Johannesburg - The African Independent Congress (AIC) on Thursday confirmed that it had signed a coalition agreement with the African National Congress (ANC) in Ekurhuleni in a bid to help the ruling party retain at least one metro in Gauteng.
This comes as Ekurhuleni postponed its inaugural council meeting, which was scheduled to sit on Friday, to next week Tuesday, without providing any reasons.
AIC spokesperson Aubrey Mhlongo denied that the postponement was as result of disagreements between the ANC and the AIC over their coalition agreement.
The AIC demanded to have Matatiele re-incorporated back into KwaZulu-Natal as part of its set of conditions for the coalition with the ANC in Ekurhuleni metro. Matatiele was moved from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape in 2005, and the AIC was formed in December that year amid a dispute over the municipal boundary.
Mhlongo said the AIC, which has four seats in Ekurhuleni, was happy with the wording of the agreement they had signed with the ANC and the council meeting postponement might have resulted from logistical challenges and short deadlines.
“We have reached an understanding with the ANC and we have signed an agreement. We are still in talks with them regarding the issue of re-incorporating Matatiele into KwaZulu-Natal as that was one of the conditions we had set,” Mhlongo said. “There will be an induction on Monday and the first council meeting will be on Tuesday.”
Ekurhuleni's spokesperson Themba Radebe was not immediately available for comment.
The ANC received the majority of votes in Ekurhuleni - 48.64 percent, giving it 109 seats in the 224-seat council. It was followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 34.15 percent and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 11.23 percent.
With the AIC's four seats secured, the ANC can form a coalition government in Ekurhuleni and install its mayoral candidate Mzwandile Masina in the top position.
The ANC was also reported to be in talks with the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in Ekurhuleni.
Meanwhile, the DA on Wednesday formed coalitions with several smaller parties including the United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, with the EFF agreeing to support it in councils.