Voting’s over, now let the horse trading begin

The African National Congress (ANC) and the National Freedom Party (NFP) will hold coalition talks on Monday afternoon in Durban, the NFP leader said.

As results of the local government elections streamed in it became increasingly obvious that this election was becoming a war between the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance. The Mail & Guardian asked smaller parties what they thought about the possibility of coalitions and if they thought South Africa was becoming a two-party state.

“Our delegation is going to have a meeting with the ANC delegation in Durban this afternoon. The ANC has formally approached us to discuss this issue,” said Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi.

The May 18 local government elections resulted in 19 hung municipalities, a situation that forces political parties to form coalitions.

The NFP, which won Edumbe Municipality outright and gained the majority vote in Nongoma, is expected to act as a kingmaker in a number of the hung municipalities.

KaMagwaza-Msibi said her party had not been formally approached by its arch-rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The NFP was formed mainly by disgruntled IFP members who left the party after a fallout caused by a leadership race.

Political commentators argue it is unlikely the NFP will form a pact with IFP. However, KaMagwaza-Msibi said her party was prepared to negotiate with any party.

“The IFP has not approached us formally. We have been getting calls from individuals who are members of the IFP requesting us to consider forming a coalition with their party,” she said.

Of the 19 hung municipalities, the ANC has a majority in 14 municipalities, the IFP in four and the NFP in Nongama municipality. If the ANC and NFP form a pact, the IFP will be left with only Ulundi and Umsinga municipalities.

Before the elections, the NFP was accused by the IFP of being an ANC project, an accusation that the party vehemently dismissed.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said talks were taking place between the ANC and other political parties.

“There are parties that have shown interest and the engagements will take place. We are not hostile to any party,” he said.

The ANC would form a pact with any party that had a serious interest in serving South Africans, said Zikalala. He said the ruling party would announce the names of its councillors next week. The ANC won the majority of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.

The ANC received a total of 56.57% of votes in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP received 17.33% of votes and the NFP 11.06%.

Read how the DA’s rebranding as a home for people of all colours paid off.

Nationally, the ANC won 63.65% of votes, 23.97% went to the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People (Cope) managed 2.33%, the IFP received 3.94% of votes and the NFP took 2.58%.

Cope still undecided
Cope has not yet decided whether it will enter into coalition agreements with other parties, a spokesperson for the Mosiuoa Lekota faction said on Monday.

Read Cope the kingmaker in hung Cape councils.

Phillip Dexter said the party’s working committee would meet on Monday and its congress national committee would convene on Tuesday.

“At these meetings we will discuss the elections and the results and whether we want coalitions,” he said.

Dexter said he could not comment on a possible national coalition agreement with the DA until the meetings were over.

On Monday, Business Day quoted the chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, James Selfe, as saying that the DA and Cope were discussing a national deal that would cover municipalities where coalitions were possible.

Dexter also declined to comment on whether Cope would work with the ANC.

“I cannot make any comment on those things until the meetings are over. We will release a statement once the meetings are over,” he said.

In the Northern Cape, the ANC managed to get 63.57% of votes, the DA 22.27% and Cope 11.91% sparking interest that the DA may enter into a coalition with Cope in the province.

‘Bloody revolution’
Meanwhile, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) said on Monday that smaller political parties should unite to prevent an impending “communist dictatorship” in South Africa.

In the current socioeconomic climate, “what we face in the medium term is a bloody revolution which may result in a full blown communist dictatorship”, CDP spokesperson Christo Landman said in a statement.

He said that the results of last week’s municipal election “pave the way for shrinking parties to take hands and so change the present course in the political scene”.

Landman said that the ANC and DA both relied on heavy taxation of the middle class, making this sector of society poorer.

“This means that the ethnic policies of Dr HF Verwoerd have been replaced by a class system.”

This situation, Landman said, would lead to an “eventual revolution of the poor against the rich bourgeoisie”, if smaller parties did not band together.

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