Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Thembi Nkadimeng has proposed a raft of changes in municipalities to create stability in coalition governments and this includes a limit on motions of no confidence.
Nkadimeng has proposed among others that there should be a cooling off period to hold motions of no confidence.
She has suggested that a motion of no confidence against a mayor or speaker can be held after every two years as this would create a level of stability in coalition governments.
“Some of the proposed changes relate to encouraging amendments to the section 12 notices to change from Mayoral Executive System to a Collective Executive System to create an environment of ‘political inclusivity’, professionalising the administration, limitation on motions of no confidence through the introduction of a ‘two-year’ cooling-off period to force the focus on the functionality of council and service delivery, creation and publication of coalition agreements, enabling the party with the highest number of seats to be given first preference to form a coalition with clear timeframes, enabling the party with the highest number of seats to be given first preference for the appointment of the mayor (as appointed from the Exco) and the introduction of a 1% threshold that will require parties to receive at least 1% of the votes cast to qualify for a seat on the municipal council,” said Nkadimeng.
She said the amendments in the law would allow them to do these things.
Municipalities have been left paralysed because of political infighting.
Deputy President Paul Mashatile told parliament on Friday that they were looking at changes in how coalitions are managed.
He said they wanted to create a framework for coalitions to avoid instability that has been seen in municipalities in the last few years.
In Johannesburg they have had three mayors since the 2021 local government elections, Mpho Phalatse, who was a DA mayor, was removed from her position in January.
She was replaced by Thapelo Amad of Al Jama-ah, who was later replaced by his colleague in Al-Jama-ah Kabelo Gwamanda in a space of a few months.
Tshwane has has had no less then three mayors since 2021.
In Nelson Mandela Bay there have been three mayors, Eugenia Johnson of the ANC was replaced by Retief Odendaal of the DA, who has been replaced by Gary van Niekerk of the Northern Alliance.
The same situation applies in Ekurhuleni and other municipalities where there have been coalitions.
Nkadimeng, who was replying to parliamentary questions from Brett Herron of Good party and Gizella Opperman of the DA, said they want to amend the law to ensure stability in coalition governments.
The minister also denied claims that they had pre-empted the National Dialogue that was led by Mashatile in August by coming up with the proposals.