As soon as Nelson Mandela Bay coalition leaders clinched a deal on Monday which was meant to save their partnership from the brink of collapse, it became apparent that the raging feud between the DA and the UDM was far from over.
Just minutes after the meeting between the parties’ national leaders in Cape Town, the UDM’s Bantu Holomisa announced that the deal included the reinstatement of deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani as the head of the public health portfolio.
But mayor Athol Trollip – who fired Bobani from the public health post last week – vehemently rejected the claim.
To follow on Tuesday was a dramatic council meeting in which the UDM chose to side with the opposition.
Together they put the DA through its paces over most items of discussion.
Both sides of the divide would have us believe their actions were in the best interests of the city.
But merits aside, the clashes between the parties appeared largely rooted in political wrangling and egos rather than public interest.
What is to become of the coalition government in the next four years is anyone’s guess.
While coalition governments are synonymous with contentions, we must highlight that a city such as ours can ill afford a leadership that appears more preoccupied with political infighting than getting on with the job at hand.
Last week, one of our city’s biggest employers, GMSA, announced it was pulling out of the country.
This decision is likely to leave 600 people out of jobs.
Several more companies are retrenching staff as the effects of our weakened economy continue to be felt.
The situation should compel our government to work with urgency to go after investment opportunities to close this economic gap.
None of this can be achieved without political stability.