Salga hopes framework on coalitions will prevent instability in municipalities

Salga said President Cyril Ramaphosa took a good decision when he called for a dialogue on coalitions. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Salga said President Cyril Ramaphosa took a good decision when he called for a dialogue on coalitions. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 14, 2024


South African Local Government Association (Salga) president Bheki Stofile believes the framework on coalition governments will end political instability in municipalities across the country.

Stofile said the initiative taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa will bring much needed political stability in municipalities, which have been plagued by infighting and the removal of mayors.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile led the Cape Town-held National Dialogue on coalitions in August last year, where political parties and other stakeholders agreed on the need for a framework on coalitions.

Municipalities in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have changed mayors and speakers over the last three years. This has had an impact on service delivery.

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

DA mayor Mpho Phalatse was removed after the ANC-EFF ousted her in a vote of no confidence in January last year. She was succeeded by Thapelo Amad, of Al-Jama-ah, but he did not stay long.

He was replaced by his colleague at Al-Jama-aha, Kabelo Gwamanda.

In Ekurhuleni, the ANC-EFF coalition ousted mayor Tania Campbell of the DA last year. Sivuyile Ngodwana of the African Independent Congress replaced Campbell. But ActionSA this week tabled a motion of no confidence against Ngodwana.

In eThekwini, ANC mayor Mxolisi Kaunda survived a motion of no confidence a few weeks ago after smaller parties voted with the ruling party.

Stofile, who was addressing Parliament on Wednesday during the debate on the State of the Nation Address, said they want to ensure that by the time they get to the next local government elections in 2026 they have a framework in place to prevent instability in coalition governments.

Mashatile had said in Parliament a few months ago that they hoped to table a report on coalitions before the country goes to the national elections this year.

Ramaphosa has not announced the election date yet.

Stofile said a framework on coalitions for local government was needed to continue to deliver services without interruption.

“You may recall that we stood here a year ago to draw attention to the impact of coalition governments on service delivery and municipal governance.

“We wish to extend our appreciation to the President of the Republic for responding positively to our call for a National Dialogue on coalition governments.

“We are hopeful that the National Dialogue, held in August last year, will bring us closer towards a framework for coalition governments that can be used as a guide by political parties in structuring their coalitions,

“Without a framework to guide political parties in structuring and managing coalitions, political parties and independent councillors will be required to establish coalitions while being uncertain about the rules and mechanisms,” said Stofile.

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Thembi Nkadimeng said recently they will prepare legislation on coalitions will be prepared to prevent instability in councils.

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