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Ramaphosa says model for coalitions explored to end instability

Tshwane councillors during the election of a new mayor recently. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Tshwane councillors during the election of a new mayor recently. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 25, 2023


Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has hinted at a plan that would get parties with the most votes to form a coalition government in a model developed for coalitions to end instability in municipalities.

Ramaphosa made the comments about the coalition solution when he was meeting President of Finland Sailu Niinisto, who is on a state visit in Pretoria.

Finland is one of the countries that have had long-standing coalition governments over more than 100 years.

Niinisto said in his country parties do not go above 30% of the vote and this forces them to get into coalitions.

Ramaphosa said they were working at a threshold where parties with a certain number of votes would go into a coalition.

He said this was intended to create stability at local government level.

Many municipalities have been rocked by motions of no confidence.

Since 2021 the City of Johannesburg will have its third mayor with the vote for a new mayor set for next Tuesday.

Tshwane has had three mayors already since the last local government elections.

The Nelson Mandela Bay metro could have its third mayor if a motion of no confidence against current mayor Retief Odendaal is removed. He had succeeded ANC mayor Eugene Johnson.

Ramaphosa said they are working on a threshold to create stability in councils.

“It is at local level where there is a great deal of instability and we need to resolve it and stabilise local governments,” said Ramaphosa.

“That is why we were now thinking of having a threshold. If you have a particular threshold, where your support level goes beyond that threshold you can then be part of a coalition government so that there is no instability,” he said.

“Because in the end it is the service that we provide to our people that should come first rather than the spoils of governance. That’s what we need to focus on,” said Ramaphosa.

The president repeated his message during closing remarks at the ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting on Monday when he said the ANC should not get into coalitions to get the spoils of office.

He said the ANC’s position on coalitions should prioritise service delivery.

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