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Political parties scramble to conclude coalitions

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu.Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu.Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency

Published Nov 16, 2021


CAPE TOWN - The EFF has read the riot act to its councillors, warning them that they need to obtain clear authorisation from the party before being voted into office-bearer positions in municipalities.

The party has also warned its councillors about declining nomination when asked to serve as municipal office-bearers.

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This comes after EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu issued a circular to the party’s 978 councillors elected on November 1.

Shivambu said no EFF councillor should vote for a mayor, deputy mayor, speaker and any other position in municipal councils without a written and clear mandate from provincial heads of the governance task unit (GTU), who were provincial chairpersons.

“Be further informed that EFF councillors should not avail themselves for any position as a speaker, mayor, deputy mayor or any other executive position without a clear and written mandate from the national GTU,” he said.

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Shivambu said no EFF councillor was allowed to defy the organisation's official positions on who to vote for, which position to be available for, and whether to abstain.

“Any EFF councillor who votes for, or avails themselves for a position of a mayor, deputy mayor, speaker and any executive position in the municipal council without a written and clear mandate from the provincial leadership and national GTU, will be immediately suspended and subjected to a disciplinary process,” he wrote in his circular.

This came as political parties were locked in negotiations to decide who would run hung councils after the local government elections.

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Parties were under pressure to finalise these talks as the deadline nears this week.

The DA is expected to provide an update on the progress in coalition talks with other political parties today (Tues).

Party leader John Steenhuisen and federal council chairperson Helen Zille will hold a briefing on the current developments in the ongoing talks.

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Several parties also met yesterday in Joburg for further coalition talks.

They include the FF Plus, ActionSA, Patriotic Alliance (PA), ACDP, IFP and the UDM.

The ANC and the EFF were not invited to the meeting.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba stuck to his guns yesterday that his party will not work with the ANC at any cost.

He confirmed that the party was talking to the other political parties represented in the six municipalities where it contested.

“We hope that we can clinch a deal. The last option would be a rerun, which would be unfortunate because there is just no need because we do have enough votes to keep the ANC out of office,” Mashaba said.

He said ActionSA rejected a proposal by the EFF for the parties to govern the three Gauteng metropolitan municipalities – Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni – separately, but with each other’s backing.

The EFF’s proposal would have seen the party govern Tshwane, ActionSA would take Joburg and the ANC would continue running Ekurhuleni.

Mashaba said the plan was dependent on the support of the ANC.

EFF leader Julius Malema said the arrangement would not have constituted co-governing.

In the Western Cape, Mitchell John Smith of the PA was elected as the executive mayor of the Laingsburg Municipality, making him the first mayor for the party yesterday.

PA deputy provincial leader Sammy Claassen said they were extremely proud of the “historic achievement”.

The coalition was between the ANC, PA, Karoo Gemeenskap Party, and Karoo Democratic Force .

The Prince Albert Municipal Council is expected to hold its sitting today and Beaufort West Municipality tomorrow (Wednesday).

“In all these municipalities, working together with our coalition partners, we will constitute the councils as per the agreements reached. As soon as the municipalities have met, the Central Karoo District Municipal Council will convene.

“The coalition agreements are based on principled commitment by partners to ensure service delivery, good governance, redress in favour of the poor, accountability of officials, anti corruption and stability,” said the ANC.

“The ANC will not enter into coalitions for expediency. We will only work with like-minded political parties who are pro-poor in their orientation. Those that have jettisoned working with the ANC are within their democratic rights, and we will not force anyone or any party to work with us,” said the party's spokesperson Pule Mabe.