President of the IFP Velenkosini Hlabisa speaks to the media outside a voting station in Ntuzuma. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media
President of the IFP Velenkosini Hlabisa speaks to the media outside a voting station in Ntuzuma. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media

Coalition talks still underway to run KZN hung councils

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Nov 10, 2021

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DURBAN - Political parties in KwaZulu-Natal are still in talks over whether or not they will be entering into coalitions with other parties in order to run the 21 hung municipalities across the province, with a majority of them making decisions at a national level while one of them also turned to the public for suggestions.

Following the release of the local government elections results by the IEC last week, around 30% of councils in South Africa were left in a hung state, 21 of which are in KZN, meaning parties would have to strike deals with one another to govern as a majority vote was not obtained.

With municipalities having just 14 days since the proclamation of election results to host its first council meeting, opposition parties like the IFP, DA, EFF and newcomer ActionSA said they have committees that are currently discussing a way forward in terms of agreements.

The EFF, one of the country’s most vocal entities on the notion of radical economic transformation, said the party leadership met last Friday and established a committee to lead the talks on coalitions with other parties. Among those on the committee are deputy president Floyd Shivambu and former national chairperson, who is also a legal representative of Jacob Zuma, Advocate Dali Mpofu.

“That committee is leading the talks. We have put down our demands and preconditions of any engagements. The national leadership is in discussion with a variety of parties. At any moment, our national leadership is going to tell us how we are going to proceed going forward,” EFF provincial chairperson in KZN Vusi Khoza said.

Head of the DA in KZN, Francois Rodgers, also revealed that it is exploring all possibilities in terms of coalitions. Rodgers also said that the talks are being handled by a federal team.

“The DA is exploring all possibilities of coalitions in hung municipalities across the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Obviously, we will only enter into any coalition where we feel that we can fundamentally make a difference on service delivery.

“At this stage, this process is being handled by a federal team because some of the coalitions and agreements may have an impact across municipalities in the country. Once that process has been undertaken by the federal team, it will be cascaded down to the province, and we’ll have a better understanding of exactly what we want to achieve,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the party has made it clear that it will enter into an agreement with any party that puts the people's needs first, any party except the EFF.

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the party would inform the public in due course as to its decision on coalitions. The party emerged victorious in northern parts of KZN during the 2021 elections, obtaining 527 council seats and 24,24% of voter support. The party also obtained a majority vote in municipalities like Big Five Hlabisa, uMalazi, Ulundi and Msinga, to name a few.

“When there are any developments on this, the IFP will communicate it. The NEC (national executive committee) is meeting on Friday to discuss all matters relating to this,” Hlengwa said.

ActionSA’s regional spokesperson in KZN, Busi Radebe, told Independent Media on Tuesday that the party had requested members of the public to give suggestions on who they should enter into agreements with, as the party believes in “truly consulting with its people”.

The party hosted a briefing at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Joburg on Tuesday to announce the outcomes of the public input and revealed that it received around 17,000 responses. The party’s leadership is set to make an announcement on coalition agreements in the coming days, Radebe said.

Political Bureau

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