“A UNITY OF OPPOSITES” - THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ACTIVE UNITED FRONT AND THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.
STATEMENT ISSUED BY: MR M. PETER LOBESE. SECRETARY: ACTIVE UNITED FRONT (AUF)
The Active United Front (AUF) considers the partnership between DA and AUF as a “Unity for Opposites” for a functional government with pro-poor service delivery objectives. Bitou Local Municipality has in the past five years been governed by a coalition of political parties. It is common cause that the coalition agreement entered into by the AUF with the African National Congress (ANC) has now ended. As was the case with the ANC, the AUF has not given the Democratic Alliance (DA) a blank cheque. For the record, the AUF has entered a “pro-poor” cooperation agreement with the DA to:
- GROW THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND
- TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF OUR PEOPLE.
The parties have agreed to put structures in place to monitor and implement the stipulations of the agreement. This agreement is based on the following principles in practice:
PRO-POOR: The people of Bitou Local Municipality need houses, employment and better service delivery. The AUF needs a partnership that brings a better offer for service delivery and economic upliftment of our people. The coalition government will be based on racial integration through special development, clean governance, “pro-poor” service delivery, social and economic development. We have identified and agreed on a number of projects that will improve the social cohesion and economy of the town for job creation.
IDEALISM: Since the 2016 Local Government Election, the AUF has been confronted with this dilemma: which of the two parties between the two parties to enter into a coalition with - a coalition that would best aid the AUF’s Socialist agenda. The AUF was not only confronted with idealism or but the available facts at its disposal and/or reality. For the sake of progress and stable government, in the past seven months, the AUF entered into a coalition with the ANC. Our decision was based on the premise that we share common ideas; specifically that of a pro- poor and working class agenda. The reality that later confronted the AUF is that the opposite was in fact true. Be that as it may, we also understand the perceived polarized identities and ideological differences between the AUF and the DA.
COALITION OF OPPOSITES: The AUF and DA coalition in Bitou Local Municipality is a unity of opposites for a stable environment, service delivery and the transformation of local communities. It might work or not work depending on whether the DA “walks the talk” or not. Coalition means one cannot exist without the other. This means that Bitou Local Municipality will not be able to function properly without an agreement between two out of the three local political parties, as this will render ours a hung council. History has thought us that a hung council does not bring stability in council and compromises service delivery for the poor. In a hung council no party wants to commit its resources 100% and mostly fails to bring political, social and economic benefits to the ordinary people except the government representatives and their friends.
CAPITALISM AS A PHASE TOWARDS SOCIALISM: AUF is not a Political Party but rather a Socialism-Oriented United Front of active local citizenry that has organized itself to contest local government elections. AUF envisions a Socialist South Africa, and is entering the coalition knowing that both ANC and DA continue to champion neo-liberal policies. We are encouraged by the recent calls from working-class organisations that SA needs a Pro-Poor Workers’ Party that will transform the country into a socialist state. In order for socialism to succeed we need a stable environment both socially and economically where all people have a better life.
Socialism in this case means to put food on the table as our people are starving, it means people must get services and live a better life.
MARRIAGE: The “divorce” with the ANC is not based on hatred but rather opposing moral values and principles. Our subsequent partnership with the DA is neither based on like ideology or policies, nor differences in race but rather what the DA is able to offer or even more accurately, its presented promises of social and economic transformation to the people of Bitou Local Municipality in coalition with the AUF. The coalition entered into between the two parties implies that no one party is bigger and more powerful than the other. Where this to be the case, it means one party will prevail over the other. In marriage when this happens it ultimately leads to the demise of the marriage or divorce
ROAD-MAPS: The AUF views the coalition agreement as a performance management contract for better service delivery in Bitou Local Municipality. We had asked both DA and ANC, to once again come up with the best service delivery offers in their presentations. Unfortunately, the ANC could not bring a well-coordinated road-map in terms of service delivery for the people of Bitou Municipality. We had hoped that the ANC would bring its provincial leadership to salvage this situation, and its failure to do so by the conclusion of negotiations on the 2nd of May 2017 has ultimately led the AUF to this point and loss of opportunity for the ANC. It is due to the ANC’s failure to honour the coalition agreement that the AUF leadership and members in all wards have now decided to hand over this golden opportunity to the DA.