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GOOD Party not interested in local government coalition offers

GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille has made some tough choices by staying away from coalitions.

GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille has made some tough choices by staying away from coalitions.

Published Nov 9, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille has made some tough choices by staying away from coalitions in favour of preserving party unity and leadership coherence.

This is according to policy analyst and human rights activist, Nkosikhulule Nyembezi following the GOOD party’s announcement that it would not enter into any local government coalitions, across the 19 municipalities and and five districts in which it will be represented.

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Nyembezi said the party could be commended for its transparency “in declaring timeously that it has assessed the situation and decided not to enter into any coalition agreements”.

“Hopefully, the door remains open for GOOD to consider entering into a coalition should subsequent by-elections in any relevant hung municipality shift the balance of power and necessitate reconstitution of the council leadership,” he said.

“This has been a defining election campaign for Patricia de Lille. Now a picture is emerging not of someone rushing to see her party in power, but of a pluralist, healing leader who is more sensitive to the evidence of the polls and the concerns of the voters than some of her supporters in the leadership campaign may have appreciated.”

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GOOD won 45 seats and 5 district seats in the municipal elections. The breakdown shows it won nine in Cape Town, six in George and four in both Saldanha Bay and Drakenstein. The party also has three seats in Stellenbosch and Theewaterskloof, two each in Witzenberg and Breede Valley, and one seat in Matzikama, Bergrivier, Swartland, Langeberg, Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West.

In the Eastern Cape it won one seat in Nelson Mandela Bay and in Sunday's River, while in the Northern Cape it won two seats in Sol Plaatje municipality and in Gauteng one each in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

“This is an interesting decision, because GOOD's leader, Patricia de Lille, is a cabinet minister. The consequences will depend on how GOOD votes when it comes to approving or rejecting the annual municipal budget, and when it comes to voting for the mayor. Will they abstain? It could mean that more municipalities than otherwise will remain hung councils for months on end,” UWC political analyst Keith Gottschalk said.

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GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron.

GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron confirmed the leadership decided that they would not enter any local government coalitions.

“We have concluded that the best way to serve our supporters, and all the residents in these towns and cities, would be as a constructive opposition.

“The decision was informed by our objectives, the four justices - spatial, social, economic and environmental justice - that inform our policies and to serve our voters who supported us. Taking that into account, the offers we received did not meet that electoral mandate; we didn’t want to be part of a government solely to keep another party out, or grab positions simply for the sake of it. We have shown growth and our goal is to continue to grow.”

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Herron said they had been approached by more than one party regarding coalitions and said that larger coalitions had greater potential for instability.

“GOOD is one of a handful of newer political parties, arrogantly dismissed by some as non-entities, which combined to give both the ANC and the DA bloody noses in the local government elections – including in the City of Cape Town where the DA majority was slashed by 8%. We have demonstrated that the support we received was not wasted and we will work hard and constructively to earn every single vote we received," Herron said.

Cape Times

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