Mashatile, Cabinet punt framework on coalitions

Deputy President Paul Mashatile wants stable coalition governments. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Deputy President Paul Mashatile wants stable coalition governments. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 30, 2024


Deputy President Paul Mashatile was hoping that a report on the framework that will govern coalitions would be adopted before Parliament finishes its business ahead of the elections.

Mashatile said the framework would create stability in all spheres of government. Mashatile has been leading discussions on a framework for coalitions, following instability in Gauteng metros, municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country.

The deputy president convened a summit on coalitions in Cape Town and he said at the time he was hoping that Parliament would adopt the framework before the polls.

“We need stable governments throughout the country, and you will recall that when we had that summit, our biggest problem was at local government level where we had a lot of disruptions.

“What we actually needed was a framework that should guide coalition governments and I think that dialogue or summit did very well. A document was produced, various parties wanted to study it and bring their comments. That is all done now. I did get a report that we need to bring that back to Parliament. It may well be that the bills you are bringing will be in line with what the framework is saying. That report is coming. I just don’t know where it is now in the process, but we had hoped that before Parliament rises, we should be able to adopt that report formally. If there are any bills that come through in Parliament that strengthens that framework.

“Let’s get that report to the table, adopt it and finalise it. I will check with my office where it is at the moment so that we can fast-track the process and get it adopted by the National Assembly,” said Mashatile.

The City of Johannesburg has had three mayors since the 2021 local government elections.

Ekurhuleni is preparing to have its third mayor since 2021 after African Independent Congress (AIC) mayor Sivuyile Ngodwana was removed in a motion of no confidence.

Ngodwana had succeeded Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Tania Campbell last March.

Nelson Mandela Bay metro is another unstable municipality where mayors have changed since the last local government elections.

Tshwane has also changed mayors since the last elections.

In KZN, there has been a change of mayors in several municipalities as coalition partners bicker.

The announcement by Mashatile, during a question and answer session in Parliament on a framework for coalitions, came a day after Cabinet approved the Municipal Structures Amendment Bill that would manage coalitions in municipalities.

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the bill will provide a clear framework on how coalition governments need to be established.

“Cabinet has approved the publication of the Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, known as the ‘Coalition Bill’. The bill seeks to provide a clear legislative framework that will guide the formation of coalition governments, as well as providing systems to minimise challenges of coalitions within the local government sphere. There is a need of framework to guide and strengthen the functioning of coalitions within municipalities to mitigate risk of service delivery interruptions,” said Ntshavheni.

This was another measure to stop constant changes of coalitions before the end of term of office.

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