative candidate who will ensure that we can focus on delivering services for the people of NMB," he said.
Motivated by DA arrogance
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, said on Friday that their motives to abscond stemmed from the DA demonstrating "arrogance" when it removed Bobani.
"In dealing with the DA it is always their way or the high way. They fail on all levels to appreciate the humility of being given power by other parties," Ndlozi said.
"They employ the same approach of an arrogance of power that has characterised the National Party, and now the ANC, thus rendering the alternative opposition coalition local governments futile."
Bhanga said the DA would request an urgent meeting with the EFF leadership to discuss this matter.
"We cannot afford to let internal squabbles subvert the people's business and undermine the great work that has been done by our coalition governments," he said. -- News24