JOHANNESBURG - The leaders of four opposition parties - whose coalition governs three of the country's metros - say it doesn't matter who is elected ANC leader next week, the governing party can't be saved.
In a joint statement the leaders of the DA, Cope, ACDP, and Freedom Front Plus say the ANC has become a patronage network that rewards and promotes corruption.
They're also adamant the bitter rift with the UDM in Nelson Mandela Bay doesn't spell doom for coalitions ahead of the 2019 elections.
UDM President Bantu Holomisa's absence at Wednesday's meeting was glaring, especially in light of the ferocious squabbles between DA Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip and his now ousted UDM deputy, Mongameli Bobani.
It's a stand-off that's threatened to collapse the coalition in that city and that's partly about politics and partly about the trappings of power.
According to DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, "We've not fought the UDM, there's a problem here with councillor Bobani, who is voting against the party, who is voting against the coalition. He's sponsoring motions of no confidence. And that's been consistent from day one."
Cope Leader, Mosious Lekota, said: "He will use the blue lights when the mayor doesn't use the blue lights, none of the others are using blue lights. But he said he must use blue lights. Frankly, what should the other partners now say? Ja baas?"
The four leaders say they'll be seeking a way forward with the UDM on this issue in the new year.
Other than that, they're upbeat the coalitions are on track and delivering, setting the tone for national politics in 2019.
"As you saw what happened in Metsimaholo quite recently, it's clear that the ANC is not going to easily get over 50-percent, we can bring that change. And ultimately, as you work out the configurations of local government, we can have a practice to ensure that that model can work in national government," said Maimane.