For years now Julius Malema and the EFF have been working on a strategy of becoming the tail that wags the dog – to weaken the ANC to such an extent that it is unable to govern without a political kingmaker.
With 10.8% of the national vote, the EFF is now a power broker that decides whether the DA or the ANC leads in Gauteng’s main metros – Jo’burg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
With the ANC at risk of failing to secure a majority in Gauteng after the 2024 national general elections, the EFF will remain an important political ally to secure governance of the province through an ANC-EFF coalition.
Malema knows that his party is far from appealing to enough voters to win a municipality, especially a multibillion-rand metro council.
But if he plays his cards right, the EFF will govern Tshwane, Ekurhuleni or Mogale City.
Gauteng ANC executive committee member Sputla Ramokgopa told a meeting of the ruling party in the province that losing power in Gauteng will cost the party over R350 billion annually.
He was referring to R149 billion from the Gauteng provincial government, R77 billion from the Jo’burg Metro, R51 billion from Ekurhuleni, and R45 billion from Tshwane.
“The ANC had at its disposal access to R350 billion per annum. We constitute 33% of the GDP of this country,” said Ramokgopa.
As far back as 2019, Malema said: “After the elections, we are going into government. We will be MMC in Joburg; we are going to be mayor in Tshwane.”
At the time, the EFF was trying to dictate its terms to the DA.
Fast forward to 2022. The EFF has made similar demands to ANC Gauteng chairperson
Panyaza Lesufi: complete control of the R51 billion Ekurhuleni council in return for Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Ekurhuleni ANC regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina, who scuppered the ANC-EFF deal, is now facing serious charges, including bringing the party into disrepute.
His “clumsiness” and act of ignoring the instructions of the Provincial Executive Committee have returned power in Ekurhuleni to DA Mayor Tania Campbell.
All indications now are that the ANC will submit to Malema’s demands and the ANC-EFF coalition will iron out its differences and begin a process to remove the DA-led coalitions in all Gauteng metros.
In the end, Malema will have his wish.