/ 16 August 2016

Local government elections: This is what we know about coalitions so far

Local Government Elections: This Is What We Know About Coalitions So Far

On Wednesday, the EFF and the Democratic Alliance (DA) will broadcast their coalition plans to the country on the 27 hung municipalities that are currently waiting to see who their leaders will be. But will the two parties have a tighter relationship after this round of elections?

On Monday, the EFF and the ANC met after the ruling party sat in a four-day long national executive (NEC) meeting. Despite rumours surfacing that the EFF would not speak to the ANC, the party has made it clear that it is willing to speak with anyone in South Africa’s political landscape.

One of the EFF’s preconditions to a coalition with the ANC, however, includes Zuma’s resignation, which is unlikely to happen. At the weekend ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said that during the party’s NEC meeting, the issue of removing Zuma was never raised.

But the ANC isn’t all alone. The African Independent Congress (AIC) has confirmed that it’s come to an agreement with the party in principle with regards to Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Rustenburg. News24 has reported that the party’s agreement with the AIC means that it may lead Ekurhuleni with Mzwandile Masina to be elected as mayor.

To retain leadership in the city of Johannesburg, the ANC would have to form an agreement with either the DA or the EFF. Reports indicate that the ANC has been talking to the EFF for a majority in Nelson Mandela Bay, while the DA and the EFF have reportedly agreed to work together in the city of Tshwane and other metros, with the EFF, according to City Press, saying the DA must implement pro-poor policies if they are to reach an agreement.

The ANC would have to partner with the EFF in Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Day to get the seats it needs to take the majority, but Mantashe has indicated that the party is willing to be the opposition if it teams up with smaller parties.

But so far, there’s been no confirmation from any of the big three parties on who they’ve made agreements with. Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg were fiercely contested in the local government elections but citizens of the metros will have to wait a few more hours to see who their mayors will be.

Parties have had two weeks to agree on coalitions and should they not reach a consensus, election reruns will have to take place. Council sittings at various municipalities are scheduled for this week for mayors and speakers to be elected.

So far there have been four agreements which have been finalised in the Western Cape.

The EFF will announce their coalition plans at 12.30pm on Wednesday and the DA later the same day at 2.30pm.